These days, having an online presence is very important for your business’s success.
It’s the best way to get people to know about your business, convince them to buy your project or use your services.
Whether you are a freelance photographer, writer, owns a hardware store, or have another type of small business, a great website is essential for your company’s success.
If you are looking to build a new startup website or make your current site more effective, here are 7 top key steps to take;
1. Obtain a good domain name: Your domain name, also known as your website address, is often the entry point to your site. It is important that it makes a good impression for usability purposes, as well as for search engine optimization (SEO). Make your domain name easy to spell, try not to also use slang.
2. Implement the best content management system: A content management system (CMS) is a software program or application that is used to create and manage digital content. A good CMS will help you maintain your site, and you don’t need much technical knowledge to use it. You should choose a CMS that is designed for your unique needs; different systems are used for different reasons, such as user-friendliness, extensibility, and budget.
3. Prominently display a clear description of your business: It is important to let people know who you are and what you do right away so they don’t feel confused when they visit your small business website. Make sure your main homepage banner (also known as a “hero image”) and subsequent banners are visual representations of your services, and also that you have an introductory text blurb near the top of the page that describes who you are and what you do.
4. Choose a good e-commerce platform: If you plan on selling goods or services through your website, you will need the right technology to do so. If you decide to allow users to financially transact with you online, you will need to choose the right platform for your business model.
5. Respect the need for speed: A study by digital marketing company Akamai found that 88.5% of web users will leave a website if it loads too slowly. Furthermore, the time it takes to load a webpage affects the purchase decisions of nearly 70% of online shoppers. Make sure your website runs smoothly by keeping the software up to date, optimizing videos and images for quicker downloads, and using a website host that can handle your bandwidth demands.
6. Get personal: Just as brick-and-mortar businesses invest heavily in their storefronts to represent their brand images, e-commerce retailers need to create high-quality online experiences in keeping with the brand perception, as Tom Lounibos, co-founder of SOASTA, told Business News Daily. To that end, your About Us page should not be a dry block of text about your company. Emily Brackett, president of design and branding firm Visible Logic, recommends including a good photo of yourself or your team to personalize the experience for your customers.
7. Keep your design simple: when building a website, limit the use of fonts, colors, and GIFs, which can distract and pull the eyes away from the focus of the webpage. Short paragraphs and bullet points also make the information more scannable and likely to be read.
Ian Lurie, CEO of internet marketing company Portent Inc., suggests keeping paragraphs shorter than six lines. This is especially important when it comes to mobile responsiveness, which is a major factor in how Google ranks websites in its algorithm. The better a website’s ranking, the higher it appears on the search engine results page. If a competitor is mobile-friendly and your website isn’t, you could get pushed down lower in your customers’ search results.