How to create a business website
Treat your website like an online version of a storefront. It’s the first impression for many customers and prospects. Get the basics on how to set up a business website, what to put on it, and how to turn it into a moneymaker.
What goes on a website?
Websites typically have four types of pages:
Example of a basic website sitemap
Web writing tips
- Write less – people only read about 30% of the words on a page anyway.
- Use descriptive headings – 80% of people browsing the web scan for the info they need, so make it easy.
- Make it clean – it’s harder (and slower) to read online so use bigger fonts and leave plenty of empty space.
Avoid the template trap
When choosing an off-the-shelf website template, you naturally expect your site will end up looking like the sample in the gallery. But that will only happen if your headers and text blocks are roughly the same length as theirs. You need to write to the template you choose, or else it will start to look odd.
Not everything on your website should sell
When creating a website, think beyond what you want from your visitors. Ask yourself what questions they’re probably struggling with right now. Can you answer those for them? Here’s why it’s wise to give away useful information or advice:
Attract people to your site
When people search a topic online, your best articles may start to show up as recommended reading. And if that content is really useful, readers will start to share it with their contacts.
Win prospects over
People love getting tips and tricks. If they pick up some valuable information on your site, they’re going to feel good about doing business with you.
Hold onto customers
When you anticipate a customer’s next question and answer it, customers feel like you get them. It’s a great way to build rapport and loyalty.
Check out our guide to 9 content marketing essentials for more on this topic.
Stay focused on your brand
When writing content for your website, it’s invaluable to have something that can help focus your thoughts. Jot down the values that are most important to your brand and turn them into a word cloud. Sites like Worditout let you do it for free. Print it and post it on the wall where you’re writing.
Stay centred on your brand values when you sit down to write your web content.
Eight ways to ensure your website is high quality
When starting a business, make sure your website is:
Understand who you’re talking to (your target market) and what they’re looking for. Create your site for those people. You want them to know they’ve found the right place as soon as they land.
Treat your site like the first impression it is. Use quality images, well-written text and modern design. If budget is an issue, make fewer pages to start with. Focus on quality.
Include an ‘About’ page with full contact details, a little of your backstory, and some photos that put a human face on the business.
Easy to find
Build a site that shows up when locals search for your types of products and services online. Search engine optimisation (SEO) can help you. The basics are not that hard to master. Check out our guide to SEO for small business.
Connected to your social media
Some people who find your site may prefer to connect on social media. Make it easy for them to do that. It’s a great way to show them more of your brand’s personality.
Bringing in feedback and testimonials
Nothing beats real-life testimonials from people who have used your service or product, so invite customers to send reviews. Be prepared to take the good with the bad.
Always up to date
Out-of-date information isn’t a good look. It gives the impression you don’t care and makes the site less credible. Take down old promos and avoid putting dates in your text unless you have to.
- Easy to buy from
If you’re selling through your site, make it simple and secure. Give customers an easy-to-use shopping cart, make delivery charges clear before they get to checkout, and offer a variety of payment methods such as debit card, credit card, and PayPal.