A great website is essential for the success of any small business, whether you are a freelance photographer, have your own bakery or offer any other sort of goods or service. Here are 10 key steps to getting started and helping your small business website compete effectively in the online marketplace if you are looking to build a new startup website or make your current site more effective.
10 Tips on Building a Website for Your Small Business
1. Choose a good domain
Your domain name, also known as your website address, is the main entry to your website. It is critical that it makes a good first impression for both usability and search engine optimization (SEO). Here's some important notes to remember when choosing a domain
Keep it short and sweet
Make it memorable
Avoid numbers or hyphens
Avoid words or phrases that aren't the easiest to spell
2. Have a Descriptive Homepage
Let people know who you are and what you do right away so that they are not confused when visiting your website. Make sure your main homepage banner and subsequent banners are visual representations of your services, and that you have a text blurb near the top of the page that describes who you are and what you do. Make sure it's not too wordy but descriptive enough to not leave people guessing. Include an "About Us" link that's easily accessible in case people want to know more.
3. Have a good content managing system
A content management system (CMS) is a piece of software that allows you to create and manage your digital content. An effective CMS will help you maintain your site and requires little technical knowledge to use it. You should select a CMS that is tailored to your specific requirements; different systems are used for various reasons, such as user-friendliness, extensibility, and cost. Examples of this software include WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, etc.
4. Choose a good e-commerce software if you plan on selling online
If you plan on selling your goods and/or services through your website, you will need the appropriate technology. (If you do not currently sell anything, you should consider doing so because e-commerce has the potential to increase your profits and we love that, right?) If you decide to allow users to make financial transactions with you online, you should choose the best e-commerce platform for your business model. Some popular choices include Squarespace or Shopify.
5. Make your website memorable
Make sure the layout of your website creates a positive impression that leads to results. You can accomplish this by keeping the following in mind:
Stay consistent with your brand design and make it be known on your website
Use creative graphics and easy to read fonts
Take a look at other popular websites in your line of business and take notes
Know your target audience and research what they might be looking for in your website
Have easy to follow links for your other pages like "Shop" or "Contact Us"
6. Increase your traffic
SEO is a set of practices you implement on your website to ensure search engines properly index and rank your website and then display it to search engine users. When search engines "crawl" your website, it competes with websites that have similar content. The better the design and content of your website, the higher it will rank in search engine results pages. Think about what a customer would search for when looking for your business. Use those keywords in your website so it will have a higher chance of being selected and higher up the search results.
7. Keep your website up to date
Both quantity and freshness of your content are important to search engines, so make a plan to publish quality articles and/or blog posts on your site and on external sites that link to your site. If you want to rank higher in the search engine results and encourage people to return to your site, you must update it as frequently as possible with fresh content.
8. Make it mobile friendly
Don't forget a lot of people are accessing websites on their phones. It's important to optimize your website for mobile devices in order to provide a great experience for your mobile visitors. This can be accomplished by applying a responsive design or by developing a separate mobile version of your website.
9. Integrate your social media
Social media integration can help you increase your traffic and engagement on your website. By including social media links on your website, you enable visitors to easily share your content on their preferred social networks. Furthermore, social media integration can also help you track how well your content performs on social media.
10. Advertise your reviews or testimonials
Reviews and testimonials can help small business owners. So, if you have any positive reviews from some happy customers, make sure to post them on your website. These can help boost your credibility and persuade your website visitors to do business with you. A good way to incorporate this is by adding a link in the footer of every page so that visitors can see them no matter where they are.
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