Building a great business website is essential for small businesses, whether you own a mom-and-pop shop, a grocery store, a freelance writing business, or any other small venture.
If you plan to create a new website for your startup or upgrade your current one, here are 10 important steps to ensure that your website can compete effectively in the online market.
1. Secure a Good Domain Name
Your domain name, usually your website address, is often the first point of contact with your website.
It must create an excellent first impression for usability and search engine optimization (SEO).
To create an optimal domain name, follow these tips:
- Make it easy to spell - avoid slang or made-up words.
- Keep it short - the shorter the domain name, the easier it is to remember and type accurately.
- Use the right domain extension - aim for a .com domain name. Consider using .gov, .edu, or .co extensions if it is appropriate.
- Avoid hyphens and numbers, as domains with numbers and hyphens are difficult to remember and less elegant. They may also be misunderstood when spoken out loud.
- Make it broad enough to facilitate future growth - for example, Amazon.com is a broader website address than BooksOnline.com, which allows Amazon to sell a wide variety of products.
- Make it memorable - choose a catchy name that will stand out in people's minds and make it easy for them to access your website in the future.
- Google the domain name - if you are unsure what to name your website, Google it. Google will display similar website addresses that already exist online. However, search for the domain name on USPTO.gov to ensure that it is not a registered trademark.
- Avoid nonsensical names - choose a name that conveys a message. Your brand name will immediately tell users what your business is about.
- Create an SEO-friendly URL - Develop an SEO-friendly website address with relevant keywords and geolocation. For instance, "www.TexasPlumbers.com."
2. Invest in secure, scalable website hosting with excellent Technical Support
A website host (or, occasionally, a website hosting provider) is a company that provides the technology and services necessary for a website to be visible on the Internet. You link your domain name to your web host so that users who access your website address are directed to the website you have stored on your hosting account.
Hosting services can cost anywhere from $2 to $100+ per month, depending on the technology and support you require. You will typically receive a discount if you opt for a year rather than a monthly plan.
Some popular website hosting companies are:
3. Display a clear and Prominent Description of your business
When customers visit your small business website, it is crucial to immediately clarify who you are and what you do to avoid confusion.
In addition to having a brief introductory text blurb at the top of the page that introduces who you are and what you do, ensure that your primary homepage banner (also known as a "hero image") and any subsequent banners are visual representations of your services.
Ensure that the "About Us" page links on your main and footer navigation menus are visible and easy to click, so visitors can learn more about your company in-depth by clicking on them.
4. Choose a good e-commerce platform
You will need the right technology to sell products and services on your website. If you allow people to interact with you online financially, you must choose the best platform for your business model.
Several well-liked small business e-commerce platforms are listed below:
Some small-business e-commerce platforms to consider are:
- WooCommerce, a popular e-commerce platform that runs on WordPress. It is highly customizable and offers a wide range of features and options for online stores.
- Shopify - a popular e-commerce platform that is easy to use and offers a wide range of features and options for online stores
- Shopify Plus - the enterprise version of Shopify offers more features and options for larger businesses.
- Business Squarespace - is a good option for those who want an all-in-one platform for building and hosting an online store. It is easy to use and offers many customization options.
- Wix - an all-in-one platform for building and hosting an online store.
- GoDaddy Online Store, an all-in-one platform for building and hosting an online store.
5. Implement the best content management system
A software program or application used to create and manage digital material is a content management system (CMS). Your site can be maintained with a competent CMS; using one does not require technical know-how. You should pick a CMS tailored to your specific requirements because different platforms are employed for various factors, including user-friendliness, extensibility, and cost
The following are Some Common CMS to consider:
- Drupal - a more advanced CMS best suited for larger sites with complex requirements.
- Joomla! - a good WordPress alternative for those needing a more robust system with greater flexibility. It is more difficult to learn than WordPress but offers more features and options for customization
- Squarespace is an all-in-one platform that allows you to build and host a website without technical skills. It is a good choice for those who want to create a simple website quickly.
- Wix - an all-in-one platform that allows you to build and host a website without technical skills. It is easy to use and offers many customization options, making it a popular choice among small business owners.
- WordPress - the most popular CMS among all of the others. It is user-friendly, customizable, and has a large community of users and developers. WordPress is an excellent choice for those with limited technical skills, but who still want to create a professional-looking website.
6. Create an Interesting, memorable, and engaging website user interface
Make sure the user experience on your small company website design inspires confidence and produces results.
Implementing the following advice can help you achieve this goal:
- Make use of eye-catching images and legible fonts.
- Ensure that your visuals are optimized and compressed for quick loading. Search engines like Google will lower your rating if your website is slow.
- Investigate rival website designs and optimization strategies; use similar tactics to improve your site.
- Ensure your website is mobile-friendly, as most people access the internet through mobile devices.
- Use white space liberally to create a clean, open feel.
- Use clear and concise language to convey your message.
- Make it easy for visitors to find what they're looking for by organizing your content into categories and subcategories.
- Ensure your website is accessible to all users, including those with disabilities.
- Implement effective calls-to-action throughout your site to encourage users to take the desired action, such as purchasing or filling out a contact form.
7. Optimize your website for search engines and increase your visibility
For search engines to properly index, rank, and display your website to users, you must implement SEO procedures. When search engines "scan" your website, it faces competition from other sites with related material.
Your site will rank higher on search engine result pages the better your website's design and content are.
The following techniques are primarily used in SEO:
- Being secure and having an SSL certificate installed; SSL is the industry-standard security technology that ensures data passed between web servers and browsers remains private;
- conducting keyword research and implementing it
- having optimal website code; speeding up loading time
- being mobile responsive
- The presence of high-quality backlinks to your website (links to other websites with pertinent content).
- Having a lot of positive web reviews (Google, Yelp, Facebook, etc.)
- Use social media to link to your site to keep visitors visiting and reading your content (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.)
SEO is a crucial continuing procedure that may make the difference between having your website appear on page one of search engine results (leading in many free visitors) or page 300. (resulting in no traffic).
8. Create and Publish High-Quality Content Regularly
Create a plan to publish high-quality articles and blog entries on your site and on external websites that link to your site because search engines value both the amount and the freshness of your material.
You must update your website with fresh, pertinent material as regularly as possible if you want to rank well in search engine results and draw visitors back repeatedly.
Testimonials are an excellent type of material to post on your website, in addition to static page content and articles. A fantastic method to add new, high-quality material to your website promoting your small business is to ask for customer testimonials and publish them there.
Ensure that the tone of your writing is acceptable, consistent, and enjoyable to read.
9. Install webmaster tools
Install Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Bing Webmaster Tools, and other tools to use essential data to help you monitor traffic and site performance.
Preferably, it would help if you did this using Google Tag Manager.
The following kinds of data can be tracked using these tools:
- Daily, weekly, and monthly visitors to your site
- Number of views on each page of your site
- "Bounce rate" is the percentage of users who come to your site and leave after viewing only one page.
- Average time spent on site by visitors
- Crawl errors on your site (errors that the search engines found on your site in crawling its content)
- Broken links on the site
- Keywords that lead users to your site
- Backlinks to your site
- Web page download time
- Other information that can help you enhance your SEO
10. Implement a website maintenance plan
Maintaining your website is crucial to ensuring its security, functionality, and overall success. Conduct regular checks for broken links, malware, and outdated software.
Use data and visitor feedback to continually make improvements continually. And keep an eye on your competitors to see their strategies to improve their online presence.
Building a great business website for your company can be more difficult than you initially anticipated. But if you adhere to the recommendations in this article, your small business will have a good chance of prospering in the online market.
If you need a web developer to develop a great website design for your small business, contact us.