As a small business owner, your online presence plays a significant role in your company’s success. Whether you are an event planner or run a brick-and-mortar store, having a well-designed and easily accessible website can help to sell your services or products while distinguishing yourself from competitors.
These days creating a business website is easier than ever: the cost to build a site is low, and thanks to the evolution of website design software, it doesn’t require experience in coding or design. Regardless of what program you decide to use, there are some simple rules and tips to follow that will help to create a professional and resourceful company website.
Here’s our 10 step guide for creating a successful small business website:
- Identify the purpose of your website
Your business website will deliver information about your company or store. The complexity of your design is up to you; however, you must explain in simple terms, what your business does/provides on the home page. Your customers should feel comfortable navigating your site to determine if your company can meet their needs in an efficient manner.
- Create your domain name
Your domain name also referred to as your website address, is one of the most important decisions you will make while creating your website. You will be sharing the URL with your current and potential clients through social media, so it needs to be descriptive and easy to remember. Keeping it short and free of any abbreviations, numbers, and acronyms will help to prevent any confusion for customers.
- Make it memorable – With so many websites on the internet, your website must have a unique name so that your customers will remember it when accessing your site in the future.
- Check the price – Most domain names have been claimed and will need to be purchased from the current owner.
- Choose a secure web host
A website host sometimes referred to as a website hosting provider, is a company that offers the technology and services necessary for a website to be viewed on the internet. This is where your data is stored for the public to view at any time. There are a few things to consider when selecting your external host.
- Budget: There are two options to consider depending on your budget. Using a shared web host is the least expensive option of the two. With this option, you’ll share a server with other sites. The more costly option is dedicated hosting. It’s significantly more expensive, but it means you’ll have access to your private server without the competition of other sites dragging down your speed.
- Support and security: Make sure the hosting company you will be using has phone support so you can resolve any issues quickly. It’s also essential to determine what server security is in place. Ask your hosting company if they have a security protocol you can access to determine how they keep their servers safe.
- Build your pages
Establishing a successful website requires more than just your homepage. You’ll need to create several pages that are reserved for different aspects of your business. These pages could include a list of products or services, a blog section, and a contact page. Regardless of your design goals for the site, it’s essential to create functional pages, as they perform as the foundation of your website. Consistently enhancing your website pages to keep content relevant is necessary.
- Boost your small business website for search engines
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results. Your website design and accessibility will determine how quickly your site will show up on search engine result pages. Some of the practices SEO implements:
- Keyword usage
- Optimal website code
- Mobile-friendly sites
- Positive reviews on social media platforms
- Quick loading time
- Internal links to keep people engaged
- Implementing social media to link your site
- Test and publish your website
Before your website goes live, you’ll need to make sure it loads on all major browsers. Review each page on each browser to ensure that your images can be viewed while your format is in order. This step can be a hassle but will save you time by not addressing consumer complaints in the future.
- Market your site on social media
Social media is the best way to notify your customers of current information while also increasing your audience reach. Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, or Twitter, using these platforms is an easy, highly successful, and affordable way to generate website traffic.
- Consistently publish new content
Creating a plan to publish articles or blogs on your site is essential to keep your content relevant to search engines. If you want search engines to rank you highly, you must continue to generate traffic to your website. This means updating your site with relevant content frequently.
- Install webmaster tools
Tools such as Google Analytics and Bing Webmaster Tools can help to analyze website traffic and performance. They can also be used to track information such as:
- How often visitors view your site daily, weekly, and monthly
- What pages are receiving the most views
- Average time visitors spent on your website.
- Keywords that lead users to your site
- Web page download time
10. Update and maintain your website
Once your website is up and running, you should make it a priority to check that your software is up to date every couple of weeks. The longer you go without checking for updates, the more at risk you are at getting hacked.
Starting a website for your small business will help you establish your online presence while reaching more customers than you would with traditional marketing techniques at a reasonable cost. If you need help with creating your business website, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org – We’re always happy to help!