It’s no secret that if you have a small business, it needs a website. While there are definitely benefits to hiring a professional web developer to build and maintain your website, taking matters into your own hands is more affordable while retaining the potential for significant results.
Here are some easy tips from our web design team that can help put you on the right track towards designing a website that properly promotes your business.
Choose a web building platform
Website builders like Squarespace are great for marketing your business without hiring a developer. There are many website building platforms available, so how do you know which one is the best fit for your business? When choosing the website building platform that is best for your business, you want to consider your skillset and pick the provider that’s user friendly while still offering a wide range of business-specific features and tools. We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorites to help you get started:
- WordPress: WordPress.org gives you access to amazing features and allows you to have more control over your website. This option is an open-source project, meaning that it’s completely free to use, however; you will be responsible for finding a web host provider, which is an additional cost. We recommend this option for beginners because of its easy to use features, affordability, flexibility and overall quality to help you achieve an amazing website.
- Squarespace and Wix: Unlike WordPress, these particular website builders are hosted meaning that they provide all-in-one solutions. While you won’t need to outsource hosting to another company – making things simpler for you – these options provide less flexibility in terms of design.
Choose a good e-commerce platform
In order to run a successful business, you will need to consider the best ways to make a profit. One of the best ways to increase your business’ profit is by selling goods and/or services through your website. If your small business plans to sell goods or services through your website, you will need to set up an e-commerce platform to allow you to do so. Here are some of the best e-commerce platforms for your business model:
- WooCommerce: This option is built for anyone with a WordPress website wanting to open an e-commerce store. It is basically a plug-in that allows you to create an online store, and is a good fit for bloggers looking to expand into e-commerce.
- Shopify: Shopify is one of the most common and easy-to-use hosted web platforms with e-commerce capabilities on the market. This option is one of the best for beginners as it allows you to create and customize an online store, manage products, inventory, payments, and shipping. You can link your Shopify account to your WordPress and Wix websites as well.
- Squarespace and Wix: Both Wix and Squarespace come with built-in ecommerce tools that allow you to build an online store.
Create and publish quality content
Because content quality is an important part of a website, you will want to come up with a plan to create and publish quality content – articles, blog posts, images and video – on your website as well as on external sites that link to your site. You will also want to try to rank high in search engine results, and of course you want to encourage users to return to your site. Try coming up with a strategy for implementing content onto your website to ensure that you are updating your website regularly with new content.
Optimize your website for search engines
Apply SEO to your website to ensure that search engines index and rank your website appropriately. This will allow your business site to be displayed in the top pages of search results. Once a search engine “crawls” your website, it compares it to other sites that feature similar content to yours. Because your site competes with other sites that are similar to yours, it is crucial to make sure that your overall web design and content are of high quality, so that you have a higher chance of your website showing up in search results. Top SEO practices include keyword research and implementation, optimal website code, having a mobile-friendly website, using high quality backlinks, internal links and linking social media to your website.
Implement a website maintenance plan
Once you’ve created your website, it’s important to make sure that you are doing your best to maintain it. You don’t want your website to become outdated or irrelevant, as this will cause less users to visit your site. Having an outdated website can also cause you to rank lower in search engine results, so it’s crucial to make sure you implement a maintenance plan to keep your website in good shape and ranking highly. Here are a few tips that you can implement in your plan to maintain your website:
- Check Webmaster Tools once a month
- Using traffic data to optimize and fix errors
- Run security scans, use “split testing” to test for performance
- Allow feedback to be received on your site
- Keep a watchful eye on your competition and back up your website every 10 days
Don’t get left behind; work with KWSM to develop a powerfully targeted digital marketing campaign that will expand your reach and generate leads and more potential customers.