This guide for small businesses on how to get started with a website includes key elements for a successful online appearance. From a simple website menu to determining your website domain, some may overlook the importance of each when in fact they’re what contributes to a great website. In simplicity, the following items should be included on your website:
- An Easy to Remember Website Domain
- Trustworthy Website Hosting
- Identify and Promote your Products/Services
- A Clear and Simple Menu
- Amazing Copyright for SEO
- Business Contact Information
- Original Photography
- List your Social Media Accounts
1. An Easy to Remember Website Domain
A simple and easy to remember website domain is easier for people to type into their search bar and make it more recognizable. Also, easier to recommend to others through word of mouth. When determining a domain name, it’s recommended that it be no more than 2 words or 16 characters. Keep it simple and coherent with your brand (your brand name should be the same across all social media platforms and Google My Business Profile).
2. Trustworthy Website Hosting
Trustworthy web hosting is important to keep your website live and running smoothly. An SSL certificate is also important for website security and is typically purchased alongside with web hosting. It’s recommended to stay away from free website hosting services since they are not fully secure and shared with other websites on a server. Additionally, they aren’t the fastest servers which will end up frustrating people trying to visit your website.
3. Identify and Promote your Products/Services
List out your businesses main services/products that you’re going to promote. Your listed products/service(s) is a key feature on your website’s menu structure and SEO. Organize your services into categories if necessary.
4. A Clear and Simple Menu
A clear and simple menu is important when it comes to navigating your website. Too many menu options make it confusing for users to find the information they are looking for. By having no more than 6 top-level menu items, it is easier to read, great for SEO, and is overall a good design. In the photo above, you can see this website only has 4 top-level menu items.
5. Amazing Copyright for SEO
Another important factor you need for an amazing website is developing well-written content for SEO. Proper heading format, identifying relevant keywords, and link structure are important to address when thinking about SEO. In another article, you can learn how to write for the web and SEO.
6. Business Contact Information
Especially for small, local businesses, your business contact information should be one click away and 100% accurate. To deal with this, a contact page is made and listed as a top menu item. Here, your business phone number, location, hours of operation, and work email address (optional) are mentioned. Just as important, is your Google My Business profile matching the contact information that is on your website. In our article on how to update your business hours on Google, we go into detail about how to claim your Google My Business profile. You can also check out our service for claiming a Google My Business profile.
7. Original Photography
Original web photography makes for an amazing website and is the best way to represent your business. This of course varies per type of business. While stock photography is quick and easy, original photos fully capture what your business is all about. In terms of website design, a high-quality header photo on the homepage grasps your user’s attention and encourages them to navigate throughout the site. Overall, an original photograph taken professionally guarantees no other business will have the same photo and make your business stand out from the competition.
8. List your Social Media Accounts
Last but not least, be sure to include links to your active social media accounts on your website. Social media links are typically found on the footer of a website (like ours!) but can also be added to the top menu. Be sure to use social media logos instead of typing it out the full name.
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