Every small business needs a website, regardless of what type of business it is, how strong its offline marketing is, or even how good its Facebook page is. Your company website acts as the gateway to your business, providing potential customers with valuable
information and giving a first impression for people who find you online. When setting up your small business website, follow several strategies to get it right the first time around.
Choose a reliable Web host. A stellar website won’t do you much good if it’s offline all the time because you chose an unreliable host. Your Web hosting provider needs to have a reputation for keeping sites online and running and for offering top-notch speeds for visitors. A speedy host will cut your load times so people don’t get frustrated waiting to get from one page to another, especially if you have lots of imbedded images or videos. This is critical if you’re going to have an e-commerce store included in your site.
Select a talented design team. Unless you consider yourself a Web design professional, hire outside help to develop and design your website. Don’t just pick the first company you find, the one with the lowest price or even the one with the best reputation. The right design team is the one that fits you and your business best. Take a look at their portfolio to see if you like the look of sites they’ve designed in the past, and take your time interviewing designers to find one who shares your vision and takes your goals into account when creating your website.
Set up analysis tools. Even if your website is perfect the first time around, you won’t know unless you set up tools to track responses to your site. Before you go live, set up Google Analytics to see how people are getting to your site and what they’re doing once they are there. Not only will these tools allow you to calculate your return on investment with different streams of advertising, but they’ll help you find weak areas to improve in the coming months.
Launch a blog. Your business website should have a blog where you and your team post regularly. Blogs promote engagement among people who already know all of the static content, and they make you more visible on search engines. Once you have a blog, write posts and schedule them to go up at least twice per week. Mix up the content on your blog, too; cover industry events, company culture and product education. Show your readers that you know your industry, value human interaction and can answer whatever questions they have about your products.
Once your website is ready to go live, take the time to test it with a sample audience to see how people respond. Having fresh eyes look at it allows you to understand what snags may still exist in navigation, first impressions and overall usability. As soon as you’re confident the site is ready, launch it and see how your business grows.