How to Make a Small Business Website

By Jennifer Noble | Feb 14, 2018

Given the widespread usage and importance of the internet, it's surprising that some small businesses still don't have a website. According to a 2016 survey conducted by Clutch, however, nearly half of all small businesses don't have an official web presence. If you fall under this category, you should invest the necessary time and resources into creating a website for your small business.

 

Choose a Domain Name

 

The first step in creating a small business website is choosing a domain name. This is the readable address users see in their web browser when visiting your site. A domain name is more than just an address, though; it's the digital footprint powering your business's website.

 

Ideally, you should use your business's exact name for your domain name, opting for the dot com extension. If your business's name isn't available, try using a memorable and relevant variation.

 

Choose a Web Hosting Service

 

In addition to a domain name, you'll also need a web hosting service. This is the company that will store and serve your website's files to visitors.

 

The most common web hosting services are shared, virtual private server (VPS) and dedicated. While shared is the cheapest, it's also the slowest. This is concerning because statistics show that 40 percent of online visitors will abandon a site if it takes longer than three seconds to load. To reduce load times, choose either VPS or dedicated hosting.

 

Install a CMS

 

While not required, using a content management system (CMS) will streamline many tasks associated with creating and maintaining a website. It offers a convenient interface through which you can create and edit content. Many digital marketing agencies choose the CMS WordPress for business sites. The open-source platform is fast, versatile and easy to customize. Furthermore, WordPress is completely free. The only things for which you'll have to pay are premium themes and plugins, but even those are optional.

 

Use Consistent Brand Imagery and Elements

 

When designing your business's website, include brand elements like your logo, color scheme and slogan. According to a study conducted by McKinsey & Company, a consistent experience increases customer satisfaction while boosting trust and loyalty in the process. If your website's doesn't feature your brand's recognizable elements, however, it can hurt your efforts to create a consistent customer experience.

 

Plan Your Content

 

Perhaps the most important thing you can do when creating a website for your business is publishing content. Without content, neither people nor search engines will visit your site. Content gives search engines a reason to crawl your site. And when they crawl your site, they'll begin to rank it in their respective index. This means your site will appear for relevant search terms.

 

Here are some tips on creating effective content for your business's website:

 

  • Avoid advertorial content and instead publish content that's valuable and useful to your audience.
  • Break up your content into multiple sections so that visitors can easily scan it.
  • Include images to enhance your content.
  • Create content around the keywords for which you want to rank.
  • Include links to internal pages as well as other websites.
  • Diversify your content strategy by including videos, infographics and other non-text content.

Install Google Analytics

There are several website analytics tools you can use to track visitor engagement. However, Google Analytics is the most effective, and it's free. Once installed, it reveals a plethora of information about your site and its visitors. You can use it to identify unique page views, total page views, bounce rate, exit rate, device usage, keyword searches and more. All of this information can prove helpful in optimizing your business's website.

 

Promote It

 

Finally, you should actively promote your business's website to increase its visibility. Assuming you have a Facebook Page, for example, you can share a link to your site with your followers. Another way to promote your website is to publish a press release announcing its official launch.

 

After reading this, you should have a better idea on how to start a website for your small business. Once your site is up and running, you should continue to create new content and build backlinks.

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