Whether you are working as an entrepreneur, a small business owner operating from home or anyone involved with the sale of products and services; having a brand presence on the internet is mandatory. If you are keen on launching your business website, there are plenty of considerations that need to be taken into account. When your prospects can easily locate you and find the information they’re searching for, only then you can expect your business to create new customers and develop relations with them. Even if you are not really selling anything online, your online presence can simply act as an extension of your precious business card.
If you are keen on starting a small business website then here are the top 7 concerns or steps that should go into the process.
1. Decide the purpose behind creating a website
What is your website going to do for you? What purpose will it serve? Do you only intend to provide information about your company on the website? Should you also start providing services online? You should also start a blog that will engage your customers or simply become an integral part of your social media strategy. First decide what you want to achieve!
2. Set yourself up with a content management system (CMS)
Regardless of the type of website you are putting together, you are going to need to make updates from time to time. Whether it’s updating new employee info, adding content to the blog, or adding a new location, you are best served being able to make updates on your own. Popular options include WordPress, a custom solution, Magento, Business Catalyst, Shopify, and many more. Research the pros and cons of each to find out the best fit for your requirements.
3. Choose your web host with care
For most websites, a shared hosting plan will generally do the trick. If you’re expecting massive amounts of traffic though, you may want to splurge and go with a dedicated server. There are also web hosts that specialize in different platforms, even offering custom built shared hosting for your specific platform. Be sure to review their contact hours, as you’ll want 24/7 email and ticket support at a minimum.
4. Focus on the quality of your website’s visual design
Keeping your website design high-quality, yet simple means vying to make it more and more engaging among your competitors. This is one piece of advice that seems to be working well with almost all small businesses online. You can always expand and build out the website down the line, but starting with simple, elegant and cleaner design principles can set up the look and feel for years to come.
5. Employ the best SEO practices from the beginning
Make sure that your focus on search engine optimization starts from the very beginning. Once your small business website is launched, it is likely to face fierce competition and having the best SEO strategies can help you survive.
6. Social media integration
Social media platforms help you reach a wider audience and connect with potential customers. Including social media buttons and widgets on your website make your social media presence felt by inviting prospects to join or follow you on the social media profiles of your brand or business.
7. Analyze specific requirements and budget
It’s also important to not only analyze your budget and needs, but also to focus on the requirements of your visitors. Have you created a website that caters to the requirements of your online business and audiences? Small businesses usually have tighter budgets hence these concerns need to be counted in.
Before your website goes live, analyze all the possible integral components that include branding, keywords, competition, implementation of strategies, domain names, website designs and more. Ensure that you have successfully created a website that is appealing and engaging. Then once your new website is up, focus on the traffic plan to bring qualified and engaged traffic to your site!