Creating a small business website is important to boost brand recognition, inform your audience, drive sales, and explain your value proposition. The first steps to building a business website involve choosing the right domain name and the most suitable web hosting type. Then, you can proceed to optimize your website, drive traffic, and improve search engine performance.
Website design software is user-friendlier than ever. You don’t need a background in development or coding to create a functional, appealing site. Regardless of which program you choose, you only need to follow some basic tips and rules to lend the site a professional appearance, show your business in the best light, and render the site easy to find.
This step-by-step guide explains how to create a website for your business.
Create multiple pages
You need more than a static homepage if you want to stand out. The different pages should correspond to different aspects of your business, like a section for business updates and a catalog of the products or services you offer. Each page should support your main goal, include a call to action, and have a clear purpose. Typical calls to action are “sign up,” “learn more,” or “contact us.”
Your customers will link to you directly via your contact page, which makes it one of the most important sections of the site. It should be as detailed as possible. Include your email, phone number, other contact info, and your physical address unless your business is entirely online.
The “About” page should have information about the founder and the team, where customers can put real faces and names to the business and brand.
Create a logo or hire a graphic designer and use it on your website, social media, and business cards. It will give your clients the ability to identify your company easily and quickly online.
Distill what your business does
Define what your business does in a concise, clear statement. Your potential customers should be able to grasp what your activity is within seconds of finding your homepage. It’s always better to have three well-written pages than ten poorly-written ones.
Set up automated speed improvement
Experts recommend making as many automated speed improvements as possible. The right plugins will cache elements of the site if you use a content management system (CMS), so visitors will only download what they need once. For WordPress, these plugins are WP Super Cache or W3 Total Cache. They improve browsing speed by compressing files.
Avoid stock photos
If you can, avoid using stock photography. It will give your site a mediocre feel. Use images of your actual products and team if you want to use photos on your pages.
Place strategic calls to action
Call-to-action buttons perform best when they correspond to the data on the page. If you want a “learn more” button, it will belong on the About page. On the other hand, a “buy now” button would make more sense on a services or products page. Likewise, a page with customer reviews could link to the available plans and pricing.
Set up a payment system
If you want to enable customers to pay online, you must integrate an electronic payment system. Using a credit card processing solution or e-commerce software is the best way to achieve this. Many web hosts offer integrations with such software or an in-house shopping cart. Your solution should be intuitive and flexible enough to meet your needs in the future.
Test and publish
Make sure your site works on major browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Safari. Announce that your site is live only after that. Go through each feature and page on each browser to ensure the links are accurate, images show up, and the format looks smooth. This will save you trouble in the future, like complaints from customers.
Ensure that your website displays correctly on tablets and smartphones. Google has migrated to mobile-first indexing, which gives your mobile version priority over the performance of the desktop version when it comes to search engine rankings.
Set up an analytics program before you go live to coordinate proper setup and iron out any potential issues. After the site is live, you can check the performance and determine why a given page is functional or not based on your analytics.
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