Does a small business need a website? YES! It’s 2022, most people have multiple devices ready to explore the internet for new products and services. Think of it as the online version of your storefront because it is.
Owning your domain and launching a website will offer you so many new opportunities! It’ll allow you to differentiate yourself from your competitors. It also widens the field for you to capture new audiences.
This is an opportunity you need to take advantage of.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to create a small business website.
A business domain name is the name of the business’s website for example “www.makeupbyname.com”. It’s important to have one as it’s the first entry point to your website and can be used for SEO.
Tips on creating your domain name:
Keep it as short and relevant as possible. This includes avoiding numbers or special characters as links look bulky and difficult to remember. So, keep it short, easy to remember, and type.
Use a proper domain extension. Try to use .com unless another extension is more suited.
Make the domain name somewhat generic to allow for expansion and change in direction. For example, “www.makeupbyname.com” allows for more growth than “www.foundationsbyname.com”. The second domain name is constricting.
Research the domain name! Make sure you compare prices to get the best value domain name and check you not infringing any trademarks.
Hosting your website
Finding the right hosting platform for small businesses can be difficult. Hosting platforms can cost £2 or £100+ a month so make sure to compare them before committing.
How to choose a domain host for a small business:
Know your needs for your small business website. Different platforms will offer different opportunities to know what you need is the first step.
Research the top domain hosts for your industry and compare their value. Consider pricing plan, guarantees, services offered, and just in case, exit plans.
Some of the top domain hosting sites include GoDaddy, BlueHost, and Hostinger.
Clear description of your business
Every website/page should represent what your business is about. This can be done by using relevant images, headings, and banners. You might also want to have some text on your homepage as a quick introduction to your business and services so the audience knows straight away if you can help them or not.
Additionally, every site, especially small businesses, should have an “About Us” page. This will help create a personal connection with your audience which should help retention.
Content Management System (CMS)
A CMS helps create a manage your digital content. It maintains your site and doesn’t require too much technical knowledge to use it. Sounds like a great deal! Especially if you’re a start-up and unsure of how to navigate complex website building. Each CMS will offer you slightly different packages so make sure you research to find the best value system that will benefit you the most.
Some popular CMSs include:
WordPress is potentially the most well-known CMS and it’s for a good reason. It’s super flexible and allows you to create any type of website you can think of. They offer versatile plans and prices to suit your needs.
Squarespace is a drag-and-drop website hosting service. It’s a great place to start and build a small business website, especially if you have no experience in website creation.
Squarespace also offers versatile plans and pricing.
Create interesting and engaging pages
Keeping your ideal audience in mind, think about what they would want to see on your website? Most people would say high-quality graphics, well-sectioned pages, loads quickly and optimised for both mobile and desktop.
Some other things to think about when designing your pages:
Research competitors to see their designs – if they’re a popular website, implement aspects of their site onto yours.
Research your ideal audience to see what they want.
Stay consistent with your brand image throughout your website. Make your website navigation easy and intuitive.
Have your contact information easily accessible.
Use call to action (CTA) buttons throughout your website. For example, “book a discovery call now”.
Search Engine Optimisation
Optimise your small business website for your users which includes search engines. Check out How To: Search Engine Optimisation for more information.
Consistently publishing high-quality content to engage your audience and increase retention. Things to consider when publishing content:
Plan to ensure consistency of content and publishing.
Research best days/time to post your content and review monthly what content performs the best and consider what affects its performance.
Set targets for your content performance to make sure you’re supplying content your audience wants to see. This will also help to conserve resources.
Reviewing your website performance regularly will boost performance and success. The market is constantly changing so make sure to update your website to stay relevant.
Tips for reviewing your website:
Set targets for your website. Using the makeup company example, your target might be to increase sales and subscribers to your newsletter.
Use the data to make relevant changes to your site. For example, promoting your top three products on the homepage will increase those sales. Integrating a popup for newsletter signups will impact the number of subscribers.
Create a strong password and run security checks often to secure your site and data.
Adopt an efficient filing method and frequently back up data.
Creating a website for a small business requires a lot of time and dedication, there’s no arguing against it. Make sure to use these steps as a checklist as they will impact the success of your website launch.
While you’re here, why not take your marketing health check right now to see where your strengths are and discover new room for growth and opportunities.
For more free small business advice checkout our other blogs: