Looking to build a digital presence for your small business? A website is the perfect place to start. The prospect of learning how to create a website might be a little daunting if you’ve never done it before but tackling the process one step at a time will not only leave you with something to be proud of but will also provide value to your customers.
Why does your small business need a website?
Whether you’re just starting out or have been running your business for a while, you might wonder if it’s necessary to build a website for your small business. If you’re unsure if it’s the right option for you, learn more about the top benefits of creating a small business website below:
Building your business’ credibility
When a new customer is researching your business and the products or services that you offer, they want to be reassured that your business is legitimate. Having a website that provides information about your business, where it’s located and the types of products or services that you sell can help to show that it is a real business, reassuring prospective customers.
Making it easier to communicate with your customers
From changes to your opening hours to the launch of new products, a website can be a good platform for communicating with your customers. Coming directly from you, any information that you upload, or update is not only seen as being accurate but is also typically quite useful to your customers.
Allowing you to sell your products online
Even if you primarily operate as a brick-and-mortar business, a website can provide a good opportunity to potentially increase your income. Having a website gives you an additional place to sell your products, allowing customers to place an order even when your physical store may be closed. If you do plan on being a business that operates solely online, having a website to sell your goods is incredibly important.
They are simple to use
Gone are the days when you needed to have a thorough understanding of coding and web design to set up your own website. Today, there are plenty of platforms out there, such as Squarespace, Wix and WordPress, that help to make building a small business website simpler. Visual editors and block editors make it easy to update your website and develop a website that represents your brand.
What are the steps to creating a website for your small business?
Although it might seem like a complicated process, creating a website for your business isn’t too difficult in today’s day and age. To learn how to create a website, follow the steps below:
Determine the purpose of your website
When creating your website, it’s important to think about what it will be used for. It might be purely informational, telling potential customers what your business does, where you’re located and how to get in touch with you, or it could be an e-commerce site that allows you to sell your goods direct to your customers. Working out how your website will be used can make it easier to work out what features it will need and the amount of work that you’ll need to put into it.
Buy a business domain
Before you get started building a small business website, you’ll first need to purchase a domain name. Every website on the internet is allocated one or more IP addresses (a string of numbers) which are used to identify it but remembering and entering a number-based address isn’t particularly user friendly. Domain names help to make it easier for users to access websites, allowing them to enter a few words or a phrase into their browser to visit a website directly. If you would like to purchase an Australian domain name ending in - com.au, your business will need to register for an Australian Business Number (ABN) first.
Every website has a unique domain name which helps to represent what the website is about, the brand it has been made for and other distinguishing features. When deciding on a business domain, remember that it should be:
- As short as possible
- Easy to spell, remember and typ
- Relevant to your business
Choose your website building platform
There are countless website building platforms on the market that help to make building a small business website a breeze. Whether you want to be very hands-on as you build your website, putting your coding skills to good use, or want an option that will help you get your website off the ground with minimal effort, there’s a platform out there to match your needs. Some popular platforms for small businesses include Squarespace, Wix and WordPress. Before you commit to a platform, be sure to do your research and check whether it will allow you to do everything you’re wanting to do in terms of design and functionality.\
Choose your website design
Many website building platforms offer a variety of templates and themes that you can use to create your own small business website design. Most are customisable, allowing you to adjust colours, fonts, and the placement of different elements as you please, which can be handy when you have a design in mind. Choose a template or theme that aligns with the branding of your business, is easy to navigate and is easy to read. Your website should look good but also needs to be easy for your customers to use.
Add your content
For your website to provide value to your customers, you will need to add content to it. This might include written text, images, video, and any other media that may help to educate your customers on what you do, your products and how they can get in touch. Some key pages to consider include:
- Your homepage. This is where your customers will likely be entering your website and should, ideally, provide a good first impression.
- An ‘About Us’ page. This page offers a good opportunity to introduce yourself and share the story behind your business.
- A ‘Contact Us’ page. From time to time, your customers may need to get in touch to ask questions about your products or services. Having a contact method listed on your website can make life easier for you and your customers. You may choose to have a phone number, or an email address listed, or you may choose to add a contact form to the page. If you operate a physical store or office that you’d like your customers to visit, you should look to also list your address.
- Product and services pages. Whether you provide a service or sell a range of products, having pages that describe what your business offers can be helpful to any prospective customers visiting your site.
Set up a payment system
If you plan on selling your products online, you’ll need to ensure that you have an electronic payment system integrated into your website. There are plenty of options out there, including specialised e-commerce software and some third-party payment processors. Check whether your chosen web design platform features integration with to make your life easier. It’s important to do your research and choose a payment solution that matches your needs and is easy for you to manage.
Optimise the site for search engines
When you’re setting up a website for your business, you’ll need to make sure that it can be found when people search for your business name, products, or services. One of the most common strategies used to do this is search engine optimisation (SEO). SEO focuses on making your website discoverable by search engines and the people that use them. While there are many different factors that contribute to how easily your website is found, some practices that may assist you are:
- Including relevant keywords in your metadata and onsite content
- Introducing internal linking to your website
- Using a responsive website design that works across all types of devices
- Compressing your images to ensure your website loads as fast as possible
If you’re not confident about what you’re doing, there are a variety of SEO plugins available that can help guide you through the process, making suggestions on what changes should be made.
Test your website
Before you start sharing your website with your customers, it’s important to ensure it looks and works as you designed it to. To ensure your website appears correctly to all visitors, take the time to test your website on a variety of browsers and devices. See how it looks on Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and other popular browsers, as well as on smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers. Be sure to check each page, see how images look on each device and browser, and remove any remaining placeholder text. Although it may take some time to check your website thoroughly, it could help you identify any issues and give you time to rectify them before people start visiting your website.
Push your website live
Once you’ve checked over your small business website and are confident that everything is working as it should, it’s time to set it live. You might choose to share the news using your social media accounts, via email or through a customer newsletter.
Excited to establish and grow your small business? Pay a visit to our small business blog for more great guides, tips and tricks.
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