A Small Business Guide: How to Create a Small Business Website?

 25 Jul, 2022

Introduction

If you want to be successful in today's market, you'll need to establish a digital presence. While most of the big players have carved out a niche with a strong online presence, a  lack of funds forces others to fall behind. Small businesses and start-ups are especially wary of investing in websites because of their limited budgets.

Are you one of those businesses planning to go online but unsure about how to proceed with it? 

Don’t worry! 

We have got you covered on how to make a website for a small business. When it comes to creating a small business website, it's no longer difficult to do so on your own. 

We'll walk you through the process of how to make a small business website in this article.

In order to design a website, you need to know what the users want, from the broadest statement of the underlying principle to the site's current and future goals. During this brainstorming phase, everyone who will be involved in the design of your e-commerce site must think about what the site must accomplish and how it must accomplish it. 

As a result, some of these questions necessitate a thorough understanding of how and why your site sells its products. At the same time, it's critical to recognize and research your competition to see if it has any impact on the design of your website.

Let us look at why having a website is a must for a small business:

  1. A website gives potential customers quick access to information about your product or service.
  2. Customers can get the information they need whenever they want because there is no time constraint on your website.
  3. A company's online presence aids in branding and establishing trust with potential clients. When a website is well-designed and professional-looking, it adds credibility.
  4. With a website, you can network with other businesses around the world 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with no restrictions.
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The Things to Keep in Mind when Designing a Small Business Website

Before you learn how to start a website for a small business, you need to understand a few things. First things first, there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to designing a website. In order to make use of design elements and tools and achieve your objectives, you must first consider what you want to accomplish.

Ask yourself these questions before you begin building your small business website:

  • What do you need to tell your visitors about your site?
  • After visiting your website, what are you hoping that site visitors will do (such as making an online purchase, visiting your physical location, or requesting a quote)?
  • How will you present your goods and services to the public?
  • In order to sell yourself to potential clients or customers, do you need an online portfolio?
  • You should also take into account how many people will be visiting your website. 

    There is a lot more attention paid to online businesses than to local businesses that rely on in-person sales. Your website's needs in this area will determine which platforms and hosting providers are best suited for you.

    How to Make a Professional Small Business Website

    Many of the challenges of building a small business eCommerce site can be avoided if you have the right team in place and the right processes in place. During the course of your project's milestones, it moves from a concept to a working product that generates revenue for your business online. 

    So let us go step-by-step process of how to create a small business website.

    Step 1: Select the best website builder for your small business website

    There are a plethora of website builders available to assist you in launching your website. Some website builders require you to have a working knowledge of HTML and CSS, while others do all the heavy lifting for you.

    The best option is to go with a solution that allows you to build a website without any prior knowledge of coding.

    WordPress: WordPress comes in two versions- free and paid. We'll concentrate on WordPress.org because it provides the most robust features and gives you greater control over your website's appearance and content. 

    Third-Party Website Builders: Consider using a reputable website builder if you prefer an all-in-one solution. A drag-and-drop tool is used to customize these platforms' pre-built website designs. You won't have to rely on a third-party provider for hosting, but your design options will be limited. You won't have to rely on a third-party provider for hosting, but your design options will be limited.

    Hosted website builders' prices vary according to the plan you select. WordPress, on the other hand, is an open-source project, which means that it is free to download. However, finding a web hosting provider will be your responsibility and incur additional costs.

    Step 2: Purchase a domain name

    Your company needs a domain name if you want to establish credibility online and convince customers that you are the real deal. In addition to protecting your brand, having a domain name can help you rank higher in search engine results.

    Consider your domain name to be an online equivalent of your physical address. What people will find about you on the internet is determined by your online presence.

    Be as specific as possible when choosing a domain name. To keep customers coming back, make sure the domain is easy to find and the name is easy to remember.

    Numbers, hyphens, and abbreviations should be avoided when registering a domain name. And, of course, you should always check to see if the domain name you want is available for purchase! Even if you've already taken all of the social media usernames for a domain name, finding out that it's already taken is the worst thing that can happen to you.

    There are several online generators that can provide you with some inspiration if you're unsure of the name you should choose. 

    Step 3: Find a hosting company

    This step isn't necessary for you unless you're using an all-in-one website builder. But while you are going on about how to create a free small business website, there are chances that WordPress is your go-to choice. So keep reading if you're a WordPress user.

    There are a number of excellent beginner-friendly web hosts out there. They provide the following services:

    • Customer care is available round-the-clock.
    • Free SSL certificate
    • Your plan comes with a free domain name for the first year
    • A dashboard that is easy to use
    • Integrated safety measures
    • Optimizing WordPress features

    Step 4: Obtain and install the WordPress software

    You will be prompted to enter your personal information, such as your name, address, and email address after you have selected your domain name. You can skip this step if you prefer to use an all-in-one website builder. However, if you want to use WordPress and a hosting company, you'll have to set up the Content Management System (CMS).

    You'll find some additional hosting options down there that you can buy. Unchecking these options is a good idea because we don't recommend purchasing them immediately. If you need them, you can always add them later. You'll need to enter your credit card information to complete the purchase.

    You'll receive an email with instructions on how to log into your web hosting control panel after making a purchase. You'll be able to access your WordPress site from the hosting dashboard after the installation is complete. Once you've logged in, you'll see the WordPress administration area. Manage your website from here, including changing

    Step 5: Create a brand identity with a logo

    If you don't already have a logo for your business, now is the time to do so.

    Logo is one of the most important aspects of establishing a brand's visual identity. You can use it as a visual representation of your company. You want your customers to be able to tell right away whether something is associated with your business, so it's important that you use a variety of means of communicating with them. If you already have a logo for your business, now is a great time to consolidate all the files into a single location.

    Step 6: Choose a theme or template

    You can easily alter a plethora of pre-made templates and themes. Several of them are also free to use. You can make changes to a theme after you've installed and activated it. Also, you can look into premium themes for your small business website. 

    After that, you'll be taken directly to the editing screen, where you can make changes to virtually every aspect of your site. It's a good idea to double-check the appearance of any front-end changes before implementing them.

    Step 7: Design the content layout

    Following the selection of a theme, you can now outline the content of your website. For small businesses, simple and standard website layouts are essential.

    To create a new page, simply navigate to Pages » Add New page.

    Now is not the time to obsess over the written and visual elements of the presentation. Including a title, some text, and a few images would be sufficient in your post. You can always do so later if you need to add more information to these pages.

    Here are some of the most frequently used web pages in the design of a small business site

    1.) Your website's Homepage serves as the first impression visitors get of your business. If you have a services or products page or a contact page, include a call to action with your company name. Make it clear why your customers should choose you in a clear manner.

    eCommerce homepage

    2.) When it comes to making a purchasing decision, customers want to know more about the people who run the company. Set up an About Us page on your website so that visitors can learn more about the business and the people behind it.

    eCommerce About us page

    3.) Create a Service Page to describe the services or products you offer. Add a heading and a brief description of each service or product Pricing information or a way for customers to get in touch with you can also be included.

    eCommerce service page

    4.) Users can get in touch with you through the Contact Us page. Contact forms must be added so that users can get in touch with you. You can also include the physical address or phone number of your business.

    eCommerce Contact page

    If necessary, you can also add additional pages to your website. 

      Step 8: Use plugins to enhance your website

      Plugins allow you to extend the functionality of your website. Small businesses may find it difficult to get the most out of their websites without the assistance of these tools.

      They're like apps for your website, only better. New features and functions like contact forms, Google Analytics, testimonials, and more can be added by installing them on your website.

      Installing as many plugins or extensions as possible can be tempting when so many options are available. Even if you don't want to, it could slow down your site or harm its performance.

      Because of this, we recommend focusing on the following areas:

      1. Enhancement of efficiency: A fast-loading website is a priority for most website owners. This means that caching and database optimization is necessary for your site's performance.
      2. Security: In order to protect your site from spam, hackers, and other malicious viruses, we recommend using a plugin.
      3. Backups: It's imperative that you have regular backups of your website's database and files in case something goes wrong.
      4. SEO: In order to attract new customers to your small business website, you can use search engine optimization or go for small business marketing services.
      5. E-commerce: You'll need an e-commerce plugin if you're running an online store for your small business.

      Plugins and extensions with high ratings and regular updates are the best options. Check out other users' reviews to see if the plugin is a good fit for your needs before purchasing.

      eCommerce plugins

      Step 9: Optimize your search engine

      Once you've put content online, you still need to make it easy for people to discover it. The use of SEO is one strategy that can aid in this endeavor.

      Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving your content so that it appears higher in search engine results (SERPs). Among the most important things to bear in mind are the following:

      • Your posts and pages should be optimized for the right keywords
      • Enhancing the speed of your website
      • Responsive design to ensure that your content is accessible across all platforms
      • Make use of internal and external links on your website
      • Include the title of the post in URLs
      • Hire a small business marketing company to do everything for you

      Step 10: Before promoting your site, make sure it works

      Get a second opinion from someone you can trust after you have gone through the above steps on how to design a website for a small business.

      As a business owner, it's easy to overlook things that seem obvious to you but aren't so obvious to someone who is just learning about your company. Having a trusted confidant click around your site is a great way to get a sense of how people will navigate your site and where they could get hung up.

      Step 11: Make your website public

      You can keep your site private while you're building it and then publish the site when you're ready for the public. However, you should check a few things before launching your website into the public eye.

      • Make sure your website is readable on a mobile device by testing it out
      • Make sure all of your information is correct before submitting it
      • Make sure your theme or template doesn't have any extraneous text or images
      • You may want to contact your current customers to inform them that your new website is up and running
      • You can also use social media and email to promote your website

      Step 12: Regularly update the website for your small business

      It's important to ensure your website is being properly maintained now that it's out in the open. 

      • Do you have any seasonal shifts in your workday schedules? 
      • What new products or services are you offering this month? 
      • Is there a new promotion going on at this time? 

      Your website should be updated for all of these reasons.

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      What you can do to Boost Website Traffic for your Small Business

      Now that you have gone through the steps on how to design a small business website, here are some key points to consider for building trust on your website. There are a number of ways to boost traffic to your small business's website, and each has its own advantages.

      1. Create high-quality content

      Content truly is king when it comes to boosting your website's visibility in search engines like Google and Bing. Having high-quality content is one of Google's top ranking factors, ranking as high as factor number five.

      Content of high quality can be found in a variety of ways, including:

      • Blogs
      • Pages on the Internet
      • Newsletters
      • Case studies 
      • Webinars
      • Whitepapers
      • Emails
      • Press release

      2. Adhere to standard search engine optimization procedures

      Small business marketing firms can guide you through the process to rank higher on the Search Engine. Additionally. for SEO, there are numerous best practices that should be followed, but here is a list of essentials:

      • Search engines use title tags to determine what the page is about. Each page should have its own unique title tag.
      • When a user searches for a specific term, the meta description appears below the search engine's results page title (SERP). This is a brief summary of what the page is about and whether or not it's relevant to the reader.
      • Each web page should have a specific set of targeted keywords and key phrases. These should be as unique and original as possible to avoid being penalized by search engines.
      • An image's ALT tag acts as a targeted keyword for the web page on which it appears. They serve as a description to the search engine, letting it know what the image is about.
      • You can use relevant keywords as anchor text for internal page links on your website. A small business marketing consultant can help you figure that out in detail.

      3. Secure your web presence

      Search engines such as Google now favor secure websites over HTTP ones. An internet protocol called Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure protects the integrity and confidentiality of user data by encrypting it.

      It may be low on the list of ranking factors, but search engines are encouraging more websites to secure their sites so that customers can feel more secure when they shop.

      4. Make use of social media

      Social media can be a great way to boost traffic to your small business's website. Small businesses should take into account the following social media sites as top performers:

      • Facebook 
      • YouTube 
      • Twitter 
      • LinkedIn
      • Instagram
      • Pinterest

      When it comes to promoting your website, there are a variety of ways to do so, depending on the social media platform you use.

      5. Ensure that your website is mobile-friendly

      A mobile-friendly website is more important than ever because more and more people are choosing to use their tablets and smartphones instead of their desktop computers when browsing the Internet. A responsive website is one that adapts its appearance to the device on which it is being viewed, whether you are designing a new website from scratch or redesigning an existing one.

      6. Use email marketing strategy

      One of the most effective ways to increase traffic to your website is through email marketing efforts. In fact, given that most customers prefer to hear from their favorite brands via email rather than social media, this may be your best option.

      Whether it's through hyperlinked anchor text, linked images, or specifically designated call-to-action buttons, email offers brands a plethora of ways to direct readers to their website.

      7. Reviews, Testimonials, and Highlights

      The most powerful trust signals you can display on your website are customer reviews and testimonials. Customers will look at your previous customers to get a sense of what they can expect when they shop with you. The feedback you display will have an impact on nine out of ten buyers.

      • There is no substitute for video testimonials
      • Your picture, name, and company should all be included
      • Use the logos of your clients and partners to demonstrate your credibility to others
      • You can list the places where your products or services have been featured
      • Your homepage, about us page, and contact page are all good places to put customer testimonials, so make sure they're prominently displayed

      8. Verify your company's authenticity

      Authenticity is a powerful tool for establishing your company's credibility as a legitimate enterprise. Personal images and stories can help you convey this message in your website redesign. Stock images and bland text should be avoided as much as possible.

      Use true images, stories, and videos. It's important to have an About Us page that tells the story of how you got here. It should include your mission, the promise you're making to your customers, your motivations, and your origin story, among other elements. Customers prefer to buy from people they know, and this page reveals more about you.

      9. Make use of your footer to include important information

      Your policy information should be easily accessible to potential customers. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and privacy policies can be included here. Regardless of where your customers are on your website, these should always be available to them. Credibility can be bolstered further by including trust-building elements in your footer, such as badges and awards. Customers are more likely to buy from a company that is open and accessible.

      10. Make yourself easily approachable

      This is the most obvious trust signal, so make sure your website gets it right! Include all of your company's contact information so that customers know they can reach you. Post your contact information, not just your phone number or email address.

      Include:

      • Your name, phone number, address, and email 
      • Social media links and contact forms

      Your reputation and trust with your customers will improve as a result of these multiple points of contact. 

      When you add these simple trust signals to your pages, you can immediately improve sales on your website. Start by adding authentic content, highlighting your best reviews, and selecting a website host that is safe and secure. After that, add a blog, footer-accessible policy links, and prominent contact information to your website.

      For more ideas on making your eCommerce small business successful, consider reading 10 Most Successful Small Business Ideas That Are Profitable & Low Cost.

      Conclusion

      If you want to reach a larger audience, you must have a website or other online presence. If you run a small business, you may not be able to afford to outsource web developers. But when it comes to marketing it, consider hiring a small business marketing agency.

      To summarize, here are the 12 steps on how to make a website for small business:

      • Select a website builder 
      • Purchase a domain name
      • Find a hosting company
      • Install the WordPress software
      • Create a brand identity 
      • Choose a theme or template
      • Design the content layout 
      • Use plugins
      • Search engine Optimization
      • Test your website
      • Make your website public
      • Regularly update your website 

      There's always something to work on. You can ensure that your website meets all of your needs by following the steps, advice, and guidance provided in our blog.

      Looking to Create a Small Business Website?
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      • Meeting Strict Budgets
      • Wider Target Audience
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