If your small business already has an Instagram, Facebook, and even Twitter accounts, the next thing you’re probably interested in creating would be an official website. But wait – how do you even start building a website for your small business? Do you need to be able to code? No need to fret – here are the following five important first steps that you should take as you prepare to make your way into the world of small business websites.
The most crucial part when building any website is to determine what you intend your website to be. Does your website exist to increase awareness of your brand? Are you planning on using your website as e-commerce? Or do you just want to create content that would increase your audience base? Does your business already have an existing online or offline presence already?
If all the above questions get too overwhelming for you, know that you can start small. You don’t immediately have to make a website with multiple pages hyperlinked to various other sites. A single-page website can be enough if you just want to keep it simple in the beginning.
If there’s one step that you can’t compromise in this list, it has to be this one. Unlike social media, where you don’t necessarily have to spend money to begin building your presence, domain names do require you to shell out some dough – and you can’t skimp on this because you cannot build your website’s presence on search engine rankings if you don’t have your own domain name.
The ideal domain name would be one that is closely associated with your business name – but that may not always be a viable option. When that happens to be the situation you’re in, consider using an acronym or shortened version of your business name. Make sure that you can find a balance between a good domain name and a good price.
Daniel from Pixelstorm says “There are tonnes of web hosting options available out there, each with its own unique selection of offerings. Prices can vary greatly as well – but as a rule of thumb, the higher the price, the more website visitors the server can accommodate. But, since you’re just starting your website, there’s no point in investing in expensive servers from the beginning. The key to managing this lies in finding a web hosting service that can accommodate businesses of various types, from small to large.”
The platforms that you use to build your website is crucial since, in the future, it would also dictate what kind of adjustments you can make on your website. Although it’s possible to build a website from scratch without having to use existing platforms, such as WordPress for CMS or Shopify for e-commerce, it would be unwise for you to do so unless you have prior web development experience.
This is why Step 1 is essential – if you already know what you want your website to do from the start, you can quickly figure out which platforms you need to use to build your website. Of course, if you’re not sure where to start, there are many guidelines that you can read to learn more.
You’ve bought the domain, paid for a web hosting service and found the perfect platform for your needs – what now? Well, here comes the part that’s going to be a bit more gruelling. You need to start creating content for your website. If you’re already used to creating posts in your social media accounts, you probably wouldn’t have much issue with creating content for your website – as long as you remember that things work a bit differently in search engine land.
At the bare minimum, you need to make sure that all of your landing pages are filled with the necessary content. That content may perhaps be a description of your business, a link to your social media accounts, and your product or service offering. Later on, consider making blog content to drive visitors to your website.
The above are the five first steps that you should take to start your small business website. Building a website can seem like a daunting challenge, but if you choose to pursue it nonetheless, the rewards that you’ll receive would arrive quicker than you think.