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If you think that business websites are only for big businesses, it’s time to reexamine your opinion. In a world that largely relies on the internet, a business website can act as a catalyst to speed up your company’s growth. It can have all-encompassing effects on every aspect of your small business, bearing enormous fruits. Through your site, you can publicize your value proposition, establish strong relationships with your customers, and gain a competitive edge.
An influential site can also double your revenues and quadruple your profits. Given that, it is a wise idea to invest in building a business website for your small business.
How to Develop an Appealing Small Business Website
1. Reflect upon the purpose of your website
While developing your business website what matters the most is the underlying purpose. Ask yourself why you intend to create your business website in the first place. Is it to publicize your business or to set up an online store? What kind of user experience do you aspire for your visitors to go through while navigating your website and why?
Whatever the purpose, it’ll govern the ambiance of your business website. From the moment visitors land on your homepage your site’s purpose should begin to shape up and take complete form as they progress toward the culmination of their journey. So, the first step is to reflect upon and be clear-headed about the purpose of your business website.
2. Devise a catchy domain name
Your domain name is the address visitors can use to reach your website. An intriguing and catchy domain name can help you captivate people’s attention and prompt them to visit your business website. A potent domain name is short, descriptive, and easy to remember. When these factors are present together and harmonized, people can’t help but pay you a visit.
It is crucial to mention that your work doesn’t get over once you decide on the domain name. You have to finalize your top-level domain (TLD) too. TLD refers to the suffix at the end of your domain name such as .com, .org, and .net.
There are dozens of options to choose from when it comes to a TLD. The key to picking up the right TLD is to analyze its congruence with your website’s nature. For instance, .net stands for network and is perfect for you if you render network services, internet services, or online technology services.
After picking up the most appropriate TLD, it’s time for you to purchase your domain name via domain registrars such as GoDaddy and Bluehost. If the domain name is already taken, you’ll have to rethink it to sidestep copyright issues. Another alternative is to use a domain-buying service to convey your interest to the domain name owners and ask them if they would like to sell it to you.
3. Decide your web host
A web host or server is an indispensable element of the website development process. It is the place where your site’s data is stored for visitors to access at any time. The extent of website traffic that flows through your business website will be a direct function of the quality of your web host. If your server is slow, you’ll end up losing your precious customers as people dislike waiting.
Hence, it is crucial to choose your web host conscientiously. An external web host is a cost-effective choice for small businesses as hosting your own website is a bit expensive. When it comes to external web hosting, you can choose between a shared hosting space or dedicated hosting. In shared hosting, you share the server with other sites while dedicated hosting provides you with a private server.
4. Create appropriate pages
A captivating business website is an amalgam of appropriate pages that cater to all the needs of your visitors. You should have dedicated pages to introduce them to your company, let them know what you have in store for them, and how they can reach you whenever required.
Besides, every page should be well equipped with an appropriate call to action and eye-catching designs. Now, if you are pondering over how to decide which pages to include? The following list of some indispensable pages every business website should possess will beacon you on the right path.
- About Us page
- Products and services page
- FAQ page
- Testimonials page
- Contact page
- CSR page
- Terms and conditions page
- Page not found page
5. Integrate payment gateways (for ecommerce websites)
If your business website is intended for ecommerce, integrating a payment gateway is essential. Through it, your customers can make seamless payments for your products and services. As the payment gateway will gain access to your customers’ credit card or debit card details, it is crucial to choose one with cutting-edge security features.
Today, multitudinous ecommerce software platforms like Drupal offer ingenious cybersecurity features. If you build your website on any such software, you are likely to get pre-established secure payment gateways. However, if that’s not the case, you can opt for hosted payment gateways such as PayPal, Amazon Pay, and Stripe, or non-hosted payment gateways such as Authorize.net and SagePay direct integration.
No doubt, hosted payment gateways take your customers away from your business website for payment, but they offer phenomenal security against cybercrime.
6. Incorporate an analytics program
An analytics program is a gateway through which you can take a plunge into the overall performance of your website and individual pages. It weighs every segment of your business website with respect to some benchmarks and renders you valuable insights that can help you boost your site’s performance.
Google Analytics, Mixpanel, Kissmetrics, Adobe Analytics, Matomo, and Open web analytics are some prominent analytics tools you can choose from.
7. Thoroughly test and publish your business website
You would never want the visitors to come across any errors, loopholes, or issues while navigating through your business website. After all, it can cost you their long-term association, loyalty, and trust. Hence, it is of tremendous importance to thoroughly test your business website before getting it live. Below are some checkpoints you require to cross before making your site available to visitors.
You cannot afford to have high website loading times as 40% of visitors abandon a site that takes more than 3 seconds to load.
Carefully examine the credibility of your site's URL and page links.
Cookies play a vital role in personalizing user experience. However, they can turn into a nightmare if hackers steal them and try to manipulate customer data. So, cookie testing is a must.
It is crucial to ensure that your business website is compatible with all major browsers such as Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge.
According to research, around 2 billion people access the internet only through their smartphones. Needless to say, mobile compatibility is crucial for your business website to move into an upward spiral of growth.
It involves navigating through your site as a user and identifying any potential troubling aspects.
Hackers are on a constant lookout for websites with vulnerabilities. Hence, it is imperative to conduct meticulous security checks before getting your business website live.
8. Publicize your site with effective marketing
Once your business website is live and running, it is time to publicize it. There are dozens of effective and affordable marketing practices you can engage in. Social media marketing is one of the most potent forms of marketing today. A majority of people of all age groups enjoy using social media platforms and you can leverage the fondness for social media to your advantage.
However, it is crucial to note that traditional marketing practices such as SMS marketing also continue to retain their charm even today. So, it is advisable to create a fine amalgam of modern and traditional marketing practices to reap the best results.
9. Engage in fruitful SEO practices
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an incredible practice to attract swarms of organic traffic to your business website. By aligning your SEO tactics with the current algorithms, you can rank on the first page of search engines, and catch the attention of multitudes of visitors.
Incorporate the right keywords into fresh content, obtain backlinks from reputed sites from your niche, embed accurate alt text, meta descriptions, and title tags, and you are set to top search engine results.
10. Regularly update and maintain your site
Keeping your business website up-to-date is indispensable for maintaining top-notch security. Outdated software versions and add-ons can act as pathways for hackers to attack your site. Cyber attacks can cost you your reputation, customer trust, and revenue.
Given that, it is imperative to regularly update your site. Besides, do not forget to persistently add fresh blog content and product offers to delight website visitors.
Building a captivating business website for your small business is a highly potent way to attract new customers, retain existing ones, and boost revenue. In short, your online presence can be instrumental in taking your business to a whole new dimension of success. If you are convinced to build your business website, the above-mentioned steps will lighten up your path and guide you in the right direction. Besides, you can always contact LN Webworks, an eminent web development company, and avail their assistance whenever you face any difficulties.
Deepak has a close to decade of experience working as a brand and digital designer. His experiences with visual design, web design, print design, and animation have established him as a useful force wherever he is able to serve.