A Step By Step Guide to Creating Small Business Websites

women working on small business website

You’ve created the perfect business plan for your small company, pulled together an intriguing inventory, and you’ve even started to gain a bit of traction on social media.

Before you officially open for business, you need to create a steller website. 

You’d be lying if you said you weren’t a bit intimidated by the process, and there are so many things you have to consider. From website design and SEO to hosting platforms and domain names, things can get overwhelming fast. 

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Don’t worry — you’ve got this. 

Read on to learn everything you need to know about building the perfect small business websites and get ready to outrank your competitors, get more clients, and increase your conversion ratio.  

1. Know What Your Site Will Do

Before you consider anything else about how to make a professional website, you first need to decide upon the primary purpose of your website. 

For example, will your site mainly be an eCommerce shop designed to sell your products?

Or, will it be a blog that helps to raise awareness about your company and get subscribers to your mailing list? Will it be a combination of the two?

Will your website review products, upload tutorial videos on how to use your products? Will your site allow consumers to book an appointment with you online?

Get specific about the number-one goal of your website, and then create at least three smaller sub-goals. 

2. Select Your Domain Name

All small business websites have a domain name, AKA a website address. 

Most of the time, your domain name should simply be the name of your business. 

You’ll need to use a domain name search tool to ensure that the name you want is available, and you’ll need to purchase the domain name in order to claim it as your own. 

If the domain name you want isn’t available, consider switching to a different ending, like a “.org” instead of a “.com.” You could also add a relevant adjective to your business name, like www.mybusinessnameclothes.com or www.mybusinessnameweddings.com.” 

3. Choose Your Web Hosting Platform

Perhaps the most important decision small businesses will make is who hosts their website. 

Basically, a hosting company is the business responsible for making sure your website is online at all times and can be safely accessed by visitors. 

When comparing hosts, look at the security features they offer, the different plans/prices, and read online reviews from past clients. 

4. Select a Design Theme

All websites for businesses have a theme, which is essentially the “overall look” of the site itself.

We strongly suggest that you hire a professional website designer to bring your site to life. 

In addition to ensuring that your site is technically strong, an expert creates a visual experience that’s consistent with your branding strategy and different from your competitors’ sites. 

Plus, a professional works to create intuitive site navigation that encourages visitors to stay on your site for longer. 

Find out more about why you should consider investing in professional website design services before you attempt to create your own site from scratch.

5. Add Web Pages

The most important web pages to create usually include:

  • Homepage
  • “About Us” page
  • Product/Service pages
  • Contact page
  • F.A.Q. page
  • Review/testimonial page
  • Blog page
  • Portfolio page

These are just a few of your page options. You may also include a page about your financing options, a page on your mission statement/company values, and a page about your employees.

6. Consider Plugins

When you start researching how to make a professional website, you’ll probably come across information about “plugins.” 

Think of these as “apps” for your website. 

There are plugins to help you improve your site’s security, to ensure that you’re GDPR compliant, and even to make your site accessible to those with a disability. There are also plugins to help your page load faster, to allow you to create e-newsletters, and plugins that let you display your social media posts on your site. 

While plugins are certainly useful, too many of them can slow your site down. 

Click here for a list of the most important plugins to consider. 

7. Add Content and Go Live

Once you’ve set up your pages, chosen your theme, and added the plugins you need to help your site run smoothly, it’s time for you to add specific content to your website. 

Make sure your content is optimized for SEO by including relevant internal/external links and keywords throughout your pages and posts. Vary the type of content you post, whether photographs, videos, listicles, personal blog posts, or product descriptions. 

Organize your content in a drop-down menu at the top of your pages, and categorize blog posts so visitors can quickly find what they’re looking for. Ensure your homepage includes your most popular products to speed up your sales cycle. 

Above all, always include your contact information and a Google Map to a physical location (if you have one) on every page. The same goes for social media follow buttons. 

You are officially ready to go live!

Want to Learn How to Grow Your Small Business Websites?

Now that you know the basics of how to set up small business websites, it’s time to think about how you’re going to get more traffic, analyze your site visitors, and better optimize your site for SEO. 

After all, your work truly begins once your website goes live. 

Need more tips and tricks on how to check your site’s mobile-friendliness? Want to know how to write a great blog post? Struggling with the technical side of things? 

Bookmark our blog post to get solutions and advice about all things related to building and growing your website.