A great website is essential for any business, big or small. If you have a small business, then you must take full advantage of what the Internet has to offer. Frequently, a high-quality online presence is an afterthought.
Many companies have websites that are outdated, unprofessional, and unappealing. These poorly designed websites draw zero attention to their target audiences.
These websites bring a whole new meaning to “small business websites.” Just because you have a small business doesn’t mean that you have to keep everything small. Many small business owners make one common mistake. Instead of improving their web presence, they invest a staggering amount of money in other advertising, like radio, TV, and billboards.
These tactics may reach audiences, but is it worth all of the invested capital? How many of these insanely expensive advertisements go unnoticed by potential customers?
Many small business owners don’t understand the impact that building your website can have on potential clients. Investing in a high-quality website with good website design can have the ability to capture an audience’s attention and keep them engaged for the long term. The results are 100% quantifiable, and you can virtually eliminate the possibility of your audience never seeing it.
Everyone gets the news, entertainment, and information online these days. It’s time for all small business owners to capitalize on this reality by establishing a good web design plan for their small business. If you’re a small business owner that doesn’t know where to start when it comes to improving their small business website, then you’re in luck.
This is a simple guide to show small business owners how and why improving their small business website can mean the difference between relevant and irrelevant.
How To Create A Good Web Design
Creating a website is not quite as simple as some website builders may advertise them to be. Sure, anyone can use Wix, Weebly, or Squarespace to create a low-budget website. But, for that website to be featured online in many digital mediums, you need the right tools.
Think of creating a website like baking a pie. By all accounts, baking a pie is not very difficult. You can now purchase pre-made pie crust and filling, baking a pie can be as simple as three steps. Unwrap the pie crust, pour in the filling, and place it in the oven. This kind of pie-making is taking the easy way out. You’ll always get a pie in the end, but will that pie so do decadent that those who taste it will be coming back for more?
Well, to bake a pie that will astound tastebuds from all over, then you need to start from scratch. Fresh ingredients, precise measurements, skillful techniques, and patience will result in a pie that you will be proud of.
The first step towards building a great small business website is to obtain a good domain name. Your domain name is your website address and is often the entry point of your website. Your domain name must make a good impression on your target audience, as well as for search results purposes.
Here are some tips to take into consideration when creating a domain name:
- Keep it short
- Make it easy to spell
- Use proper domain extension
- Research the domain name to ensure that it’s not already used
- Make it memorable
- Avoid hyphens or numbers
- Avoid nonsensical names
- Create an SEO-friendly URL
- Make sure the price is right
A website host offers the necessary technology and services for a website to be viewed online. When your domain name is connected to a web hosting service, then your website is live and able to be visited.
A few popular website hosting companies include:
You must let people know who you are and what you do. You don’t want users to be confused about what your services are in any way. Providing a clear description of your small business is essential.
Content is the foundational groundwork in which your website stands on. It contains high-ranking key terms that improve your website’s search results on major search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. You want to make sure that you use a high=quality content management system to create and manage digital content.
You should choose your content management system (CMS) that is designed to fit your unique needs. It should be engaging and contain plenty of information that is relevant to your business. If you choose to handle your content on your own, then researching your niche market is highly recommended. If you decide to hire a professional content writer and web developer, then your content will go much further.
Your content should be regularly published and updated based on online trends. Social media posts, blog posts, and website content should always be adjusted to suit your needs and to appeal to your audiences. You should update your content as much as possible to make your website more attractive to both customers and to the search engines.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO involves the set of practices that ensure search engine rankings when applied to your website. It makes your website recognized online by significant search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Search engine crawlers put your website in competition with other sites that have similar content. The better your website and web content are, the higher your website will appear on the search engine results pages.
High-quality SEO involves the following practices:
- Keyword research and implementation
- Fast loading speed
- Having a mobile-friendly website
- Having a secure SSL certificate installed
- High-quality backlinks
- Positive reviews
- Social media links
- Optimal website code
How Much Does it Cost to Build A Website For A Small Business?
There are many website builders to choose from. Some builders are free tools to build small business websites. Others offer monthly subscription services that help you to develop and maintain your site whenever you want.
WordPress is one of the most popular website builders available, equipped with a content management system based on PHP, featured plug-in architecture, and an extensive template system. For most website builders, like WordPress, the cost can be broken down into four categories:
- Web Hosting
- Domain Name
- Web Design
- Plug-ins & Extensions (Apps)
A domain name typically costs $14.99 per year whole web hosting costs $7.99 per month. You’re higher costs generally exist within your marketing efforts. Professional web designers and developers can cost an upwards of $75-$150 per hour or require a monthly retainer of $750-$1,500.
Depending on your website building needs, your overall cost can be anywhere from $100-$30,000. It has everything to do with how in-depth you want your website to be. It’s never advised that you don’t spend money that isn’t vital to improving your website presence. If your small business isn’t relevant online, then your small business isn’t relevant.
The bottom line is that an investment in marketing your website, social media pages, and online campaigns is always a sound investment.