Any modern-day small business cannot hope to compete without its dedicated website. Sure, your product/service might be the best in terms of price and quality, but not having a website can severely impact your ability to scale the business. A well-designed website can broaden your marketing campaign’s reach, establish a brand, economize your lead generation, and overall boost profits. Setting up a professional website, however, can be technically complex. Here are six tips on how to do just that:
Figure Out Your Website’s Purpose
Too few people stop to think about what their website’s purpose is. Simply knowing it’s for your small business is too vague. Is your business website going to be a landing page for all your existing products/services? Perhaps a blog that details your business’ progress? Do you need a direct-to-consumer platform for an eCommerce store?
Answering this simple albeit commonly overlooked question will help you decide what tech stack you’ll need, what third-party services and plug-ins you might want to integrate, the cost and size of the project if you’re hiring a contractor, etcetera.
Wireframe Your Envisioned Website
Wireframing is essentially drafting out your website’s layout. Grab a pen and piece of paper and draw out the main pages you plan on featuring, i.e. home, service, about us, contacts, FAQ, etcetera. Try to envision the specific user experience and the journey that you want your target audience to go through as they visit your website.
Where should the main menu on the screen be? How many featured pages should you have on your homepage? What images, videos, or animations best fit the brand or product/service you are trying to showcase? Answer these questions and incorporate them into your wireframe.
Figure Out Elements That Will Help You Stand Out
There are more than 1.7 billion websites today, with significant fluctuations as websites get deactivated or created. It’s not enough to have a website; you want it to stand out as well. A good way to differentiate your business from the rest of the competitors is to hire the best motion graphics company to create three-dimensional videos of your product/service.
Decide on Your Domain Name
One of the hardest things to nail down when setting up a business website is the domain name. Not only is it difficult to come up with a winning domain name or URL for your business, but it’s also difficult to come up with one that’s still available. Nonetheless, the URL you choose for your business website is what you’ll share with your existing and future customers.
It’s the name that you’ll share and promote on social networking platforms. Thus, it’s important to get a domain name that best describes your business, is succinct, and is both catchy and memorable. Try to avoid the use of abbreviations, numbers, symbols, and acronyms when getting your domain name.
Register Your Domain Name
In addition to the domain name, which is the bulk of your URL, you also need to figure out what top-level domain to use. TLD is the suffix that is attached at the end of every URL, such as .com and .org. While .com and .net were traditionally what most websites would be affixed with, many of today’s websites bear non-traditional TLDs, such as .ca or .agency. Once you choose a domain name, head to one of the popular domain registrars, like Domain.com, GoDaddy, or Squarespace, to check its availability and register the domain name.
Pick a Web Host
For your website to be publicly accessible at any time, you need a web host. Also referred to as a hosting service provider, a web host is a server or cluster of servers that store all of your data and serve it to a client upon request. There are two different routes you can go about picking a web host – shared versus dedicated.
While a shared web host is cheaper, it also means you’ll be sharing a server with other websites. As your small business grows and the website becomes more packed with pages and data, you may want to upgrade to a dedicated hosting service.
An invaluable way to keep improving your business’ website is to ask for feedback. Make sure you reach out to your target audience and make modifications based on the feedback you get.