With the emergence of computers and smartphones in the last 20 years, the way that people shop has dramatically changed. Now, consumers turn to the internet to purchase a variety of wants and necessities. If you are a small business, it just makes sense to have your own website so that consumers can become familiar with your brand. To do this, you'll need to follow eight steps.
Determine Your Purpose
The first step in creating your small business website is to determine the type of site that you want to build. Is it going to be a complex site that incorporates a listing of all of your products or services that you sell, or is it going to be just a simple website that explains your business and provides the location of your brick-and-mortar store? Formulate a plan on how you want users to experience your website.
Choose Your Domain Name
The domain name that you choose is very important for your brand. It can incorporate the niche that your business is in or standalone with a unique meaning. It should be short, descriptive and easy for people to remember. Be sure to avoid numbers, hyphens and abbreviations. Using a .com name is still recommended, but some businesses are choosing to use alternate TLD names such as .tv or .biz to uniquely brand themselves.
An expert web designer can take the message of your brand and turn it into a stunning website that is easy to use, intuitive and useful. When you create your website, be sure to use a responsive theme. This will allow your site to be seen on mobile gadgets as well as desktops. Special coding is done so that the layout stretches and shrinks to compensate for smaller and larger screen sizes. This will help your SEO and provide a richer user experience.
Google has placed a large emphasis on the user experience when a person searches for a website. You'll want to create informative, useful content that is educational and worth consuming. As a small business owner, it's better for you to outsource this portion of the website creation process and use a writing service that can help with white papers, research articles, and other content. It's important that you focus on what you do best so that you don't get bogged down with jobs that others can handle -- make outsourcing your best friend.
To connect your website to the internet, you'll need to find a web host. A web hosting company handles the data and security for your site. You can choose to have shared hosting or your own dedicated server. With a dedicated hosting plan, all of the RAM and processing speed is dedicated to keeping your website online. Dedicated web hosting is a must if you own a website that receives a large amount of traffic. Otherwise, starting with a shared hosting plan is usually sufficient.
If you have a website that acts as an e-commerce platform, you'll want to have some type of shopping cart and payment system. Third party payment processors have the ability to accept credit cards. Your business will not get very far online if you can only accept cash. Credit card processors are designed to fit the needs of your small business. You can choose from many different types of products and services.
Before you launch your small business website, you'll want to test it out on a multitude of browsers such as Firefox, Safari and Chrome. Make sure that each page looks great and runs smooth. Set up an analytics program so that you can keep track of visitors and keywords. This will help when you market your site.
The next step is for you to market your website on social media and the search engines. This can be done by sharing posts and images from your business on popular social media platforms. You can also use PPC to bring in targeted customers who are searching for specific keywords that relate to your products or services.
Once your website is up and running, you'll want to make sure that you're constantly looking at analytics and improving your website's reach. This can be done by honing in on keywords and creating more pages that specifically highlight those top phrases that individuals are searching for. Also, you'll want to stay on top of security and ensure that your website is protected from hackers. Continue to add useful content and you will bring in more customers who are anxious to buy your goods.