As a small business owner, you may have heard that having an online presence is important for boosting recognition and sales. And with so much competition out there, it’s essential to have a website that stands out. But having a great website isn’t as simple as just throwing up some content and calling it done. There are specific steps you need to follow to make sure your website looks good and functions properly. By following these 10 essential steps, you’ll be well on your way to having a successful small business website!
Let’s take a look at the must-haves for creating an effective website for your small business.
Small business owners often face many challenges when trying to create a website for their business. One of the most common issues is that they don’t know where to start, which can make it difficult to build an effective website. Even though there are plenty of DIY website builders available, figuring out how to use them properly can be tricky. Furthermore, many small business owners don’t have the technical expertise to tackle tasks such as finding and registering a domain name or setting up social media accounts and links.
Fortunately, by following 10 essential steps, you can avoid common mistakes and create a website that looks great and functions properly.
1. How to Choose the Right Domain Name for Your Business
Choosing the right domain name for your business website is essential to ensure that you have a successful online presence. Short, memorable domain names are key in helping visitors find and remember your website. They should be easy to type and spell, as well as keyword-rich so people can search for them easily on search engines. Additionally, having a domain name that is closely related to your business can help people recognize it more easily. There are some great online tools for finding domain name combinations, such as NameMesh
, that can help you find the perfect name for your business. Make sure to do your research and take the time to create a great domain name that will draw visitors and boost sales. This is a crucial step when setting up your website, so make sure you take the time to get it right!
Different Types of Domain Extensions: Which One is Right for You?
When choosing a domain name for your business website, it’s important to understand the different types of domain extensions that are available. The most common extension is .com, but there are other options such as .net and .org that can be used for specific purposes. For example, if your website is for a non-profit organization, then .org may be the best option. Likewise, .net could be used for a company that provides web hosting services. It’s also possible to use country-specific domain extensions such as .ca or .us. Knowing which extension to choose can help you create a great small business website that is more likely to be found by potential customers.
How to Register Your New Domain Name
Once you’ve chosen a great domain name for your business website, it’s time to register it. This is important because it gives you the legal right to use that domain name and prevents someone else from claiming it. You can register your domain name through a domain registrar or web hosting service. Make sure to research the different options and pick one that is reliable, secure, and reasonably priced. Additionally, it’s important to read the terms of service carefully so you understand exactly what you are getting when you register your domain name. By taking the time to do this step properly, you’ll ensure that your website is set up for success.
Understanding the Cost of Domain Registration
When registering your domain name, it’s important to understand the cost associated with it. The cost will vary depending on the type of extension you choose and how long you want to register the domain name for. Additionally, some registrars offer discounts or promotional offers, so be sure to look for any deals that could help you save money. Also, consider if your web hosting service provides domain registration services as this can be a convenient and cost-effective option. As well, make sure to turn on the auto renew option so your domain name doesn’t expire. By understanding the cost of domain registration and taking advantage of any discounts or promotional offers, you can save money while also ensuring that your business website is set up properly.
2. Find the right hosting service for your small business
Finding the right hosting service for your small business website is essential to its success. A good hosting service can help make your website faster to load, secure from potential threats, offer easy DNS management, and provide other helpful features. Additionally, they can help you create backups of your website so that if something goes wrong, you won’t lose all your hard work. There are many different hosting services to choose from, such as shared hosting, VPS (Virtual Private Server), dedicated server hosting, cloud-based hosting, and more. Each type of hosting has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to do your research to make sure you choose the right one for your small business website. Most hosting providers also offer customer support and assistance in setting up your website, which can be invaluable when starting out.
Additionally, make sure to read reviews and compare the different services offered before making a decision. By taking the time to do your research, you can ensure that your business website is set up to be successful.
Shared hosting is a popular choice for small business websites due to its cost-effectiveness and ease of use. With shared hosting, multiple websites are hosted on the same server and share resources such as disk space, bandwidth, and processing power. This makes it an affordable option for businesses that don’t need a lot of storage or traffic. Additionally, most shared hosting services come with a user-friendly control panel and customer support, making it easy to manage your website without any technical knowledge. However, because of the limited resources, shared hosting may not be suitable for businesses that experience high amounts of traffic or require complex applications such as e-Commerce sites.
VPS (Virtual Private Server)
VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting is a great option for businesses that need more power than what’s offered by shared hosting, but don’t have the budget or technical expertise required to manage a dedicated server. With VPS hosting, each website has its own virtual environment, giving it access to dedicated resources such as bandwidth and processing power. Additionally, VPS hosting is often more secure than shared hosting as it offers better protection against potential threats.
Dedicated server hosting is a great option for businesses that need more power than what’s offered by shared hosting. With dedicated hosting, the entire server is allocated to one website, giving it access to all the resources such as bandwidth and processing power. This makes it ideal for businesses that experience high amounts of traffic or require complex applications such as e-Commerce sites. Additionally, dedicated hosting is often more secure as it provides better protection against potential threats. However, due to the cost and technical expertise required to manage a dedicated server, this option is usually only suitable for larger businesses with a larger budget.
Some popular website hosting companies include:
3. Choose the best platform to build or CMS
Choosing the best platform or CMS for your small business website is essential in order to create a successful website. Platforms such as WordPress, Drupal and Joomla are incredibly popular and user-friendly, making them a great choice for beginners who don’t have a lot of technical knowledge. However, there are other options available such as Square, Squarespace and Wix. Each platform has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to do your research to find the one that best suits your business needs. Additionally, some platforms offer features such as e-Commerce integration and mobile-friendly themes, so make sure you consider these when choosing a platform for your website.
WordPress is one of the most popular and user-friendly content management systems (CMS) available today. It makes creating, managing and updating a website easy, even for those without any technical knowledge. Additionally, WordPress
has an extensive library of plugins and themes, allowing users to customize their website to create a unique look and feel. Furthermore, WordPress is mobile-friendly and offers e-Commerce integration, making it the perfect platform for small businesses looking to build a successful online presence.
is an open-source content management system (CMS) that’s written in PHP and has been steadily growing in popularity over the past few years. It offers a range of features, including customizable themes and plugins, and is highly secure. Additionally, it’s mobile-friendly and offers e-Commerce integration, making it a great choice for small businesses looking to build an online presence.
is another open-source content management system (CMS) that is highly customizable and user-friendly, making it a great choice for small businesses. With Joomla, users can easily build and manage complex websites with minimal technical knowledge. Additionally, it offers a range of features such as customizable themes, plugins, mobile-friendly design, and e-Commerce integration.
is a popular platform for small businesses due to its ease of use and wide range of features. It offers simple drag-and-drop website building tools that make creating a website straightforward, even for those without any technical knowledge. Additionally, Square allows users to easily customize their website to create a unique look and feel with a range of templates, plugins, and themes. It also offers mobile-friendly design and e-Commerce integration to make your website a success.
is another popular and user-friendly content management system (CMS) that allows users to easily build and manage complex websites with minimal technical knowledge. It offers an extensive library of templates, plugins and themes to customize your website, and it is mobile-friendly and offers e-Commerce integration. Additionally, Squarespace also provides users with tools to easily create content, including photos, videos and blog posts.
Wix is another popular and user-friendly content management system (CMS) that allows users to easily build and manage complex websites with minimal technical knowledge. It offers an array of features including customizable themes, plugins, mobile-friendly design, and e-Commerce integration. Additionally, Wix
offers a range of tools to help you create content and optimize your website for SEO, making it an ideal platform for small businesses looking to build a successful online presence.
Shopify is an increasingly popular choice for small businesses looking to build a successful online presence. It is a comprehensive and easy-to-use content management system (CMS) that provides a range of features to make creating, managing and updating a website effortless. Shopify
offers customizable themes, plugins and templates, making it easy to create a website that fits your brand. Additionally, it is mobile-friendly and offers e-Commerce integration to make selling products or services on your site a breeze.
4. Create a design that represents your brand and had a great UX
Creating a design that accurately represents your brand and offers a great user experience (UX) is essential for having a successful small business website. A good design should be visually appealing, communicate your message clearly, and be easy to navigate.
It’s important to pay attention to the overall look and feel of your website, including the colors, fonts, and imagery used. Additionally, optimizing your website for mobile devices is key to providing a great user experience as more and more people are using their phones and tablets to access websites.
Make sure you understand your brand and its core values so that you can create a design that accurately reflects them. Consider the overall look and feel of your website, including color palettes, fonts, logos, and visuals.
Choose Aesthetic Elements
Select an aesthetic style for your website that is visually appealing and communicates your message clearly. Use visuals, such as images and videos, to draw attention to important features on your website.
Make sure that your website is mobile-friendly so it’s accessible to people using phones and tablets. Pay attention to the look of your website on different devices and ensure that your website’s elements are properly sized and spaced.
Focus on creating a user experience that is seamless and intuitive. Make sure the navigation of your website is easy to use, allowing visitors to find what they need quickly and easily. Additionally, consider adding interactive features, such as live chat and quizzes, to keep visitors engaged.
Once you’ve created your design, test it out with friends or family to get an idea of how easy it is to navigate and understand. Take feedback from them and make adjustments accordingly for a better user experience.
5. Add content, including images and videos to your website
Small business website owners need to consider adding original content, including images and videos to their websites in order for them to be successful. This will help engage visitors and keep them interested in the site. Content is a great way to showcase your products or services and can help drive more traffic to your website.
One of the items that are often overlooked when creating a website, is accessibility. When creating content, make sure that it is accessible to people with disabilities. This can include providing transcripts of audio and video files, providing alternatives to visuals, and making sure the colour contrast on your website meets accessibility standards. Accessibility helps your site reach a wider audience, which can lead to more traffic and customers.
6. Tips for making your website mobile-friendly
Mobile devices are becoming more and more prevalent in today’s digital world, so it’s essential for small business website owners to make sure their websites are optimized for mobile devices. Not only will having a mobile-friendly website help you reach more potential customers, but it also has other advantages such as enhanced user experience, improved performance, and better search engine rankings. Many of the CRM’s and website builders have mobile-friendly features built in, so make sure to utilize these to the best of your ability. Additionally, consider reducing large images and videos into smaller sizes that are easier to load on mobile devices. This will ensure your website is optimized for both desktop and mobile experiences. Finally, make sure to test out your website on different devices.
Consider optimizing the size of the fonts and text
When creating a website, it is important to optimize the size of your fonts and text when viewed on mobile devices. This ensures that your message is communicated clearly and effectively, especially when viewed on a small device. Having larger fonts can help make your text easier to read and understand on smaller screens.
As well, use contrasting colours for fonts and backgrounds in order to help draw attention to the important information on your website. This makes it easier for viewers to focus on specific areas of your website that you want them to.
Optimizing the images that appear on your website is essential for creating an effective mobile experience. Having large and high-quality images on your website can be great for showcasing products or services, but they can also cause your website to load slowly, resulting in decreased user experience. To avoid this, make sure to optimize the size of your images by compressing them before uploading them to your website. This can help reduce load times, making for a better mobile experience. Additionally, be sure to use images that are relevant and appropriate for the content on your website – low-quality or irrelevant images can distract from the message you’re trying to convey.
Ensure navigation menus are easy to use
Navigation menus are a critical component of any website, especially on mobile devices. When designing for mobile, it is important to ensure that users can easily access the different sections of your website. Easy-to-use navigation menus help make websites more user-friendly and provide an enjoyable experience for visitors. Many of the CRM’s mentioned earlier have mobile-friendly design options, including drop-down menus and hamburger icons. These tools are great for making sure your website is easy to navigate on any device.
Additionally, you may want to look into implementing mobile-specific features such as click to call
When creating a website, it is important to consider the mobile experience. Mobile-specific features such as click to call can be extremely helpful when viewed on mobile devices. This feature allows potential customers to quickly and easily contact you with a single tap of their finger. By implementing this feature, you can make it easier for users to get in touch and can help increase customer engagement.
7. Setting up social media accounts and links for your small business
Setting up social media accounts and links for your small business is essential for increasing visibility, engaging with customers, and building relationships. Having a presence on social media can help you reach potential customers and boost brand awareness. Additionally, it can be a great way to showcase your products or services and provide customer support. Whether you are B2B or B2C, having an active presence on social media can be beneficial for your small business. To get started, research the best platforms for your business and set up your accounts – it only takes a few minutes to create profiles on most sites. Once you’re done with that, start adding content and engaging with potential customers to help grow your business.
Facebook is one of the most popular social media platforms, with over 2.8 billion monthly active users in 2021. It’s an invaluable tool for small businesses as it helps you to reach a wide variety of customers and build relationships with them. With Facebook
, you can share content, advertise your business, and engage with potential customers. It’s also a great way to showcase your products or services and provide customer support. When setting up your Facebook account, make sure to tailor the content you post to your target demographic.
Instagram is another popular social media platform with over 1 billion users worldwide, making it a powerful tools for small businesses. With Instagram
, you can create visually appealing content to showcase your products or services and reach potential customers. Additionally, you can use Instagram Stories to promote specials and discounts, and interact with customers through polls and quizzes.
Twitter is an invaluable tool for small businesses to reach potential customers and build relationships with them. With over 330 million monthly active users, Twitter
allows you to easily share interesting content and gain visibility. Additionally, you can use Twitter polls and surveys to get feedback from customers or engage with followers. You can also use hashtags and keywords to target the right demographic for your small business. When setting up your Twitter account, make sure to create engaging content that resonates with the audience you’re trying to reach. Twitter is more conversational than other platforms, so make sure your tweets are aimed at getting customers to engage with you.
TikTok is a fast-growing social media platform with over 100 million monthly active users. It’s an invaluable tool for small businesses to showcase their products or services, engage with potential customers and build relationships with them. With TikTok
, you can create entertaining and creative content to grab the attention of your target audience. The demographics of TikTok users range from teens and young adults, making it a great way to reach Gen Z or young millennials.
Pinterest is a powerful tool for small businesses to reach potential customers and showcase their products or services. With over 320 million monthly active users, Pinterest
allows you to easily create visually appealing content that resonates with the right demographic. Additionally, you can use Pinterest boards and pins to create collections of images, videos, and other content that’s relevant to your business. The demographics of Pinterest users tend to be more female than male, making it a great way to reach female customers.
LinkedIn is an invaluable tool for small businesses to boost their visibility and reach potential customers. With over 700 million users worldwide, LinkedIn
offers powerful networking opportunities and allows you to showcase your products or services. It also provides a platform to engage with other professionals, build relationships with them, and grow your business. The demographics of LinkedIn users tend to skew more toward older professionals, making it a great way to target business owners and executives. LinkedIn is a great way to market to B2B customers and promote your products or services.
8. Use SEO to increase your website’s visibility
(Search Engine Optimization) is an essential step to creating a successful small business website. SEO helps your website to be more visible in search engine results, which in turn increases the likelihood that potential customers will find and visit your website. To maximize your SEO efforts, make sure to use relevant keywords throughout your website content and optimize page titles and meta descriptions. Additionally, create quality backlinks from other websites to point to your website. This will help boost organic traffic and visibility for your small business website. Utilizing SEO is a great way to get more customers and increase sales for your small business.
The first step to utilizing SEO is identifying the right keywords that best represent your business and products/services. Conduct keyword research to determine which terms potential customers are likely to use when searching for businesses like yours. Please do not Keyword Stuff your pages, as it will be detrimental to your website. Use keywords in a natural way throughout the text, title tags and meta descriptions of each page.
Optimize Page Titles, Headings and Meta Descriptions
Make sure that your page titles, headings and meta descriptions are optimized for targeted keywords. This will help improve your website’s relevance in search engine results. There are many blogs and videos going into depth about how to create effective page titles and meta descriptions.
Link building is an important part of SEO to increase your website’s visibility. Look to create quality backlinks from reputable websites that point to your own website. There are many videos online on link-building strategies.
9. Track website performance using Google Analytics and GSC to measure success
Tracking website performance is an essential step to creating a successful small business website. By using data-driven tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console (GSC), you can measure the success of your website and make informed decisions about how to improve your online presence.
Google Analytics is a great tool for tracking how people interact with your website. It provides valuable insights such as the number of visitors, time spent on pages, bounce rate, and more. This data helps you understand how people are using your website and can help you identify areas that need improvement.
Google Search Console (GSC)
Google Search Console (GSC) is a great tool to measure the success of your SEO efforts and track keywords and other metrics. GSC can help you identify opportunities to improve your website’s visibility in search engine results.
By utilizing these two tools, you will have a better understanding of how people are interacting with your website and how to improve it going forward. This data is invaluable when creating a successful small business website.
10. Regularly update your website’s content and design
You’ve probably heard, Content is King. It’s True.
Regularly updating the content and design of your small business website is an essential step to creating a successful online presence. By regularly updating your website, you can ensure that it remains relevant in today’s competitive market and that customers are getting the most up-to-date information about your products and services. Google loves new content, so make sure to regularly add new blog posts or other content to your site.
Video content is becoming increasingly important for small business websites. With a growing number of consumers turning to online platforms for their shopping needs, it’s essential that small businesses incorporate video content into their websites in order to effectively reach and engage new customers.
can be used to showcase products, services and the company itself in an engaging way. It can also be used to demonstrate how to use products, answer FAQs and provide helpful tips. By using video content on your website, you can create a more engaging and informative experience for customers.
Photos are a great way to add visual appeal to a small business website. High-quality images can create a more engaging experience for customers and make it easier for them to find the information they’re looking for. Photos also help bring life and personality to a website, making customers feel like they’re getting an intimate look into the company and its products.
When using photos, make sure they are relevant to the content of your site and high-quality. This will help create a more professional and polished look to your website that customers will appreciate. Try not using stock images as they can sometimes feel impersonal. Instead, use images that feature your products, customers, or team members to create a more personal connection with visitors.
By using photos on your small business website, you can create a more engaging and informative experience for customers. This will help build trust and loyalty and make it easier for customers to find the information they’re looking for.
Copy is an important component of any small business website. Good copywriting conveys the message of your brand and explains why customers should choose you over your competitors. It also helps to create an emotional connection with customers and encourages them to take action.
Copywriting can be used to create a compelling product or service descriptions, explain the benefits of the product or service, and explain why customers should choose you. It can also be used to create blog posts, articles and other content that adds value for customers.
By using copywriting on your website, you can create a more engaging experience for customers and improve your chances of converting them into paying customers.
To create a successful small business website, you need to consider many different factors. You need to find and register a domain name, choose the right hosting service, create a design that represents your brand, add content (including images and videos), make sure your website is mobile-friendly, set up social media accounts and links, use SEO to increase your website’s visibility, and track website analytics. By following these 10 essential steps, you’ll be on your way to having a successful small business website!
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Do I need a website?
Yes! A website is an essential tool for any small business. It not only helps you to reach a larger audience but also helps create trust and loyalty with customers.
What should I include on my website?
Your website should include information about your products or services, contact information, customer reviews, and a blog. You should also make sure to include visuals like photos, videos, or illustrations to make your website more engaging for customers.
How do I make my website mobile-friendly?
Your web host may offer a tool that can help you create a mobile-friendly version of your site. Otherwise, you may need to hire a web designer to create a custom mobile-friendly design.