The country is going digital and so should you! If you have a business where you’re selling your products or services, it is a must for you to market over the World Wide Web.
While you can advertise over all platforms, what your target buyers will need is a website they can refer to when they need you. A concise platform that talks about your values, your past works, your products and everything about your business.
7 Steps To Start A Website For Your Small Business
Your website showcases everything there is to know about your business. Here are 7 steps to creating and launching a business website that gets results.
1. Name your brand
So, first things first. Assuming you know what your brand will be about, decide on the domain name. Make it simple yet catchy.
If it is about a product, your domain name should be an indication of the same. If you’re an artist or a writer, your domain can be your own name. That’s right, create a brand to reckon with!
What experts suggest is to give your brand a name and use that as the domain name. You can consult sites like register.com for suggestions on choosing the correct domain names.
2. Choose your domain carefully
When choosing a domain name, try to have it not too long and restrict the number of words to two. Having a long domain like YourInnerMostFashion (dot) com or a very generic domain like lingerie (dot) com, can both be confusing as well as misleading.
While the process of deciding the domain name might seem to be casual to you in the beginning, the thing is that you will not have the choice to change it once you have launched it.
Changing the brand name is rarely a good idea and your domain should be as close to your brand name as possible.
Take your time and choose the domain name carefully as it will stay with you always. Once that is done, buy your domain and a web hosting package.
Remember, these must be renewed every year so make sure you get the emails and save the login information.
With hosting rights, you get the rights to host the website. It’s like a home where your website can live and this is where you create the look and content of the website.
Do a little research about where you are buying your domain and hosting. You should always buy a web hosting package from reliable web hosting providers.
If anyone you know has a website similar to what you want, ask them. Or better yet, ask someone who creates websites. Don’t ask any random techie, though.
3. Customize your website
Done? Congratulations. You now have a website address. The next part is interesting. If you want an elaborate website, you can hire someone to design your website for you.
However, it is pretty easy to make your website yourself. You learn something new and it’s good to be independent so that you don’t have to depend on a website designer every time you need to make a small change.
You have a choice of platforms to pick but self-hosted WordPress is the best CMS – it’s free, easy to use, is mobile-friendly, and has a massive support community.
You’ll need to log in to your web hosting account and opt for the platform on which you plan to build your website. Let’s say you decided on WordPress – it is the easiest for even the most tech-challenged.
Next forward your domain to your hosting server and setup WordPress on your server. If this all sounds too complicated, sign up for this free WordPress tutorial for beginners will help you learn WordPress free.
Once you login you need to follow the regular process of selecting a free theme. Or you can buy a professional theme, customize it, add content, and then finally do a soft launch.
4. Create search optimized content
Once you have designed it, add the content. Make sure the content is of top quality because erroneous and badly written content will drive traffic away from your website.
Use SEO language and keywords so that your website and the posts come up in Google search. These writing courses will teach you how to write content that both humans and search engines will love.
Read up a bit about how SEO works and how you can use it to grow your website traffic. You will only benefit from this knowledge.
Start a blog, post excellent content, tag your posts and use appropriate categories – these are the real marketing tools for your website.
If you’re not a fan of writing, you can create video content instead, upload it to YouTube and Facebook and embed it on your blog.
5. Soft launch
After you have reviewed the website and liked how it looks (and reads), it is time to do a soft launch.
Ask a few friends to load the website from different mediums – laptop, mobile, different browsers, Android devices and iOS. Use this free Google tool to ensure that your website is mobile-friendly.
This is to ensure that there are no glitches, especially if your website is selling something. Run the payment gateway and check that it is running smoothly.
Now is the time to find all the glitches and correct them. If they happen when customers try to access your website, you will lose out on goodwill as well as customers.
Not many will take the effort to let you know about the problems they face with accessing your website.
6. Debug your website
If and when bugs are detected, correct them. If yours is a regular website or a blog, there shouldn’t be any major issues.
However, if you are selling something and have a payment gateway along with a lot of pictures of products, you might face some problems during the soft launch.
Either way, do not worry. They can be corrected. Take professional or expert help if needed. You can find WordPress experts to help you troubleshoot problems on Fiverr.
7. Formally launch the website
Once everything is running smoothly, do a proper launch. Make sure you do this everywhere; across all social media platforms.
Everyone needs to know that your business is now launched and you’re here to make the news! Have a contact form where people can connect with you and send feedback.
It is always important to get feedback from the people who are paying for your business. They are your target market and your products and services need to be customized based on their requirements.
Congratulations! Your business has a website now and this is the most effective tool to promote your business and earn more revenue. Now you can start to promote your website using Facebook ads and other marketing techniques.
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