make a website for your small business

How to Make a Website for Your Small Business or Brand

Running a business today, even a brick-and-mortar one, without an online presence would be challenging. Today, prospective customers use the internet to research products and services to find a business’s location and hours of operation. Investing in a simple, well-designed website may give your business a competitive advantage in your sector and increase your reach to potential clients who are already looking for your products or services. 

These days, anyone can design a website. You don’t require coding skills to create a website, so even if you have little to no experience, you can make a functional and attractive website on your own. Regardless of your platform, you must follow a few straightforward instructions and guidelines to give your site a polished appearance and promote your business to its full potential. 

Determine What Your Website’s Overall Goal Is 

The primary purpose of a business website is to act as a platform for online sales or as a place to convey details about your firm. The services you offer must be stated clearly on your website’s home page, whether you build a simple website that provides a brief overview of your business or a highly advanced e-commerce site. When customers visit your website, you don’t want them to have difficulty understanding what you’re offering or selling. 

Consider the actions you want visitors to take on your website as well. To create a successful website, you must “think about your specific user experience and the path the user will take as they visit your website,” advises Gabriel Shaoolian, CEO of Blue Fountain Media, a website design and marketing firm. This advice indicates that you should concentrate on your website’s main objective, and your visitors should be able to accomplish this objective when using your website. 

It is significantly simpler to set up your website if you don’t want to accept payments through it. However, if you’re a retailer or service provider, you’ll need to integrate an external payment processor with your website and add a payment gateway to receive payments. As you continue to read this article, you’ll learn how to do this. 

Choose a Domain Name

One of your website’s most crucial elements is its domain name. You will have to share this URL with existing and future clients and advertise it on your social media accounts. As a result, you should pick a domain name that is both simple to remember and type. To avoid confusing your customers, try to avoid using numbers, abbreviations, and acronyms. 

You must also select a top-level domain (TLD), which will be the suffix at the end of your domain name. Examples include .com, .net, and .org. But, nontraditional TLDs have recently gained popularity. These TLDs could be based on location, such as .nyc, or the sort of company, such as .law, .agency, or .marketing.

Despite these nontraditional TLDs being descriptive, .com remains the most popular top-level domain choice. Once you’ve decided on a domain name, you must confirm it is available and purchase it from a domain registrar. 

Here are several well-known domain registrars:

  • Squarespace
  • Wix
  • Namecheap
  • GoDaddy
  • Domain.com

Check the copyright while selecting a domain name to guarantee that you are not claiming anyone’s trademarked name. Suppose the domain name you want is already in use. In that case, you can contact the company that is using it and offer to buy it from them, or you can utilize a domain purchasing company like GoDaddy to assist you in contacting the person using your preferred domain name. This service ranges in price from $50 to $70 per domain. 

Select a Hosting Provider

All websites require a hosting provider – a server where all its information is kept for the public to access anytime. Because hosting your website may be too expensive for your small business, you will need to use an external host.

Keeping your budget in mind, you can choose between two options: a shared web host, which is less expensive but requires you to share a server with other sites, and a dedicated web host, which is significantly more expensive but provides you with your server and eliminates the need to compete with other sites. Several web-building platforms, including Wix and Squarespace, add web hosting to their subscription rates.

Here are some web hosting service alternatives:

  • DreamHost offers three managed WordPress hosting plans: DreamPress, DreamPress Plus, and DreamPress Pro. Its monthly starting price is around $17.
  • 1&1 Ionos is well-known for its cloud hosting services, but it also provides other cloud-based services such as servers and site backup. Pricing for plans typically begins at around $14.99 per month.
  • A2 Hosting provides both shared and dedicated web hosting. New users can get a Lite hosting plan for the first year for roughly $4 per month. This plan is enough for the majority of small enterprises. 

If you are searching for free web hosting, keep in mind that web hosting is not free from any web hosting provider and that they will find a way to compensate for the free hosting, such as inserting banner adverts on your website. 

When selecting a web host, evaluate how well the hosting company can respond to queries about its dependability. A competent hosting business will also provide tools for measuring its efficiency. As your company grows, you may need to migrate to a different hosting provider or collaborate with numerous providers to manage your site traffic and activities. It is highly advised that you monitor your website performance and client experience when using your site to assess your hosting requirements. 

Create Your Website Pages

A decent website is not simply a single page. Create pages assigned to various elements of your business, such as a portfolio of your goods and services or a blog for business updates. Make sure that the pages you create are in keeping with the goal and purpose of your website. Also, provide a clear call to action (CTA) such as “join now,” “contact us,” or “purchase now.”

A contact page is a direct link between you and your customers, making it one of the most significant elements of your website. You want to include as much information as possible, such as your business phone number, physical address, email address, and social media accounts. It is also a good idea to have an “about us” page where you can include information about your founding team and personnel so that customers can put actual faces to your business. 

If your company does not yet have a logo, you can commission a graphic designer to design one for you to use on your business cards, website, and social media accounts, which will assist clients in instantly identifying your company on the internet. You could also design one by yourself by using platforms like Canva. 

Use the following guidelines to help you design relevant content  pages for your website:

  • Make it very obvious what your company does, and make sure that customers understand it within seconds of viewing your website. Lead with a simple statement that describes your services.
  • Use strategically placed call-to-action buttons. When CTAs match the information on the page, they perform better. A “learn more” button, for example, might be acceptable for an “about us” page, whereas a “purchase now” button would be more appropriate for a product page.
  • Set up an automated speed boost. Installing the correct plugins for your content management system (CMS) will store aspects of your sites so that visitors don’t have to download anything more than once.
  • Avoid using stock photographs since they are the quickest way to turn a fantastic website into a poor one. If you must use pictures on your site, use high-quality shots of your items or office space. High-quality images also increase sales, so invest in them.  

That being said, here are some of the most important pages you should include on your website:

  • A homepage that draws people in and tells them what you do and who you serve. Use eye-catching images and legible typefaces in this section.
  • An about us page that tells the story of your company, its achievements, mission, and values
  • A shop page where customers can place orders for your goods and services, but you should only include this if necessary. You can connect to an e-commerce platform such as WooCommerce or HoneyBook.
  • A detailed contact page where customers can access your contact details to reach you if they need your product or services.
  • A comprehensive FAQ page where you can address any common concerns that customers may have about your products or services.
  • Testimonials to demonstrate comments from prior clients. This increases sales and reputation so you should consider including this.
  • A blog page where you may post essential information about your company and industry for clients to read regularly. Regularly updating your blog using relevant keywords is excellent for search engine optimization and can improve your ranking.  

Set Up a Payment System 

This step only applies to businesses that want to allow customers to make payments online. You’ll need to link electronic payment methods to your website. The most convenient way is to use eCommerce software or small business credit card processing platforms. Many hosting providers offer integrated shopping carts or e-commerce application integration along with their hosting services. Conduct extensive research to ensure that you locate a solution that is simple to implement and adaptable enough to satisfy your present demands. You can contact them for further information once you’ve found one that meets your needs. Keep in mind, however, that some payment processing platforms may charge a fee for their services. 

Review and Launch Your Website

Before declaring your website live, ensure it functions properly in all leading browsers such as Chrome, Safari, and Internet Explorer. Browse through each webpage and element on your website in each browser to ensure that the photos appear correctly, the links are fluid, and everything is polished.

You should also ensure that your website appears on mobile devices, as most of your clients will reach your website via smartphones. This connection is a crucial step because Google and other search engines have shifted to mobile-first indexing, which favors the efficiency of your website’s mobile version in search engine results.

An analytics tool is another vital component to include in your website. You can connect your website to Google Analytics and use it to track the performance of your website. It is easier to resolve concerns if you set this up before your website goes live. Once your website is up, you can track the performance of each page and use analytics to determine why one page performs better than another.

Also, make sure that everything on your website is correct and error-free. Check for broken links, as these can degrade your site’s performance and remove any filler content from your website theme or template.

Share Your New Site on Social Media Platforms 

Once your website is up and running, you can begin distributing links to it on your social media sites. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest are some of the top social media channels for reaching out to potential clients and informing them about your company’s activities.

Social media can be a beneficial tool in promoting your new website. If you make a new update to your website, such as a new blog post or the addition of a new product, promote it on social media. One of the most typical areas to incorporate links to your social media on your website is in the page footer and auxiliary bar – the extra menu in the top right that often contains log-in or contact options. 

Conder Investing in Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Adding your website to top search engines and implementing a solid SEO strategy across your website will help direct prospective customers to your page. Define meta descriptions, title tags, and uniform resource identifiers (URIs) related to your sector and business to help enhance your search engine rating. By incorporating relevant keywords into your website from the outset, you’re constructing a solid SEO strategy that will assist drive traffic from the start.

As you develop your website, use the following tips to assist you in enhancing your website ranking:

  • Internal and external links should be strategically placed across your website. Internal links are links on your website’s pages that take you to other pages on your site, while external links take you to other popular high authority websites.
  • Choose keywords related to your business and those your potential clients are searching for on the internet.
  • Compress photos and videos to avoid slowing down your website. Additionally, optimize photos by adding metadata such as tags and captions to inform search engines about the images.
  • Regularly releasing new blog content and upgrading your website content, in general, indicate to search engines that your website is relevant for the keywords you’ve picked. To promote oneself as an industry thought leader, choose themes important to your business and create content around them.
  • Maintain the speed of your website by optimizing images or activating browser caching. These recommendations will help you enhance your site’s overall SEO and rank better on the search results page. As a result, ensure that your site loads quickly, in no more than a few seconds. To see if your site is running optimally, utilize free website performance checkers such as Google’s SpeedPage insights. 

Keep Your Website Relevant

It is critical to keep your website up to date and relevant. That is why you must refresh your material regularly, from blog articles to new items and offers, to ensure that your website receives consistent visitors.

You should also examine at least monthly to ensure that your program and all other add-ons are up to current. Even though your website’s host security is good, if your software isn’t updated regularly, you may be vulnerable to hacking. If you don’t have the time to do it yourself, you can delegate the duty to a trusted employee or freelance website manager. 

Conclusion

In today’s world, having a website and developing an online presence for your company is critical, as more people use the internet to find products and services. Creating a website for your small business is a low-budget investment that can allow you to gain a reputation and reach a more extensive consumer base. A website allows you to reach potential clients already looking for your offer. You’ll never have to worry about “not existing” to your present and potential consumers if you maintain your website constantly updated with a fresh and clean design and content. As time passes, you’ll want to cultivate ties with other company sites to establish credibility and boost your SEO. When other websites connect to your site, search engines consider it credible and worthy of higher rankings.

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