Wondering how to get a website for your small business?
Whether you are starting a business or consider getting a website for your already established business the process is much the same.
Read on discover how these 5 steps can quickly help you on your way to getting your small business website started.
- Choose to do it yourself or get a small business website designer
- Choose your website address
- Focus on five core website pages when designing your website structure (e.g. Home, About, Services, News, Contact)
- Consider what functionality you need from your website (e.g. request a quote forms, brochure downloads, email newsletter subscription)
- Choose what content you want to include.
1) DIY website or Small Business Web Design Specialist?
The first thing any small business owner should do is consider whether you will get help with creating your website or whether you are willing to invest the time, effort and learning involved in creating a DIY website.
While it is now easier than ever before to create your own website using online software, if appearing in search engines and getting your online marketing right is important to your small business then I strongly advise you to at least consult an expert.
Websites are also more affordable now then they ever have been. For instance, our websites start at just $695 for a small business. If you are a small business owner, I also recommend you look for a web design company that specialises in small business websites.
If you choose to go with a website designer they will help you:
- Choose and register your website address
- Setup your website hosting
- Advise you on:
- What functionality you may want to include in your website and let you know the possibilities and options thanks to the latest website developments
- The best website structure
- Search engine optimisation and especially local search engine optimisation for small business
- The best content to add to your website
- Branding and marketing your business online
- Create your email addresses
Aside from this, the benefits of using a website designer go beyond the obvious. They will ensure that your website is developed to ensure more visitors come to the website and stay on the website. They are experts at understanding the importance and nuances of calls to action, consistent branding and good content plus ensuring you stand out from your customers.
You will also have the reassurance of having established and developed a valuable supplier who you can call on when you need help and advice.
2) Finding a website address:
The second step is finding a website address (domain name) for your website.
For instance, ours is www.getonlineaustralia.net
When looking at website addresses some businesses will want to have a website address that is as close as possible to their business name, while others will prefer to have website address that represents their product and service. Choosing which direction your business is going to go in is an important strategic decision.
This is a great guide from the guys at Moz: How to Choose the Right Domain Name
Essentially breaking it down to the simplest dot points:
- Make it unique, not easily confused with another webiste.
- Make it easy to type and remember (no hyphens!)
- Consider keywords related to your brand, business, product or service.
If you choose to work with us at Get Online Australia, one of the first conversation we will have with you is about choosing the best website address for your business.
3) Choosing your website structure:
How will you structure your website? What pages would you like to include? For most small businesses the essential pages are:
- Home page
- Products / Services
- Contact Us
More elaborate website structures can be important for businesses in specific niche industries, or those that want to take their website presence beyond a basic presence.
The ‘news’ page can also be a ‘blog’ and made up of a series of ‘posts’ or news articles that keep people up to date on special events, sales, customer testimonials or answer commonly asked questions.
4) What functionality would you like from your website?
Do you need to be able to edit and maintain your website? Would you like it to perform well in search engines? Do you need a frequently asked questions page to direct customers to? What about a contact form for customers to use to get in touch?
From photo and video galleries, online booking, email newsletter and social media integration deciding what you want and need then considering what you may want to add in the future is an important part of the website design process.
For many small business owners that are getting started, a simple website that can grow and develop with their business is all that they need. For other businesses they will be looking for more advanced features to develop their business, attract customers and make sales for them such as e-commerce, payment gateways, online booking, product showcases and more advanced calls to action.
5) What content to include?
What text, images, video and other content will you include?
Do you already have a printed brochure or customer information you send out? This is a great place to start as it usually offers all the information your customers are regularly asking you about or potential customers are searching for. I
Search engine optimisation is an important part of the website design process and is very dependent on content, as is your branding and website functionality. Your website is available 24hrs a day, 7 days a week to answer the questions of potential customers and act as your sales rep. Ensuring it does this in an effective manner is important, as is making sure there is a logical flow of information through the website and a customer can easily navigate to find what they want without getting confused.
Your websites content helps to establish who you are and explain to customers exactly what you offer. It is worthwhile spending time on getting it right.