Having your own website isn’t as complex or expensive as it may seem. With the features that are offered by current technologies, showing your business to more potential customers through a website is very simple, so much so that in just one week you can be online. Despite this, many businesses still don’t have a website.
According to one research, 46 percent of all small businesses in the United States don’t have a website. According to those surveyed, some of the reasons for not having an online presence are the costs, lack of technical knowledge, the use of social platforms as an alternative, and surprisingly, because they don’t think it’s relevant to their company. The study reveals that many entrepreneurs don’t know how easy it is to have a website, and they are unaware of how they can benefit from having one.
Besides reaching more potential customers, having a webpage allows you to promote your products and services. It also allows you to establish a direct channel of communication with your audience and demonstrate your experience, while gaining credibility and attracting new buyers.
In this guide you’ll find everything you need to know to build, in a short time and with little resources, your own website. Follow these directions step by step and take advantage of the opportunities the Internet has for small businesses.
Decide what the purpose of your site will be
The first step is to decide what you’re going to use your website for. Based on your needs, this platform can be used to talk about your business, describe what services you offer, publish articles of interest about the economic sector that you belong to, or even sell your products there. If you have doubts, start with the easiest part and remember that over time you can add new elements and options, because websites are dynamic and their evolution is constant.
Choose a name for your site
The domain is the name with which users of the Internet are going to identify you, such as www.thenameofyourbusiness.com. It should be attractive, but ideally it should match the name of your business. Once you’ve chosen a domain, make sure it is available and then register it. Sites like godaddy.com allows you to verify the availability of the name you chose, and if you decide to register with this same provider, you pay a low annual fee.
Choose software to manage the content
A content management system, better known as CMS, is a program with which you can manage the contents of a website. From there you have the possibility to create, edit and publish material like texts and images. To use this software, it’s not necessary to have advanced technical knowledge; furthermore, you can customize it, changing its design or adding new features. Among other advantages, you count with constant security updates and plugins or modules that can be added. Some CMS are free, although it is necessary to pay to access certain advanced features. Among the best known are Joomla! and WordPress.
Select a hosting provider
Hosting is a service to which you can associate your name or domain, it also allows you to store the website and its information on the hard disk of a server. Depending on the provider, it’s possible to access certain tools to administer the page and other resources. When you evaluate the available options, check that the hosting provider allows the installment in their platform of the content management system that you previously chose. Companies like Hostgator.com offer these services for less than ten dollars a month, according to the plan you choose. Of course, the rate increases if you require more storage capacity and advanced options.
Find a template as background for the site
The template has to do with the design of the site. But it’s not limited to the visual aspect, it also relates to the structure of the page. The most recognized CMS providers offer hundreds of options, among which you can choose the theme or template that best suits your needs. Among its main elements are the regions, or areas where the content goes, such as the heading, the main body, and the columns, navigation menus, buttons and forms. Although free templates abound, you can buy one with advanced features and a more professional look for as little as 25 dollars.
Content is perhaps one of the most important aspects of your website. If this is not of high quality, users will not come back to your website. The most attractive publications are those that gain the interest of visitors, inform them, teach them, have fun or help solve a problem. The text is fundamental, but elements like images, videos and infographics make the site a more dynamic space. If at first you don’t know what to publish, start with the basics: product reviews, articles, the characteristics of the services you offer, and images of your business. Then, as you learn to use other resources, you can publish news about the sector of the economy that your organization belongs to, videos showing how to use your products, articles in which you develop a topic related to your company, etc.
A good content strategy can turn you into an authoritative voice within your niche, attracting more leads. But for the strategy to work, you must update your site continuously, at least twice a week while it takes off.
In addition to all of the above, your site can improve its appearance, usability and user experience with the following tips:
Create a responsive site. A site with a responsive design is one whose content can be visualized without any problem on a smartphone or on a tablet. Given the increased use of these types of devices, it’s indispensable that your page adapts to their screens.
Use plugins. Plugins are complements with which you can add more features and increase the power of your site. As we mentioned before, these are added from the CMS and they allow you, among other things, to create a photo gallery, insert a form, or even implement an e-commerce store.
Incorporate a blog. With a blog you can become an opinion leader or an authoritative voice on a topic. Start by writing about your services or explain to the audience how to use your products. In addition to helping you position the page in search engines, this tool can attract more potential customers.
Use social networks. Interact with your audience on social networks . Make comments, publish useful information for them, listen to them and answer their posts. Start with Facebook and Twitter, while you learn the basics, then explore other alternatives that adapt to your goals. There are plugins that exist to add buttons from these social platforms to your web page.
Optimize for search engines. By optimizing your website for search engines, you make sure that it appears in the top spots in search engines like Google. There are also plugins for optimization that result useful, but you can learn simple techniques by consulting information on blogs or videos.
Creating a web page for your small business is easier than you think. With the digital tools available today, it’s very simple to build your own virtual space in a short time and with a minimum cost. If you still don’t have a website, it’s time to take your business to the Internet, to promote your products, position your brand and get new customers online.
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