Your Easy Guide to Building A Small Business Website

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A small business website is essential for increasing brand recognition and product sales. It allows your new business to not only be found online but also to generate more leads and turn visitors into buyers.

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In Australia, for example, online buying habits which emerged during the lockdown period are here to stay. And despite the pandemic and lockdowns, Australians’ love for shopping has risen substantially during 2020, according to these latest studies.

Nonetheless, creating a strong online presence is a need for increasing your reputation in today’s world and even after the pandemic ends. So to that end, we are going to teach you how to effectively create a business website that acts as a marketing machine to help you grow your business.

Find The Right Domain Name

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In order for people to find your business website, you must first select a domain name. Since this is the URL you’ll share with the public, it should be something catchy and easy to remember.

By creating websites for small businesses you can also give recognition to your company and increase your brand’s awareness. And, to make it more user-friendly, try to keep the domain name brief. Also, don’t use acronyms and symbols to avoid consumer confusion.

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You must also select a domain extension. This is the part at the end of your web address, such as .com, .net, or .au. In general, .com.au is the most popular option for a businesses website in Australia, and it’s the most well-known domain extension among users here.

Check for its availability once you’ve chosen your new web domain. This is to ensure you’re not violating anybody else’s trademarked brand. You can use various services such as Godaddy to look it up to understand if a similar domain name already exists.

Select A Reputable Website Hosting Provider

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A website hosting provider is a company that holds the location of your website for small business on the internet. There are many cheap options out there but it all comes down to 2 things – uptime (how often your website is available which should be +99%) and speed (important for SEO).

So when it comes to selecting a web hosting provider, you have some options. There are two alternatives for web hosting: shared web hosting and dedicated web hosting.

To decide between the two, you must first guess how much traffic your website will receive. If you choose shared web hosting, you’ll share a server with other websites which may impact speed for example.

If your website has begun to gain popularity and traffic or you expect it to, it is best to choose a dedicated web hosting plan. A dedicated web hosting service is more reliable and can handle bigger traffic.

Then, there is also the virtual private server option. It is an innovation that offers the same level of security and reliability as a dedicated server hosting package but at a cost similar to a shared web hosting service.

You should also check what type of server security is in place on the server you are considering. Make sure that your hosting provider does regular security updates and has a clear security procedure they follow to protect your site.

The best web hosting providers usually offer inexpensive plans that include other perks such as a free domain name and a complimentary SSL certificate.

Select The Most Competitive CMS (Content Management System)

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The next step in building your small business website is to choose a content management system (CMS). What is a CMS? It is an application that helps you develop and maintain a website’s content. It is also called a website builder.

CMS will handle the basic infrastructures needed so that you can have more time focusing on forward-facing aspects of your website. It can also be used for other functions such as document management. 

Often, CMS is confused with a web platform for design. However, it’s quite different because web platforms for design often require you to build themes from scratch whereas CMS are templates that you can customize according to your needs and preference. 

With a good CMS, you can easily maintain your website, even if you don’t have any technical skills. There are many options available, so you should decide on a CMS that matches your business needs. Common options are Wix, Shopify or WordPress to name a few. It will depend on your business type – Shopify is designed for retail businesses.

Know the Objective of Your Website

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Customers may search on Google for anything, from product comparison to finding out about operating hours of the business they intend to visit in person.  For this reason, establishing an online presence is a must for small businesses. However, you must be clear about the goal or objective of your website.

The important thing to remember here is that you must make it simple for customers to understand what your small business does. Consider the look and feel of your site and words you use to convey this and how it will help users navigate through your site.

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You need to think of  your small business website as your major sales channel. This means you must make it as simple as possible for users to place orders, make payments, and ask questions about your goods and or services.

Create A Business Appropriate Design

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Bear in mind that when it comes to customer first impressions, design is everything. And I am not implying complex design for that matter.  So whether you have web design expertise or not, your website should look professional when you learn how to set up a website.

WordPress-powered sites have the most themes (you could call these templates) to choose from. Majority are free and very easy to set up. 

Another popular platform providing small business web design is Drupal. It has many of the same advantages as WordPress, such as versatility and cheap website design for small business. However, it lacks plugins and theme choices, making it less customizable.

Whatever web template you choose, it is critical to find the right template so that users can browse through your small business website smoothly and without confusion. Thus, you should always evaluate the appearance and user experience of your site.

Test Your Website and Set It Live

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When you’re done creating all of your web pages and designing your site, it’s time to put it to the test. Check it in all popular browsers to see if it functions as expected and that all of the content is being shown correctly on both desktop, tablet and mobile devices.

Ensure that your site is responsive, working on mobile devices, and that there are no errors, such as misplaced links or poor formatting of images or text. You should also double-check for typos because such errors might lead to user confusion.

It’s reccomended to have extra pair of eyes looking over your small business website to ensure everything is in working order. This will make it easier to identify any errors and resolve any issues as quickly as possible and save having to go back and forth with changes. A good quality and reliable web developer is worth its wait in gold and should not set you back more than about $40 per hour.

Once you’re certain that everything is functioning properly, you can launch the site and monitor its performance with tools such as Google Analytics and Google Search Console to check for any issues that might require a web developer to investigate further.

Update Your Website Regularly and Add Quality Content

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As previously said, you will need to take action to improve the performance of your website. Filling your site with quality and entertaining information is one way to do so and should form part of a broader SEO content strategy.

For a small business website, both frequency and authenticity of content are critical. This will not only encourage people to return to your site, but also help your site to rank better in search engines.

So, if you want to have the best business websites, you must develop a strategy for publishing high-quality content and posts. Staying relevant is also critical, so keep your website up to date with content on current industry trends and new products and services.

When it comes to blogging,  choose blog ideas that will attract your specific target audience (be that new or existing customers). Providing posts that are relevant to your business will also help your brand’s image. 

To bring this to life, maybe it is better if we use an example. Let’s say you are a plumber. Then, writing an article about “How to fix a leaking toilet” can be a great approach to reach out to wider customers while also allowing people to get to know your brand and understand that the job is complex, they can’t do it themselves and should reach out to you for help!

Incorporating testimonials into your website may also help increase your business’s reputation and improve trust and conversion rates. Testimonials are often provided by buyers, peers, or anybody else who has benefitted from your products or services.

Lastly, don’t let your website become stagnant / out of date. Establish a website maintenance strategy to ensure that your website is updated frequently even if basic wording here and there and enforce general security protocols to prevent any hacking etc. ranks well in search engines, is not hacked, and is malware-free.

FAQ

How can I create a small business website for free?

Most website builders provide free options, allowing you to develop a commercial website for free. However, such free options generally do not provide a professional impression and usually come with certain limitations. Examples include Wix, and Googles own website builder you can use in Google My Business.

How much does it cost to set up a website?

In Australia, the typical cost of a small company website is anywhere between $2,000 and $5,000. This can vary though and will be based on the type of business – e.g building a complex site for an ecommerce store will be more expensive than a basic site for a plumber or electrician.

What is the best free website builder for small businesses?

If you want to create a professional website for your small business but don’t want to spend any money, Wix and Weebly are your best choices. They provide free plans that can be used for as long as you want. Their features are also customizable and easy to configure.

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