You just started a business and your Uncle told you need a website so people can find you. Now you are probably wondering how to make a website. It can be complicated definitely, but its also easier than ever with partners and many companies with site builder templates to help get you started quicker.
This article explains the basics of how to make a website, what is WordPress, what is Google Analytics, should I make a blog post about everything I do? These any many other valuable tips for attracting more traffic.
As a small business, your website is the core of your digital marketing footprint. It’s essential to build an online presence that demonstrates why customers should work with you instead of the competition. Without a functional website, many of your customers will simply look elsewhere for the products and services they want. This guide explains everything you need to know about how to make a website, along with tools and tips to make website management easier.
Define the Purpose of Your Website
First, you’ll want to determine the primary purpose of your small business website. Are you seeking to drive traffic to your online store or encourage customers to visit your brick-and-mortar location? Will your website provide educational resources on certain industry topics or will your focus be on sales? Having a solid grasp of your overarching objectives from the start will make the process of building a website far less challenging. Keep your objectives simple at first and expand on them later as your website starts coming together.
Decide to Build or Buy
As a business, you will constantly find yourself deciding whether you should try and figure out something yourself or decide to just partner with an expert to help get you there. Website setup and management by yourself is challenging, but definitely possible. Scorpion has been building websites and marketing plans for small businesses for over 20 years. If you want to partner and buy give us a call. If you want to do it yourself then we have you covered to with the full guide below.
You Chose To Build
Setup a Domain
A website builder like WordPress or Weebly offers domain names for free, but these default web addresses can be a little long and confusing. It’s well worth the investment to pay extra for a unique domain name that's easy for customers to remember. If possible, select a domain that includes the name of your business or is at least related to the products and services you provide. The best domain names are short and memorable, so avoid adding letters, numbers, or symbols whenever possible.
You will also find that sites like GoDaddy or NameCheap for buying domains will offer you a lot of other upsells and opportunities for your business. Many of them may not be necessary based on what you are doing, so just make sure you do a little research before adding on anything. There is a GoDaddy website builder that can get you started though if you are interested in that route.
These domain sites can also help connect you with the right hosting plan , ssl certificate options for security with your website creation.
Select a Content Management System and Analytics
To create a truly engaging website, you’ll need a content management system (CMS) that puts everything in perspective. A CMS provides greater control over how your website looks and performs by offering more customizable options. A CMS can also provide valuable insights into your website's performance. Watch how your content performs by tracking data like daily traffic, page views, and conversion rates.
There are a lot of options for content management out there. We suggest finding one that is simple and easy to use and set up. You might find a site like Squarespace with its template technology will be a good starting point for you. If you want a more custom site that fits your needs than something like Scorpion may be better.
Wordpress software is one of the most used CMS out there. It can take a little more help to create a professional website , but if you or a family member know your way around HTML it can be a great way to get a free website.
You will also need analytics to track website traffic to your website. Google Analytics is free and easy to use. It just requires adding a piece of code to the website. You will find that some website template sites even offer information on how to set it up. With Google Analytics you will want to track website traffic and see which pages people are visiting. You may find that your homepage or a blog post get a lot of traffic. Those can be good indicators for which pieces of your website or content you should promote with advertising. We will talk more about that later on.
Take Advantage of Website Building Tools and Templates
WordPress software has the most access to additional plugins and widgets to add to your website. You can use widgets and plugins to customize how customers interact with your website. For instance, add a web player plugin to display a dedicated welcome video on your home page or insert a local news feed widget on your website’s sidebar. You can also consider adding a help bot to answer frequently asked questions or schedule consultations.
Website tools and resources can also help with developing a consistent brand image. Spend some time trying out different templates to find a color scheme, font, and theme that aligns with your vision. Preview various settings and options until the basic framework of your website begins to take shape. With a loose blueprint in place, you’ll be ready to begin ironing out the finer details like page layout or content production.
If you are an eCommerce website you might take a look at Shopify. They can give you micro websites that are small and easy to use, but provide the technology for taking customer payments.
All of these website tools can live directly in your navigation bar at the top of your website or show up for different custom experiences.
Map Out Your Website Structure
Use pen and paper to create a rough sketch of your ideal website structure. Start with the navigation bar. That is the very top menu of your website. This will help you visualize what customers will see when they visit your website. Will your website list internal pages along the navigation bar at the top of the screen, or within a collapsible menu on the left side of the browser window? You’ll also want to make sure your website contains a quick bar for easy navigation to all your content.
For landing pages, it’s often best to keep things simple and to the point. Overwhelming customers with too much information at once will make it more difficult for them to find exactly what they need. You will also want to have a contact form for customers to fill out so that you can contact them.
Think about how your page hierarchy will steer leads toward taking action, like signing up for a newsletter or purchasing a product. A well-organized website should function as a marketing funnel by guiding customers to your solutions.
Begin Publishing Content and Pages
With the foundation of your website in place, it’s time to begin crafting content for all your pages. Be sure to include videos and images alongside text to make your content more appealing to visitors. To improve your search engine rankings, be sure to craft relevant blog content related to the products or services you provide. Schedule new posts to publish once or twice a week so your website visitors always have something new to discover.
Content is the biggest key to search engine optimization (SEO) to help you be found on search engines like Google or Bing/Yahoo. The biggest key with content is to stay consistent and also to promote on sites like Facebook often.
Content can take many forms. You could choose to write a blog post once a week or create an eBook that your customer might enjoy.
5 Ways To Promote Your Website
Now that you learned how to make a website, it’s time to start getting website traffic with your website content. There are many ways to promote your small business website, but the most effective strategies usually concentrate on a few key areas. Here are 5 simple techniques to help your website stand out from the crowd:
Search Engine Optimization
Most customers today use Google to find a new business in their area. Unfortunately, if your business doesn't appear on the first pages of results, you may miss out on a potential client. This is where basic search engine optimization (SEO) practices come into play.
SEO is a catch-all term that involves many techniques for acquiring web traffic. This includes crafting informative, keyword-rich content and optimizing your website for mobile devices. An SEO strategy should also strive to build backlinks through other credible websites. To improve navigation speed for visitors, be sure to connect all your content with valid internal links. Generate more traffic from local leads by adding geo-specific keywords to blog posts or service pages.
Leverage Social Media
According to Statistica data, over 3.6 billion people worldwide actively used some form of social media in 2020. Link your website to platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to expand your reach to a much wider audience. These outlets offer an excellent opportunity to showcase products and build brand recognition. Just be sure your social media posts include a link to a service page or blog on your website. Likewise, you may also want to add your Twitter feed directly to your home page so visitors can see updates at a glance.
Creating a Youtube page for your small business is another effective way to promote your website. Build a library of explainer videos covering relevant industry topics and invite viewers to visit your website to learn more. If you plan on rolling out a new offering, make a brief demo video of the product in action.
Digital marketing is made up of content creation (blog posts, eBooks, etc...), and advertising (Facebook, Google, YouTube, etc..). Once you have created the content then you can pay for that to be shown with pay-per-click advertising, display advertising, or social advertising. There is a lot to understanding the ins and outs of advertising with your business. Here is a Beginners's Guide To Advertising to help get you started.
Start an Email Marketing Campaign
Draw attention to your new website by inviting social media followers or regular customers to sign up for email updates. Send out a welcome email when your site is live and provide a brief description of what visitors can expect to find. As you start earning new subscribers, start sending out weekly newsletters or monthly promotions. If web traffic falls, offer a limited-time discount on select products in your online store. Notify subscribers of any exciting updates to your website as well, like adding a new checkout system or direct chat support.
Use Direct Mail
Another way to promote your new business website is through direct mail. This marketing medium is easy to overlook and may seem outdated, but it can have a substantial impact. Direct mail stands out and providing something tangible to customers has a way of grabbing their attention.
Aside from postcards, send out small gifts to customers like key chains, t-shirts, or stickers. Whatever you decide to do, make sure there is some way to track the success of your direct mail campaign. Attach a QR code to your mail so recipients can transition straight to your website. You can also provide a code for 10% off any purchase in your online store. After following the link provided, ask them if they would like to sign up for email updates containing future coupons or promotional offers.
Host or Sponsor Events
Get involved in organizing or sponsoring events like concerts to spread the word about your business. Distribute fliers promoting your new website and make sure to update followers on social media. Afterward, share photos or videos of the event online and invite your customers to do the same. Use hashtags to draw people to social media pages, and from there, to your website.
By keeping these tips in mind, it’s easy to build a website that generates steady traffic. If you’re searching website tools and resources to guide you along the way, our team at Scorpion is here to help. We provide expert support with everything from initial website design to SEO and content marketing. Contact us to begin building your online presence today so you can focus on the bigger picture.