By Megan Totka

More people than ever now utilize the web to make decisions, big and small, related to their business. They turn to the web to earn new customers and drive sales. So it’s hard to believe that there are still small businesses that fail to hone in on this trend – 93 percent of online experiences begin with a search engine.

It’s time for small business owners everywhere to know that you don’t have to have a flashy website to see a positive return on investment. All you need is to have a functioning website with clear text, the ability to use the internet and some patience and your business will reap the benefits. Take a look at these 4 best practices your business needs to know to support and grow your brand online.

Provide contact information that is easy to see and click

One reason businesses build websites is to extend their reach and gain new customers. This is why it’s vital to make it easy for visitors to contact you – they should not have to click through various pages of your website to find your phone number and email address.

Do what you can to ensure your customer can put in minimal effort if they want to learn more about your business or get ahold of you. Remember that first impressions are everything in business, so put your best foot forward from the start.

Have powerful calls-to-action

Do you hope visitors sign up for your email list or newsletter or make an appointment? Then you have to lead them to this action. Websites often hyper-focus on what they offer, who they are and why they’re the best businesses in the industry. This leaves the needs of the consumer in the shadows. Your goal should be to let users know exactly what to do once they’re on your site.

Tell them about your business

While you don’t want to go on and on about yourself, it is undeniably important to tell others what you do. Don’t go for a minimalistic way of showing who you are as a business—this can end up confusing your visitors and they’ll abandon your site.

Instead, opt to develop a brief summary of who you are as a business and what you offer your customers. If your business shares reports about organic market drivers, make sure you let your customers know that they can come to you to find this valuable insight. Your visitors can’t reap the benefits of your offerings if they aren’t aware of their existence.

Go ahead and get social

Having a website isn’t enough these days; if you want to see your business thrive you have to create a strong social media presence. There are several options to choose from; each platform offers its own perks so decide which will be the most lucrative for your business. You don’t have to stick with just a single platform. Showcase your brand well on various platforms!

Remember to go ahead and include your social media outlets on your site. You can utilize embedding icons which link to your social accounts or have a social media feed in real time on your site. These outlets will allow for heightened awareness of what your business is offering at any given moment.

If you are new to the online world these tips can really help you to grow your small business. Share with the world who you are, what you offer, what they should do on your site, how to contact you and what social accounts they can follow you on. Make it clear and ensure your site works on whatever device they might be using. The process of learning to navigate the online world can be intimidating, but once you know just what you need to do it becomes much more manageable.

Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources and business news. She can be reached at Website:

Online business stock photo by Have a nice day Photo/Shutterstock