In this post, we would like to share a guide on how to build a small business website. As a small business owner, creating a website for your company should be a priority. However, most business owners know very little about web design or how websites are built. In addition, with only finite resources available, the hustle and cost hardly seem worth it. Despite these reservations though, running a business without a website is not prudent or efficient. Building a small business website makes numerous opportunities available to businesses that otherwise would not exist. So, in this post, we will attempt to demystify the web design process by highlighting how it is done. In addition, we will share some of the benefits of starting a small business website for your company. We will then conclude with useful tips to engage to bring in customers and make sales on your website.
In one word, the answer to the question of why a website is important to any business is this: marketing. Every business owner knows that marketing is the lifeblood of any business. This is because while offering great products or services are important, if nobody buys them, they are useless. A small business website gives companies the opportunity to reach a potentially unlimited number of potential customers. In comparison to traditional marketing methods, such a newspaper, TV, and Magazine ads, this is cheaper and more effective.
Before we move on, here are some related posts you might equally enjoy:
- Five Effective Marketing Strategies to grow your Business
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- Top Ten Benefits of having a Website for your Small Business
- How to Build an Online Presence for your Company
- Seven Useful Tips on How to Grow your Business Online
- Five Ways to Prepare your Business to Scale Up
- Five Ways to Prepare your Business for Success in the New Year
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In the next section, we discuss some of the benefits building a website provides to small businesses.
Benefits of Building a Website for your Small Business
It is interesting to think that some business owners still contemplate the benefits of creating a website for their business. So, to address these doubts, here are some of the primary benefits of building a website for your company:
- Creates Business Opportunity: Like we said earlier, one of the most important benefits of websites to small businesses is opportunity. Statistics show that over four billion people use the internet every day. These are four billion potential customers and businesses in need of your products or services. Additionally, these are customers not limited to your local business area but all over the world.
- Improve Business Credibility: Building a website for your small business also legitimizes your business and enhances your credibility.
- Creates Accessibility: How do you take advantage of the opportunity to reach the over four billion people who use the internet every day? With a website of your own. Additionally, once built, your website and its content will always be available online everywhere, every day. This allows you to be accessible to potential customers even when you are not physically available.
- An Efficient way to promote your Business: A website also allows you to promote your business, its products, and services in an efficient, trackable, relatively inexpensive manner. For example, unlike traditional marketing methods which cannot be tracked, online marketing can be tracked and reviewed for improvements. Additionally, they can be targeted to specific countries and regions for people with specific preferences and interests.
- Establishes your Brand: A website also helps establish your business brand and identity. In turn, this makes it easier for potential customers and clients to recognize and understand what your business is about.
Are you a small business owner without a website for your business? Take a minute to objectively consider if you can afford to not take advantage of these benefits.
A Guide to Building a Small Business Website
Why is web design and the web design process shrouded in so much mystery? In this section, we would like to share a simple guide to building a small business website. While this guide is in no way comprehensive, we believe it will help clarify several issues.
How do you create a website for your small business? Follow these steps:
- Determine your Website Goals: First things first, decide what goals you wish to achieve through your website. For example, do you want it to be an informational or ecommerce website? What would you like potential customers to know about you? If you want to sell your products or services, which ones do you want to make available? How will you showcase your products, services and gather the contact information of potential customers? Since your website will serve as your marketing tool, you will need to plan out specific ways you wish to achieve these goals.
- Buy a Domain Name: The next step is to choose a domain name for your small business or company. Your domain name is your website address and usually reflects your company name, products or services you provide. In simple terms, your domain name is your address online and anyone that goes there will find you. Domain names are purchased on a yearly basis and range from $15.99 to $17.99. While the .com and .org TLD domains are most common, country specific names like .co.uk are also available. The general rule of thumb is to keep your name as short and easy to remember.
- Purchase Web Hosting Services: While your domain name could be considered your address online, web hosting is where you store your website information. Without a web hosting provider, even if you have a domain name, there will be no way to put information on it. There are several web hosting services available including popular providers like GoDaddy, Siteground, Bluehost, HostGator and WhoGoHost. Like domain names, this is also a monthly or yearly recurring charge. Prices vary depending on the webhost and type of service provided.
- Choose a Content Management System: A Content Management System or CMS is used to manage the content your upload to your Web Host. Instead of the traditional method of uploading directly to your Web Host, a CMS make the process less cumbersome. Examples of popular CMS’s include Joomla, Drupal and WordPress, which powers over 40% of websites online today. The CMS is installed on your Web Host and connected to your domain name. Once this is done, website updates and content uploads can be done using the CMS.
- Add Content: The next step in building a small business website is to add content to your website. Generally, it is best to have a plan for the layout of your website and its pages. They you can create content for the pages and create necessary graphics.
- Add Website Functionality: Besides adding content and graphics to your website, you might also need to add specific functions. For example, you may want to add a contact form that allows potential customers to contact you through your website. Or you may want to add options to sell your products directly online. Such functionalities are usually added using Plugins. By basic definition, a plugin adds specific functionalities to a website, like adding a contact form.
- Review and launch your Website: Once these things are done, you can review your website and launch it for public use.
While these steps seem like a lot, they can be done in a few hours or months. Timing generally depends on the complexity of the task and level of skill in implementing them.
Additional Tips for your Small Business Website
Like we’ve said repeatedly, the primary purpose of a website is to market your business, products and services. However, certain additional steps can help enhance the effectiveness of your website. In this section, we list a few of them:
- Create Social Media pages for your Business.
- Make use of Search Engine Optimization tactics on your website.
- Also make use of Online ads from Search Engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing and social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
While it is possible to build a website for your small business, it’s not always recommended. An alternative to this would be to engage the services of a web designer or web design agency. However, if you’re technically savvy or are concerned about potential web design charges, you could do it yourself.
Today’s Funny Quote
Our funny quote for today is by Ludwig Wittgenstein, the Austrian-British Philosopher. He said:
If people never did silly things, nothing intelligent would ever get done.
Do you agree? Leave us a comment or message about this post. As always, we would love to hear from you.
Did you know that Innovate Today is a part of Innovate Design Studios Ltd? We are a web design company that provide premium web design, website maintenance and graphics services. If you’d like to know more about the service we provide, feel free to check out our Services page. On the other hand, if you’d like to get a free, no obligation quote for your web design project, contact us to submit a quote request.
Have a great week ahead and we will see you later this week with more inspiring posts.
Innovate Design Studios creates innovative web design solutions that provide you with a secure, custom designed web presence that promotes your business and generates revenue and exposure.