One of the challenges of starting a small business is making yourself known in an industry that’s usually saturated with big names and companies that have deep marketing pockets. An affordable and effective way to compete is to set up a website for your business. With it, you can start making connections with potential customers online.
But having a website for your small business is nowhere near simple. You don’t just waltz into a shop, ask to buy a website, and expect overnight success and recognition. In order to make your website stand out and “pop” in the congested sea called the Internet, here are some of the tips that you should consider.
A domain name for your business and the right host
The first step in setting up a business website is deciding on its domain name.
It’s common to choose one based on the name of your business, since you want people to associate the site with your brand. But this may not be as easy as it sounds. Even if you want to go with your brand name, with millions of websites already in existence, it is possible that it’s already taken.
A bit of creativity may come in handy, because you need to play around with various terms related to your brand. You might want to try adding a number before or after your brand name just in case the domain name is already taken. The best thing you can do is check for domain name availability using free online tools from hosting platforms. Check out this example of a domain checker from hosting service GoDaddy.
Once you’ve sorted out your site’s domain name, you can proceed to decide where to host it. Getting the right hosting service is key to your website’s success, because they are the ones that store your site’s files and transmit them to your visitors. Getting one that fits your needs, like bandwidth requirement, stability, and price, is essential. Find the right balance between quality and price, because while you want fast, reliable connectivity and access for your visitors, you don’t really want to overspend and break your budget.
There are also services that are suited for tech-savvy users who are likely more hands-on when it comes to website management and maintenance. These are usually cheaper compared to ones that offer full, round-the-clock support—perfect for website owners who are less tech-savvy and hands-on than typical webmasters.
Proper description of your company, complete with all the contact information
Your small business may still be relatively unknown in a dense, competitive industry. Having a website won’t really help if you haven’t properly introduced your company to the world. When someone stumbles upon your page from the search engine results page (SERP), don’t expect them to stay just to get to know your company. Not a lot of people have the time and patience to dig deep into a company or business they don’t know about.
To address this, you need to clearly state your business name, your products or services, and other relevant information right on your homepage. Go straight to the point. If you’re selling something, tell your visitors about what it does. If it’s a service, convince them to avail of it by communicating the immediate benefits. You may have a separate page for your products or services, but briefly discussing them on your homepage can help establish your brand when you’re still making a name for your business.
It is also important to make sure your contact information is easy to find. Again, you can’t expect every visitor to patiently search your pages just to know how to reach you. You don’t want to lose a potential client just because they couldn’t find your email address or business phone number.
Have your contact information listed somewhere in your homepage. Some sites even have these numbers in their banners or in their page footers. If you have multiple contact numbers or if you want to list your mailing address, you can have a separate “Contact Us” page.
If you’re really serious about providing your visitors a means of contacting you directly, you can add a “Click to Call Me” button in your page. It will help your customers reach you by simply clicking a button to dial your number. A good example of this would be RingCentral’s RingMe feature. If you’re subscribed to our cloud-based communications service, your customers can call you from anywhere in the world simply by clicking a button embedded on your page.
Fresh, quality content with a touch of SEO
Another effective way to make your website “pop” and attract visitors is through quality content. Your website should be a repository of useful information for your products, so take the time to build pages that focus on your offerings. If possible, dedicate a page for each item you are selling or for each service that you provide. If your business offers specialized services, come up with features pages to highlight your brand’s strengths.
Once you have planned out what pages to create for your website, you can apply search engine optimization (SEO) to make them rank on Google and other search engines. Optimizing your content for search engines takes a bit of time and effort. It involves choosing what search terms you should compete and rank for, as well as continuously adjusting your content to reach your target audience. But once you’ve properly optimized the content of your pages, your efforts will pay off with an increase in traffic and page visibility. You can check out some SEO tips from SEMrush, one of the leading authorities in web analytics today.
If you really want your small business website to stand out, you need to spend time, effort, and money while following the above-mentioned tips. Take extra time in choosing the domain name for your site, and carefully select which hosting service fits your needs and your budget. Dedicate a page for properly describing your company, including information on the products or services you offer, as well as your contact information. And lastly, create content that provides new knowledge about your offerings and learn to optimize your pages so they can rank well on search engines. Do all these and you’ll be closer to realizing the full potential of your small business website, not just for sales, but also for connecting with your customers.
Originally published Mar 21, 2018, updated Aug 12, 2020