Creating a web site for your small business may not be a top priority, but it can help your business or organization reach a new audience. Without one, you may be missing out on a growing number of potential customers.
More and more, small businesses are launching their own websites, but there’s no recipe to guarantee online success. The goal is to improve the way you do business. If you’re able to sell your product or service online, create a user-friendly store for consumers to shop. If you need live video streams for seminars, make sure you have enough bandwidth. No matter what kind of business you have, a website can provide value and credibility.
Before you hire a web developer, consider three important factors as you conceptualize a website.
Before you decide what plugins you can add to your killer site, it’s a good idea to start at the most basic need – webhosting. To check prices and features, compare your web-hosting options on your private virtual server. Some web hosts will charge you for simple extras, and may not provide the same reliability, email features, and other functions that form a good foundation for your website. So check around for best options.
Once you find a web host, you can also start looking for a great domain name, which is integral as a branding tool for search engines and chief identifier for your customers. A memorable domain name will provide a strong foundation for future growth. Pay close attention to your choice of a virtual private server to help share hardware and network connections, while providing dedicated privacy, performance and flexibility.
Paying attention first to host reliability, email accounts, and other details can make a big difference. After all, you wouldn’t want to send your visitors packing due to site errors, slow loading time and other host-related problems.
Will your site sell ad space? Will you sell products through a dedicated eCommerce engine? Will your blog devote a static page in the header for e-books? These points can help you when it comes time to design marketing and ecommerce elements of the website.
Create connect links to your social media sites on the front page. Keith Brown notes this as the first of “8 Steps to a Good Business Website” for good reason. Social media connects small businesses with consumers on a personal level, allowing you build a rapport and discuss your products and services. Hit the mainstays of the social media world, like Twitter and Facebook. However, don’t forget about other emerging tools like Pinterest, YouTube and Instagram, which offer unique opportunities to gain an edge on the competition.
Will your small business website be content-driven? Will your blog provide value to site visitors about marketing, social media and more aspects of your business? Things to think about in this area include great product descriptions, information, help pages and a consistently written blog.
If you cater to a tech-savvy audience, consider optimizing your site for mobile. Users are increasingly using smartphones and other devices to access websites, and mobile optimization improves the smartphone user experience.
Consider these vital factors to help build that ultimate site for your small business. Using them will put your business website on a path toward success.
Richard Phillips With 20 years in project management, Rick took an early retirement from corporate America to work from the comfort of his home office. He is a consultant for mid- to large-size corporations and guest posts for project management blogs.