When creating a small business website, you have to remember this: it's not about you. Although you're using the website as a part of your marketing strategy to attract more customers or to automate your business, an effective website is all about the customer. It caters to customer needs and preferences, it's easy to navigate, and the "about us" page is the only section where you might use the words "I" or "We". With that in mind, consider the following basics of a small business website:
What to Build It With
You have to choose a software application to build a website if you're not experienced in building websites from scratch. WordPress is a great publishing software to use, because it's straightforward. There are many free templates to choose from for any kind of business. All you would have to do is add content, and customize it if you want. You can also add "plugins," which are tools to add functions to the website. For example, you can find a shopping card plugin, which would allow you to sell products on the website. Find a hosting company that already integrates WordPress.
There are some websites that you are drawn to from the start, and others that you click out of as soon as they load. That's because of the design, which is the visual presentation of the website. Choose a color scheme that will keep customers interested in staying on your website longer. Don't pick color schemes that suit your fancy. For example, stay away from jolting colors, like an all black theme, unless that's attractive to your clientele.
The layout of your small business website is also key to a good design. The elements of your layout should consist of these factors:
- Length of pages
- Pixel spacing between sections on the web pages
- Header and footer
- Navigation between pages
- Blocks of text on page
When someone visits your website, they should be able to find what they need readily, and make a purchase or take another action that you want them to take. It doesn't happen magically. Your website layout affects their ability to do that. If the layout is not planned out well, the visitor may give up and leave your website. Take this into consideration as you search for free templates on WordPress or another web design program.
Content is key when it comes to a small business website. You have to compel visitors to stay on the website and learn more about how your products or services can benefit them. Start with written content, which should be free of grammatical and spelling errors. It should also be persuasive and draw in the customer. There are freelance writers who write web content exclusively, and you can hire one to edit or write your web pages. Add audio and visual content down the road, to appear higher in search engine results and to keep prospective customers interested. Video clips, podcasts and audio clips are easy to produce, and you can hire a video producer for help if you need to.
Consider hiring a web designer to create your small business website, if learning it yourself would take too long.