Your small business can grow into a major league player with the help of a good website. Your online presence could let you compete with the biggest players in your industry if you know how to build it correctly.
In this post, we’ll look at the steps you need to take to create a successful, competitive website for your small business.
Buy a good domain name
The journey to a great website for your small business begins with a good domain name. Your domain could be the first thing people think of when they think of your website – so choose it wisely.
Here are some tips for a good domain name:
- Try to keep it as short as possible
- Try to avoid stop words like “the” or “a”
- It should be a representation of your brand name (especially if your brand name is unique)
- Mixing in keywords you plan to optimize your website for is always a good idea
Once you’ve found your domain, make sure you buy it for at least two years.
Find a reliable web hosting provider
A web host provides the platform your website sits on. It’s crucial to have a stable platform so you don’t run the risk of your site going dark and losing out on traffic. As a general rule of thumb, never choose a free hosting solution and don’t cut corners when choosing the best web hosting provider.
Signs of a good web hosting provider are:
- Multiple clients with an established reputation in their field
- Great customer reviews that can be verified
- Good track records of uptimes (at least 99 percent)
- Extra features that can help create, build, and market your website
- A reasonable price – while keeping in mind that price doesn’t necessarily equate to quality
You can also take advantage of a web hosting provider’s free trial period to see if they deliver on their promises and if they include all the features you’re looking for.
Search for a great website template
Although you can have a professional website designer create a new template for you, there really isn’t a need for one. Why pay for a template when there are so many websites that offer templates for free? You could also find a free template and pay someone to customize it if needed.
Your website template should:
- Have colors that represent your brand
- Be easy to use and navigate
- Not take ages to load
- Run processes quickly
- Not contain any potential bugs that might cause it to crash
Test your new template thoroughly before you use it for your website. A buggy or slow website could do irreparable damage to your online reputation. Make sure you test, test, and test again.
Add necessary features
Once your basic template is up, see if there are extra features you can add that will help your visitors. Depending on the nature of your business, these could range from an online store to a searchable database visitors can use to access your services.
Just be sure not to go overboard with your offerings, as too many features and processes will cause slower load times.
Create relevant content
Once the technical stuff is taken care of you can start filling your website with relevant content. Remember to always use search engine optimization (SEO) techniques when creating content. If possible, everything you write should help your SEO ranking.
Make sure your content provides accurate, up-to-date information and doesn’t contain any glaring spelling mistakes or grammatical errors.
Start a blog
A blog can help you reach out to your visitors and tell them about your business, products or services. You can also expand it further to keep visitors informed about your industry as a whole.
Most importantly, a blog will help your SEO ranking. A blog with good content that people want to read can help your site be viewed as an “authority” site, which could lead to even more traffic heading your way.
Roll out an online marketing campaign
With the basics out of the way, it’s now time for you to promote your website and “sell” it to your target audience. To start off, create social media accounts for your business and start posting and sharing relevant content. If you don’t have time to do this yourself, you could hire a social media marketing company to help take your online presence to the next level.
Keep track of progress via analytics
Finally, you will need to keep track of progress. There are many free analytics tools you can use to gauge your success in attracting new customers. Keep a close eye on the numbers and, if there are any shortcomings, go through this list to correct any potential mistakes.
Good luck with your new website!