7 Simple Steps to Build Your First Small Business Website
Having an online presence today is something every business should do if it wants to be noticed and reach its target clients, customers, or associates. When people hear about products or services, it’s likely that they’ll do their research online, and the most usual place to start is the website. That’s why it is important that the name of your business and its presentation shows up in Google search and that your website provides enough information and visual elements that the visitor sees your business as trustworthy and your brand as the one they want.
But starting your business is already time-consuming and demanding, so these few tips might help you out when it comes to your website and relieve some stress.
1. Organize the content
Every website has content that is pretty clear. But how this content is organized reflects your company and product. You don’t have to know anything about web design, just decide what kind of website you would like and prepare text and pictures that will be available there. Make sure your content is informative, but not boring or confusing to the visitors since they became potential customers the moment they entered your website. Also, don’t exaggerate descriptions, portfolio, or any other aspect which may be considered false representation, since a once disappointed customer is hard to win back.
2. Choose a domain name
The domain name is the address of your website or URL which you’ll give to your clients, customers, or associates, and share on social networks. While it’s usually the name of your business, the domain can be different. In that case, make it short and easily remembered. Don’t confuse potential visitors with numbers, acronyms and abbreviations. The other thing to decide here is TLD or a top-level domain, which is a suffix at the end like .com, .bit or .net. After this, check for copyright on the name and use a domain registrar to purchase it.
3. Hosting options
The host is the place where all your data will be stored so the public can access them any time they want. It may seem that you can host your own site, and you actually can but it’s too expensive and not necessary for a small business. Here you have two choices. You can share a server with other websites, or you can go for the more expensive choice of having your own.
Research hosting providers to see if they are suitable for you and remember that as you grow, your website will too, so you might need to change the web host to one that can handle the bigger traffic and activities on your website.
4. Build a website
Your website will be your marketing tool and that means you have to do it properly and cover all aspects that will benefit your business. The best solution is to hire companies with experience and resources to do extensive research of the market and your customers’ preferences and interests. The other important thing to do is to decide on the design, edit the prepared content to fit the website and work with a graphic designer on creating visual elements like the logo that will make you and your product visually attractive, memorable and distinguished from others.
5. Set up a payment method
This step is only for those businesses which want to sell their products online and thus have to integrate an electronic payment system into their websites. It’s not as complicated as it may seem. You can use e-commerce software, third-party payment processors, or in-house shopping cart offered by the host. Before setting this up, do the research and find the one that suits your needs the best and can accommodate the scope of activities you might create.
6. Digital marketing
Using your site as a marketing tool is not an option — it already is an important marketing resource. The question is whether you’ll use its potential to help your business become successful and respectable. With proper SEO, you can get high Google rankings which will help your products and service be among the first searches and bring more potential customers to your doorstep. But this tool is not to be taken lightly and requires a carefully planned marketing strategy and expertise to make it fruitful.
7. Consult an expert
The best advice you can get is to consult someone with a professional background in web design and/or other small businesses about all the possibilities of building a good website, as well as about possible mistakes and problems. Usually, the web design company will do all this for you and take care of all the issues which may cause inconvenience or issues for your image and brand. But if you are doing this alone, and with predefined designs, read the articles and user reviews online, and consider it a temporary solution if you want to be in step with your business’ growth.
All in all
Of course, you can try and make your own website. There are many options and tutorials today which can help you with that, but building a functional design and creating attractive content may require more than you can handle and should be one of the budget items in your financial plan, seeing how they’ve proven to be cost-effective and beneficial to other businesses.