About a third of small business owners You don’t have a website. Some might not want to invest in the cost. Others might think they can make do with a Facebook page or a Google My Business profile. And a few may even feel like a website is irrelevant to their business if they aren’t selling anything online.
But a website can benefit almost any small business. Even if you don’t sell products or services online, it can help drive people to your location, get your business in front of more potential customers through search, and give your brand some credibility.
How to set up a website
Building a small business website doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive either. There are tools to help you design and make your domain and hosting work. If you’re looking to start a business for the first time or haven’t yet created an official website for an existing small business, here are some of the most important things to know.
What your website should include
Basically, your website should include all the information a potential customer would need to determine whether or not to do business with you. It looks different for every company. But some key elements usually include your business name, contact information, a small “about” section, photos of you and/or your team, customer testimonials, links to your social media profiles, and your hours. opening.
The information on your website should also be tailored specifically to your customers. Instead of explaining what you do, explain how what you do can benefit them. Your value proposition should be at the center of your website, so customers have a clear idea of why they should buy from you.
It’s also a good idea to include clear calls-to-action so customers know exactly how to do business with you. If you sell products online, “buy now” with a link is easy. If you sell services, you can include “call now” at the bottom of every page. Basically, just explain to your customers what their next step should be.
Web Design Essentials
The content of your website is essential. But design can also make a huge difference. Your design should support your site’s mission by creating a clear and professional appearance.
Every business website should be a little different. So you need to carefully consider your own branding elements and design preferences that will appeal to your target customers. Also, make sure it’s easy to read, ie don’t use decorative fonts for body text or pair blue typeface with a green background.
Another non-negotiable is having a mobile or responsive web design. Responsive sites are designed to be viewable on any device, from smartphones to desktop computers. Since so many people use mobile devices to browse today, especially when researching local businesses, this is a must. Google also prioritizes mobile-friendly sites for SEO. Most of the designers and templates you’ll find offer these options because they’re so prevalent today, so it shouldn’t be hard to find them.
How to create your website
There are a few technical elements that come with creating a website, including domains and hosting. For your domain, it’s always better to buy a dedicated domain from a provider like GoDaddy rather than opting for a free platform like WordPress.com. It makes it easier for customers to find your business because they don’t need to enter an additional extension. And it looks more professional. There are also many hosting providers available for small businesses, including big names like GoDaddy and Bluehost.
Once you’ve signed up for these services, it’s time to design your site. Free website builders are available to help you create a custom site. Or you can opt for a template or hire a web designer to do the job for you. Just make sure the finished product looks professional. It’s better to spend a little more on a paid template or designer than to turn customers away with a confusing or ugly website.
Ongoing website maintenance
Once you’ve created your small business website, you shouldn’t leave it untouched for years. It can be a very valuable asset to your business if you update it regularly and use it to your advantage.
Always make sure that all your information is up to date, for example if you change your opening hours or get a new phone number. But you can also add updates that bring value to potential customers. You can include a blog section on your website or update important events throughout the year. These updates give frequent visitors a reason to return to your site and can make it more relevant in online searches.
Additionally, you need to keep up with design and SEO changes over the years. A few years ago, mobile and responsive web design became essential for companies. And Google occasionally releases updates that may impact your content strategy.