10 KEY STEPS TO BUILDING A GREAT SMALL BUSINESS WEBSITE
Here are 10 steps to help you get started on a website for your startup or improve your existing site.
1. Get a domain name that is good
Your domain name (also known as your website address) is often your entry point to your site. It is crucial that your domain name makes a positive impression, both for usability and search engine optimization (SEO).
These are some suggestions to help you choose the perfect domain name.
It should be easy to spell. Avoid using slang, made-up, or esoteric terms. It should be as brief as possible. It is easier to remember and type it correctly in a shorter.
- Make sure you use the correct domain extension. It is best to use.com domain names (instead of.net or. co). You can use another extension such as.gov or.edu or.org if it is inappropriate.
- Avoid hyphens and numbers. These domain names are more difficult to remember, less memorable, and elegant than domain names that contain only words. They can also be misunderstood if the domain name is uttered.
- To facilitate future growth, make the address as broad as possible. Amazon.com, for example, is a broader website address than BooksOnline.com. This allows Amazon to sell almost any consumer product instead of just books.
- Make sure it is easy to remember. Your website name must be memorable, as there are many websites online. This will help people remember where to find it.
- Do your research on the domain name. Google the domain name to check if it is already in use. Search on USPTO.gov for any trademarks.
- Verify that the price is correct. You should check if purchasing the desired domain name is possible at a fair price. Current owners will take most domain names that are good.
- Avoid using nonsensical names. Ensure your name conveys a message so users know what you are about. Yahoo and Google are memorable names but were expensive to brand. Your small business might have a different budget.
- Make sure your URL is SEO-friendly. When appropriate, create an SEO-friendly website address that includes keywords and geo-location; for example, “www.LasVegasElectrician.com.”
2. Hosting your website securely and scalable with excellent tech support
Website host, also known as website hosting provider, is a company that provides the technology and services needed to make a website accessible on the internet. Your domain name is connected to your hosting provider, so users can visit your website address and see the website you have stored on your account.
Hosting services can run anywhere from $2 to $100+ per month, depending on what technology you use and the support you need. A yearly plan is usually more affordable than a monthly one.
These are some guidelines to help you choose a great website hosting plan.
- Shared server
- Dedicated host
- Virtual Personal Server” (VPS)
- Phone support.
- Simple to use interface such as cPanel.
- Server security
3. Display a concise description of your business prominently
So that people feel safe when visiting your small business website, you must tell them who you are and what they do. Your main homepage banner (also called a “hero picture”) and any subsequent banners are visual representations of your services. Also, ensure you include an introduction text blurb at the top of your page describing who and what you are.
4. The best content management system
A content management system (CMS) is a program or application that allows you to manage and create digital content. You don’t need to have any technical knowledge to use a CMS. A CMS can help you manage your website. Choose a CMS that suits your needs. Different CMS systems can be used for other purposes, including budget, extensibility, user-friendliness, and cost.
These are some of the most popular systems, along with descriptions of their weaknesses and strengths.
5. Select a reliable e-commerce platform
You will need the right technology to sell goods or services via your website. If you don’t sell any products, e-commerce may be an excellent option to increase your profit. You must select the right platform to enable users to transact financial transactions online.
These are some of the most popular e-commerce platforms for small businesses:
- Shopify PLUS
- Business Squarespace
- GoDaddy Online Store
6. Design a memorable and engaging user interface for your website
Your small business website should leave a positive impression and drive results. Here are some tips to help you do this:
- Use stunning graphics and simple-to-read fonts.
- Optimize your graphics for speedy loading. Search engines such as Google will penalize websites that load slowly.
- Look at your competitor’s websites to find out how they have optimized them. Then, implement similar components for your website.
- Find out what your target audience wants from your website and make it easy to achieve.
- Ensure that your brand is consistent throughout your website design.
- Create a user-friendly navigation system that lets users quickly get to the pages they want.
- Make contact information readily available.
- Include clear call-to-actions.
- Make pages that are common for small business websites.
7. Optimize your website for search engines
SEO refers to a set of practices that you use to optimize your website for search engines to index it and rank it appropriately. Search engine users then see your website. Your website will compete with similar content once it is “crawled by search engines.” Your website will appear higher on search engine result pages if it has a good design and quality content.
SEO is an ongoing, critical process that can make the difference between appearing on page 1 of search engine results pages (resulting large amounts of traffic to your site) and page 300 (resulting no traffic).
8. Quality content should be regularly created and published
Search engines value both content quality and freshness. This is why it is essential to create a plan for publishing quality articles and blog posts on your website and any external sites linking to it. You must update your website as often as possible to ensure your website ranks highly in search engine results. This will encourage people to visit your site again and again.
You can also post articles and static pages on your website. However, testimonials are a great content form. You can make your small business stand out by asking for testimonials from customers and publishing them on your website.
9. Install webmaster tools
Install Google Analytics, Google Search Engine (via Google Tag Manager), and Bing Website master Tools to get vital data. These tools can be used for the following types of information:
- Your site receives visitors daily, weekly, and monthly.
- Each page has been viewed approximately 2,000 times.
- “Bounce rate” is the percentage of visitors who leave your site after viewing one page. Google algorithms give higher rankings to websites with a low bounce rate. This means that users spend more time on your site and find it valuable.
- Visitors spend an average of 3.5 hours on the site.
- Crawl errors (errors that search engines find on your site when crawling its content).
- Broken links
- Keywords that direct users to your website
- Backlinks to your website
- Web page download time
- Additional information to help you improve your SEO
10. Plan for website maintenance
Websites shouldn’t be built and left to deteriorate. You must ensure that your website is well maintained to maintain its ranking in search engines.
These are some ways to maintain a website for a small business.
- Webmaster Tools data should be checked at least once per month. Any vital errors can be emailed to the user in real time.
- Traffic data can be used to understand your audience better and help you cater to them.
- Performance data can be used to improve and correct warnings and errors.
- Keep your software up-to-date
- You can run security scans to ensure that your website is safe from malware and has not been hacked.
- Split testing is a way to determine if specific versions of your website improve performance. For example, if you sell a product, there might be two landing page versions. The split testing will allow you to determine which version has a higher conversion.
- Follow my SEO advice (see point #7) and publish quality content (see number #8).
- You can market your business online in the most effective and up-to-date ways.
- Site visitors can leave feedback.
- Keep checking in on your competitors from time to time. See what they are doing online and find out if it can work for them.
- Your website should be backed up at least once per day and for at least ten days.
Creating a small business website may not be as easy as you thought. If you follow these steps, your small business will be able to succeed in the online market.