Today, every entrepreneur, small business owner, home-based business owner, and anyone selling products or services must have a presence on the Internet. If you don’t already, make launching a business website your key goal for the coming year.
Regardless of your other marketing methods, enabling potential customers to either find you through a Google search or learn more about you after they’ve seen your other marketing material is key to creating and developing new customers.
If you’re selling online services or products, having a website is obvious. But even if you don’t sell anything directly online, the website can serve as an extension of your business card, with information about you, your business, and services offered. Most important, your website should detail your background, experience, and other credentials to give you credibility and give potential customers more confidence when deciding whether or not to deal with you.
Creating a website for your small business can be easier than you think. You can do it yourself if you are so inclined or need to keep costs down, you can get a friend to help, or you can hire a Web developer to do it for you at a modest cost if you use available content management software instead of having a website custom developed for you.
Whether you do it yourself or hire someone to do it for you, it will be easier if you understand these steps, which are an important part of the process to create your small business website.
1. Decide the Purpose for Your Website
The first step is to decide what your website is going to do for you.
It may be fairly static (i.e., no new content added periodically) and simply provide more information to potential clients about your services and credentials if they want to check you out online.
Or, you may want to use it for information about your company and provide articles or information you’ve written to provide useful information to clients and potential clients. You may even chose to start a blog to interest and engage potential customers as part of your overall social media strategy.
Of course, you might also want to sell products and services directly online.
Knowing what you plan on doing with your website is an important first step because it will guide you on how to develop it going forward. Keep in mind, it’s not a static thing and even if you start off without online sales, for instance, it can be relatively easy to add that at a later date.
Whether you write a blog initially or not, you should consider how you will eventually use your website. At some point you may decide that a blog will be a good way to generate interest and attract visits who will then see your company’s services or product. It’s also a great tie-in to other social media techniques you use.