Creating a website for your small business involves many steps. From planning your layout and content all the way through to launching and marketing your completed site, these tips will help.
You’ll need to take many steps to build a small business website. You must create the website design, determine what actions you want visitors to take, gather the information and graphics that will encourage visitors to take those actions, and choose a system for displaying that content. And that’s just for starters.
Whether you’re creating your first small business website or relaunching an existing site, following these basic steps for building a website can help the project go more smoothly and be more successful.
Planning Your Website
Whether you plan to hire someone to create your website or build it yourself, the first step in developing a successful website or blog is planning.
Consider what the website will be used for, what results you want to achieve, what content will go on the website, and how you want the website to look. These guides will help you plan your website.
Website Requirements Questionnaire
The key to getting the best results when you build or rebuild your website is to start with a thorough review of your needs. This 32-point questionnaire will help you identify those needs.
As with any other project, a lot of pieces go into setting up a website. This website basics guide informs you of the tasks involved and provides tips on how to choose a web developer or designer to help with your project.
Building the Website
With your plans in place, it’s time to consider your options for getting the site set up. Depending on the skills and time available to you, you may choose to build the site yourself or find a web developer or designer to do some or all of the work.
Doing It Yourself
Web hosting companies that provide do-it-yourself web design tools and templates make it sound like it’s very easy to create your own website. And some small business owners find they can use these tools on their own to create a nice site for their business.
Others, however, find they would prefer to hire someone to get the site built. This article on website building will help you choose the best path for your business.
Working with a Web Developer or Designer
If you find you don’t have the skills, time, or patience to build your small business website on your own, then you’ll need to hire a professional to help. No matter who you hire, you’ll still need to be involved in the project. Here’s how to work with a web developer to get the best results.
Whether you choose to build the site yourself or work with a web designer, you’ll want to give careful consideration to the site’s overall color scheme. Use these website color selection tips to help you choose the best color palette for your site.
Creating the Website Content
What should you put on your website? And how hard is it to write web content? The answer depends, of course, on what kind of website you want. But for most small businesses, there are some pretty basic website content requirements. Here’s some pointers on what to include on your website.
How to Write Web Content
Writing good web content isn’t as difficult as you think. The keys to success are keeping your audience’s interest in mind as well as focusing on the results you want to achieve.
To get yourself past writer’s block, read the best way to write web page content. Next, read and follow these web writing guidelines.
Web Content Ownership
Just because you pay someone to design the website, create the graphics, or write the copy doesn’t mean you automatically own the rights to what you bought. Be sure you own the rights by getting the appropriate agreements signed by the people you outsource the work to.
Here’s important legal information about what you must do to be sure you own the rights to your website design and content.
Where to Get Images for Your Website
If you have an eye for photography, you can probably get take some of the images you’ll want on your business website with your smartphone or with a digital camera. But often, pictures you can snap yourself don’t do the trick. In some cases, you may want to hire a photographer, but there are less expensive solutions that may work for you, too.
Here are some tips on where to get free images for your website, along with what not to do.
Before You Launch Your Website
Once everything’s in place on your new website, you’ll be eager to go live with it (that is, make it publicly available). Before you do, take the time to go over the site and make sure everything is easy for a visitor to find and use.
Go through this website usability checklist yourself and then have someone who isn’t familiar with the project look at the site and let you know their thoughts about the items on the checklist.
Redesigning Your Website
If you’re redesigning a website instead of building a new one, you’re probably unhappy with the way your current site looks or performs. But just knowing that you want to get more sales from the site or change the site’s look isn’t enough to make substantial improvements.
Before you can improve the site, you need to gather details about what’s wrong with it. Two things to consider are what visitors want to find there and what search engines think individual webpages on the site are about.
If you’re not getting enough business, try these 12 improvements for getting more sales and leads from your website. Also, be sure that you’re not making any of these web mistakes that lose sales.
Other issues that could be causing poor results from your site could be that you’re not doing enough to market and promote the website, you don’t have good calls to action, or people may be abandoning their shopping cart before completing their orders. You’ll find solutions for many of those problems in our section on website results and profitability.
Click here for more web design tips.
Marketing Your Website
Once you build the website, you have to market and promote it for that people will find it. At some point, you may want to buy advertising to promote your site, but there are a number of free and low-cost strategies you can use to market the website. For more information, see our sections on social media, email marketing, and SEO.
How We Can Help
Remember, if you’re not a professional website designer and/or can’t afford to hire one full-time, you do have other options. You don’t need to do any coding to use our business website service. With our customization tools and a library of templates to choose from, you can create an attractive, easy-to-use website that’s easy to update. Contact us today for more information.