A website is how online consumers develop the first impression, and a first impression can last a long time. Websites serve as an introduction to a business, but they also work as a point of contact and assist in search visibility and brand awareness. Having a killer website can set a business apart from its counterparts in a saturated market. However, mastering the website game is far from easy for small business owners. Below, we’ve detailed a 10-point strategy to help small business owners drive revenue with a fully functional website.
1. Gather Data Before Making the Jump
Not having a website is bad for business, but having a bad website is even worse. Many business websites don’t yield good results because they fail to impress and engage visitors with actionable steps. Websites fail because there’s hardly any thought process or strategy that went behind making them. Before launching your website, identify the purpose of the website, your customers’ online behavior, and your competitors’ performance metrics. If you want your website to be successful, be clear and precise in your approach, and develop clarity, you need to gather data.
Small Business Owner’s Guide – Step 2. Pick Your Website Platform
Website platforms can very much make or break your business website. If you’re just starting, you’ll find website builders to be particularly helpful. Website builders come with fully packaged solutions that include SSL certificates, themes, templates, and monthly maintenance. Top website builders, like Wix, will give you a perfect balance between cost, features, and support.
You can choose a content management system (CMS) if you prefer advanced functionality. A good CMS will give you more control over how your content and media perform on the website, but you’ll have to purchase additional features separately. If you’re planning to sell products directly from your website, you can use eCommerce platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, Squarespace, and Wix.
3. Find an Ideal Web Host
Once you have narrowed down the platform of your choice, you need to find a hosting solution to store all your content on the internet. Most web hosts offer solutions that are geared towards small businesses. Depending on your chosen plan, your website will be hosted on either shared servers, virtual private servers (VPS), or dedicated servers. Shared servers are often the cheapest option as they host your website and other websites, limiting web traffic. If your website is projected to attract quite a few visitors, you can opt for VPS, which will create a standalone space for your site. Dedicated servers are the costliest option, and it’s for businesses that want their own server with space and resources dedicated to their website.
Small Business Owner’s Guide – Step 4. Select a Domain Name
After picking a platform and host, now it’s time to buy a name. Ideally, you’d want your domain name to be short, precise, and as close to your business as possible, but it isn’t easy to find an original and memorable name for your business. You can try GoDaddy and Namecheap to find available domain names that suit your business. When selecting a domain name, try to avoid hyphens and distracting letters. In terms of domain extensions, .com is always the ideal option but depending on your country, you can choose .uk, .in, or .au, to name a few. If you serve an exact location, you can add it to your domain name for an SEO boost.
5. Implement Brand Identity
6. Fine-Tune the Website Copy
Once these elements are taken care of, it’s time to move on to the viewer-facing attributes. Website copy is what your visitors see the moment they land on your website. It’s the texts that tell readers everything you want to communicate. A good website copy across the website pages helps readers reach a certain goal, and if they’re not convinced with your work, they’ll move on to the next website. The power of good copywriting is immense. You can use websites like Upwork to find copywriters who can help you communicate the tone and language of your business and engage readers with a captivating copy.
Small Business Owner’s Guide – Step 7. Build Content
Having a compelling website copy is only half the job done. You need content marketing for long-term results if you want your business to grow. Copy is what drives sales. Content is everything that educates the readers. The purpose of content is to offer value, gradually build a brand presence inside the customer’s head, and increase website engagement. The most popular forms of content are blogs, articles, and news updates. Depending on your business type, you can experiment with videos, infographics, whitepapers, and case studies. If you have a content marketing strategy in place, your website will see sustained results.
8. Focus on SEO
Having a well-made website is not enough to attract visitors. You need to be visible in search engines like Google and Bing. Search engine optimization (SEO) is what dictates the position of your business website in Google SERPs. SEO marketers can help you chalk out on-site and off-site SEO strategies to take your site to the people. It can start from basics like including keywords you want to be known for to advanced steps like HTML and site architecture changes. SEO specialists need to work with the copy and content team to drive growth.
9. Invest in Social Media Marketing
Your online website has to be marketed on social media platforms because happy customers become organic promoters. But social media marketing without a strategy or goal will not be successful. You need to identify platforms with the biggest potential for your business, find how your targeted customers engage, and where your competitors are falling short for starters. It’s easy to get carried away by the large number of users these platforms have. You need to be very precise in your approach and target specific demographics with sponsored ads. Constantly sharing content, replying to people, and providing genuine value will organically create a community for your business.
Small Business Owner’s Guide – Step 10. Install Webmaster Tools
You need to install Google search console and Bing Webmaster Tools to review your website performance. Once your site is up and running, constantly checking metrics like core web vitals, visitor count, bounce rate, broken links, and crawl errors will help you determine what’s working and what’s not. Based on the analytics, you can iron out the chinks in the armor and create a flawless website experience. If you put enough effort and time into maintaining your website, your business will quickly reach more people than you can ever anticipate.