You just started a business, and you’re wondering whether you need to have a website for your business to grow quickly. Well, you’ve come to the right place, in this article I’ll cover eight benefits of having a website. Then I’ll give you a simple walk-through on creating a website and some factors to what makes a great website.
Before you get started, in case, you’re wondering whether it is simple to set up a website. The answer is yes. It is straightforward. To begin creating a website, you can use a platform to create a website, decide whether it will be an online store, portfolio, or lead generation site.
Now let’s get started and learn what are the key benefits of having a website for your small business.
8 Benefits of Having a Website
1. 24/7 Online Presence
Nowadays, one of the first things people do when they hear about your business is look it up online. Having a website means that customers can always find you anytime and from anywhere, even outside of your business hours.
Having a website can also help shape how people view your business. For example, if your site has a dedicated page of positive reviews, photos of your location and provide helpful information, people will positively view your business.
2. Improve Business Credibility
A website also acts as your online business address. It becomes a place where your customers and clients go to find you on the internet.
Your home page show’s your business’s value proposition. The about us page tells visitors everything they need to know about your business. The contact us page provides various ways of how to get in touch with your business.
Adding to that, your website’s design also contributes to your business’s credibility. About 75% of customers judge a company based on web design. Thus having a professional, easy-to-use website will give your business a positive impression.
If you’re an eCommerce business, you save a lot of money by removing all the operating costs necessary for a brick-and-mortar business. By eliminating those overheads, you can lower your product prices, thus giving you a competitive advantage.
By having a website, you also save costs on paper advertisements. Especially now, in the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more people are looking online for new things. Instead of doing traditional paper advertisements like catalogs and brochures, you can now focus on online advertising.
4. Market Expansion
Because your site is accessible to anyone worldwide, you can easily break the geographical barriers and reach a worldwide audience. A website becomes an alternative to sell your products and services.
If you run a small business and have a physical store, most of your customers will probably come from the immediate area, but even if you are a small business but have a website, you bypass these limitations.
5. Gain Customer Insights
Websites aren’t just about promoting your business to the world, but they can also provide you with information about your customers. Websites can integrate analytics tools that you can use to identify who your customers are, what they like, how they found you, and plenty more in-depth information.
A sample of what Google Analytics show.
By looking at this data, you can adapt your business and marketing strategy to maximize conversions through your site. You can also use third-party tools like Google Analytics not only to give you information about your customers but also how to improve your site.
6. Get New Streams Of Revenue
Having a website opens new ways to earn extra income. Besides selling your products and services, here are some other ways to make money from your website:
Paid Ads – You can allow other businesses to place ads on your website and get paid when users view those ads.
Affiliate marketing – You can promote other businesses’ products and services and earn a commission from every sale generated from your site.
Get hired by clients – If your blog has a significant following, other websites might ask you to write on their behalf for a generous fee.
7. New Marketing Channels
By merely having a website, you can market your products and services and reach many people. You can do search engine optimization for your website to rank high on search engine results pages. Thus when people type a particular keyword that your content is talking about, your site appears on the search results’ first page.
Not only that, but the existence of social media, the ability to blog, perform email marketing, and the use of multimedia can significantly increase your traffic. You can promote your site across multiple platforms that your target audience is using.
8. Generate Leads
Your website is the best tool to generate leads by using email marketing. When someone gives you their email address, it means that you have permission to send content to their inbox.
New visitors to your site won’t just give you their email address for no reason. What you can do is offer them a free monthly subscription to your newsletter, a free eBook, or a free trial to get access to your premium content.
How to Create a Business Website
Once you’re convinced that a business website is necessary for your small business, here are five simple steps to create a website:
1. Register Your Domain Name
Before you start, you first need to register a domain name. It’s essentially your website’s name and address. There are a lot of things to consider when choosing the right domain name for you. This is because, once you have bought the domain name, you can’t change it again unless you buy a new one.
Your domain name should be able to represent what your business is about. It will be the first impression you make when visitors enter your site. So it’s best to quickly let the people know what your website is about right from reading the domain name.
Not only that, be sure to choose a domain name that’s easy to spell and pronounce, which can be done by avoiding numbers, hyphens, and double letters. Take your time to ask for second opinions. This could be by researching competitors or checking with friends, families, and your target audience if your chosen domain name works well.
Lastly, you should pick the right Top Level Domain. If .com is available, I highly recommend you put it at the top of your list. However, if you want to stand out more, you can opt for unique TLDs that suit your business. For example, .io if you’re a start-up or tech company and .travel for travel businesses.
Once you have a domain name of your choice, be sure to register it before it’s taken quickly. In case it is already taken, you can use domain name checkers for unique alternatives.
Then, choose a hosting plan for your website. You’ll need this for your website to be accessible to everyone on the internet and store your website files on their server. Try choosing one with a website builder.
2. Choose a Website Builder
To put it simply, a website builder is a drag and drop kind of tool, where you can create and publish a website without doing any coding. The website builders already have 1000s of pre-designed templates, which gives you a strong baseline and allows you to customize all of your website’s elements.
There are a few things to consider when choosing the right website builder for you; those are:
Template design options – Make sure website builders must have a lot of pre-designed website templates.
Ease of use – Look for features that will make creating a website more straightforward, like a drag-and-drop function and an intuitive toolbar.
SEO features – It must have SEO features that can help to rank on search engines.
Affordability – Must check if it is free or paid. A paid website builder can provide better website templates and tools to update it.
Various website builders are available with a lot of features and functions that really help to make a good website for small businesses. Take your time to compare multiple website builders before coming up with the one for you.
3. Customize Your Website
You can customize your website according to your business requirements. Its quite easy to work on a website builder using the drag and drop tools. Lots of tools are available to change color, font, text styles easily. You can also insert images, videos by drag and drop or using youtube links.
Here are some tips to help you customize your website:
- Create a navigation menu.
- Create a website homepage very simple and easy to browse.
- Use contrasting colors to make your website easier to read – This can be using dark texts on a lighter background.
- Limit colors – Try to focus on using two to three colors.
- Use the white space as a strategic design feature to avoid clutter.
- Ensure that it’s mobile-friendly.
- Insert social sharing and follow buttons.
- Place call-to-action buttons.
4. Upload Content
Content is the most important part of the website, content can be media, blogs, and information about your business or services. Don’t only focus on writing content about your business, but also write about the niche or industry that you’re in. That way, you’ll get a higher chance of getting recognized by your target audience.
Here are some tips for creating content on your website:
Write unique and useful content that can help your audience.
Create strong headlines
Less is more.
Content must be in an active voice.
Use necessary images, videos to make your content more understandable.
Avoid using jargon.
Provide accurate and up-to-date information.
Always update your content to stay relevant in the industry regularly.
5. Publish and Marketing
Once everything is done, make your website live. Now, to get visitors to your website you need to do marketing and promotion of your website.
There are many ways to promote your website using social media, SEO, blog writing, guest posting, PPC, listing on local directories, and collaborating with influencers. The most simple way to start promoting your website is by writing a blog and posting on social media.
What Makes a Great Business Website?
Now that you know the benefits of a website and how to make one, I’ll give you some factors that your site should have to become great and provide a pleasant experience for the visitors, which are:
1. Fast Loading Time
You want to ensure that your website is fast because page speed is a ranking factor in the Google algorithm. This means that the quicker your site’s loading speed, the higher its rank will be on the SERPs. This also positively affects the visitor experience. You can use tools like GTmetrix to measure your site’s speed.
2. Provide Valuable and Relatable Content That’s Up-to-date
To do this, you should always aim to create content that’s clear, concise, accurate, fact-checked, and trustworthy. Place keywords that users type the most about your product and industry to appear high on SERPs.
3. Mobile Friendly
More than 50% of web traffic now comes from mobile devices. Thus you also want to ensure that your customers get a pleasant experience browsing your site on their mobile devices. To do this, you can use your website builder to create a layout for a mobile site. Usually, by default, they’ll already try to optimize it for mobile but always check and tweak it for maximum optimization.
4. Simple Checkout Process
One of the reasons people leave an eCommerce site is because of the long and complicated checkout process. To make it simple and easy, give buyers a to-the-point walkthrough of the entire process. Don’t make it mandatory to sign up for your site. Instead, allow them to use their social media accounts or use a guest account for a quick check out process.
5. Multi-Layered Security
A great website should, by default, have multi-layered security as well as malware protection. This can be in the form of firewalls, malware detection and removal, protection from hacking attempts, SSL certificate, strong passwords, and regular backup process.
This increases security and increases trust from the visitors as they visit your site, knowing that it is secure.
Now that you know the benefits of a website, how to create it, and the factors of a successful one, all that’s left to do is start building a website of your own. Remember to pay attention to the hosting provider and take your time to compare different providers and plans. Good luck!