Building a website can launch your business beyond brick-and-mortar while working as an effective sales and marketing tool. Regardless of offerings, a business website is now considered a standard requirement that adds legitimacy and ease of access to your offerings.
You want a website that stands out for its excellent user experience, but you don’t want to spend thousands of dollars or days of work to get it up and running. Learn how to start a website for your business with simple steps and create an excellent user experience for any company website here.
1. Identify Your Website’s Purpose and Goals
When you start a small business, you might not have time to think about a website. But building the site can help expand your business and integrate with your vision and mission. Fortunately, a website can be a cheap addition that you can create even when starting a business with no money.
Your website’s purpose and goals relate to the offerings of your core business. Consider the following:
- How can your customers benefit from the website?
- Will you sell products online?
- Do you plan to build sales funnels to drive customers to specific products?
- Will the website primarily be educational with a blog?
- Do you want to build understanding around your core products and services?
- Will you offer customer service online?
Once you have a clear vision of what you want to achieve with the website, it’s time to start building it.
2. Choose Your Website Building Platform
Website building platforms allow you to quickly create a website or hire a professional to do it. Common website-building platforms include Wix, WordPress, Weebly, GoDaddy, Shopify, and Webflow.
3. Pick and Register Your Domain Name
Your domain name is an important piece of business real estate. It’s how customers and potential customers will find you. Consider a name related to your LLC, business name, or offerings.
The domain name should be easy to remember, short, and related to your business name and offerings. Most companies aim for a business domain name of less than 15 characters with a TLD that is either .com or a country- or city-specific TLD to connect your business to a specific area.
4. Select a Web Hosting Provider
A web hosting provider offers website security and ensures fast loading speeds to optimize your website and ensure a good user experience. Common web hosting providers include Dreamhost, Bluehost, Mochahost, HostGator, and INOS. Find the best web hosting for small businesses here.
5. Design Your Website
Website design can be simple or complex. You can hire a professional web designer or website builder or use a website design template. When designing your website, consider the user’s experience and how easily they can navigate the site to find what they need. Generally, clean, simple, and uncluttered designs work best.
You’ll want to choose a masthead photo that showcases your business or offerings. You can also create a blog, showcase customer testimonials, and create website pages highlighting specific products or services.
6. Build Your Pages and Content
The basic pages of a small business website include a homepage, a contact page, and an About page. If you’re selling products and services online, consider also a sales page or multiple pages for each product or service. Other useful pages include customer testimonials or professional reviews, a blog, and privacy or terms of services pages.
7. Optimize Your Website for Search Engines
Search engine optimization (SEO) allows new and existing customers to easily find your website by ensuring it ranks in Google or Bing searches for relevant keywords. For example, if you have a coaching business, you might want to rank for words related to coaching, business success, happiness, or building wealth.
Keyword research is the next optimization level, where you can research and locate keywords with low competition so your site ranks more easily. Keyword research and SEO optimization tools include Moz, Ahrefs, Semrush, and Yoast SEO.
After the website launches, you can also use Google Analytics to help in continuous SEO improvement. You can monitor traffic and understand how customers find your website, where they stay the longest, and which keywords generate the most traffic.
8. Set Up Your Payment System (If Necessary)
If you plan to sell products or services online, you’ll need a way to accept credit and debit card payments. Common payment systems that easily integrate with business websites include Stripe, Paypal, Square, 2Checkout, Braintree, and Amazon.
9. Test and Launch Your Website
Website testing is essential to ensure a smooth customer experience. Start by having friends or employees test the site on various devices and web browsers. Consider testing on mobile phones, iPads, tablets, and various computer systems to ensure a smooth user experience.
Then, consider paid user testing to ensure the user experience is intuitive and customers gain the greatest value. Common user testing sites include TryMyUI LLC, UserTesting.com, and TestIO.
10. Maintain and Update Your Site
To maintain and update your website, ensure you have security features set up, like a secure socket layer (SSL) to protect user data. This means that your domain name will start with HTTPS and have an SSL certificate that indicates to customers that their information is secure.
You can also install security plugins, set up automatic website backups, and continue to update website content. You’ll want to regularly update the product and services page, and the blog or other educational pages.
Building Your Business
When you’re starting a small business, the responsibilities can pile up, and time becomes a premium commodity. That’s where doola can help. Doola offers guaranteed fast and easy US business formation and compliance services. You can start a company in all 50 states, get an EIN, and open a business bank account in just a few minutes. Get doola’s help here.
Why do I need a website for my business?
A business website allows new and existing customers to learn more about your products and services. It positions your business to capture a larger audience and attract local customers. A website also gives legitimacy to a business in consumers’ minds.
What should I consider before starting a website?
Before starting a website, consider the domain name, website hosting, content, and security. You’ll also want to consider the main goals and objectives to build the site around those while incorporating company branding and SEO.
Is it necessary to learn coding to create a website?
No, it’s not necessary to learn coding to create a website. Many online platforms help you create a beautiful website in a couple of hours—no coding is required.
What features should I include on my business website?
Features to include on a business website include a home page, contact page, and about page, as well as a blog or informational material and pages on products and service offerings.
Should I include a blog on my business website?
If you have time to update the blog at least once a month, a blog on your business website page can attract new customers and establish subject authority. It’s also a way to provide existing customers with additional value and education.