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.