There are two methods that we’d recommend for building a business website: using a website builder, or WordPress. The former is suitable for tech beginners, while the latter requires a little coding knowledge. They’re both excellent options, but which one is right for you? Our checklist will help you get it right!
A business website generally serves as a space to provide general information about your company or a direct platform for e-commerce. Whether you create a simple website that tells a little about your company or a more complex e-commerce site, the most important thing you must do is say what your company does – on the homepage in plain terms.
Your domain name is one of the most important features of your website. It's the URL you'll share with your current and potential clients and promote on social media. Therefore, you want it to be descriptive and easy to remember and type in. Try to keep it short, and steer clear of abbreviations, acronyms, and numbers, if possible, to avoid customer confusion.
A good website is more than a static homepage. You'll want to create multiple pages dedicated to different aspects of your business, such as a detailed catalog of your products or services, or a blog section for company updates. As for your overall website, make sure each page supports the site's primary goal, has a clear purpose and includes a call to action (e.g., "learn more," "sign up," "contact us" or "buy this").
In 2016, OuterBox reported that more than 62 percent of shoppers made purchases using their cell phones, and the 2016 stats show that over 90 percent of shoppers use their smartphones even while in retail stores for comparing prices and looking at product reviews. Further, 40 percent of consumers will go to a competitor if they have a bad experience with a mobile website.
You need to have a domain name that describes your business or is your company name. You can even have multiple domains that point to the website.
If your business depends on people being able to contact you or call your sales team, put that information where they can find it easily.
Dan Veltri, co-founder and chief product officer of Weebly, advised limiting your top-level navigation menu to five clearly labeled tabs with related pages organized under them. You should also have a clear way to get back to the home page no matter where your readers land. Very often, a search can take your reader to a page other than the home page.
While this step won't apply to all business websites, companies that want to offer the option for customers to pay online will need to integrate electronic payment systems with their websites. The easiest way to do this is through e-commerce software or third-party payment processors.
Before announcing that your site is live on the web, make sure it works on all major browsers, like Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Safari and Chrome. Click through each page and feature on every browser to ensure images show up, links are correct and the format looks smooth. This will take some time, but the effort you put in now will save you future complaints from visitors who can't access certain features.
Social media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Pinterest is the best way to increase your audience reach and alert customers to what's going on with your company. Whenever you update your website, post about it on your social media outlets — but balance that out with genuine, nonpromotional engagement.
Each page on your website should entice the reader to do something – call, sign up for a service, buy a product, download a white paper. Be sure to have a clear invitation to do just that: a button, a link or clear verbiage. Keep it above the fold if possible so that readers do not have to scroll before finding the call to action.
Limit the use of fonts, colors and animated gifs, which can distract and pull the eyes away from the focus of the webpage. Short paragraphs and bullet points also make the information more scannable and likely to be read. Ian Lurie, CEO of the marketing company Portent Inc., suggested paragraphs should be shorter than six lines.
Submitting your website to major search engines will help direct potential leads to your page, as will deploying a strong SEO strategy across your site. Shaoolian said that defining title tags, meta descriptions, and Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs) that are relevant to your company and aspects of your industry will help ensure that you rank well in search engines for the products or services you're trying to market.
Staying relevant is important, so update your website frequently with blog posts on current industry events, new products and offers, and company news to keep visitors coming back to the site.
Just as brick-and-mortar businesses invest heavily in their storefronts to represent their brand images, e-commerce retailers need to create a similar high-quality online experience in keeping with the brand perception, Tom Lounibos, CEO of SOASTA, told Business News Daily.
To that end, your About page should not be a dry block of text about your company. Emily Brackett, president of design and branding firm Visible Logic, recommends including a good photo of yourself or your team.