Before you start your small business web design and website plan, there are some things you should do, think about and take into consideration. We have compild a short list below of some of these things.
- Think about and identify the purpose(s) of the site: Not all small business Web sites have the same goal. Some may want to simply promote their product, while others are looking to promote their ideas or build an active community. Give some thought to what you want to accomplish before you actually do anything else. You’ll be surprised at how just thinking it through changes your perspective.
- Buy your domain: In most cases, the domain name you choose will probably be very similar to your business name, however, that’s not always the case. You may focus on “what” your business does. Either of these tactics can work well. Start with good keywork research. Don’t worry if you don’t have any idea how to do this. There are services you can use to do this and the entire process if you choose.
- Get your hosting: This is typically where small business owners start becoming overwhelmed. They’re cool with coming up with a wicked domain name, but for some reason tackling the “hosting” process seems scary. If you’re a small business owner, there are plenty of very affordable hosting options available that will get you up and running for less than $10 a month. Your hosting plan should also allow you the opportunity to create a [firstname.lastname@example.org] email address – make sure you set that up to give you some added street credibility. Nothing sounds more unprofessional than a Hotmail.com email address. Again, if you don’t know how or don’t want to do this, we can handle it all for you.
- Hire someone to design it: You don’t need a fancy, feature-heavy Web site in order to promote your small business on the Web, but you do need one that looks professional. If you can’t do it yourself, hire someone to knock it out for you. We offer some of the lowest priced, highest quality, SEO friendly small business websites around with domain name and hosting included for around $25 a month. Plus we do it all for you. Beat that!
- Create your content: Again, you’re not trying to be Neiman Marcus or CNN here. You don’t need a huge Web site over flowing with content. You just need to give potential customers some place trusted to land that tells them who you are and what you’re about. That means creating (at minimum) a 3 page site with your Home page, Product or Service pages, an About Us page, and a Contact us page to share information about who you are and what you do, but also to localize your business through the proper verbage and content. When we build you one of our amazing sites, we ask you to tell us about your business in your own words. What you do, how long you have been around, what are your specialties, your hours of operation and how to get in touch with you. Most customers have no problem putting something together but if you have writers block we can find someone to put it together for you and at a price that won’t break the bank. We promise!
- Get listed: Claiming your local business listing in Google, Yahoo, Bing, Yelp, BOTW and all over third-party sites is important enough that it should be on everyone’s “Setting Up Your Site” list. If you’re not sure if you’re site is already listed or what info the engines have about you, the appropriately-named GetListed.org is your window into that world. Again, this is something we can do for a very affordable price when you are ready to get on it.
- Marketing it: Like the design stage above, you may want to outsource your marketing efforts to professionals (that would be us) who can help you create a social media plan or a marketing road map. However, if you’re willing to get your hands dirty, you may not have to. There are plenty of ways to build buzz for your small business site without hiring a full-fledged Internet marketing company. If you don’t want to do it or don’t have the time, let us know and we’ll hook you up.
While the number of small business owners creating Web sites is up 36 percent over the past two years, that number really needs to grow in the coming years. The search engines’ obsession with local has made your Web site an even bigger part of your business and marketing plan. Make sure you’re treating as such.
If you need an affordable small business website or even if you already have one and just need help with Social Media, SEO, Local Search, or Media Distribution, give us a call at 888-391-7547 for a free consultation and quote. We can get your business on the map and in front of customers NOW. If you are already there, we can help you grow it to an even stronger position.