Creating a website for your small business can be an excellent way to demonstrate its credibility and unique value proposition.
Moreover, when you enable people to purchase your products or services online, it gives you the chance to attract a broader customer base and ultimately boost your sales.
Luckily, the website creation process is relatively simple. In this article, we’ll cover eight key factors to consider so that you can develop a professional-looking and smooth-running small business website.
1. Domain Name
The domain name will be the website address users type into their browsers to access your site. So, ensure it represents your brand well. If your small business website primarily focuses on attracting a UK target audience, opt for the .co.uk domain extension as it can help boost users’ familiarity and trust in dealing with local businesses.
Domain names should be short, simple, memorable, and easy to pronounce. Try not to include hyphens, numbers, and special characters to avoid misspellings. Furthermore, choose a domain name that includes a keyword related to your business to improve discoverability.
If you have difficulty choosing a good domain name for your small business website, there are numerous domain name generators to provide you with some ideas. Once you’ve settled on the perfect digital address, use WHOIS to check its availability.
2. Web Hosting
A reliable web hosting provider is the main factor behind any fast and smooth-running website. Look for web hosting services that use the latest technology to protect your data and optimize your site’s speed and performance. We recommend going with an excellent WordPress hosting UK provider like Hostinger to handle all your hosting-related tasks.
Hostinger’s intuitive interface lets you efficiently manage your hosting account and website files. Its WordPress Starter plan can be an excellent option if you choose to run a small WordPress site. At £2.99/month, you’ll get a free domain, email account, and unlimited bandwidth, which is ideal for accommodating the beginning of your online journey.
3. Website Building Platform
Create your own website using either a content management system (CMS) like WordPress or website builders like Wix or Squarespace. If you have limited technical knowledge, then the latter can be an ideal option. Most website builders come with pre-made themes and simple drag-and-drop tools to construct your site in just a few clicks.
Meanwhile, popular CMSs like WordPress are a top choice for all website owners who want complete control over their site management, including choosing their preferred web hosting company. WordPress users also have access to thousands of free and premium plugins, which can add to a site’s functionality, like optimizing it for search engines or enhancing its security.
In terms of domains, most website builders enable you to purchase a domain name directly from the platform or connect a custom domain. If you’re a WordPress website user, you can buy it from a domain registrar or simply choose a hosting plan that provides one for free.
No matter what platform you choose, evaluate each option thoroughly to make a well-informed decision. Read online reviews or watch tutorials and live demos to assess a platform’s ease of use and whether it aligns with your needs and budget.
4. Website Design
When it comes to web design, it is essential to provide a good balance between aesthetics and functionality to your site visitors. Apart from choosing the right theme, incorporating impressive visuals, and using consistent typography, ensure easy navigation with elements like clear menu categories and a search bar.
While customizing your site’s overall look and feel, take inspiration from your favorite websites and competitors within your niche. Then, ensure your site works properly on all devices, whether desktop or mobile, using tools like Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool.
Having a responsive and mobile-friendly website is crucial since responsiveness is one of the top ranking factors on Google. What’s more, it’s equally as important for ensuring your site provides a smooth overall user experience (UX).
5. Marketing Strategies
Digital marketing plays a vital role in your online business growth. Set SMART goals to help you formulate effective marketing campaigns. These goals can revolve around boosting sales or increasing your web ranking on search engine results pages (SERP). Then, choose marketing methods that best suit your budget and target customers.
It is possible to deliver your marketing efforts through organic content, search engine optimization (SEO), email campaigns, or social media. Use tools like SpyFu and Semrush to conduct competitor analysis and keyword research to create relevant content and maximize your overall online success.
6. Social Media Integration
Social media empowers small businesses to understand how the audience engages with their posts and overall brand. With many platforms available, research and pick the ones your customers use the most to help you focus on the right social media promotion efforts.
To boost website engagement for your small business, include all your social media accounts on your homepage and contact page so visitors can easily connect with you on different platforms.
Similarly, integrate social sharing buttons on your website to help increase your social media engagement. With it, visitors can quickly share your content on their favorite platforms. It’s also important to consider creating hashtags related to your business to boost brand awareness.
7. Payment System
A payment gateway is essential for processing customers’ transactions safely, enabling any online store to accept digital payments like via credit cards or bank transfers. Offering a range of payment options is also crucial to help facilitate the checkout process.
Accepting various payment methods is beneficial for two key reasons. First, it helps improve the overall shopping experience as customers are more likely to find their preferred payment method. Second, it encourages conversions, which can lead to reduced cart abandonment rates and more repeat purchases.
8. Backup and Security Policies
Site backups help ensure that you can restore any lost website data due to unforeseen events like cyberattacks or server errors. For that reason, it is best to enable automatic backups via your hosting account. For extra security, consider backing up your files on a flash drive or an external hard drive and make sure to store them somewhere safe.
To enhance site security further, use strong passwords for all your website credentials and activate multi-factor authentication. This will make it more difficult for hackers to access your website’s admin accounts. Additionally, ensure to always update any plugins or applications on your site to minimize security risks.
The key to running successful small business websites is making sure you have all the essentials covered. Here is a recap of factors to consider during your website-creation process:
- Domain name
- Web hosting
- Website building platform
- Website design
- Marketing strategies
- Social media integration
- Payment system
- Backup and security policies
We hope this article serves as a useful guide for developing your small business website. Good luck!