Here’s What You Don’t Know About Starting Small Business Website

small business website

A small business website should be a sales tool, explaining products and services and generating leads from that information. Anyone can build and design a website without knowing anything about web development, design or coding. Whether you want to create a website for yourself or for your business, you can easily do that by using the right tools and resources. This step-by-step guide will help you create a website from scratch.

Step #1: Choose a Domain Name

Your domain name is like your brand. It should be easy for a user to type it into a Web browser or an e-mail address. Choosing a domain name that’s easy to type is critical to online success. If you use slang (u instead of you) or words with multiple spellings (express vs. xpress), it might be harder for customers to find your site.

Your domain name is the key element of your website. It can make or break you, so it’s crucial to choose a domain name that works for your business.

Technically speaking, the .com is just one of many domain name extensions (TLDs) that are available (more on TLDs and other components of a domain name here). Some of the other popular options include, .net, .org, .co, .edu, .biz, or even things such as .shop, or .blog.

Why is your domain name so important?

  1. It’s your “first impression”. Your URL is the first thing your visitors will see. A good domain name can make a positive and lasting impression, while a bad domain name can send visitors running.
  2. It affects SEO. While exact match domains (EMDs) are no longer a necessity, keywords in your domain name can still help your SEO ranking.
  3. It defines your brand. We’ll talk about this in a minute – your domain name is a branding opportunity! The right domain name can increase brand recognition.
Domain names sell quickly. Thankfully, many domain names are also inexpensive, so register your favorite domain names as soon as possible.

Step #2: Get Website Hosting

It’s important to do some research on the market reputation of any web hosting companies you are considering. Check out web hosting review guides, where you can view ratings and reviews posted by customers and experts in the industry. It’s generally better to play it safe and go with a web-hosting service with a lot of experience and expertise, and that has been well received by the market.

Why Do I Need Web Hosting?

Unless you are using a platform like WordPress.com to operate your website, you will need web hosting for your website so that it appears live on the internet and others can view it.

And, while having a WordPress.com website is great for those just starting, because they offer free hosting, and a limited number of other features, we recommend you invest in a self-hosted solution such as WordPress.org instead.

Know What Kind of Web Host You Need

Understanding the needs of your business can help narrow your web hosting options. If you plan to build a website that features video blogging, 24-hour live streaming and the ability for visitors to register and upload their own videos, your website would require more features than someone who just uses their website as a virtual resume. Websites that receive a lot of daily traffic will likely not function well on a shared server because these servers are designed to accommodate a lot of small websites that have limited demands.

Choose the Right Hosting Package

Many small businesses turn to shared hosting as a way to save money, but with the smaller price tag comes a bigger risk of slow website response times. Slow websites turn customers away. An option like a Virtual Private Server (VPS) is slightly more expensive, but it provides a faster, higher quality web performance and delivers a better customer experience.

Let us provide you our managed website hosting service, so you can focus on selling and providing your service!

Step #3: Set Up WordPress Website

WordPress is a content management system (CMS), which means it’s designed to help you organize and display the content on your site.

What counts as content?

Everything that appears on your site, from the header with your business name to your contact information to your blog posts and tutorial videos. If it’s on your site, it’s content.

Why should I use WordPress to create a my small business website?

Because WordPress  is a free and powerful tool to build websites, this open-source content management system (CMS) powers some of the biggest brands on the planet.

Go over the essential Elementor tutorials and find out how to use Elementor to create amazing WordPress websites.

Step #4: Customize Your Website Design and Structure and Add Content/Pages to Your Website

1. HOMEPAGE

This is the page most people will see first, and as such, it should tell everyone who you are and what your company does. The content on your homepage should be intriguing enough to capture the attention of your visitors within seconds. Your homepage needs to be well-designed, load fast and look professional. There are studies that show that you have 0.05 seconds to convince people stay on your website.

What to include:
A short description of who you are and what you do, a brief explanation of your services and products, and perhaps some bullet points on how you can help your potential customer or client.

2. ABOUT PAGE

People do business with other people, and visitors want to learn a bit more about who the people are behind the company. The about page is often one of the most visited page on any website. This page should give a brief summary of who you are, your company history and what isolates you from the competition.

What to include:
A summary of your company, whom it employs (with biographies and pictures of the staff, or just yourself if you are a sole proprietor), any special achievements you received, and the ways you differ from others that provide the same product or service.

3. SERVICES PAGE (IF YOU OFFER SERVICES)

Here you can list details about the services you provide. Begin the page with a summary of your services prior to outlining them. If your services are vast and their descriptions are quite extensive, consider dividing them into sections, as well as adding a link to a landing page, where readers can learn more about a particular service.

What to include:
A synopsis of services presented, bullet points of services with short explanations, links to learn more about specialized services (if you desire), the advantages of using your services, and how they differ from the services your competition offers.

4. PRODUCTS PAGE (IF YOU OFFER PRODUCTS)

This is your chance to offer details about the products you sell. Begin the page with a short summary of your products before listing them. If you sell multiple products and have extensive information on each product, consider dividing them into categories and adding a link to their product pages.

What to include:
An outline of products available, short descriptions of each product, links to product pages that contain more information, what the customer can expect by purchasing those products, and why customers should buy those products from you, rather than your competition.

5. FAQ PAGE

The FAQ page is your space to answer the most frequent questions you are asked. The frequently asked questions (FAQ) page will tell everyone – on one page – what they need to know. This will save you time answering those same questions on an individual basis. Provide honest answers for each one. Your answers should be a call to action, and persuade a potential customer to take the next step and buy whatever you’re selling.

What to include:
The most common questions you are most frequently asked should be on this page. Such questions should also remove any doubts a customer may have, in order to make them feel secure enough to make a purchase from you.

6. TESTIMONIALS / REVIEWS PAGE

This is your chance to show off positive reviews your company has received. Where possible, include photos and contact info of the author (a link their social media account, not their personal phone number). This will add authenticity to each testimonial. Anyone can write a review, but those with photos of real people that can be traced to an actual source credibility and establishes trust.

What to include:
A brief paragraph of praise from customers, perhaps as long as a sentence or two. Include photos and contact info of the reviewer, preferably with a headline above each testimonial, to catch a customer’s eye.

7. CONTACT PAGE

Your contact page show potential customers all the ways they can get in touch with you. It is also important to have your phone number, email address and physical mailing address on the footer throughout all of your website pages, where possible.

What to include:
All of your social media accounts, your mailing address, phone and fax number, email address, and even your business hours. Some companies prefer using a contact form instead of listing their email address for spam prevention purposes.

8. BLOG

This isn’t a page per say, as a blog is the sum of all blog posts. A blog is a website, or a section of a website, made up of topically related blog posts (like journal entries). Blog posts are usually listed in reverse chronological order with the most recent blog post appearing first. If you have a small business website without a blog then you are seriously missing out! Think of your blog as your greatest and most affordable marketing tool. A blog drives traffic and leads/sales. A blog gives your company a voice, it creates a place where you can tell your company’s story, share your expertise and engage with your customers.

What to include:
First and foremost you need to do a bit of strategy work, you need to know why you are starting a blog and who you are blogging for (your target audience). Next you need to map out what your blog should be about, i.e. what your should write about and the topics to cover. Think of how you write and the language you use, most of us don’t like to read academic journals so don’t be afraid to be conversational and casual in the way you write. Quality trumps quantity. Studies suggest that long-form and in-depth blog posts outperform shorter shallow blog posts, when it comes to search engine optimization and getting shared on social media.

9. PRESS / LATEST NEWS PAGE

This is where you can address the media. Here, you should post links to articles written about your business, press releases, advertisements, videos featured on other platforms, and any other recognizable commercial accomplishments.

What to include:
Ways the media can get in touch with you, links to download PDFs and photos, and press releases. If you have a media or press kit, post it here, so the media can learn more about your company prior to further publicity.

10. PRIVACY POLICY PAGE

A privacy policy is must for every website, a privacy policy lets the visitor to your website know what you’ll do with the personal information they give you. On this page, let the site visitor know how any personal information and data (e.g. advertising, cookies, emails etc) collected will be used, and whether or not it will be shared with third parties. You must strictly adhere to your privacy policy.

What to include:
What data you collect, how it is collected, how visitors can obtain a copy of the information you obtain, if such content will be shared, and if so, with whom.

11. TERMS AND CONDITIONS PAGE

Similar to the above mentioned privacy policy, a terms of conditions page is usually a must for most websites. This is a page the outlines the “rules” a visitor to your site must agree to abide by in order to use your website.

What to include:
You want to include the rules and guidelines and how your website functions. For example, which country’s laws that governs the agreement, an intellectual property disclosure that states that your website is your property and that it’s protected by copyright laws, and a links to other sites clause that you are not responsible for or have control over third party links on your website.

12. SITEMAP PAGE

Sitemaps come in two formats. XML sitemaps (these are made for search engine bots, helps search engines discover your content and is good to have from an SEO standpoint). HTML sitemaps are made for your “human” visitors (and what we refer to here.) A sitemap page is a non-fancy index page that lists all the web pages you have on your website.

What to include:
Your sitemap page should include links to all of your web page, your pages and blog posts. Your sitemap page should be located in the footer throughout all of your website pages, where possible. If you use WordPress then there are plenty of plugins that can help you build an HTML sitemap.

13. PAGE NOT FOUND PAGE

A page not found page (technically speaking it’s called a “404 error” page) is a page your visitors get directed to when a webpage no longer exists, have moved or has expired.

What to include:
Tell visitors clearly that the page they’re looking for cannot be found. Your page not found page should include a link back to your homepage, you could also include a search form.

Find out what opportunities exist and how a website, videos or social media could help you reach your goals. Learn the basics of how to take your business online.

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