In the article, 10 Key Steps To Building A Great Small Business Website, the authors outline the following 10 steps.
- Obtain a good domain name
- Purchase secure, scalable website hosting with good tech support
- Prominently display a clear description of your business
- Implement the best content management system
- Choose a good e-commerce platform
- Create an interesting, memorable, and engaging website user interface
- Optimize your small business website for search engines
- Regularly create and publish quality content
- Install webmaster tools
- Implement a website maintenance plan
This article is an excellent resource showcasing some of the main things you need to consider when building your business website. With the global pandemic’s physical and social realities, now is the time to focus on your digital channel strategy. You need to focus both time and resources to get your brand online and in front of your customers.
1. Obtain a good domain name
The Forbes article does a good job sharing tips on how to find a great domain name. But then what? We help Hawaii small business owners with domain registration via GoDaddy. Typically it will cost you around $11.99 for the first year and $17.99 for subsequent years. Sometimes GoDaddy has a promo for $0.99 for the first year. Be careful when purchasing as they try to cross-sell you a ton of add-ons, some that you might need, many you don’t. We can help walk you through this process. If you have an existing website, you won’t need to worry about this step unless you are interested in re-branding your website.
2. Purchase secure, scalable website hosting with good tech support
As a small business owner, you spend all your time running your business. We save you time and provide peace of mind with our Advanced Website Maintenance and Hosting package. Rather than spend your time between the various options, we offer a safe, secure, and scalable hosting service. No brainer, easy peasy.
3. Prominently display a clear description of your business
This is a crucial step and goes hand-in-hand with various other things you need to consider. Your website needs to communicate who you are and what you do immediately. Additionally, it would be best to make sure content is easy to find and that your layout is mobile-friendly. You want a visitor on a mobile phone to have just as great an experience as someone on a desktop computer. Every aspect of your website design is essential. From the words on the page to the photos and videos, they all work synergistically to tell a story. Your story.
4. Implement the best content management system
There are many excellent content management systems (CMS) available. We have helped local small businesses with all of them, but our hosting and maintenance packages are specifically for WordPress.
“It must be noted, however, that WordPress’s biggest weakness is security—because it is so popular, hackers target it the most. Your WordPress site needs to be regularly maintained and secured so it is not hacked.”
The author makes a great point here, which is why we focus so heavily on security. We run plugin updates once a week and back up your site daily. We use a combination of security measures to keep your WordPress site safe and secure. If you are running a WordPress on another hosting provider, please be sure to keep your plugins, themes, and WordPress core up to date. Most of the issues we see are because of out-of-date plugins.
5. Choose a good e-commerce platform
The author mentions some of the most popular e-commerce platforms in his article, including WooCommerce, Shopify, Squarespace, and Wix. There are many different platforms, and we have experience with most of the popular ones. For the websites we build for small businesses starting their e-commerce journey, we usually pair WordPress with WooCommerce. We have experience with the other platforms and can talk to you about your needs to see which platform is a good fit for you and your business.
6. Create an interesting, memorable, and engaging website user interface
The way your website looks and feels is the way your customers experience your brand. It is vital to be sure your site is on-brand. Find your voice and stick with it. From the text on your site to the confirmation emails you send. Even your error messages. These should all be in the same brand voice you worked so hard to cultivate and develop.
7. Optimize your small business website for search engines
If you build it, they won’t come. This is the true story of the internet. Therefore, you need to invest in search engine optimization (SEO). Essentially, SEO is a collection of techniques to help users find your site when searching. Google uses a complex algorithm to rank sites for a given search term or keyword. SEO aims to optimize your website for that same algorithm. Search rank is enormous and will make a significant impact on your business. 75% of users won’t scroll past the first page of search results. Think about your own behavior. Unless you are looking for a particular item, you probably haven’t scrolled past the first page of search results.
Even more important is the local search (for physical stores). Just shy of 50% of searches are local, i.e., “plumbers near me.” If you are a brick-and-mortar business, local search will be a critical component of your SEO strategy.
8. Regularly create and publish quality content
This is a critical piece in your SEO strategy, but it is much harder than it sounds. Most clients we’ve worked with struggle on this point. While it sounds easy, it is time-consuming and challenging to maintain. After you’ve written your second or third blog post, you start to lose momentum. The thought of a post a week then sounds insurmountable. Many of our clients stop after a few posts. Don’t let this happen to you. Come up with a plan in advance, and if you need help, there are great content writers and agencies that can help. We can refer you to these. The best ones will help you craft your positioning and strategy as well.
9. Install webmaster tools
You can’t improve what you don’t measure. Do you have a friend that is perennially trying to lose weight but doesn’t log their food, diet, or exercise? They then wonder why they are not losing weight. It’s simple. If you can quantify and measure something, you can experiment and know what’s working and what isn’t. Webmaster tools are free from a suite of providers. We set these up for you and help you wire your site up for analytics. With analytics, optimization of your site is possible.
10. Implement a website maintenance plan
The beauty of the web is that you can publish new content, edit existing content, or remove old content at any time. Another great thing about the web is that it is always advancing. New tools, new browsers, and new platforms. You must keep your site up to date with the latest standards and best practices. A website needs care and feeding. We provide this maintenance as part of our hosting to take this off your plate. Let us do the website maintenance, so you don’t have to.
The building, managing, and maintaining a website is fun and rewarding. There is a lot of moving parts and dependencies. We are here to help you every step of the way. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
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