A great company website is essential for the success of your company, whether you are a freelance photographer, own a hardware store, or have another type of small business. We know what it takes to create great and engaging business websites as a company that offers a robust and featured-pack website builder like Strikingly.
Here are 5 key steps to get started and help your small business websites compete effectively in the online marketplace if you are looking to build a new start-up website or make your current company website more effective:
- Keep the domain name at tip-top condition
The entry point for your company website is often your domain name, also known as your website address. It is important for usability and search engine optimization (SEO) to make a good impression.
We have prepared a list of tips for thinking of an optimal domain name:
- Keep it easy to spell. Try to avoid using words that are slang, made-up, or extremely esoteric.
- Learn to use proper domain extensions. Often aim to make it a .com domain name (as opposed to .net, .co, etc.) unless another suffix, such as .gov, .edu, or .org, is more suitable to use.
- Stray away from numbers and hyphens. They are hard to recall and less elegant and unforgettable than domain names that are word-only and can be confused when the domain name is vocalized.
- Keep the address broad to address your company website future growth. Amazon.com, for instance, is a much wider website address than BooksOnline.com and allows Amazon, as was its original intention, to sell nearly any form of consumer product instead of books only.
- Make sure your company website domain is memorable. It is important for your website name to be catchy with so many websites on the internet, so people can know how to access it in the future.
- See if it’s available to take or not. To see whether a similar website address already exists online, Google it so that you may see if there are any existing domain addresses. Then, search on USPTO.gov to ensure that it does not contain any trademarks.
- Is the price right for you? Determine if it is right for your budget because most good domain names are taken and will need to be purchased from the current owner. After checking that it is well within your wallet’s reach, you can buy your desired website address at a fair price.
- Avoid names that are meaningless. Choose a name that conveys a meaning so that consumers know what your organization is in an instant. Yahoo and Google are catchy names, but their branding is very expensive that your small business website can't afford. With a catchy name, not only will it make your URL easy to remember, but also engrave it into people’s minds that your company website is linked to your business.
- Make your company website URL SEO-friendly. Try to come up with an SEO-friendly website address, including keywords and geo-location, if necessary; for instance, "www.TexasSouthAustinPlumbers.com."
- Keep your company website hosting secure and scalable with tech support
A website host (or often referred to as a provider of website hosting) is an organization that provides the requisite technologies and services for accessing a website on the internet. You connect your domain name to your hosting provider so that your website that you store on your hosting account is shown to users when they visit your website address.
Depending on the kind of technology and support you choose, hosting services can cost anything from $2 to $100+ per month. If you buy a yearly plan as opposed to a monthly plan, you will usually get a discount.
Here are another set of tips but this time, for choosing an optimal website hosting plan:
- While you can get a hosting package for a "shared server" for as little as $2 per month, we would normally advise against this. Shared hosting means that you are sharing with other customers a server and its services, which can make your site's output suffer. Also, it is possible for your website to be compromised if one of the other websites on your shared server is hacked.
- The most costly alternative is a "dedicated server" hosting package, which can vary from about $100 to $2,000 per month, but it will make your company website work best. Having a dedicated server plan ensures that your site is fully dedicated to the actual server machine; thus, all the resources are yours and, as long as the hardware is optimal, it is more reliable than a shared hosting plan. It is, however, much more costly than what most small companies are generally prepared to pay for. This may be what you need once you have a really high-performing platform, but it is overkill for most early-stage and small business websites.
- A "virtual private server" (VPS) hosting package that provides the best of both worlds is the compromise we would usually suggest. The cost varies from around $20 to $50 a month, which is affordable for the services you would get for hosting. A VPS is a single machine that is partitioned to operate as multiple computers, giving it shared hosting affordability close to that of a dedicated server hosting package, with similar protection and performance potential for your small business website design.
- Make sure your small business website hosting provider has a telephone and/or chat service so that if you have a problem, you can be supported quickly. When an issue needs to be addressed immediately, email help may also take too long and become frustrating. Support for the phone is best, but messaging also works well.
- To access your server, there needs to be an easy to use server interface like cPanel. If you can afford to employ a skilled server administrator to support you then do so! You won't want to have to use terminal commands to access your server content and make adjustments.
- Check to see what kind of server protection on the server that you are considering is in place. You want the Stable File Transfer Protocol to be able to access your server (SFTP). There should also be regular backups of your material on the server. A simple, one- or two-click method for installing Stable Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates should also be used. Make sure routine security maintenance is done by the hosting company. Ideally, you should check the published security policy of your hosting company so that you know how to keep their servers secure.
And here, we have prepared a list of website hosting companies that are trusted by fellow entrepreneurs and businessmen like you:
- Write a clear description of your business and company
It's important to let people know who you are and what you do right away, so when they visit your small business page, they don't feel lost. Make sure that your main homepage banner (also known as a "hero image") and subsequent banners are visual representations of your services and that you have an introductory text blurb at the top of the page explaining who you are and what your small business website will do.
In addition, make sure that both your main and footer navigation menus have easily accessible "About Us" page links so that individuals can click them and learn more about your organization in detail.
- Put out quality content on the daily
For search engines, both the amount of content and freshness are important, so it is essential that you create a plan to publish quality articles and/or blog posts on your website and on external sites that link to your website. You will have to update your website with new and relevant content as frequently as possible if you want to rank highly in search engine results and encourage people to return to your site again and again.
A great type of content to post on your website is testimonials, in addition to static page content and articles. Asking your customers for testimonials and then posting them on your website is a great way to post fresh, high-quality content on your site that makes it more attractive for your small business. Ensure that your content uses a suitable, on-brand tone that people will enjoy reading.
- Utilize a website builder that is robust and featured-pack
Our last and probably the best advice we can give you is to use a website builder for your company websites. Even if you follow the previous steps without a foundation that is solid, everything will still fall apart. If you are now on the lookout for a solid all-around website builder that is free, then look no further with our very own Strikingly advanced website builder. We offer hundreds of themes that are ready for your small business website design.
Our friendly Happiness Officers are prepared to hear out any problems you may have while building a website, but don’t worry! We work hard every day to make sure you won’t have any.