Did you know that over 60% of consumers do their research online before purchasing a product? If you have your own business, it doesn’t matter if you sell online or at a store: you are losing sales if you don’t have a digital footprint. A first step to create a digital footprint is building a website for your small business.
In the second episode of Emprendedores (Season 1) on Discovery en Español, we helped transform DVS Custom Furniture by doing just that. Our advice was to create a digital footprint for the company: this included setting up a website (https://www.dvscustomfurniture.com/). But how do you start? Below we’ll guide you through 5 simple steps so you can also successfully build a website for your small business.
5 Tips to Build a Website for Your Small Business
Tip #1: Purchase a Domain Associated with Your Brand
A domain is the website address of your business. For instance, the domain for Camino Financial is www.caminofinancial.com.
Make sure you purchase a domain associated with your brand or with your company’s name. Keep in mind that your first choice for a domain may already be purchased by someone else. You may need to go with the closest option that ties well with your brand.
Tip #2: Choose Keywords to Help Your Clients (and Google) Find You
Creating a website is not enough for your business to appear on the top of Google searches. You need to decide on a handful of keywords that best describe your business. For instance, for DVS Custom Furniture, we determined that “furniture”, “custom”, “design”, “Los Angeles”, and “DVS” were the top 5 keywords associated with the business. It’s important that these words are used with frequency and tagged throughout the website.
Need help setting up a website? Register here to get a free consultation.
Tip #3: Use a Mobile Responsive Website
The majority of consumers surf the internet on their smartphone. All websites MUST be mobile responsive; or should be easy to view, scroll, and click from a mobile device. The good news is most website software automatically makes your website mobile responsive. The trick here is to always review changes to your website on both desktop and mobile views. Otherwise, you may find that what looks good on desktop, does not look good on mobile. For some businesses, mobile compromises over 70% of all website visitors. In this case, you would definitely want to optimize your design for mobile.
Tip #4: Link to Social Media and Business Directories
Your website should serve as a central hub of your digital footprint. In the case of DVS, potential clients are more likely to find them on business directories, such as Yelp and Google, than on their own website. So it’s important that you link your website to online directories.
Business directories are just the beginning: social media business pages should also be linked. For instance, over 80% of small businesses in the United States interact with their clients on Facebook. If you are among this 80 % of business owners, then make sure that your followers on Facebook can find your website when they’re ready to make a purchase or learn more about your company. Moreover, your website can also serve as a way to attract new followers to your social media company pages.
Each industry is different in terms of what business directories and social media outlets are the best to engage and find customers. Consultant with a specialist to learn the best places to link your website.
Tip #5: Start with Something Simple
Whether your own an e-commerce website or a restaurant, we suggest you start with something simple. In the case of DVS, we started with a simple website with the intention to inform prospective or existing clients of the company’s products and services. We created a simple “call to action” to contact DVS via a contact form or call directly. Once DVS begins to invest in online marketing and attract more visitors to its website, the company may then evaluate and build new functionality, such as selling furniture online.
The idea is not to over-invest in a website too soon, too fast. Developing and maintaining a website can get expensive. First get a grasp of how a website plays a role in your business: Is it a new sales channel? Or is it simply a digital business card?
Under ANY circumstances, by not having a website, your business will not be visible to the majority of today’s consumers who search online before they purchase.
Ready to build a website? Get a free consultation by registering with Camino Financial. Register here.