According to the SBA (Small Business Administration), “97 percent of consumers search online for products and services, but one out of every two small businesses is simply not there for customers to find.” — Getting your small business website right. If you’re one of the 50% who don’t have a website, it’s time to join the 21st century by providing consumers with what they want and expect from you—a professional website.
What Are You Waiting for?
You may have held back because you didn’t think you needed a website in your industry—if that’s what you think check your competitors, they have websites, and it brings them business you’re missing. You may have waited because you’re confused about what you need, or you think it will cost $20,000. It doesn’t have to cost that much, and we can help you sort out what you need. Having a small business website is no longer an option.
Ten Small Business Website Keys
- Know your purpose – Don’t make this complicated. Is the purpose of your site to offer information, sell products, and generate leads, support customer service, or all of the above?
- Purchase a URL – Keep it short and as close to your company name as is available. Use a domain registrant such as Web.com or Wix to register the URL (Uniform Resource Locator) of your web address. Keep in mind that using an alternate TLD (the part of the URL after the dot) may lead to a domain you prefer. Instead of only checking .com, try .net and .biz.
- Choose a host – The host provides server space for your site, Go Daddy, Host Gator, iPage, are three examples of hosts. The amount of bandwidth and data transfer you’ll require will be determined by the use and size of your webpages. Security should be a primary consideration in host selection. The host should be SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) and PCI (Payment Card Industry) certified, and Sitelock is a good idea.
- Manage your content – Next, you’ll need a CMS (Content Management System) for most small businesses you need look no further than WordPress or Tumblr.
- Create a CTA (Call to Action) – Whether it’s a call to sign up for a newsletter, request a quote, or sell a product, keep your CTA simple and straightforward. Lead visitors to the next step in your journey together. If you offer too many choices you may create a Paradox of Choice, New York Times: Too many choices a problem that can paralyze.
- Make it mobile friendly – More than half of website visits are made using mobile devices. Don’t make it difficult.
- Share the benefits – Stay away from technical jargon filled paragraphs about your product. Tell consumers what it does for them. Share the Benefits of Your Product
- Keep the design simple—Stay with a few complimentary colors, easy to read fonts, and simple textures. It’s easy for visitors get lost in complicated typography and click out.
- Create content – Content is king. If you want your site to stay current, you need content. It may not be as difficult as you believe. Business Blogging 101
- Maintain a professional image – Make a positive first impression through the images you share. The first thing visitors see will be the images on your homepage so be certain they’re professional, appropriate, and share the story of your business. Images aren’t the place to cut back. A website isn’t the place for clip art or poorly shot smart phone photos.
You Can Do This
Building a small business website isn’t as difficult as some folks make it. It will take an investment of time and money, but a professional website is as close to a sure bet as anything under the sun. If you have any questions, need any advice, or would like someone to walk you through the process we can help— Contact Us—we make it easy on our website.
Photo Credit: Unsplash Photos Photo by José Alejandro Cuffia