So, you’re at the exciting stage of planning your small business website, and are ready to get stuck in with promoting and marketing your business. A little unsure where to start? Or wanting to optimize your current website more? From choosing your domain name to SEO optimization, design tips and more, we’ve got you covered. Let’s take a look at how to set up a small business website!
How To Set Up A Small Business Website: Our Top Tips
- Choose Your Domain Name
Your domain name (aka your website address) holds more importance than most people realize. The name should be easy to remember, make a good impression for usability reasons and help with SEO.
It should be:
- As short as possible
- Easy to spell
- A proper domain extension (.com is preferable)
- Free of numbers, hyphens or any special characters
- Wide enough to make room for future growth (not too specific and limiting if you want to expand what you sell or offer)
- Memorable and catchy
- Individual – check to make sure other super similar site addresses don’t exist
- If possible, featuring keywords and a geo-location
- Find A Site Host
Website hosts are companies that offer the technology necessary for websites to be discovered and seen online. Your domain name connects with the website host so that when users visit your site, they are shown the correct website that is on your hosting account.
In terms of price, hosting services range from $2 upwards to over $100 per month, with both yearly and monthly plans available.
Here are some different options:
- Shared Server plans: These are at the low end of the price bracket because you are sharing a server and its resources with various other customers. This isn’t always great for site performance, and exposes you more to hacking and other issues.
- Dedicated Server plans: These are at the top price point, sometimes going up to a couple of thousand dollars per month. They perform optimally, all the resources are yours and it is a lot more secure. Due to the high price, we’d recommend these types of plans for later down the line when your business is more established.
- Virtual Private Server (VPS) plans: These range from around $20 to $50 per month. It acts as multiple machines even though it is one machine, with a great balance of affordability and security.
- Make What You Do Clear
As soon as people arrive on your site, they should know what you do and who you are. Your main homepage banner or ‘hero image’, banners and so on should represent your company, your values and your services. A small introduction at the top of your page to let visitors know what you do is also super important. Don’t forget to include ‘About Us’ links so that people can find out more about your company, how it began and so on to form an emotional connection.
- Choose A Content Management System
A content management system (also known as a CMS) is a program/application that allows you to make and manage digital content. Don’t worry, though, a good CMS helps you maintain your site without needing tons of technical knowledge to do so.
Some examples of great CMS include WordPress, Magnolia, Squarespace and Wix. Some of these companies also offer site builders with customization and monetization offers.
- Choose An E-Commerce Platform
If you need to be able to sell goods and/or services via your website, you’ll need the correct technology to make this possible.
There are various popular small business e-commerce platforms available, such as WooCommerce, Business Squarespace, GoDaddy, Wix and Shopify. Some of these are the same companies mentioned above, so if you want tons of options in one place, Wix or Squarespace might be for you!
- Get Working On Your User Interface
Your website should be memorable, leave a positive impression and drive results such as engagement and sales. Our tips for doing so are:
- Knowing your target audience, branding, brand values and more to make sure everything reflects who you are as a business, as well as appealing to visitors
- Make sure that the layout and navigation is easy to use, asking people to test for you and rate how they found the site to use
- Add in CTA (call to action) buttons such as ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Subscribe Now’
- Make sure your graphics and fonts are striking, high quality and engaging (and don’t forget to feature your logo!)
- Compress and optimize your graphics so that your site isn’t slow (this can actually lower your ranking in search engines like Google!)
- Get Optimizing
If you’re not familiar with SEO, it is essentially a group of practices that you apply to websites, videos, blog articles and more to help search engines rank you, and show you to search engine users. The better your design, content and so on is, the higher your site will rank on search engine result pages.
Some elements of SEO within websites include:
- Optimized website code
- Keyword research & implementation
- Fast loading speed on site
- SSL certificate installation
- Mobile-friendly optimization
- Internal linking and backlinks
- Positive reviews
- Linking from social media to site
- Consistent & High Quality Content
Consistent content and content that is regularly updated helps with search engine optimization, also. Therefore, it’s time to get planning things like articles, blog posts, new pages, optimization and more for your site. Keeping your website updated with fresh, relevant content such as new testimonials is great for SEO, customers and more, so it’s important to make a note to keep up with this and plan your content strategy ahead of time.
- Webmaster Tools
It sounds like we’re throwing yet another technical addition at you, but don’t fret! Webmaster tools simply help you to analyze traffic and site performance to keep track of things such as:
- Number of visitors that come to your site
- Page views
- Bounce rate (how many users come to your site and leave after viewing one page)
- Average time spent on site
- Site errors
- Broken links
- Keywords that brought visitors to the site
- Backlinks to your site from other websites
- Page download time
- Tons of other information that can help inform your decisions and enhance your SEO!
Some webmaster tools we would recommend include Google Analytics, Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools.
- Site Maintenance
Once your website is up and running, that doesn’t mean the hard work can stop! Your website shouldn’t get stale as it will drop your rankings, and be less appealing (and less discoverable) to customers. Make sure to implement a small business website maintenance plan, sketching out:
- Weekly or monthly checks of your Webmaster Tools to track any errors
- Traffic check ins that you can then use to tailor your content to your audience
- Regular checks that software is up to date and functioning correctly
- Security scans for malware, hacking and so on
- Consistent posting and updating of content (as mentioned above)
- Checking in with any feedback areas on the site from customers
- Competitor research
- Backing up of your site – this should be backed up for at least 10 days back, and checked on very regularly
Final Thoughts & How Audiosocket Can Help
This article is all about how making your small business website the best it can be can help your business thrive and reach as many potential customers as possible. If you’re planning on creating content for your website or business in general, such as YouTube videos, podcasts and so on, it’s time to start planning aspects like music. That’s where we can help!
If you are looking for authentic, top-quality music for your project, why not check out Audiosocket? Your content deserves the best, so sign up today and access 80,000+ songs to bring your vision to life!