When you’re trying to start a small business, you only get one opportunity to make a memorable first impression. With so many people counting on the Internet to complete their research, you want to make sure that people stop and take notice when they find your web page.
It’s harder to do that when you’re just getting started, and your financial bottom line is likely minimal. We’ve got some hints that can help you put your best foot forward; even if it’s wearing cheaper shoes.
1.) Picking the domain name.
Your domain name is the first thing you want people to remember so they become regular visitors. Then they tell two friends, and those people tell two friends, etc. Your company may have a catchy name already, but if you don’t, keep it short and easy to remember. If you can, try to get the .com version of a domain name.
Try to find your niche, and keep your product’s name in the domain to help people find you when they are doing Google searches.
2.) Choose a reliable web host.
A good web host will keep your site up and running 24/7, and maintain your files properly. Some companies will offer web hosting for free while charges on other sites are minimal. Your host will depend on your business needs, and on how much traffic you’re looking to receive. Videos, images, and plug-ins on your site will play a major part in your final cost.
Ehost.com, SiteBuilder and SiteBlog are three of the highest rated free web hosts around. But there are no guarantees. The free companies can pull the plug on business any time they like and are unlikely to give you any special consideration in the event of a security breach. Think about the content you want on your site and remember, you get what you pay for.
3.) Again, think about your content.
You need your location and contact information easily accessible on your home page, and perhaps a company logo standing out as the first thing visitors see. The site’s first page should probably contain your price list and a little history about your company. Testimonials from reputable people can only help your business too. You want to include social networking links as well.
4.) Pick an Attractive Template
WordPress, Joomla and a few others offer a wide selection of templates. Many templates may be themed to your company, or offer colors and background graphics suited for your service. If you don’t see anything that fits your needs, you can purchase a template at minimal cost.
5.) Don’t be afraid to cut other corners.
WordPress is a blog that offers free websites to businesses, while others charge a flat fee. But you can get more web attention on your own by producing your own short videos on your smartphone. Then you upload your video to YouTube and put it up on your own website. Then look out for oncoming traffic. Hopefully.
Most of all, you just want to keep it simple. Keep your content easy to understand, and make sure your customers know what you can do for them that no other competitor can. And make sure there are plenty of links where customers can get involved, like to order, to subscribe to a newsletter, and to get directions to your brick and mortar location.
If you start with just the basics that your business needs, you can always expand later. That may come sooner than you think.