If you want to stay competitive in today’s market, it’s essential that you communicate with your customers on every platform. Creating a website is an excellent way to reach a wider audience. It’s an easy approach to make your presence known in the industry. Whether you hire a professional to design one or you do it yourself, it’s important to understand the steps involved in the process.
Before we begin, remember quality is the essence of your success. Your website can become a marketing tool for your business. But this does not mean that the site needs to be complex or sophisticated. A clean, simple format that focuses on conveying high-quality information is all that you need. This will make a positive impact on customers and increase traffic to your website.
- Choose a domain name
Choosing a proper domain name is one of the most important steps in establishing your business. It should reflect an image of what your business is about. For example, if you own an online leather jacket store, selecting the name “www.leatherskinshop.com” makes it easier for people to identify that you provide leather products.
Keep it simple
One way to attract and retain customers is to have the same domain name as your business. A domain name “www.foryourkids.com” for a business you call Lovable Toys won’t bring customers to your site easily. Also, make sure that no one has taken the name on any social media platform.
How long should it be?
Short domain names are typically more functional than longer ones. However, if a long domain name is easy to remember or direct, it can be just as effective. The limit is 67 characters, though, so don’t make it a sentence. A frustrated customer that cannot find your site will simply go to another one where similar products are available.
Is it named well?
The name should be unique, clear, meaningful, and catchy. Be careful about how it looks when written down. Think about how it sounds, especially in terms of hidden meanings. You can also play on words.
What if your domain name is already taken?
You can add another word to the domain name, such as the city where you live. Avoid using hyphens or adding articles such as “a” or “the” before your domain name. People often forget to add hyphens or extra words while searching. So, if there’s another website called “www.loveabletoys.com” and you decide on “www.loveable-toys.com”, you could potentially end up sending your competitor a lot of traffic.
Or you could try buying the domain name from the current owner- a more expensive option than making your own.
- Find a hosting company
Next, figure out how to show off the name you’ve selected. A website host connects your site to the internet. Remember to pick a reliable hosting company as this is where all the information will be stored. Some popular hosting companies are GoDaddy Hosting, Amazon AWS, and CloudFlare Hosting.
There are three types of website hosts:
Individual or shared hosting
You will share space on hosting servers with other webmasters. This is the most affordable plan, especially for those who have small space requirements or are first-timers. You’ll need to consider other options when your business expands with more visitors converting to online transactions. Remember to select a shared hosting server that permits your site to transit to a dedicated server when you’re ready.
Once you’ve experienced growth on an individual plan, you need to upgrade to this one. Though it’s a bit more expensive, dedicated servers will grant you your own server.
This is an appropriate option if you’re planning to run several small sites. A reseller account permits multiple individual projects within a single account.
Look for following characteristics before selecting a plan:
- Does it offer customer support?
- Is there enough space for your website to function properly?
- Can it support a blog?
- Has it been positively reviewed by other users?
- Develop a site layout
Devise a plan that allows customers and visitors to use your website. Spend time deciding what pages you want to include. You could hire a professional or DIY using a website builder like Weebly. It utilizes drag-and-drop interfaces, templates, and plug-ins which makes designing a custom website simple. It’s ideal for those who are short of time or aren’t technologically advanced.
Consider how users will progress through your website. Include intuitive and functional navigation tools. Business sites function better if they’re simple, clear, and easy to navigate. It should have straightforward text, clearly labeled toolbars, a home page button, a single call-to-action button on each page, and a search feature.
- Focus on website content
The number of pages you need depends on your website or specific industry. A CMS (content management system) dictated by the hosting or web development company can help you. It will allow you to update content on your site, add images, and create new blog posts or pages. Focus on SEO and online marketing. Produce a well-maintained, high-quality website that delivers top-notch content to make a positive impression on visitors. This will enable you to stand out in the crowd.
Business websites tend to have five essential pages:
Include the name of your business, the location, and a simple pitch about what you want to achieve. You should also add details like what makes you unique, or why customers should select you.
Products or Services
Give details about the products or services your business will offer. A couple of sentences is adequate to describe each. Include a price tag as well.
Company background, customer testimonials, and organizational memberships like BBB (Better Business Bureau) help build trust and credibility among customers.
Display your expertise and give your people an insight into your business. Organize an editorial calendar to plan blog content. It will help connect your business with customers and the community.
The location, email, phone number, the hours of operation, and links to any social media accounts should appear on this page. Embed a Google map, if applicable.
- Create a brand
Powerful branding solutions can give any business startup the boost it needs to stand out in the crowd. It’s vital to design a logo that complements your website. The colors, font, theme, and style should be consistent on all platforms.
If you already have a logo that you’re using in the offline world, then it’s quite convenient for you. All you need to do is utilize the digital file or produce a high-resolution scan. But if you are creating your first logo or upgrading an existing one, then the scenario is different. You could either DIY or have a professional logo design agency handle all the aspects. Remember to work directly with the designers until you’re happy. You’ll receive the logo in print as well as digital format. And don’t forget to get legal copyright for the design in your name.
- Ensure that your website is mobile-optimized
It’s essential for startups to have mobile-friendly websites as more than half of the customers browse through their phones rather than a computer. Many web builders automatically create mobile-optimized websites, also known as responsives. They alter layouts to make sites more attractive and user-friendly on smaller screens.
You may need to make a few adjustments, such as removing additional information that may make your site difficult to operate on a phone. The central focus should be on CTA (call to actions) by getting browsers to call you, joining an email list, or making an online purchase.
Click-to-call buttons are a must. They allow your number to be dialed automatically from the visitor’s phone. Similarly, an embedded Google Maps’ widget can facilitate navigation to your storefront.
As you implement these tips to your professional business website, you will establish yourself in the industry and gain more clients. By increasing online visibility, your website ranking will improve, leading to higher sales.
About the Author:
Alma Causey is a Freelance writer by day and sports fan by night. She writes about tech education and health related issues. Live simply, give generously, watch football and a technology lover.