Your small business website can help inform your audience, boost brand recognition, drive sales, and much more. There are a few basic tips and rules you can follow to create a professional-looking small business website that shows you in the best light.
Before you get to work building the site, several important steps must be taken. Here’s what to consider in advance, followed by a few website-building tips.
1. Decide on a web hosting service
Website hosting providers make a server available to store website data for access by the public. You might choose an external party to host your site because self-hosting generally isn’t a good option for a small business. Your budget will determine what route you go. Shared web hosting is the cheaper option. This is where you share a server with other websites.
Dedicated hosting is a good option if you have the money. Your site has its own private server without any other users potentially compromising its performance. Some web-building services’ monthly packages include web hosting.
You may be able to find a free web hosting platform, but the host will put annoying banner ads on your site or take another measure to monetize your use.
Whichever host you choose, ask where the server is located. The server should be close to your potential customers’ main location.
All small business owners hope for growth in the future. You may need to sign up with several providers or upgrade. Consider the anticipated traffic to your site to determine capacity.
2. Choose your domain
The domain name is another critical aspect. It’s the name of the URL and site that your clients will have access to, and you might choose to promote on social media platforms. The name should be descriptive and memorable. Ideally, you must keep it short and avoid abbreviations and numbers.
Consider your top-level domain, which is the ending of the website, like .com, org, or .net. You can also choose an unconventional ending like .biz.
When you decide on a name, check if it’s available and purchase it from a registrar.
3. Explain what your business does
Your homepage should make what your business does clear. Potential customers need to be able to understand your activity within seconds of landing on it. When in doubt, choose quality over quantity. It’s always better to have five well-written pages than fifteen badly-written ones.
4. Each page should support your main goal
Your pages must correspond to different aspects of your business, like a catalog of your services or products and a section for business updates. If you make an “About” page, include information about yourself and your team. It’s helpful for customers to put real names and faces to a brand and business.
Each page should have a clear purpose, include a call to action, and support your main goal. Typical calls to action are “contact us,” “learn more,” and “sign up.”
Your potential customers will contact you via the contact page, which must be highly detailed. Include your phone number, email, and your physical address unless your activity is only online.
Use free tools to create a logo to use on your social media and website.
5. Use photos of your products or team
Avoid using stock photos where possible because they lend websites a mediocre feel. If you want to use photos, take pictures of your products and team.
6. Integrate a payment system
Integrate an e-payment option if you want customers to pay online. You can use e-commerce software or a credit card processing solution. Some web hosts offer integrated payment systems.
7. Test your site
Your site should work on all major browsers. Go through each page and function on each browser to make sure the design looks good, images are visible, and links are accurate. You’ll prevent complaints from customers. Use website feedback tools to streamline the testing process even further, allowing you to gather valuable insights from users and identify any issues that might not be immediately apparent during your own browser testing.
Make sure the site can be displayed on mobile devices. Ever since Google migrated to mobile-first indexing, mobile website versions have priority over desktop, including in terms of search engine rankings. To coordinate the setup, add an analytics program before you go live. After your site is online, the tool will let you check its performance.