Building a business website is easier than ever, with tools that let anyone become a website designer in a matter of minutes. These building blocks will help you develop your own small business website, which looks professional and positively enhances your brand’s image.
Content is the most important part of your website. Make sure that when a visitor lands on your website, the person quickly understands what type of business that you have and what sets you apart from your competitors. You can do this with one tagline; “Cheapest Appliances in Anytown” for example, clearly indicates that you sell appliance at a lower cost than other appliance stores in town.
Write for your visitors; explain why your product or service benefits them. Pretend you’re talking to someone and you’re explaining your product and why that person cannot live without it. Leave plenty of white (blank) space as well.
Lastly, starting a blog on your business website is an ideal way to add fresh content on a regular basis. Search engines love this and the website popularity will grow as a result.
Content Management System (CMS)
Only extremely large, complex sites for major corporations are built from scratch these days; business owners typically use a content management system (CMS), such as WordPress, to design their website.
You can select a CMS template that fits the overall look of the website that you envision, such as a clean look, a portfolio or an e-commerce website. Depending on which CMS that you use, there are templates for specific businesses, such as for dog grooming or for a restaurant. WordPress is the most popular CMS; it has the most template choices. Choose a responsive template so, regardless of a visitor’s device or screen size, your small business website looks great.
Templates will have menus so that visitors can navigate to your various pages. Keep the navigation simple; use subpages if you plan to have a large number of pages. Your visitors should be able to find what they want with just one click.
Make sure that the template that you select has the functionality that you need to run your business. If you want to sell items online or drive traffic to your brick and mortar business, look for a template that will allow you to do these things out-of-the-box.
You may need to add third-party widgets, such as a map if you are a local business, but don’t add anything extra unless it adds value for your visitors. WordPress has literally thousands of plugins to add functionality, but don’t go overboard, Too many bells and whistles will slow down your website’s load time and leave it more vulnerable to hackers.
Use high-quality images on your small business website to grab visitor attention. When possible, use your own images. Do not use Google images to find a good photo for your website; there are plenty of free stock photos and graphic elements available for commercial use with Creative Commons licenses.
Create videos for your business website to convey complex instructions or ideas to potential customers. You can host videos free on YouTube. Include a transcript; this will help search engines understand the video’s content.
When you are building a business website, remember, it will be most consumers’ first impression of your business. It takes most people less than one second to decide if they will keep reading or hit the back button, so get a second or third opinion from friends before launching your website.