Websites offer a platform for businesses to display their products, collect their audiences' contact information, provide information to their community, and so much more. Nowadays, creating a website with little to no experience is easier than ever. A DIY website is a good solution whether you are just starting a business or on a tight budget. I wrote this article to help you with getting started.
Follow this process to create your small business website.
To Begin, Select Your Website Platform
There is a large array of website platforms to choose from to create a website that informs and converts visitors. Each platform serves a different need. The following list is focused on user-friendly options. You will not only need to create a site, but you will need to ensure it remains updated. There is nothing worse than a website with old information, especially contact information. Keep this in mind when selecting which tool you will use for your business.
Here are three of the most popular platforms:
Google Sites- Google Sites is Google’s free website builder software offered as part of the Google Workplace. Google Sites has never been highly publicized like its other products, but it’s an excellent place to start if you have little to no experience creating a website.
Wix. Wix is a platform for small business owners who want simple solutions. This is by far my favorite platform for creating websites. I use this platform for 90% of my clients and for my own website. I love the diversity it provides with various applications like creating a membership portal, CRM, online store, and more. I chose Wix over other platforms because it allows for a seamless transition to my clients. When I hand over a Wix design, I know my client will have no problem maintaining the site. I have never been a fan of the web developer model, where you must pay the developer constantly whenever you need a change made or to update your information. Click here to learn more about our website services.
Square space. Squarespace is a website development platform known for its user-friendly interface and modern website design templates. The Squarespace website is built using block construction (dragging and dropping blocks into columns and rows). This may limit you if you want to do any out-of-the-box website design.
Self-Hosted WordPress. WordPress is much more flexible than Squarespace or Wix, but it does take a bit more to get started. First, download the WordPress software. Then install the software on your web server. It may require more technical knowledge, but in the end, WordPress allows more flexibility if you have the time to learn a new technical skill.
Before choosing a website platform, please consider your website's short-term and long-term goals. Do you want a website that is easy to update? Google Sites, Squarespace, and Wix may be the best choices. Do you want a more personalized design? If this sounds like you, WordPress may be the best option for your business.
Creating Your Website
Once you pick a platform, take these steps to create your website:
1. Create a brand story. A brand story allows you to outline your business's benefits while placing your target audience right at the center of the story. Your customer should be the hero of this story, and you should be the guide that provides a solution, i.e., your product or service to their problem. This story should be told in some form throughout your website.
2. Decide which pages you want. Start by listing the pages you want to display on your website. You can have a landing page or a standard 5-page website.
Home. This page should give visitors a clear understanding of your work and how you can help them.
About. Show your brand story and company origins. Talk about how your company follows its mission through photos and text.
Services or products. This page will introduce the ways customers can buy from your business!
Blog. A blog can be a place where your business publishes news updates, information articles, or other content for visitors to browse. This underused tool is also a great way to improve your website SEO or Search engine optimization.
Contact information. This page tells customers how to contact your business. If you have a physical location you use to sale your products or services, this page must contain your address and a map showing your location.
3. Select a template or theme. Create a brand board to help you collect your business's visual representations. This document should include your company's primary logo, sub logo, font, brand colors, and visual elements like patterns and images. Use the link below to access my FREE brand board template. Let the theme or template you use guide the appearance of your website. Over time, you want your brand to be recognized. Choose your easy-to-read typography and website colors before constructing your website.
4.Write website copy. What message do you want to communicate with your website? The text on your website will become a core part of the visitor’s experience of your brand. Here are a few dynamic tips to keep in mind when writing website copy:
Benefits come first. Put your benefits on the "first screen" (ensure your services are visible before someone starts scrolling). At the very top of each page, incorporate a title explaining the benefits customers get when buying products from your business.
Position yourself as an authority. If you want to reach your customer, you need to think of your customers as heroes and your business as a guide to understanding problem solutions. Remember this relationship and write your copy based on your brand story from earlier.
End each page with a call to action (CTA). When visitors reach the bottom of your page, what do you want them to do? End each page with a solid final CTA and encourage them to take the next step.
Write browsable website copy. Divide the text into smaller paragraphs using columns and bullets.
5.Choose high-quality photos. Use high-quality images to represent your business! You can choose company photos or stock photos. To maintain visual consistency, try to select pictures that appear to have been edited in the same or similar way. You can also use filters to achieve the same effect. Canva is an excellent resource for finding stock photos and creating custom images.
6.Optimize your website for all devices. After completing the website construction, test it on tablets and mobile devices.
In today's modern world, having a website where potential customers can learn about your business is essential! Get your company's story online so that possible customers can search, understand, and connect with your business. It's your first step toward building your business brand, increasing your visibility, and boosting conversions to your business' products.
Your business website is a hub that helps you connect with your customers and grow your business. It should be personal and engaging. It should also provide useful information and be updated regularly. Now that you know the tools and platforms you can use, it is time to put them to use! With the right tools, you can create a website that combines your company’s branding and culture with the right content.
If you are ready to define your brand and reach more customers, schedule a FREE consultation, and together we will create an action plan for growing your sales.