Category: Small Business Website Design
You do not need to know how to start an online store in order to have a functional business website running. That said all successful business brands do need to have a strong online presence. An awesome, small business website design can be easily realised by observing a few simple, but important steps.
1) Contact a reputable web design company
You can achieve a custom website design by contracting the expertise of a competent web developer. Small businesses have many options nowadays, some offering cheap ways to get online, but be careful not to fall into traps. Make sure the web design company is a reputable one, and has been around a while. Be cautious about contracting an unreliable website designer who will pop up and disappear just as quickly. Check out their web design portfolio, and see if they have believable reviews online.
2) Good Domain Name + Hosting
The next step of how to start an online store is to register a domain name. You and your clients will type this address into a browser in order to access your website. Selecting the right domain name is easy if you follow the tips below:
- It should be short and memorable
- Including relevant keywords makes it more search engine friendly
- It should exclude using ‘clever’ hyphens, spellings and numbers
- Incorporate a .com.au for Australian businesses or .com for an ideal top level domain (TLD)
- Register the .org.au and .net.au domain names for your website will allow for redirecting visitors from such TLDs to your .com.au site
It is also critical to have reliable web hosting as it makes your website quick to navigate. A slow site will provide a terrible user experience.
3) Website Design
The process of actually building your small business website design comes after you have secured your domain name and hosting. If it is an online store, make sure there are a minimum number of levels in the menu hierarchy. Also, keep the checkout as short and simple as possible, using techniques to get them to agree to be on your mailing list.
4) Content Creation
It is important to consider various types of content for your website. These include web page text content, visual content, blog content and video content as well as social media content. Creating awesome content involves several steps:
- Website navigation to be quick and easy if you want visitors to navigate your content
- Choose carefully the actual web pages to be included in your custom website design
- Break up text heave pages with high-quality images, relevant to your visual brand
- Keeping visual branding consistent by employing a set number of fonts (max four), comprising of two to three core colours.
Good quality website developers should help you with creating captivating images for your blog, web pages and social media posts.
Search engines employ complex algorithms to enable them correctly index websites in search results, and a large portion of this is based upon the actual content on your website pages and how the site is constructed. Utilising an SEO checklist or the services of an SEO Company can help to ensure that your website remains highly visible online.
Your checklist should include:
- Verifying your website with Google using Google’s Webmaster tools
- Researching keywords and employing them especially within the first 100 words/page
- Applying keyword-associated phrases
- Incorporating keywords into headings
- Providing unique content
- Employing high-quality in-bound and out-bound links
- Checking the page-speed of your website using Google page-speed tool
- Adding alt tag information onto each and every image uploaded
- Ensure assigning full file-names rich in keywords to your images
A good website designer should employ techniques that incorporate your keywords, meta-data and optimisation of page titles and descriptions to suit your SEO strategy.
The steps above are important for a web designer to follow as they help create an awesome website. Make sure the website developers don not fob off your requests and rush through the initial design stage, in order to complete your project quickly and stay profitable. Also, ensure that they are using quality graphic designer to make sure that your website has a refined, thoughtfully designed look and feel.
Simply having written content on your website is not good enough. There is a lot more to it than that. If you really want your website to be popular, then you need to make sure that your content is professional and engaging for readers to look at.
There are many web site designers that use an online marketing agency in order to get this done. If you are working on a tight budget, then employing an online marketing agency may not be entirely unnecessary. There are a whole range of ways in which you can make your site’s content miles better.
Use a Conversational Tone
Imagine you are sitting in the living room of one of your website visitors. Imagine explaining to them what your ecommerce website is about and what it has to offer. This is exactly how your online store content should read on the live pages. It should always read like you are having a conversation with the reader. An online marketing agency or a web design company would be able to handle this aspect for you, but no one will know better than you how to communicate the central goal of your website. That is why it’s best that you are one who writes the content.
Include Awesome Images
Web site designers are now making the inclusion of images in their design process a highly prominent part of their business and with good reason. While cool images are great to look at, they are also a great way of improving the SEO rankings of your website. Search engines like Google are more likely to give you a higher ranking if you use good images and these are optimized for your keywords. So even if you are using a small business website design company, they will recommend that you start including quality images on all the pages of your site immediately.
Use Proven SEO Techniques
If you are living in an area such as Sydney for example, using an SEO company in Sydney would be advisable. Even if you feel quite confident about how to handle SEO, there are almost certainly other more advanced techniques that you are not currently using. These techniques could be the only thing stopping your site from becoming one of the top ranked sites in search engine results for important, target keyword phrases. Ironically, the best way to find an ecommerce SEO company in your location is to search online for them. Sticking with the Sydney example, you should search ‘SEO company in Sydney’ for the best results. Otherwise, some of the more basic SEO techniques could be handled by the website owner. After all, only you will know which SEO keywords and phrases are the most relevant to you, your website and your business.
Create a Sense of Trust
Even a small business website design company will tell you that trust is the most important thing when it comes to online business. If you want to turn website visitors into potential leads without having to use an online marketing company or custom website design company, then it is your job to make your visitors trust you. Simply using a conversational tone is not good enough – you have to be informative as well. You have to give them as much information as you can so then they think of you as an authority figure, without lecturing them.
Create excitement for visitors to your online store website. Your job is not to make them want your products. It is to make them NEED your products!
Using your online presence to grow your business was just a hope even a decade ago, now it is a central core to most business plans, and rightly so. However, whilst most businesses understand this, having the knowledge and expertise to fully exploit the opportunities online is not so common. Online marketing is a slightly different proposition to other marketing platforms, and needs to be approached carefully for it to be fully effective.
Whilst the most obvious form of internet marketing is the website itself, be it a catalogue, information or ecommerce site, this is in reality should be the focal point of your campaign, rather than the driver. In terms of gaining attention and engaging both current and new customers, and most importantly, building a relationship with those people, email marketing is the key that unlocks the real power of the internet for any business.
Email marketing has many benefits to both business and customer, it is inexpensive and easy to manage for the business, and both unobtrusive and convenient for the recipients. The basic premise of email marketing is to keep current customers updated on offers, news and so forth, and persuade new customers to look further into the business and make purchases, and to maintain an ongoing relationship with all current contacts, this keeps the brand alive in the customers minds. Email marketing has proven to be very effective at both conversion and retention for businesses of all kinds.
Obtaining email addresses for the purpose of email marketing is the most challenging aspect of the process, and there are numerous options here, some more effective than others. A simple newsletter signup on a business homepage can be effective, however offering free information such as an eBook brochure or similar in exchange for the email address has been shown to be even more effective by email marketing. The most effective way of obtaining email addresses for the purpose of email marketing however, has consistently been shown to be at the point of sale. For the best start in email marketing it is therefore best advice to offer at least two of these, a newsletter signup or free eBook brochure along with an email signup integrated into the sales funnel where possible, the checkout process of an ecommerce site is an ideal place for email acquisition.
Once email addresses have been obtained the core function of email marketing is to maintain communication with those current and potential customers. Because this kind of marketing is an opt-in system, recipients have already displayed receptiveness to the brand and message a business is offering. Because of this, promotional material can focus on informing rather than overt sales messages, and can see higher conversion ratios on offers than from other marketing platforms.
The advantages of email marketing are obvious for any business looking to grow their customer base, and for businesses looking for email marketing in Sydney or across Australia, the fully managed and economical services provided by BlueSoap are the perfect way to take full advantage of this supremely effective marketing platform.