It's crucial for companies to have well-made websites in order to promote business and connect with more customers. Without a website, customers may not realize your business even exists. According to Blue Corona, 70% to 80% of consumers research a company online before visiting it or purchasing anything from it. Your online presence is an integral part of your brand awareness and your ability to attract more customers. Learn more about the importance of websites for businesses and how to make websites that stand out.
The Importance of Websites for Businesses
Having a website is important because it can benefit your business in various ways, such as improve your business's credibility. According to a Stanford study, 75% of participants reported that they make judgments on a company's credibility based on their website designs. Users want businesses to have a website that is both visually appealing and easy to use on any device.
A website can also help your business build relationships with customers since it's a place where customers can learn more about your company's story, mission, and values. You can also create a blog section on your website to publish engaging blog content that shows your company as a thought leader in your industry or niche and draw in even more people to your website from search engines.
Your website can also help you keep track of business. Find a website hosting provider that offers website analytics. It's important that you can track metrics like website traffic, user behavior, and online sales to help you determine what changes you should make to your website.
How To Build a Website
With many options for do-it-yourself website builder tools or hired website building services, getting a professional-looking website for your business is more affordable and easier than ever. Follow these steps to build a website that stands out to customers:
1. Choose Your Hosting Provider
The first step of your company website development is choosing a hosting provider. A hosting provider is a company that runs internet servers, making it possible for your website to go live on the internet. Although many website builders have hosting options, you may want to look for a company that solely offers hosting services if you want to build your website from scratch or are planning on hiring someone to build it for you.
Here are a few website builders small business owners love:
2. Get a Domain Name
Your domain name is the web address or URL that takes users to your business's website. Choosing a professional-looking domain name can help you attract more visitors to your website and establish credibility.
Choose a domain name that is short, memorable, and relevant to your business. This increases your chances of more people remembering your web address and visiting your website. If it's available, it's usually best to choose a domain that includes your business's name. For example, our business's name is SmartBiz, and our domain name is www.smartbizloans.com. Avoid using numbers in your domain name because they can make it challenging for consumers to remember your web address.
When registering your domain name with a registrar like GoDaddy or another hosting provider or website builder, you first need to decide what your name extension should be. This is the ending of your domain name after the period, for example, .com, .net, or .org. Then, you can decide what you want before the period. Hosting providers and website builders will let you know if the domain name you want is already registered with someone else. Once you decide on an available domain name, you can proceed to the company's checkout and provide your payment. Make sure to stay on top of your domain payments to maintain ownership of your domain name.
3. Design Your Website
Now is the fun yet often time-consuming part of building your website. Instead of building your website from scratch, it's much easier to choose a website builder that does all the technical work for you. Each website builder has different capabilities and pricing tiers. Websites like Squarespace and Weebly are great for people who have little to no website design experience. If you want a little more creative freedom, then free-form design from Wix may be more what you're looking for. Many website builders also have hosting options and domain purchasing and registration, which is often more efficient than choosing a company that only offers hosting services.
Here are some popular website builders:
Most website builders let you choose from many different templates, making it simple to drop and drag website content. In the template, you can replace the existing copy with content that is unique to your company. When choosing a template for your website design, consider all the elements your website needs. For instance, if your company is centered on e-commerce, you need a template that makes it possible to list merchandise in a visually appealing way. Likewise, if you plan to have a blog on your website, choose a template that supports this feature.
Once you choose a template, you can customize it to better fit your brand. Choose images and colors that are unique to your brand. Avoid choosing stock photos that you have seen many times before, and use original photography to differentiate yourself from other brands.
If you do use stock photos, be aware of the different licensing agreements, since some photographers may require you to credit their work.
4. Design a Logo
If your business doesn't already have a logo, now is the time to create one. Your logo should include elements that are directly related to your brand and the services or products you offer. If you need a more basic logo for your brand, you can find logo makers online. If you need something more complex, you may need to hire a graphic designer to create your logo.
A good logo follows these five principles of effective logo design:
- Simple: Your logo should be easy to recognize.
Memorable: Choose a design that stands out among your competitors and is unique to your brand.
- Timeless: Decide if your logo will still look good five years from now. Avoid making it overly trendy and choose more classic designs.
- Versatile: You will use your logo on different marketing materials and mediums. Make sure you can easily resize it.
- Appropriate: Design your logo for your intended audience.
One you create your logo, place it in the header and footer of your website. This way, visitors see your logo on all of your webpages.
5. Create Content Related to Your Business
Write content that is straightforward and unique to your business. Decide what your brand's voice is and make sure to write in that tone. When choosing topics to write about, think about which ones are relevant to your business and offer value to your target audience. For example, if you have a makeup brand, your website could feature beauty video tutorials. Likewise, if you sell dog toys, you could write a blog post about the top 10 toys for dogs.
6. Make a Personalized Business Email Address
Having a business email address helps you keep your business communications organized. Choose an email address that has your business's domain name after the '@' rather than a generic email provider. For example, your email address would be firstname.lastname@example.org. Hosting providers like WordPress offer business email services, so you can make customized email addresses for your business.
Tips for Creating an Effective Website
There are a few things you should pay attention when building a website to offer users a positive experience, including:
- Make your contact information easy to find. One of the main reasons people visit a business's website is to find its contact information. Create a 'Contact Us' webpage that includes all of your contact information including your address, phone number, and business email address.
- Build a fast website. Google found that if your website takes longer than three seconds to load, the probability of users leaving your website significantly increases. Test to see how long your website takes to load, and troubleshoot ways to make it load faster. For example, compressing your files could decrease its loading time.
- Make your website legible. Certain fonts may make your website challenging to read. Instead, choose a few legible fonts to use throughout your website. For example, sans serif fonts tend to be easier to read on digital devices. Common fonts companies use on their websites include Arial, Roboto, and Verdana. Choose large, bold fonts to make your website more legible. Also, make sure your navigation and buttons are easy to read.
- Keep your website up to date. Make sure you are regularly updating the information on your website to keep customers informed. If you are selling items online, make sure you are updating which items are in stock and if there are any sales.
- Make sure users can view it on any device. Your content should be responsive on desktops, tablets, and smartphones. Make sure your images load fast and are easy to view. Likewise, make sure users don't have to pinch and drag their screen to view all of your content.
When building your business's website, make it unique to your brand and what you have to offer. Having a professional website can help you attract more customers and establish your brand. Create a user experience where visitors feel happy and comfortable using your website.