If you want your small business to be a success, then it is imperative that you create a solid website. If you don’t then you may find that you end up missing out on a huge segment of your audience and this is the last thing you want.
Check out the 5 tips to create a successful business website below!
1. Invest in a Domain Name
Simply put, a professional domain name is always better than a free domain. A lot of DIY website builders give you an option to create a free domain when using their platform, but it comes at a cost. Most will tack on an extra snippet that shows who actually owns the domain, such as “yourdomainname.wordpress.com.”
Not a good look for a professional business.
Instead of cutting corners and going with a free domain, it's better to spend the money because:
- A professional domain name boosts your credibility and signals to potential clients that you take your business seriously.
- You actually own the domain, which puts you in control — not the web host you're using.
Not sure what kind of domain name to use?
Using your brand name is always a good option. Or, if you're a freelancer, consider using your first and last name. This gives you freedom to change up your services without having to start over with a new domain name.
2. Create a Site Plan
If you want to make sure that your site isn’t too complex then you need to start with a piece of paper. Use it to map out all of your parent pages (main navigation link) and any child pages (subpages) that will live under the main navigation link.
Visually, your navigation menu will look something like this:
- Parent Page
- Child Page
- Child Page
- Child Page
Once you've mapped out your navigation, plan out what you want to include on each page.
Taking the time to create a plan will help you to stay organized and give you a rough layout before you start building your site.
3. Use Simple Navigation
When setting up your site's naviation, make sure to review your site plan and you keep your menus as short as possible. A menu that overflows onto the two lines, or that has a lot of clutter will be hard to use.
During this step, it's important to consider what you want potential customers to know and the journey you want them to take. After all, user experience is key to a successful business website.
As a general rule of thumb, your website navigation should always include a home page, about page, and contact page. The other pages in your navigation menu will depend on your business and the services you offer. If you're a freelance writer, you may also want to include a portfolio, services page outling what you offer, and a pricing page.
If you sell products, you could create a products parent page in your navigation, with pages to product types as child pages that appear when you hover over the menu link. For example, the photo below shows how a popular skincare brand has sorted their products by category under their “shop” link.
Long story short: Keeping your website navigation simple and easy to use will help create a more streamlined website and better user experience.
4. Consider Your Audience
If you know who you are trying to reach, then you can easily create a website that suits their needs.
Define who your audience is and make sure that you support their needs. Your audience isn’t everyone, and if you try and target broadly then you may find that you run into a world of issues at a later date.
Limit who you target and focus on the people who are going to be the best fit for your product or services. If you plan on accepting payments online, give some thought to a streamlined payment processing API for developers.
5. Make a Logo
Your logo is so important if you are making a website. It helps your online business to be more recognizable.
When creating your logo, try and remember that it is going to be used on your social media pages, on your product packaging, and even on your printed materials. You can use a logo maker like Canva to create your logo, or you can hire a professional to do it for you. Either way, make sure your logo is eye-catching, relevant to your brand, and conveys what you do. You want to be remembered, and this comes from being unique in your approach to your design.
Your Website Will Evolve
The 5 tips above are a great place to start if you want to create a successful business website. That said, remember that your website is allowed to evolve as your refine your offerings and target audience. Just keep these tips in mind as you fine-tune your site.
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