Operating a business without a network, even a physical store, is no longer feasible. Consumers have turned to the Internet from product research to location and business hours. Even having a well-designed simple website can dominate your field. If you have a product to sell, your website can open up new markets and expand your business easily and cheaply.
Web design software has been developed so it is now easier to use than ever. You don't need to know coding to develop attractive functional sites. No matter which program you use, there are some basic rules and techniques that can make your website look professional, easy to find and show your company in the best way.
This is our step-by-step guide to creating a successful business website.
1. Determine the main purpose of your website
Commercial websites are often used as space to provide general information about your company or a platform directly used for e-commerce. Whether you are creating a simple website to introduce your company information or creating a more complex e-commerce website, the most important thing you must do is to say your company ’s work in a simple way on the homepage.
The website design adds: "Please consider your specific user experience and the journey users will experience when browsing your website." "No matter what your website's basic goal or focus is, users should be able to easily achieve It, and as users navigate the entire site, the goal itself should also be strengthened. "
If you do not intend to accept payment through your website, you will not need to do much setup work. If you are a retailer or service provider and want to provide customers with online payment options, you need to use external services to receive payments, which will be discussed later in this article.
2. Determine your domain name
The domain name is one of the most important functions of the website. This is the URL that you will share with existing and potential customers and promote on social media. Therefore, you want it to be descriptive and easy to remember and enter. Please keep it as short as possible, and avoid using acronyms, acronyms, and numbers as much as possible to avoid customer confusion.
You also need to determine the top-level domain or TLD. This is the suffix at the end of the domain name, such as .com, .net or .biz. However, non-traditional TLD names have increased in recent years. Although these can be described, .com is still the default setting. Read our article on choosing non-traditional TLDs to learn more.
3. Choose a virtual host
Every website needs a "host", that is, a server that stores all data for the public to access at any time. As a small business, hosting your own website is too big, so you need to choose an external host.
Depending on your budget, you can follow two different routes. Shared web hosting is the cheapest option, which means you will share the server with other sites. The cost of dedicated hosting is much higher, but it means that you have your own private server without having to compete with other sites that may slow down. For help choosing a web hosting service, please visit our buyer's guide.
Jim Cowie, a cloud-based internet performance company scientist, said that when choosing a host, consider that the host can answer questions about its server location and reliability.
Cowie said: "It's a good question: 'Can you tell me how close you are to the main market customers will enter?'" Evaluation of its performance. "
As you grow, you may find that you need to upgrade to another web host, or even need to work with multiple providers to handle your website traffic and operations. Cowie recommends paying close attention to your website's performance and customers' experience using the website so that you can determine your hosting needs.
4. Create your page
A good website is more than just a static homepage. You will need to create multiple pages dedicated to different aspects of the business, such as an inventory of products or services, or a blog section for company updates. As for your overall website, you want to make sure that each page supports the main goals of the website, a clear purpose and contains a call to action (for example, to learn more, register, contact us or purchase this book).
Directly linking the customer page to your contact page is one of the most important parts of the website, so make sure to include as much information as possible (phone number, email address and physical location, if applicable). It is also a good idea to include information about the founding team or employees on the "About" page to help customers add real names and faces to your brand.
If your company does not yet have a logo, hire a graphic designer or create your own logo for use on your website, business card, and social media profile. This will help your customers identify your company quickly and easily on the web.
Justin Zalewski, design director of design and innovation consulting firm Studio Science, provides some basic tips to help you create efficient, content-rich pages for your website:
Be clear about your business. Refine what your business does into clear, concise statements, and use it as a guide. Visitors should be able to understand your operations within seconds of logging in to the homepage. A few well-written pages are more effective than dozens of poorly-written pages.
Issue a call to strategic action. When the call-to-action buttons match the information on the page, they tend to work best. For example, on the product page, but on the "About" page, the "Buy Now" button makes sense. Instead, "contact us for more information" may be more appropriate. Similarly, the page listing customer reviews may have a button that takes the reader to the available plans and prices.
Increase speed automatically. Set as many automatic speed improvements as possible. If you use a content management system (CMS), installing the correct plug-in will cache a portion of your website, so visitors do not need to download any content. For WordPress users, Zalewski recommends WP Super Cache or W3 Total Cache, which can compress files and allow visitors to browse your website faster. If you are not particularly technically savvy, some of the more technical aspects of caching and compressing files may require a web development partner.
Avoid stock photos. Tacky stock photography is the fastest way to turn a great website into a mediocre website. If you are looking for photos to use on the page, it is best to use photos from the actual team or office.
Pheil added that high-quality images of products can increase sales, so please invest in high-quality photos of the products or services you sell.
5. Set up your payment system (if applicable)
Although this step does not apply to all commercial websites, companies wishing to provide online payment options will need to integrate electronic payment systems into their websites. The easiest way is through e-commerce software or a third-party payment processor.
Many web hosts provide internal shopping carts or integrate with e-commerce programs. Do some research to ensure that you get an easy-to-use and flexible enough solution to meet your current and future needs. To explore your e-commerce software options, please visit the "Business News Daily" list of the best choices.
6. Test and publish your website
Before announcing that your website is online, please make sure it works properly on all major browsers such as Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Safari and Chrome. Click each page and function of the browser to ensure that the image is displayed, the link is correct and the format looks smooth. This will take some time, but the work you do now will avoid complaints for visitors who cannot access certain features in the future.
Another important feature that was included in your website from the beginning is the analysis program. Shaoolian said that by setting up before the site goes live, you can solve all problems and coordinate appropriate settings. After the website goes online, you can monitor the performance of the page and determine the reason for the success or failure of the page based on your analysis.
"You can see which marketing activities show the most conversions, and check any metrics (such as cities, browsers, etc.) to understand how the audience interacts with your website," Shaoolian said. "If you ... do this after the website goes online, you will miss valuable data and you will not be able to see which elements of the website succeeded or failed from the beginning."
7. Market your website on social media / search engines
Social media, whether it is Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Pinterest, is the best way to expand the audience and remind customers and customer companies. Whenever you update a website, you should post information about the website on social media, but keep it balanced with real, non-promotional participation.
It also includes links to social media on your website. The most common location is the footer or auxiliary bar (extra menu in the upper right corner, which usually contains a login or contact link). Learn more about business social media in our guide for marketers.
Submitting your website to the major search engines will also help guide potential leads to your page and deploy a powerful search engine optimization (SEO) strategy throughout the website. Shaoolian said that defining title tags, meta descriptions, and uniform resource identifiers (URIs) related to companies and industries will help ensure that you rank correctly in the search engines for the products or services you want to market.
He said: "From the initial stage of the website, relevant keywords are built into your content, and since the website has been launched, it has paid great attention to SEO, which will help you generate traffic as soon as possible."
8. Maintain your website
It ’s important to stay relevant, so please update your website frequently by posting blog posts about current industry events, new products and offers, and company news to get visitors back to the site.
You should also check at least once a month to ensure that your software and all additional components are up to date. Phil said that if your software is not up-to-date, even if the site host is very secure, there is a danger of being hacked. If you do n’t have time to do this yourself, delegate tasks to trusted employees or hire freelance webmasters.
Starting a website for your business is a low-cost investment that will help you build credibility and expand your customer base than traditional marketing techniques. If you update your website with the latest content, and can quickly resolve technical issues, then you do n’t have to worry about current and future customers "not existing."
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