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Websites have become an essential component of any successful business. For small businesses, though, knowing where to start can be challenging. In order to skip the stress and avoid missing a key step while building your website, try these guidelines to ensure you check all the boxes before you publish your site.
- Determine the purpose of your website.
- Find the right domain name.
- Choose a content management system.
- Find a web template that works for your business.
- Organize your site’s information.
- Prioritize using high-quality images.
- Optimize your site for mobile users.
- Incorporate SEO.
1. Determine the purpose of your website.
A business needs a website, but the purpose of your site will vary depending on the industry and niche you’re in. So, before you start designing, sit down and decide what it is you want your website to do. Is your business looking for more customers or trying to generate sales through the site? Maybeyour aim is to become a thought leader in the industry and develop a strong subscriber base? Before you do anything, make sure this objective is clear. Once the primary intention is identified, you can move into building a site that feeds into your overarching goals.
2. Find the right domain name.
A domain name is where your small business lives on the internet and, ideally, your domain name should mirror your business’s name. However, with millions of new domains being claimed daily, an exact match can be difficult to get, but that’s okay.
In order to create a domain name that works for your business, consider these three questions:
- Does it match your brand?
- Is it easy to spell?
- Is it memorable?
Get creative and come up with a domain name that communicates your business’s objective without being too abstract. If you’re feeling stuck, don’t worry! It’s ok to get a little creative. While jahjah.com might be taken, something like eatjahjah.com might still be up for grabs. Plus, you can always rebrand and rename your domain in the future. The most important part is to ensure the domain name fits your current business.
3. Choose a content management system.
When building a website, you’ll need two things: a content management system (or website builder) and a hosting provider where that content will live. The Vista x Wix website builder offers a combination of these two functions, so you can access all of your website details conveniently in one place. With this service, you’ll get free website hosting, and all of your content will be stored securely.
4. Find a template that works for your business.
Your design is another part of a successful website. Many website builder services offer hundreds of template options, and are often cataloged by industry. When choosing the right template, think back to your website’s primary purpose. A template that supports an e-commerce site with shopping tools and plug-ins will be different from a template for a photographer showing off their work. After all, if you are promoting products or services, visual representations are great ways to reinforce your business’s credibility and quality.
The Vista x Wix website builder has over 500 templates to choose from, and when you find the right one, you can customize it to reflect your brand. Integrate your logo and brand colors into the template, and tweak the layout and fonts until everything aligns with your desired aesthetic.
We believe that good templates make great websites. Wix website templates are strategically designed, a result of extensive research on best practices per industry. Each template offers the recommended site structure, optimal content and graphic language that will best serve your goals. That way, you have the ultimate starting point for your very own professional website that will save you the time and effort of building it all yourself from scratch.Dafna Rabin, Templates Design Team Lead at Wix
5. Organize your site’s information.
Now that the skeleton of your website is built, it’s time to outline your content and page hierarchy. Here are some pages to use on your site:
Homepage. This is your first impression – it’s likely to be the place where visitors land when they search for your business on Google. From the homepage, it should be obvious what kind of business you’re in…and its design should be appealing, too.
About page. An About page is the perfect place to share your small business story, and show potential customers the person and the passion behind your website.
Contact page. Your contact page should be easy to find, and contain all of the information a customer needs to get in touch with you. You can add a contact form here, or lay out your mailing address, email address, phone number, and social channels.
FAQ page. An FAQ page isn’t a must-have, but it can be a good place to answer your most common customer queries.
Testimonials. A testimonial page also isn’t critical, but it’s a great way to utilize word-of-mouth marketing on your website.
A blog. Creating a blog for your small business is a great way to show off your expertise, and earn some SEO points (more on that later!). It’s also great to have this content to share on your social channels and in email newsletters. Content is an ongoing piece of a website, so continually review, edit and upload new information to remain relevant to your audience.
Websites are trending toward a cleaner design with minimal text. So, be mindful of how much information you plan to include on each page – you don’t want to overwhelm site visitors with web pages packed with text.
6. Prioritize using high-quality images.
Nothing looks worse than a grainy image or an oddly cropped photo on a website. While you might not be able to hire a professional photographer to capture beautiful images, there are plenty of places to find affordable stock photos online. Images and graphics aren’t a place to skimp on your website! You can also find thousands of free graphics and illustrations at VistaCreate.
7. Optimize your site for mobile users.
People are using mobile devices more frequently, so make sure that your website looks as great on a small phone screen as it does on a desktop. Your Wix website comes with a mobile-optimized version and Wix Mobile Editor, so you can create a mobile experience that works for your business and your customers.
8. Incorporate search engine optimization (SEO).
Optimizing your website is key in reaching new customers ensuring the right people land on your site. SEO for small business might seem a little overwhelming, but it’s actually pretty easy! SEO is rooted in keywords and search terms, so as the website owner, you want to include relevant keywords on your site pages and in your website’s meta information. Weave them into your website text and across any relevant pages so that queries begin to recognize your business as an industry authority.