Essentials of a Small Business Website
- September 23, 2022
Small business website providers are dime-a-dozen. Most of them offer cheap solutions without thoroughly understanding what a website should achieve and some of these providers do understand but don’t bother enough to communicate with their customers. Business website can be a unique platform where a company can develop and put forth their offerings on the Web. It is their own identity online where visitors can learn, evaluate and communicate with the people involved without any intermediary.
An ideal small business website thus should primarily have the following characteristics or essential qualities to succeed and turn visitors into customers…
Branding & Uniqueness
Your business has got a shiny new logo, business card and letterhead ready for marketing. But what about your website? Does your website carry the same branding, style and unique label that your other marketing materials do? Or is it just a cookie-cutter template with large photographs of people in suits pasted all over the homepage?
Even a small budget website needs to follow design principles, aesthetics and branding to make it stand apart from the competition and to create recall value. Corporate colors, typography and the language of communication helps create your brand. There will be a difference in how a B2C (business to consumer) website will advertise products and services than a B2B website (business to business) does. The language for B2B would definitely be more formal and impersonal than a B2C website. It does not really matter if your budget allows you only limited bells and whistles. What matters is how well you can communicate your company’s motto and its products or services in least possible time.
The ideas are flowing now in your head… the brand, the uniqueness and the excitement. Your website service provider shows you a sequence of animated images, some cool looking interfaces that users can engage in and much more. Most of these features require additional plug-ins that visitors to your website need to install in order to get entertained. But are they really going to do that?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Your website is unique and easy to browse. Everyone around you has praises and you in return praised your website provider. Is that an happy ending? Certainly not!
How are people going to know about your website? Unless you plan to have only those visitors whom you personally met and spoke about your website, there is a very little chance that people outside your circle will ever know about it. Search Engine Optimization depends on lot of factors like content and keyword density of your website, back-links from other websites, site architecture and coding, loading time of site pages, etc. SEO consultants can optimize your website for better search engine rankings for a fee, but be careful not to fall into the “Get #1 on Google” traps. Those who say usually LIE!
Once you find a good SEO consultant, you are as much responsible to update, manage and add content to your website for better results on search engines.
Content Management System
SEO and updating your website content brings us to our next “must-have” feature in a website – content management system, better known as CMS. It is a hosted software which stores and manages your website content in a database. Through a back-end control panel, you can login through your browser and manage the content of your website pages. It usually provides you an interface where you can edit content just like you do on your desktop with Microsoft Word or other text editing tools. You don’t need any HTML or programming skills to update the content.
There are hundreds of CMS solutions out there and one which stands apart from the competition is WordPress. Initially used only for blogging and publishing, WordPress which is an open-source (free) self-hosted software has now developed into a full-blown CMS with thousands of free plug-ins and resources for use. This CMS is good and easy for website owners to update content, it is good from SEO point of view and best of all it’s free.
Blogging and Social Media
Last but not the least, blogging in recent years has become an effective tool for marketing and letting your users/visitors/customers know about the latest news happening in your company. You can blog as frequently as everyday or even post a weekly happenings with the right amount of wordings and language style to make people come back again and again to your website and check updates. There are plenty of online services which can syndicate your blog content on social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more. Just as you maintain your friend list and connections on Facebook and LinkedIn, make your users subscribe to your blog posts through Feeds and/or Email and slowly you’ll find more involvement from people you may not even know and generate interest in your company/products/services.
Your business website should be a reflection of your company, albeit virtually. In this digital age of global connectivity, a person living hundreds of miles away can be your customer. So why limit your company door to walk-ins? Why not take advantage of the log-ins?
Source by Sapan Shah
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