Marketing for Small Business: 6 Steps to Setting Up Your Own Website

Even for businesses that are brick-and-mortar, it’s impossible to operate without an online presence. Customers use the Internet to research products and companies, and having a simple, well-designed site will give you an advantage. Web design software is easy to use, and no coding knowledge is necessary. Follow these tips to create a successful business site.

Setting Up Your Own Website

Determine the Site’s Purpose

Business websites serve as direct e-commerce platforms or places to get general information. Whether you’re using to create a basic informational site or a more involved e-commerce platform, it’s important to tell visitors what the company does. Think about the user experience and use that data to make it easier for visitors to achieve the site’s goals.

Choose a Domain Name

The domain name is one of a business site’s most crucial features. It’s the web address you’ll share with clients and promote on social media, so it should be descriptive but simple to remember. You’ll also have to choose a TLD or top-level domain; .com, .biz, and .net are common choices. Though non-traditional TLDs are becoming more common, .com is still the most popular option. Once the domain name is chosen, confirm availability and purchase it through a registrar.

Find Web Hosting

All websites need hosts or servers where data is stored for public use. As a small business owner, hosting a site may be an unmanageable expense, so you’ll have to choose external hosting. There are two routes to take: shared and dedicated hosting. Shared hosting is less expensive, but the site will have to share space with hundreds of others. Dedicated hosting is costlier, but you’ll get a private server and your site won’t have to compete with others that may slow it down.

Build Pages

Good websites are much more than static home pages. You’ll have to create pages for each aspect of your business, such as a product catalog and a company blog. Every page should support the site’s goals, have a defined purpose, and include strong calls to action. The contact page is one of the most vital sections, as it tells customers how to contact you. Therefore, it should include as much information as possible, such as the company’s email address, phone number, and its physical location (if present). If the business lacks a logo, hire a designer to create something that’s usable on business cards, social media, and the website.

Set Up a Payment System

Though this step won’t apply to every site, you’ll have to integrate a payment system if there will be an online payment option. Third-party processors and e-commerce software are the easiest ways to accomplish this, and many hosts offer in-house solutions and e-commerce integration. By doing some research, you’re more likely to find a flexible, easy-to-use solution.

Test the Site and Publish It

Before allowing the site to go live, be sure it works on all the major web browsers, such as Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Internet Explorer. On each browser, click through every feature and page to ensure clear images, correct links, and accurate formatting. This step takes time, but it will minimize visitor complaints.

In Closing

Starting a small business website is an investment that helps establish credibility and widen a company’s customer base. When technical issues are quickly addressed and sites are kept up to date, businesses stay fresh in customers’ minds. With these tips, creating a relevant, easy-to-use website becomes easier.

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