If you do not have a website for your business in the 21st Century you are probably competing at a distinct disadvantage. According to smallbusiness.com, in 2017 over 70% of small business had a website and 90% of those that don’t were planning to get one online within a year. Your business needs to get online or risk being left in the digital dust by your competitors.
There are some factors that differentiate a business site from a personal site that may be used as a blogging platform or the showcase your portfolio. Your site needs to be more robust and take security extremely seriously. With your online presence comes new threats to your customer’s data and your business in general that need to be addressed from the day your website goes live on the web.
If you already have a business website then you are ahead of the game. If not, here are some tips on how to make a website that helps your business actually make money which is the underlying goal of just about every business out there.
Choose Your Domain Name Wisely
Your domain name is the equivalent of your online address. It is the way customers will find you either through a direct link or through an Internet search. You want the name to be as simple as possible while still representing either your company’s name or some aspect of its commercial offering. Avoid long and complicated names or cute names that might turn off serious inquiries aimed at your business.
Determine Where You Will Host Your Site
Take the time to thoroughly research your options in a web hosting service. There are some specific items to look for that may not be as important in a personal site, but are critical to the chances of creating a successful business site. You need a posting service that offers high-security and SSL to protect you and your customers’ data and personal information.
The ability to increase your site’s bandwidth and storage capacity as you need it is a vital component of a viable business site. Speed is another important factor, as you want your visitors to be able to navigate around your site quickly and seamlessly. According to a study by Dynatrace referenced on bbc.com, a half-second delay can lead to 10% fewer sales for an online business. That could be the difference between your business succeeding and failing. A related statistic is your site’s uptime. Anything less than 99.95% uptime is not acceptable for an online business website.
Focus on the Purpose of Your Website
A business website can take a number of different forms. You might be creating a fairly static site to present information to prospective customers such as user guides and white papers. A site with this type of emphasis will necessarily be designed differently than a dynamic e-commerce store where new products are being introduced regularly. Knowing the purpose and intent of your site will lead to better design decisions and leave you with a website that actually does what you wanted it to do.
Choose a Method of Building Your Site
You might have a team of web designers and developers on hand who can create your site from scratch. This gives you total control of every aspect of your website. If that is the case, then go for it.
A more likely scenario is that no one in your organization has those particular skill sets to the degree required to build and maintain a viable business website. Using a website builder such as WordPress or Wix is an alternative that can enable you to get a quality business website designed and running in a short period of time.
Create Your Content and Web Pages
The reason you decided to make a business website in the first place is to better serve your customers and attract new clients that will help grow your company. One way to do that is to create compelling content and web pages that offer your visitor value and make it easy for them to find what they need on your site.
One of the most important pages you will have is your contact page, where customers find out how they can get in touch with you. It should include phone numbers, email addresses, and your physical location if that is appropriate for your particular business. Don’t make users hunt around trying to find out how to contact you.
Content that adds value is key to maintaining the interest of your visitors. Consider product videos, how-to demonstrations, and free downloadable materials that can help turn a random visitor into a customer. Call to action buttons should be placed on your pages to elicit a response from your visitors. Rather than a loud “BUY NOW” button, try a more subtle approach such as “Contact us to learn more”.
Set Up Your Payment System
Not all business sites will be accepting payments. If your site is purely informational then you don’t need to worry about this aspect of your site. An e-commerce site will need to be prepared to accept credit cards, PayPal, and other forms of payment.
Depending on how you chose to host your business website, your hosting service may provide some support in this area. Your choice of website construction can also help with payment details, as there are plugins available for a WordPress site that make accepting online payments a simple task.
Market Your Site
Take advantage of social media as one of the avenues to use in marketing your website. Create social media accounts on all of the platforms that you think your customers will be using and post to them whenever you update your site. Employ strong Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tactics to help your site get noticed by the search engines and drive more traffic your way.
These are some tips that you should keep in mind when making a business website. Stay focused on the goals of your business and use the website as an ancillary tool that can help your business grow and reach the potential you envision for it.
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