by Juan Robin II
You’ve come up with the perfect name for your small business. You’ve secured funding, hired the right employees, and even found the best office space.
You need to find a way to spread the word about your new business. One of the best ways to do just that?
By building a website.
In this post, we’ll tell you everything you need to know to create the ideal small business website.
Keep reading to learn how to build a website from scratch.
Pick the Right Hosting Service
The first step in learning how to build a website from scratch?
You’ll need to make sure that you’ve chosen the appropriate hosting platform.
The good news is that there are tons of different options out there. In most cases, you’ll be able to scale your hosting platform, so that it can accommodate an influx of traffic, plugins, and more as your small business grows.
You could choose a shared hosting platform. This means that the server your website is hosted by also hosts other websites. This is affordable, but if the other sites on your shared platform get more traffic, yours may be slowed as a result.
Another popular option is a cloud hosting platform.
This is wonderful if you’d like to be able to handle a sudden influx of traffic, and if you plan to scale your hosting space over time. It also has stricter security measures. Usually, you’ll only need to pay for space you’re using.
Though these two are among the most popular types of small business website hosting services, there are other options. They include a virtual private server, managed WordPress hosting, and a dedicated web server, among others.
Understand Site Security
Once you’ve selected the right hosting platform for your small business website, it’s time to focus on another essential aspect of a quality site: its security.
Cybersecurity is a key aspect of not only protecting your customers’ data but also of making sure that you do everything possible to keep your company’s reputation in good standing.
After all, nearly 60% of small businesses that are the victims of a cyber attack or a hack close within a calendar year.
So, how can you keep your business website safe?
Start by enabling SSL encryption whenever you can. This turns personal information like social security numbers, passwords, and credit card data into random strings of letters and special characters.
Even if your site is hacked, no one will be able to decipher that data.
You’ll know you’ve enabled SSL when, as opposed to just “HTTP” before your site, you see “HTTPS” and a little green lock in your address bar, with the word, “Secure.”
You should also make it a point to frequently update your software, change your passwords about once every two weeks at minimum, and make continual backups of your site data.
Optimize for SEO
Even the most simple website can quickly soar in the search engine rankings when you implement a strong SEO strategy.
Start by conducting a thorough amount of keyword research, and make sure that you select keywords that are optimized for both desktop and voice search.
Include keywords that reference your service area and business location, in order to have a greater impact on your local market.
Place these keywords in your website’s headlines, your HTML text, and even your image file names.
You should also consider refining both your internal and external linking strategies.
Internally, you need to link back to previous blog posts or product pages in your content. Always make sure that the content you’re linking to is truly relevant to the topic at hand.
Google can tell if you’re just trying to “game the system” by stuffing your content with random links.
When it comes to your external linking strategy, include links to authoritative websites and content — like data points and statistics — in your blog posts.
Not only will this strengthen the argument that you’re making, it also increases the likelihood that these high-profile websites will link back to your site in the future.
There’s no shame in sending a quick email to the author of a post or the manager of one of these websites to let them know you’ve included a link to their article in your content. They’re highly likely to return the favor!
Don’t Neglect Site Speed
Does your small business website take longer than the blink of an eye to load?
If so, then your slow loading speed — yes, that’s actually considered slow these days — could be costing you serious business.
If your website doesn’t load quickly, there’s a good chance that users are going to navigate away from it. This influences what’s called your bounce rate — AKA, the percentage of users that get off your website after just a few seconds.
Sites with a higher bounce rate, according to Google, likely don’t have helpful or even relevant information that consumers are looking for.
So, even if your simply business website is the best in your industry, Google will still penalize it in the rankings.
What can you do to speed things up on your website?
First of all, make sure that you enable browser caching. Also, get rid of larger image files, and think about which plugins you can get rid of.
You could also look into working with a Content Delivery Network (a CDN for short.) This helps to speed up your overall loading time.
Look to see how many files you can combine, re-evaluate your current hosting platform, and continually run diagnostics to monitor your current site speed.
Finally, you should also consider minimizing the number of HTTP requests that your website makes. This will help to speed things up considerably, and won’t do anything to compromise the overall security of your website in the process.
Focus on Mobile-Friendliness
In today’s world, more of your potential customers will access your website from their mobile devices than on a traditional desktop computer.
Additionally, Google has officially switched to using a mobile-first index.
What does this mean when you want to learn how to build a website from scratch?
That Google will examine how well your site works and how quickly it loads on a mobile interface before it does anything else. So, if your site isn’t optimized for mobile users, it will seriously fall in the search engine rankings.
How can you better optimize your small business website for mobile?
Start by cutting out any autoplay features, like videos, and pop-up ads. Additionally, make sure that you’ve adjusted the size of your buttons and drop-down menu options to fit a mobile screen. (Yes, sometimes it really is that simple.)
Make sure that you include a link to a Google Map on your mobile site. This will help you to rank higher in the results of local visitors.
Finally, consider creating Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs) for your website.
Consider Working with a Professional Website Design Company
Of course, sometimes you simply don’t have the time to invest in building a website from scratch.
Additionally, you may also lack the creative and technical skill to get your website to look and function the way that you want it to.
You may not understand which plugins you need, how to build a natural sales funnel into your website, or how to install features like a live chat.
The good news?
There are website design professionals out there that do.
Businesses like this company, Finepoint Design, have worked to create incredible websites within a wide variety of industries.
Spend some time on their website to decide if working with a professional team of designers, SEO experts, and more is the right choice for your brand.
Ready to Create your Small Business Website?
We hope that this post has taught you that learning how to build a website from scratch isn’t as complicated as you might have initially feared.
Above all, your small business website should be mobile-friendly, quick to load, optimized for SEO, and easy to navigate.
After all, your website is the first impression that many people will have of your company. You want to be able to start things off on the right foot.
Looking for more help on how to take your website to the next level?
Be sure to keep checking back with us for more tips and tricks to increase your conversions, improve your loading time, and make lasting connections with your target market.