Things to Consider Before Making a Website For Your Small Business
A website is one of your most potent sales and marketing tools as it enhances your brand image, informs your customers about your offerings, and drives sales. Whether your business is a small start-up or a major eCommerce setup, it requires an online presence. This is ideally an attractive and engaging website that introduces your products to a large audience and consolidates your brand’s online identity.
Building a website is no more a complicated process requiring any prior technical skills. With the surplus amount of efficient and easy-to-use website builders and CMSs, setting up your personal site by yourself is a simple process comprising a few clicks, drags, and drops. This is usually good news for newcomers and first-time business owners who set out on a tight budget and wouldn’t want to spend on hefty website building costs.
However, while putting together a great website, consider a few factors to ensure that your website performs well and helps you achieve your business targets. Let’s review these considerations below.
Identify Your Business Goals
Before building your website, ask yourself a couple of questions. What do you want to communicate to your audience? How do you want them to perform a call to action? Do you want your customers to buy from your site, request more information, or do you want your website to divert potential customers to your physical store?
Figuring out this information is necessary as it will directly affect your site’s design and function and determine the nature of your content. Your homepage, for instance, needs to clearly define your business and what you have to offer your customers. Whatever action you require them to perform will have relevant tabs or sections on the site.
Your product niche will also determine your site’s theme, colour palette, graphics, and font style. So will the category of your target audience. Therefore, before officially creating your site, analyze all these facts to ensure that your end design serves your purpose fully.
Pick a Unique and Catchy Domain Name
Your domain is the unique and attention-worthy name you will give to your website. To make the most of it, you must be deliberate and conscious while choosing one. Your domain name is your first point of reference for your customers, and it’s your chance to create a fantastic first impression.
Keep a name that reflects your brand identity and aligns with your business name. Also, most importantly, your brand domain will affect your website’s search engine rankings. Consistency across your domain will enable better search engine performance and help search engines quickly identify and index your website.
While selecting a domain, be creative since catchy and unique is what we’re looking for. Whatever you choose, add keywords relevant to your business in the domain name. Also, keep it short and simple by avoiding fancy characters, numbers, abbreviations, acronyms, and hyphens. People should remember your domain name. Also use a proper domain extension wherever possible, like .com and .eu, instead of .cl, .xy, etc.
As a final step, register your domain to make sure it is available and not used by someone else.
Pick a Powerful Web Hosting Service
After selecting an attractive domain and registering it, you must find a credible and reliable web hosting provider. The hosting service will provide your domain with a URL space to exist and operate online. Its hosting plans will provide technical support, security, and other necessary services essential to the upkeep of your site.
The key is selecting a host that provides complete services and tools like unlimited storage and bandwidth, business emails, enhanced security and maintenance, daily free backups, a user-friendly control panel, eCommerce integration, and more.
The hosting service must have excellent customer support round the clock in your language. Moreover, if you plan to expand your business model once it grows, your hosting service should be able to provide convenient scalability options.
Overall, pick a web host that provides you with all these great facilities and services at a reasonable cost and affordable renewable plans. The wise thing to do is select a provider offering maximum value for money.
After intense research across different services and features, plus user feedback, we’ve listed down and reviewed the best web hosting providers in the market today. Our reviews will help you find the most suitable web host for your small business without getting lost in translation.
Select an Efficient Website Builder for eCommerce
Your web host, in most cases, will provide you with an in-built website builder to help you build your website. You need to ensure that the builder tool is easy-to-use, with a drag-and-drop editor and a user-friendly interface and control panel. It should also have a range of pre-made professional yet aesthetically pleasing templates that are industry-specific. Besides, for eCommerce functionality, a website requires specific tools and plugins geared for eCommerce and UX like automated speed. You have to check all these are included in the package you’re getting.
Its eCommerce integration is an integral aspect to consider while selecting your website builder. Since you need functionalities like payment gateways, a secure cart, and other eCommerce tools on your site, this should be easily managed through your hosting plan. Our detailed review on the best website builders specially enhanced for eCommerce will help you choose the right option for your website.
Create an Engaging Website User Interface and Content
Your website is only as good as its UX factor and ability to drive sales and conversion rates. For this, give special focus to its design and content layout. The site’s design should be attractive and interesting, geared to capture your audience’s attention instantly. Use consistency in colour palette, theme and font styles across the website’s different pages.
Using rich imagery, graphics, and engaging content go a long way in increasing the UX factor of your site. Your website’s interface should be easy to navigate, clearly representing your brand’s purpose and offerings. Where you let your creative juices flow, remember to keep things fuss-free, like easily readable fonts and easy access to call-to-action buttons, contact information, and more. Besides, optimize your images and graphics for SEO.
Plan to Invest in Digital Marketing and SEO
Once you establish your website, set aside a fixed budget for digital marketing and search engine optimization. To market the site across a wider audience, integrate the site with social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. You can use social media and Google Ads to promote and market your site and share it on your social media handles.
Best SEO practices are another area to tap into for better business conversions. Usual best SEO practices include using keywords, image optimization, fast load speed, high-quality backlinks and internal links. Once you optimize your website for search engines, you make sure its search engine ranking improves and helps reach a broader market of potential customers. Chances are your CMS or builder comes with in-built SEO tools and plugins, which will automatically improve your site’s rankings and performance through suggestions and tips.
Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly
While designing your site interface, remember to make it intuitive and flexible enough to adapt to different devices. According to statistics, most users prefer browsing eCommerce sites on their phones and mobile devices. The frequency of user bounce-backs is high for websites with unresponsive designs on mobiles and iPads. Anything that takes more than a second to load is a total switch-off for most users and thus detrimental to online business.
Therefore you should ensure that your content is accessible and at its optimum display on all devices. This will increase your customer base and lead to enhanced user engagement, resulting in higher sales. Interestingly sites which are optimized for different displays have much better SEO stats.
Test Your Site Before Publishing
Reviewing everything on your site is essential before you hit the ‘publish’ button and make it go live. Go through the different web pages to check for errors or broken links. Check the buttons’ functionality and test your site across different browsers. The website should be able to work on all major browsers like Chrome, Safari, and Firefox.
Another aspect to check is the page and image loading speed for each page. It will help you identify how well each page is doing and fix any issues with ones not performing well. Connecting your site to Google Analytics is also a good idea to monitor its performance. Setting up your analytics tool before the site goes live will save you a lot of hassle later.
Summing It Up
Even after your site goes live, you can still do a lot to increase its performance. For starters, keep it updated regularly. Updates apply to all plugins, software, and add-ons. Also, keep posting fresh and recent content to it regularly. Engaging customers through different deals, discounts, weekly highlights and trends are helpful strategies to keep your content alive.
A website is your most valuable and potent marketing tool. It helps you establish and strengthen your brand’s identity and drives sales. Despite starting with a low-investment model, you can take all necessary steps to maintain your site by keeping it updated with new content and fixing any technical issues. Optimizing the site for enhanced UX and search engine performance will enable you to achieve higher conversions and reach your targets more efficiently.
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