Here are a few tips on how to make a killer business website! Small business owners should know by now that’s it’s essential to have a website. But many small businesses still stubbornly resist having an online presence, or just settle for the bare minimum, little more than a glorified business card with a URL.
Consumers Look Around Online Before Almost Every Purchase
It’s unwise for businesses to ignore the
importance of a nicely designed and up-to-date website with a handsome theme
and lots of content. Retailing
Today found that 81 percent of consumers go online before going to the
store to purchase major items. That was a 20 percent jump from the year before.
For items like appliance, flooring, furnishings, bedding, electronic devices,
jewelry, lawn and garden equipment, glasses, and many other items, shoppers
spent an average of 79 days gathering information before making a major
purchase. If your website doesn’t have rich content presented in an up-to-date
template, or worse yet, if you don’t have a website at all, chances are you’re
going to miss out on a potential purchase.
Small businesses should view investments in Web presence as equal in importance to any other kind of infrastructure cost. It’s unlikely that a business will be able to survive in a connected world much longer without it.
A well-designed website give potential customers a sense of professionalism about a company, and many businesses that are run on a shoestring manage to show the world an Internet face that rivals the biggest corporations. The Internet can serve to level the playing field if you use it correctly. Here’s how to proceed:
First, You Need A Name
|Get a nice domain name|
You might have read that all the good URLs are already taken, but it’s really not that hard to find a web address that’s short and descriptive for your business. There are many low-cost registrars of domain names available and you can use their search functions to tinker with a variation of your brand name or business focus to find an unused one. Try to avoid dashes or numbers in your URL, because these can be confusing when spoken aloud. You can purchase a domain name and hosting for your site from the same company to save billing confusion. You may be pleasantly surprised to find out how little it costs. It’s common to keep a domain name and hosting costs to under $100 pr year.
Get A Template
|CMS platforms and development tools|
With many beautiful and responsive templates available for any website, and the easy integration of commerce into all the major Content Management Systems like WordPress, Joomla, and Google’s Blogger, there’s no reason for a business owner to hesitate to develop a solid web presence any longer. The need for in-depth knowledge of HTML and Cascading Style Sheets and other arcane knowledge of web design is a thing of the past. Pre-made templates overlaid on top of constantly updated CMS utilities now offer even the least web-savvy person a user-friendly back end where entering information is as straightforward as typing an email.
All the prominent CMS offer users lots of add-ons for specific needs, so if you want users to sign up for newsletters, take a survey, or include you on their social network, it’s easy, and either free or low cost to add them later.
If you’re going to venture into online retailing, you can find instant ecommerce plugins for all CMS types that make order taking and inventory management a breeze. Utilities like Shopify offer dedicated pages for commerce that integrate with your existing templates for an easy and seamless combination of information and sales on the same website.
Getting Found On The Internet
Just getting your website up and running doesn’t guarantee that anyone will look at it. Like a brick and mortar store without a sign, traffic passing by doesn’t know what you’re about, or even that you’re open. You’ve got to advertise a little. Put as much content on your site as you can manage, up date it often, and then tell everyone you’re there.
First, help yourself with free and easy methods of online publicity. Put your web address on all your correspondence and your stationery and business cards. Every email you send should have not only your return email, put your URL on it. Search Engine Optimization is asophisticated business these days, so you can hire a SEO company to draw attention to your website, or you can spend money on advertising using utilities like Google Adwords to send search users to your website for as little as a few pennies per click.
Business owners need to stop thinking about websites as a large, complicated, and potentially expensive undertaking and start thinking about how they can leverage an online presence into an important revenue stream. It’s a very rare website that can’t cover the costs of developing it, and a well designed website is bound to expand an existing customer base and grow your business in ways you can barely predict before you get going. Amazon once only sold books, and look how that turned out.