Creating A Website
If you’re looking to reach more customers, increase your business’s income or offer your product or service for purchase online, creating a website could be an affordable option. For many businesses across a range of industries, having an online presence is an important way to keep existing customers and attract new ones. With a range of low-cost website building tools available, there’s never been an easier time to build your own high-quality site. Here are tips to consider when taking that step.
Choose your domain name carefully
- When setting up your business website, you’ll need to choose a website address, or URL. You can choose from several domain registration websites. Just remember that the address, or domain name, you choose should be easy to say, spell and remember. If your first choice of domain name is already taken, choose another that’s different enough to avoid any confusion with similar businesses.
Choose a host and platform
- A "host" connects your website to the internet and provides the services necessary for your webpage to be accessible online. When comparing hosts, do your research to make sure your site won’t crash and that you can make changes to your content quickly and easily.
- Most hosts offer several service plans so you can choose the best option for your business size, site traffic and budget. If the cost of web hosting is too high for you at this stage of your business, free web hosting services are available. Just note that these sites usually show customers advertisements, such as banners and pop-ups, which can mean a less positive experience for users.
Identity Theft Basics
If you plan to conduct online transactions on your website, find a host and platform that can connect with your inventory management system, and/or be able to accommodate as many SKUs (Stock Keeping Unit) as you need. Schedule demonstrations with a variety of options to understand the shopping experience for customers. Learn more about building an online store.
Designing your Website
- There are many platforms that allow you to create your own website. You can use these tools to design and build a site that fits your product and personality. Most use templates and offer tips on creating a more effective site.
Create a dynamic site
- When people visit your website, you want them to understand what you offer and how your business stands out against the competition right away. It should be easy for them to navigate the site, find pricing, learn how to buy your product and get answers to their questions. A successful site will also include clear calls to action, like "buy now," "make an appointment" or "contact us."
- Put yourself in the shoes of your customer and think about what will appeal to them in a website. Keep in mind that you need to grab their attention quickly and make them want to stay. Exciting imagery and short and catchy descriptions are important aspects of a successful site. When developing content, you’ll also want to create content that is search engine optimization (SEO) friendly. This means it includes many words that customers are likely to use when searching for products like yours online.
- Business websites usually include the following pages: Homepage, Products/Services and Online Ordering, About Us and Contact Information. If you have a retail shop, be sure to include your business hours as well. You should also consider including links to your social media pages and review sites, if you have them, along with any disclaimers regarding the use of your website.
- Consider formatting your website so that it is easy to navigate on mobile devices. Phones are many people’s primary way of using the internet, so it’s important to make sure customers have an equally good experience with your site when viewing it on a mobile device.
Promote your website
Once you’ve set up your website, consider how to best promote it and bring customers to your store or site.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the act of adjusting your website content to ensure that customers looking for businesses like yours can quickly find you when they carry out an online search.
One approach you can use is to make a list of keywords related to your product and weave them into the content, especially the headlines. Because search engines, like Google, identify and rank websites according to this content, using keywords can help searchers find you more easily, and it can increase the number of clicks your website gets.
Search engines analyze the content on your website to see if it will match what customers are looking for. To help them find you, use a variety of keywords rather than repeating the same ones over and over. For example, if you’re selling shoes, you may weave in words like "stylish shoes," "footwear" and "discount shoes" across your site.
Track your website’s metrics to help ensure you’re reaching as many people as possible. You can do this using online analytics tools, such as Google Analytics; there are many options available. Setting up key performance indicators (KPIs) is a great way to begin tracking your website’s performance, as it requires you to set goals that you’d like to achieve.
A common KPI that businesses track is conversion rate. This measures the number of people that come to your website and also take a desired action, such as making a purchase or signing up to receive emails. Seeing this information will give you a clearer picture of whether your website is keeping visitors’ attention and inspiring them to act.