Creating an Effective Website for Small Business
By: Michael | Published: November 8, 2010 | Filed under: Small Business Advice
As a small business, you may or may not have a storefront. If your company is operating in a small office space or even out of your home, your company will rely heavily on the use of their website in order to promote sales, products and services. By gaining visitors to your website, you are gaining a potential customer pool. We live in the technological age. Therefore most potential customers would rather look at a website than even visit a physical location first. In order to keep those customers interested, it is all in how effective your website is. Here we discuss some of the steps to create an effective website no matter how small your business is.
Step One – Your Domain Name
Your domain, or the name of your website, is the first and most important step. This is the website address that your potential customers will visit. Try to use a domain name that utilizes your company name. This can be tricky with so many different companies sprouting up on the internet; therefore you will have to conduct an internet search or domain search to find out if your domain is available. You also want a domain that is catchy and easy for your customers and potential customers to remember.
Step Two – Hosting
Though it may be tempting to do the entire website building yourself, you should still look into a company that specializes in offering web hosting and web building tools for first time users. These companies will offer special tools that help you create a website with little to no knowledge about web programming. If you plan to hire a professional firm to create and host your website, be sure to research that particular company and ensure that they have reliable ratings. A down website is never good when you are looking to attract customers.
Step Three – Web Design
When it comes to designing your website, it needs to be professional and easy to navigate. A difficult site to navigate can deter potential customers from your site; therefore you could lose potential business as well. You can find numerous templates for web design online for free or even through your hosting company. Be sure to select background images, themes, and other aspects of your design that follow with your overall business. Always try to integrate your company logo and slogan into your design as well. If you are a fun and modern business, then your web design should be fun and modern too.
Step Four – Programming
This is where most small business owners find trouble, especially if they have built their own site. When you do not have an extensive knowledge about web programming there can be a lot of errors in your website. These errors can become frustrating for potential customers or even current customers. Another thing you need to consider is metatags that are in your website. These help consumers find you when they are using search engines online.
Step Five – Content of Your Site
The content, or words, that are in your site are your most effective tool in gaining your customers attention. This content should be free of spelling and grammatical errors and should have valuable content. Large paragraphs that your customers have to read that contain little to no information can make your site boring. Update your content as frequently as you can in order to keep it fresh. This will help you rank better on online search engines as well.
Always use quality information, but also photographs. If your business relies heavily on a service that is provided, you need to provide photographic examples of the services you perform. A website without photographs tends to be dull and will not catch the eyes of potential customers. After all, the majority of people are visual rather than literal.
Step Six – SEO Content
SEO, also known as Search Engine Optimization is how potential visitors find your website online. For example, if your business is a cupcake shop in Utah, people will typically search keywords through Google or Yahoo such as “Utah Cupcake Shops” or “Cupcake Shops Utah”. If you have these types of keywords in your website content, then they will help your website pop up on the search engine your potential visitor uses.
Your company’s website can greatly determine the success of your overall business. By building an effective website you can keep your customers interested in your services or products. A website can make or break a business and in today’s technological industry you need to stand out among the other small businesses with an effective website.
- 10 Things Every Small-Business Website Needs (entrepreneur.com)
- Do Keywords or Content Get You to the Top of Search Engines (lanechase.net)
- 6 Ways to Create Great Marketable Content (benway.net)