In today's digital age, having a website is more important than ever before. A website serves as a business's virtual storefront - it's often the first place potential customers go when they want to learn more about your products and services. That's why it's crucial to ensure that your business site meets the needs of your audience and provides a seamless user experience. In this article, we'll explore the steps involved in getting a good business site.
Let's start with the basics. A good business site is essential for a company to compete in the modern market. When you have a website, you broaden the reach of your business, reaching clients and customers who prefer to make a search before making a purchase. And since a website never sleeps, it's like a continuous ad, working hard for your business at all hours of the day and night.
Before you dive into building your new site, it's essential to have a plan that outlines your goals and your target audience. Ask yourself, who is your site designed to serve? This could be B2C (business to consumer) or B2B (business to business), so you’ll want to be clear as to what your target audience is looking for when they enter your site.
Also, you'll need to determine what your main objectives are. Is your site's purpose to generate sales and conversions directly, or will it serve as a research resource that users will reference? Knowing these objectives will help you when it comes to selecting the website builder and the types of design and layout you will choose.
Defining your target audience and site goals goes a long way towards creating a website that speaks to your audience, and they will find helpful.
The third step in your planning is deciding on a domain name, the part of the URL that comes after the "www." part of your site address. You can choose .com, .org, .edu, or even an extension specific to your field, such as .law or .blog. Try to keep it short and easy to remember, so it's easy for potential visitors to find and remember your site.
Design and Layout
When it comes to building your website, you have two options: building from scratch, or using one of the many website builders available on the web. It's recommended to use a website builder, even if it's just to cut down on time and unnecessary complexity. Builders like Wix, Squarespace, and WordPress are commonly used, and they provide templates that make setting up your site a snap.
Selecting the right template is essential, as it sets the tone of your site.
For example, if you're running a restaurant, you may want to choose a template with lots of mouth-watering visuals that showcase your menu items and highlight the ambiance of your establishment. If your target audience is a private clinic, you'll want to highlight a clean, professional layout that emphasizes the medical staff, services, and customer service on offer. Your website builder should have a wide variety of templates from which to choose, covering everything from a small artist's portfolio to a massive retail storefront.
Once you've selected a website layout that you appreciate, the next step is to customize it to suit your unique needs. Begin by designing the page's structure, which includes dividing your content into categories and arranging them in a reasonable order. Your homepage should be carefully constructed and contain calls-to-action (CTAs) that communicate what your company offers quickly. The heart of your website is the content on your pages, so make them easy to read and locate. Aim for short paragraphs, descriptive headlines, and bullet points whenever appropriate.
Your website should also include an About Us page, where visitors can find out more about your business and your team's particulars. Showcase the unique features of your business that set it apart from the competition on this page. Additionally, a Contact Us page should be included, with an email address, telephone number, and physical address. Decorate this page with a call-to-action, requesting visitors to contact you or fill out a form to request additional information. Make it as simple as possible for visitors to reach out to you with any questions or problems.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a process of speeding up your website's visibility in search engine results. You can produce professional-to-read content that's relevant to your target audience by utilizing SEO. This, in turn, attracts potential customers to your website, strengthens your reputation, and boosts search engine rankings. Optimizing your website for search engines includes using relevant keywords in your titles, meta descriptions, and throughout your website's content. If you're using a website builder, make sure that it provides a way to optimize those features. Ensure that your website has tools in place to monitor the site's loading time and optimize its images and structure for quick loading.
Checking and Launching Your Website
Congratulations! You've got your new website up and running. Ensure that everything is working correctly by going through a final app review before releasing your website. Test everything, including forms, links, and images to verify that the site functions properly. Double-check that your social media links are working correctly.
You'll need to submit the site sitemap, meta descriptions, page titles, and other information on your contact page to search engines like Google. This ensures that your website ranks and is indexed based on the keywords and your business's other characteristics. If you have a brick-and-mortar storefront or a physical location, you should also register with Google's business registry.
In conclusion, your website serves as your company's virtual storefront, providing an essential first impression to your target audience. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can create a professional, polished website that aligns with your brand and speaks to your audience. Remember to keep your website simple, clean, and easy to navigate, with a focus on providing valuable information and resources for your customers.
I recommend regularly updating and maintaining your website, including refreshing your content and reviewing your analytics to identify areas for improvement. By continuously evaluating and optimizing your website, you can increase your online visibility, expand your reach, and attract new customers.
Small Business Administration (SBA) - How to Build a Business Website in 7 Easy Steps: https://www.sba.gov/blog/how-build-business-website-7-easy-steps
HubSpot - The Ultimate Guide to Building a Website for Your Business: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/how-to-build-a-website
Wix - How to Build a Business Website – The Ultimate Guide: https://www.wix.com/blog/2019/01/how-to-build-a-business-website/
WordPress - How to Create a Business Website with WordPress: https://wordpress.com/website/business-website
Forbes - 10 Tips For Building A Great Business Website: https://www.forbes.com/sites/allbusiness/2015/02/03/10-tips-for-building-a-great-business-website/?sh=3dc8c98c7b9d
Entrepreneur - A Comprehensive Guide to Building Your Business Website: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/299628
Neil Patel - The Ultimate Guide to building a Business Website: https://neilpatel.com/blog/how-to-build-a-business-website/
The Balance Small Business - How to Make a Business Website in 5 Simple Steps: https://www.thebalancesmb.com/how-to-make-a-business-website-5-simple-steps-4046359
WebFX - How to build a Business Website: A complete Guide for Small Businesses: https://www.webfx.com/web-design/how-to-build-a-business-website.html
Creative Bloq - How to Create a Website for Your Business: A Step-by-Step Guide: https://www.creativebloq.com/how-to/how-to-create-a-website-for-your-business-a-step-by-step-guide