You only have one chance to make a first impression. Make it count.
Anyone who enters your website for the first time should immediately know what your business is all about.
Are you offering a product or service? Can you help them find answers, solve their problems or help them grow?
Returning visitors should also be able to interact with your website seamlessly, every time they come back.
Whether you are planning to design your website from scratch or you are considering a redesign of your existing site, we have gathered some of the best small business websites from around the web to help you find inspiration and gain valuable insights to help your small business website make a lasting impact.
What Makes A Small Business Website Stand Out?
The purpose of your business website is to represent your brand online, attract more customers, increase conversion rates, drive more sales, increase order value and help you grow your revenue.
To fulfill its purpose, your website needs to be attractive, highly functional, easily accessible and – of course – profitable.
So how can you make sure that your website is providing you with the best results possible?
To create a website that will grab attention, engage consumers and encourage them to buy from you, you need to:
- Know your target audience
- Provide clear and highly visible calls to action (CTAs)
- Put attention-grabbing headlines or your value proposition above the fold
- Align the design with your brand style
- Keep the layout clear and clean
- Make sure your navigation is intuitive and logical
- Keep the pages distraction-free (no pushy pop-ups nor annoying notifications on every click)
- Provide silky smooth transitions from page to page
- Publish only compelling and informative content relevant to your audience
- Make sure your pages are loading quickly, both on desktop and mobile devices
Depending on your industry and niche, as well as on the type of your website, some of these points can be narrowed down even further to create a top-notch website.
Let’s take a look at some of the best small business websites in different industries.
7 Best Examples Of Successful Small Business Websites
Example #1: Petal
Petal is a SaaS company with a website that features large imagery, custom illustrations and elegant pages.
It has a sleek design, clean layout and simple navigation.
The navigation menu consists of only three pages – The Card, The App and The Company. It’s consistent and easy to follow. A huge plus for this website is that it includes a dedicated app landing page for the Petal mobile application.
This site also provides a lot of white space, allowing the content to breathe. Nothing is overwhelming the visitor and there are no pushy pop-ups or aggressive ads.
The copy is clear and concise and it speaks directly to the target audience.
CTAs across the site are distinctive, with a black background. This creates a good contrast with the website’s white background, while splashes of color bring liveliness and positivity to the overall look and feel.
Example #2: Chris Wilcock
Chris Wilcock is an independent digital designer and art director and his website serves as his online portfolio.
The simple black and white concept, bold typography, large fonts and clear copy is what’s most appealing on his website.
The simple two-page navigation menu consists of an “About” page for a personal story and a “Cases” page for case studies from his previous work.
There is just the right amount of written content to explain Wilcock’s roles in previous projects and just enough original images to accompany the text and showcase his work.
Example #3: Lucky Goat Coffee Co.
Lucky Goat Coffee Co. is a coffee roastery with an online shop. This website stands out with a large photograph of a coffee field accompanied by a featured product. This immediately connects visitors to the business.
When scrolling down, there is a quick overview of the business story, as well as the selection of products with important information. To enter the shop, there are large Shop buttons at the upper left corner and at the bottom of the page.
What makes this eCommerce site one of the best small business websites is its highly functional and easy checkout process, which is the most important part of any online store.
The shop is also nicely categorized, so you don’t have to wander around if you know what are you looking for.
The checkout is on a single page, with a single form to fill. This means that visitors don’t have to go through the process step–by–step on separate pages. When everything is fast, reliable and streamlined, customers are more likely to feel satisfied and come back.
Example #4: Bartle Bogle Hegarty
Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH) is an advertising agency with a highly distinctive website.
The hero section of the website is reserved for the reel of video commercials from their portfolio. Although the video starts automatically, which might not be the best solution in terms of web accessibility, it’s not too pushy or too aggressive.
The opening video is actually a good way to let visitors immerse themselves in the world of the BBH and immediately get a sense of their style.
The video is followed by creative copy that explains the company’s business philosophy and the benefits of their services. Plus, there are funny images and doodles along the way down to the bottom of the page, to help keep the visitor’s attention.
Given that creativity is a driving force of an advertising agency, there is no doubt that a lot of creative thought has been put into the home page. If the goal was to surprise, attract and pull the visitors right in, then the goal has surely been accomplished.
Example #5: Charles Marlow & Bros.
Charles Marlow & Bros. is a small real estate agency based in Mallorca. Their website home page opens with a video representing the natural beauties and warm hospitality of this Spanish island.
This is another great example of how video can be an interesting way of giving website visitors an instant feel of the atmosphere.
What’s interesting here is that video isn’t included in the mobile version of the website, so it doesn’t slow down the loading of a page. It surely seems like this site was created with the mobile-first design in mind, because it’s simple, fast and reliable on mobile devices.
This agency offers luxurious villas and resorts both as rentals and for sale. It means they serve two different audiences, so they did a good job of putting two different CTA buttons up front. This way, it’s easy for them to segment the audience right away and present the right content to the right people.
This website is also highly functional and provides excellent user experience. There’s a unique, detailed description followed by a lot of useful information on every property page. Along with rich filter options, this makes browsing through the website an enjoyable experience.
Example #6: Chelsey Korus
Chelsey Korus is a yoga teacher and her website is distinguishable because it features a large number of high-quality photographs from her classes, events and retreats.
Photographic material is accompanied by elegant design and easy-to-follow navigation. The website provides visitors with easy access to her journal and online video classes. It also provides all the necessary information about the retreats that she organizes several times a year.
Even though there are a lot of images on the site, pages load fast on all devices. This makes the user experience uninterrupted and enjoyable.
Example #7: One Medical
One Medical is a primary healthcare practice with offices around the US that offers care to its members both in–office and online. This is clearly stated in the value proposition on the home page of their website, which is a good starting point for every new visitor.
Since their membership is part of an employee benefits package, they have distinct, easy-to-follow navigation for individuals and businesses. Plus, the language they use in the content of every page speaks clearly to the target audience it serves.
The whole website has a consistent design style with a calming color scheme, clear, up-to-date copy and a map for the office locations. These are some great features that every website from a medical niche should have to be successful.
Key Elements Of Small Business Website Design
When you run a small business, especially in a highly competitive industry, your website is one of your most important business assets.
That’s why your website design needs to be:
- Aligned with your brand style
- Aligned with industry trends
- Aligned with your website goals
When it comes to style, your website should reflect your brand personality.
You can use elements such as colors, fonts and images to stand out and make your online presence unique.
If possible, always choose custom illustrations, original photographs or professionally created videos over generic, stock images.
In terms of industry trends, you need to be aware of best practices and specific industry and niche design trends to avoid creating a website that looks outdated.
For example, as a freelance creative professional, you could choose to be bold and experiment with typography, while choosing a more structured, professional and soothing website for your private medical practice.
Last but not least, you need to align your design with the goals of your website. It could be a single goal of the whole site or it could be different goals for different pages.
If you run an eCommerce website, for instance, your main goal might be to increase sales, so you’d design the pages to show as much information about the products as possible and make sure to streamline the checkout process.
On the other hand, if you run a yoga studio and you also provide online classes, some of your pages might be optimized toward attracting new online signups, while others would lead toward inviting people to come to your studio.
Setting specific goals for your website is always a good idea, as it can help you focus the design, content and functionalities of your website toward accomplishing that goal.
Website Builder vs. Custom Design: Which One Should You Choose?
This can be a tough question, especially when there are so many website builders to choose from.
Squarespace, Wix, Readymag, WebFX and Weebly are only some of the platforms you might use to build a website.
All of them offer templates specifically designed for different industries and business types, so you’d have a lot to choose from and you’d have a starting point.
On the other hand, you could use the WordPress content management system (CMS) or any other CMS to build your website. It could also be based on a theme or a template, and if you have the coding skills, you could build it from scratch.
So, how do you choose?
How do you know which might work best for your business?
Well, it depends on your business and the type of website you want to create.
If you want an online portfolio, a five-page web presentation or a simple eCommerce website, you should consider some of the website builders.
If you want to build a complex membership platform, an online store with hundreds of products or an online tool that has a potential to grow, then the custom-made design might be the right fit.
Of course, these are not rules set in stone.
You don’t need to stick to the specialized themes of a website builder if you have the time and the budget to build your own website from scratch or hire a team of professional designers and developers to tailor it for you.
Bonus tip: If you choose one of the existing templates, make sure to customize it as much as possible. Otherwise, you risk having a website that resembles hundreds, even thousands, of other websites.
The Bottom Line
To sum it all up, your business website should be attractive, functional, clear and engaging in order to be profitable.
It should also speak to your overall business strategy and brand strategy. Your website design should follow your brand style and be in line with industry trends and best practices.
To create one of the best small business websites and make sure your visitors enjoy their stay and return, it’s important that your website is easy to navigate. Make sure that the pages are not overcrowded with elements that could distract your customers.
To ensure that the content you publish resonates with your users every step of the way, don’t skimp on your target audience research. Get to know your customer in every aspect possible so you can tailor your website to their needs.
In the end, what matters the most is that you provide an excellent user experience that keeps your customers coming back again and again.