Every small business today needs a web presence. It’s not only the face of your company — a modern-day calling card giving essential contact information, but it conveys in a nutshell what your business is about.
Given its importance, here are 7 things you need to know when building a small site for your business.
1. Use a Website Builder
If you are on a shoe-string budget, the best route for you is to use a website builder. There are many that offer easy-to-use tools that require no prior design or HTML knowledge. Choose one with a variety of templates so that you can find one that bests depicts your business. Remember, your site is your shopfront — just with a much greater opportunity to attract visitors than window-shoppers. You will want to compare the best website builders to find one that perfectly meets your needs.
2. Less is Best
The most effective sites are those that get to the point and are uncluttered. Using great images, headers, short paragraphs, strong calls to action, and bullets are the way to keep customers reading. No-one will scroll through reams of text. In fact, CEO of Chartbeat Tony Haile, says that 55% of visitors spend less than 15 seconds on your site!
3. Create Creative Content
The debate around how much content to add is a spinoff of the previous point. Yes, keep it short, but search engines love relevant and new content and so will your readers. Keep your sight updated and fresh. For example, if you intend to add a blog great, but make sure you can maintain it. The same applies to offers — remove them if they’ve expired. Also, don’t be afraid to make your content original — what would make you click the link: “click here” or “don’t miss out!”?
4. SEO and Analytics
Talking about search engines if your content is constantly updated and you include keywords relevant to your business, as well as the customers you are targeting (SEO keywords), you are more likely to be ranked higher by google and other engines. This means that when someone searches for say “rolling security gates” and this is your field of specialty and you have a good, updated product page about it, you will appear higher on the list in the search. The aim is to be on the first page, but it takes time to get there. As soon as you launch your site, make a habit of using performance tools like Google Analytics to gauge immediately what is working and what isn’t.
5. Must-Have Mobile Responsiveness
According to the latest comScore statistics, 80% of internet users own a smartphone, hence mobile marketing is essential. Most consumers also access retail sites via mobile or desktop. This means it’s imperative that your site is mobile responsive so that your potential customers accessing it via mobile have the same experience as viewing it from their PCs. There’s more — mobile optimized sites also do better in google rankings!
6. The Online Sale
Having buy links, an e-store, or other money-making options on your website can take a small business all the way to profitability. There are many website builders that include a basic e-store, while others include them in their premium packages. These DIY builders are not that expensive anyway and if you have something to sell, not incorporating e-store technology is simply like leaving money on the table.
7. Kudos to Customization
While website builders are perfect for most small businesses, if you need a larger, more complicated site use a Content Management System (CMS). Also, if you think that at some point down the line you may want to change your template or hand your site over to a professional, choose a website builder that allows you to export your site’s code or migrate to another platform. Not all do, so you’ll be stuck with the site or lose it completely.
Remember, your website is an essential marketing tool that is more powerful than any brochure or freebie (pens, notepads, desk calendars, sun shields etc.) that you can dream up and hand out!