July 23

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How To Set Up A Website For Your Business: A Step-By-Step Guide

By Hanson Cheng

July 23, 2021


Setting up a website for your business can be an intimidating task. 

But it’s easier than you think.

When starting a business, it's vital to know how to create a business website. With the internet being so popular and most people spending most of their day glued to the internet, having an online presence is crucial for any business. 

This is the ultimate guide for business owners who are looking to create a website. You'll learn everything from how to choose a domain name for your business, hosting services options, and more. 

Let’s dive in.

3 Reasons A Business Website Is A Must

Here’s why having a site for your company is a requirement.

  • Business Card: Your site is the online equivalent of a physical business card.
  • Storefront: Your site is a virtual shop window to showcase your products.
  • Sales Representative: Your site acts as an untiring sales rep that serves visitors 24/7 whenever they reach out.

How To Build A Website For Your Business In 10 Simple Steps

Now that you know the benefits of a company site let’s get into the details of how to build one shall we?

1. Choose A Domain Name For Your Business Website

Your business will need an address on the internet, called a Domain Name. It’s your brand’s online identity. There are a lot of different providers out there who offer Domain Names at prices that can fit any business budget, e.g. Namecheap and GoDaddy.

Simply type in the name you have in mind and hit ‘search’. The algorithm will tell you if it’s available and how much it costs.

Quick tips for choosing a domain name:

  • Pick .com extension. People instinctively use this extension because it’s a top-level domain (TLD) so choose it if it’s available.  If not, take .co .net or .biz.
  • Make it catchy and memorable. People pass over bland names because they don’t stand out. Find a way to make your name unforgettable.
  • Include keywords if they make sense naturally. You can get SEO benefits if you massage niche keywords into your domain name.
  • Keep it short and sweet. Nobody remembers a lengthy name. But a short domain name is easier to recall.
  • Choose a simple name, not a complex one. You don’t want people to crack their heads trying to figure out what your name means.
  • Make sure it’s easy to spell. Your small business domain name must be easy to spell otherwise you will lose swarms of visitors because they typed the wrong spelling into the browser.

Get your small business domain name right from the beginning. You will be glad you did when you reap the rewards later.

2. Pick A Reputable Web Hosting Company To Host Your Small Business Website

Many business owners do not bother to learn about and research the web hosting company they are planning on using. That’s a big mistake. 

Take your time to read reviews and visit the web host website to find out more.

When hunting for a hosting company for your small business, look for the following:

  • Reliability: You want to find out how well known the business hosting company is, as well as how reliable their service has been in the past. You do not want to risk your business web hosting on a website hosting provider that does not have a good reputation.
  • Unlimited Bandwidth And Disk Space: To run your site successfully, you must have enough storage for your business photos and video. If the website hosting provider you choose only offers business web hosting plans with limited storage space, then it is probably best to look for hosting providers that offer a hosting plan with unlimited web hosting storage.
  • Affordability: Find hosting plans that have the features you need and fit your budget. When comparing business web hosting packages between business website hosting companies, look at both monthly cost and one-time setup fees.
  • Quick Support: In tech, things inevitably go wrong. So you need a host that can quickly jump in and fix your issue whenever your site has issues. Any downtime or malfunctions will cost you money.

Popular hosting companies include Site Ground, GoDaddy, and Bluehost. Most of these have run free domain names or even free website specials from time to time.

3. Pick A Theme Template And Website Design

So, what do you look for in a good theme?

  • Ease Of Use: The most important thing for choosing business templates should be functionality and ease of use instead of complex design. Keep it simple to avoid a cluttered site.
  • Customizable: Always check the license. The business theme you choose should be GPL compatible. This will allow you to make changes and use it on multiple websites without being restricted by the business theme developer.
  • Responsive: When choosing business templates, look at those that are responsive. Your website layout must fit all devices including tablets, phones, and desktop computers.
  • SEO-Optimized: It is always important to have business templates that are SEO optimized. The business WordPress theme you choose should be built with search engine optimization in mind. You will get more organic business traffic if your website is easily accessible by search engines. Yoast SEO is a must-have tool.

Some of the leading free themes are Sydney, Astra, and Jayla.

Jayla is excellent for online shops. Astra is beginner-friendly. Sydney is superb for freelancers.

4. Settle On A Good Website Builder And Content Management System (CMS)

Now that you have a company Domain Name and Web Hosting provider, it's time to create your own website. 

Thankfully, these days website building is doable without spending a fortune on a web developer.

How easy it is to set up your site might vary depending on what business you are in. To help make the process easier, consider a website builder. Website builders include tools and templates specifically designed for small business owners.

While website builders make creating sites easy, their functionality and flexibility may vary depending on business size. Some builder tools have a professional design that provides greater control over the business's online presence, while others provide simple templates with minimal customization options.

The following are the most popular content management systems and drag-and-drop website builders out there:

1. WordPress 

WordPress is the most popular CMS with business websites. WordPress is easy to use. Anyone who knows how to upload a video on YouTube or add an article on Google Docs can customize it. The downside of WordPress websites is they don't have business-specific features such as inventory management, CRM, or job postings unless you install them separately.

2. Squarespace

Squarespace is a cloud-based builder that does not require any coding skills to create sites. It uses templates and you can set your business apart by customizing it yourself or hiring professionals to customize it for you. The downside with Squarespace is that you are limited in what business models you can build. For businesses that need custom sites, you will be restricted to using one of Squarespace's business models.

3. Weebly

Weebly is another site builder. With Weebly, you can easily create a business site with or without their online forms and email marketing integration but unlike Squarespace, if your business requires any custom features, then some of them are available through programs and services provided by Weebly.

4. Wix

Wix is a business website builder that uses templates and requires no coding skills to create websites. If you are looking for business site templates, then Wix would be an ideal choice as it has a wide range of website templates, but it also restricts the business model options available to its users. All in all, Wix provides a good site builder for small business websites.

For a professional website use pro builders that allow you to build a customized site without touching CSS code or hiring a pricey web designer.

5. Create A Smooth Easy-To-Use Interface For Visitors

When creating a small business website, you must understand how your site visitors will use it. It should not be difficult for users to find business products and services they are looking for on your site. They don’t have to spend hours and hours searching for info. If users don’t have a pleasant experience when using your site, they will abandon it and take their business elsewhere.

This means that your business website needs a user-friendly interface. 

Your site should be easily navigable. It should have well-organized sections with an appropriate menu structure so people find their way around easily.  Basically, it shouldn't be cluttered with a lot of business information that the business user does not need.

It is also important to build a business site that has all the essential business features. It should have all the business content sections like product pages, services page, pricing pages, contact page, about us page, testimonials page, etc.

Your site needs to be business mobile-friendly. Users use sites from different locations. Some of the visitors might be on the go, on a train, or sitting at home. Your site needs to look good on business computers, business tablets, and business mobile phones.

Sites that are business mobile-friendly will attract more business visitors whenever they access business information online.

Also, your site needs an appropriate color scheme. It should be pleasing to the eyes and help business visitors find what they are looking for easily.

6. Incorporate Social Media Marketing Into Your Site

Social media marketing is an integral part of the online marketing mix.

That’s why you must integrate it into your website.

  • Add social share buttons, so readers can easily share your business' latest blog posts on social networks.
  • Publish your blog posts automatically to social networks using automation tools.
  • Add social media widgets on your sidebar, footer, and other areas to grow your followers.
  • Add links to your social profiles in blog posts.

When your brand pops up all over social media, you generate buzz around your products and services. New audiences get to know about your company.

7. Optimize Your Business Website For SEO

One of the most cost-effective ways to advertise your business online is through Search Engine Optimization. Optimized sites are more visible in search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. You can opt for search engine optimization (SEO) services provided by specialized websites or you can do it yourself if you have some basic knowledge of search engine optimization. 

Here are a few tips to help your business website get maximum exposure in the search engines:

1. It's All About Content

Content is the king and if you don't have high-quality content on your website then it simply doesn't matter how well SEO optimized or even how attractive or unique it looks, because Google is going to ignore it. Always make sure there are some well-written articles on your business website that provide useful information. Apart from having informative content, be sure to update your small website regularly with new and relevant content so Google keeps indexing it.

2. Meta Tags Should Be Unique And Optimized

Always use unique meta tags that are optimized according to business needs and also include some relevant keywords in them., This will help Google index the website. So if a user searches for topics related to what you do in Google search then your content will show up in the search engine results pages (SERPs) and people will click through to your website.

3. Get Listed In Business Directories To Dominate Local Search

If you own a brick-and-mortar business then a local business website should be one of your top priorities, because most internet users search for local businesses in their vicinity using local business directories.

4. Business Websites Should Be Mobile Optimized And Responsive

Since most web traffic comes from mobile devices, then it's necessary to make it mobile optimized to improve its overall performance. Use responsive web design to ensure your small business website layout is well displayed on all devices and responsive HTML code is always updated.

5. Page Speed Should Be Rapid

Sites that load very slow result in visitors leaving your site quickly, which is not good for your site’s ranking. So always make sure it loads very fast on all devices because page speed is now a ranking factor.

6. Optimize UX/UI Design

Make sure your users can access all the necessary content of businesses in a very easy way. Use breadcrumbs navigation to improve the navigation experience for visitors and use clear navigation so that users can easily find their way around your website.

SEO optimization never stops. It’s an ongoing job.

8. How To Set Up An eCommerce Online Store Website

Source: Pixabay

While building an online store is similar to creating a standard website, there are some major differences.

Here’s a quick run-through of how to set up an online store:

  • Find your perfect eCommerce website builder, e.g. Shopify
  • Create an eCommerce site business plan.
  • Find business partners and vendors.
  • Build your online store layout and theme.
  • Drive traffic to your website using paid ads and organic methods.
  • Add products to your store, set prices, and get ready to launch.
  • Set payment methods.
  • Connect to social media platforms. 
  • Get familiar with Google Analytics to analyze visitor behavior. Google Adwords is also a great tool to monitor your business.
  • Launch and promote.  Get familiar with Facebook business pages, Twitter business profiles, business email addresses, Instagram business accounts, and YouTube business channels.
  • Cater to all major languages in your audience.
  • Start generating revenue!
  • Collect customer data and optimize for growth.

9. Feed Your Website With Quality Content

A small business website is not the same as a personal blog. People want to know what you have to say about your brand and products, so you need to make sure that your site has all of the pages they might look for.

Key pages on your site where your content needs to shine are:

  • Home Page: This is an essential page, the door through which most visitors arrive on your website. Make sure it points people to the next step in the buyer’s journey whether it’s checking out your services or product pages or signing up to your email list.
  • About Us: This is a great chance to provide more personal information about your business including its history, business values, and ethics. It is also a good idea to include business contact information such as business phone number, business email address.
  • Services/Product Page: These are your selling pages where you showcase the brilliance and benefits of your products or services.
  • Blog Page: Content marketing is now a mainstream strategy. It helps you build trust with your target audience so they chose you when they want to buy products services related to what you do. Publish useful, quality content on your blog regularly.
  • FAQs Page: This page answers all common questions visitors have about your business. If the answers include popular key phrases, it also provides the business with more search engine traffic.

10. Promote Your Website And Drive Traffic To It

Once you've created your small business website, it's time to promote it! Here are a few simple website promotion tips:

  • Blogging: Create business blog posts that can rank in business search engines and business social media platforms. This will attract potential customers to your site, increase your business' credibility and generate more business leads.
  • Publish Contact Info: Make it easy for businesses to contact you with a business contact form on your site. With the business contact form, business owners can share business information – address, phone number, site URL, email address, and social media accounts – to increase business exposure.
  • Business Directories: Publish your business on business directories like Yelp. By using a profile on business directories like Yelp and Zabasearch to promote your online presence, it will be easier for visitors to find you and for business owners to contact your business.
  • Online Events: Host business events on your site and social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. This will help your business grow its online presence by attracting new visitors, generating more business leads for your business.
  • Social Media Platforms:  With almost 4 billion people using social media today, social networks can be a good source of traffic. Promote your business across social media platforms. These platforms allow you to create business profiles that provide a business online presence drive visitors to your site.

Small Business Website: The Gateway To Online Business Success

Website development is the most business-critical process you need to get right to make your business a success in today's online arena.

Use these best practices and tips to build your perfect small business website.

Now go set up that winning money-generating website.

Last Updated on August 18, 2021 by Hanson Cheng

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Hanson Cheng

About the author

Living in Bali with my Fiancee and puppy, (Alina and Pickles). Scaling online businesses and sharing lessons learned on this website and in our email newsletter. Always happy to hear from you, so find me on Instagram if you want to say hi!

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