Creating your first small business website is an endeavor with numerous hurdles you hadn’t thought of. It’s very easy to launch a generic e-commerce website using a website builder, and that works for cute and kitschy handmade craft sellers, for example, but it’s not recommended for more professional business sites.
So when you’re building a more customized website from the ground up, there’s a lot of factors to consider as you go along that you’ll wish you’d been aware of when you started. And so in this article, we’re going to give you some tips on creating a small business website that will let you hit the ground running.
Consider the purpose of your website
You need to consider how your website will fit into the overall marketing strategy of your business. Is your business website going to be the main source of revenue, or is it a leads generation portal?
And so the way you approach design will be very different depending on this exact purpose of your website. According to FreshySites Baltimore, creating a well-designed small business website takes thoughtful planning and strategy.
As an example, an e-commerce website will want to focus on ease of navigation, product filters, and product display, whereas a leads generation website will want more focus on engaging copy and strategic call-to-action placements.
Start small but plan to scale
It’s good to start small, but it’s also important to have a basic idea of how your website can expand in the future, and leave yourself room to grow into those plans.
What I mean by this is, for example, don’t just buy a website template that “looks nice”. It might only be $30 now, but then you might find down the road it’s not compatible with certain plugins you’ll want to add to your website. You’ll have to find a whole new template for your website and adapt all your content, it’s just a headache
Future-proof your website by making sure that even though you’re starting small, you’ll be easily able to add new functionality down the road and keep your website refreshing.
Really study your web host
Signing up for a web host is like signing up for a mobile carrier, you really want to be aware of any small fees upfront that can easily stack up.
For example, you might sign up for a low-bandwidth plan figuring your website doesn’t get much traffic. But then unexpected surges of traffic that exceed your limited bandwidth plan suddenly drive up your monthly bill, as you’re on the hook for the excess data.
So it’s things like that you really want to be aware of, and this just kind of comes with knowing what services you should expect from your web host, beyond the fact that you’re storing your website on their servers.
Objectively consider your competitors
Every market has its competitors, and a good way of figuring out your business web strategy is to objectively consider what your competitors are doing.
And I don’t mean you need to visit your competitors’ sites and copy their aesthetic designs. You could put together a list of competitor websites you find appealing, and use those as a reference when consulting with a web designer for example, but overall it’s not the aesthetics of your competitors you want to focus on.
What you really want to focus on is the flow of their website, insofar as what funnels you towards conversion. Where are your competitors making strategic use of prominent call-to-action buttons, for example? Those are the kinds of things you want to observe.
Maintain and Market
Once, your website is published, your focus should be on maintenance and marketing your website on different platforms. There are many different avenues, for example, banner ads on PPC ad networks, SEO and link building strategies, and social media outreach. If you’re selling specific products, social media influencers are also a hot marketing trend today.