The prospect of building your first small business website can seem challenging, but it isn’t necessarily. This post has nine tips for you, which cover everything from choosing your web address and a site builder to investing in security and SEO.
1. Your web address speaks volumes
There’s no overstating the importance of a website’s URL. When you choose your address, make sure it includes the keywords you want to rank for. This way, potential clients will find your business more easily.
If you decide to open a flower shop, choose an address like flowers-shop-name.com or simply flowers.com, although the availability of a very general address is doubtful. You can find more information about keywords and search engine optimization under tip 7.
2. Pick the right website-building platform
WordPress is the most popular website builder for small businesses. Among the reasons why it’s important to use WordPress are that it’s budget-friendly, and multiple tutorials to help you set up a small business website are available online.
WordPress is an excellent choice, but it’s not the only one. Squarespace has beautiful, intuitive templates and a two-week free trial. Wix also offers a free trial as well as a large number of features and templates. Other decent website builders include Weebly, Duda, GoDaddy, and SITE123.
3. An SSL certificate is indispensable
SSL is a security protocol that websites use to protect the connection between their servers and their visitors’ browsers. It secures data so cybercriminals can’t access it without a key. Your website needs an SSL certificate, especially if you’ll be processing online payments. SSL certificates increase customer trust.
The majority of consumers is reassured by the sight of the padlock symbol in the browser. You risk losing potential customers without an SSL certificate. Moreover, Google punishes sites without these certificates.
4. Choose the right theme for your site
The theme determines the design and layout of your site, and thousands of themes are available. Choose your theme carefully and make sure it’s responsive across devices, meaning it will look good on smartphone, computer, and tablet screens.
5. Install few but effective plugins
A small business website should do more than show information. You should install some plugins to improve your site’s functionality. Don’t go overboard with them, as they will slow down your site. WordPress has a few excellent plugins for beginners, such as Yoast, Jetpack, MonsterInsights, and more.
Yoast SEO will optimize your website for SEO, making your business easier to find online. Jetpack provides a myriad of options and features, including image optimization, social media integration, and security features.
MonsterInsights tracks the traffic to your website and tells you how users are reaching your site.
SeedProd helps create website pages, including an appealing “coming soon” page before you’ve launched your site to capture leads.
6. Set up a contact page
Include a Contact Us page with your business’s phone number, email address, and physical address, if applicable, and a contact form that lets people message you. If you choose WordPress to build your site, you can use the plugin WPForms to create a contact form. This plugin can also create survey forms and payment forms, among others.
You could also add a live chat feature to lend a personal touch to communication with your online visitors.
7. Use SEO tools to generate organic traffic
Search engine optimization (SEO) tools are essential because they can improve your website’s search engine ranking. Best practices include optimizing your images for online searches, sharing your content on social media, and adding keywords to your blog posts and your website’s title tags, meta descriptions, and headers.
Popular SEO tools include Google Analytics, Ahrefs, SEMrush, Ubersuggest, and Google Search Console.
8. Include a few videos on your site
Uploading videos to your website can also help improve your SEO rankings. You can embed them from YouTube and other video-sharing sites. Don’t upload too many videos, as these files are heavy and will weigh down your site.
9. Post reviews from satisfied customers
If you have reviews or testimonials from happy customers, be sure to include them on your website. You can add links to your page footers so visitors to your site can view them from every page. Another option is adding links to testimonials and reviews on your social media accounts so visitors who click on them from there can find positive feedback about your business immediately.