As a small business owner, having a website is no longer an option, but a necessity in today’s digital age. Your website serves as the face of your businesses online persona, and provides a platform for customers to learn more about your products or services.

But, where do you start? Well buckle up because in this guide, we will walk you through the process of building a website for your small business, step-by-step.

Determine Your Website Goals and Target Audience

Before you start building your website, it’s important to determine your website goals and target audience. What do you want your website to achieve? Do you want to generate leads, sell products or services, or provide information about your business? Understanding your website goals will help you create a website that meets your business needs. 

For example, if you only need a simple brochure website that show-cases your products and services and offers customers a way to contact you, you can probably get away with a website platform such as Weebly or Wix.

On the other hand, if you plan on selling products, Shopify may be a better suite for you.

You also need to consider your target audience. Who are you building the website for? What are their needs and interests? Knowing your target audience will help you create a website that speaks to them and meets their needs.

Choose a Domain Name and Hosting Provider

Once you have determined your website goals and target audience, the next step is to choose a domain name and hosting provider. Your domain name is the web address that people will use to find your website. Choose a domain name that is memorable, easy to spell, and relevant to your business.

When it comes to hosting, there are many options to choose from. There are some popular website hosts with their own native builders, such as Weebly, Wix, and Shopify (as mentioned above). These are solid options for those with little-to-no website design experience, but the ease of use of these platforms does mean you do have to sacrifice some creative control. 

However, if you want full control of your website, WordPress is most likely going to be your best option. In this case you’ll have to choose a hosting provider. Some popular hosting providers include Bluehost, SiteGround, HostGator, and Hostinger. There are lots of differences between these hosting providers, so it’s important to carefully read the features for each. Some important factors to consider are price, uptime, and customer support. Each has their pros and cons, but if you’re looking for affordability, Hostinger will likely be your best bet. On the other hand, if you’re looking for speed and reliability, SiteGround is a good choice.

Design Your Website with a User-Friendly Layout

Your website’s design is an essential component of your online presence. A well-designed website can attract, retain, and convert visitors, while a poorly designed one can drive them away. Your website should have a user-friendly layout and navigation that makes it easy for visitors to find what they are looking for.

Again, for ease-of-use, consider using a website builder like Wix or Weebly to create your website. These platforms offer user-friendly templates that you can customize to suit your business needs. 

If you’ve decided to go with WordPress as your platform, there are many free templates to get you started (these are called “themes” in WordPress). Some of the most popular free WordPress themes are Astra and Elementor. While each of these are free, they each have a paid “Pro” version with more advanced features.

When designing your website, ensure that it is visually appealing, easy to navigate, and optimized for mobile devices (more on this below).

Create Compelling Content that Showcases Your Business

Your website’s content is what will attract and retain visitors. Create compelling content that showcases your business and its products or services. Your content should be informative, engaging, and optimized for search engines (SEO).

Be sure to use clear and concise copy that is engaging, as well as images that are relevant to the copy. Bonus tip: People relate to images of happy customers, try using images that represent one of your happy customers on your homepage and landing pages.

You should also consider including a blog on your website. A blog can help you establish yourself as an expert in your field and attract visitors to your website. If you do decide to include a blog on your website, it’s important to ensure that your blog content is informative, well-written, and relevant to your target audience.

Optimize Your Website for Search Engines and Mobile Devices

Once your website is up and running, it’s important to optimize it for search engines and mobile devices. Search engine optimization (SEO) involves optimizing your website’s content and structure to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) for specific keywords. Some tips for optimizing your website for SEO include:

Conducting keyword research and using keywords in your content: There are many tools to help with keyword research such as Ahrefs, Semrush, and Ubersuggest.

Optimizing your website’s structure and metadata: This includes using categories to group related content (such as blogs), creating a sitemap for users, using links to link to internal and external references.

Creating quality content that attracts backlinks: When blogging, write high-quality content that will encourage other websites to link to your blogs; these links are referred to as “backlinks”. Backlinks to high quality websites increase your website’s domain authority, making Google’s search engine more likely to display your website in their search results.

In addition to SEO, you should also ensure that your website is optimized for mobile devices. A mobile-friendly website is essential in today’s mobile-first world. Ensure that your website is responsive and loads quickly on mobile devices. According to Oberlo, as of 2023 more than 50% of website visits are on mobile devices.

How Much Does it Cost to Build a Professional Website?

As you have probably gathered, no matter which platform and tools you decide to use, building and maintaining a website is A LOT of work. There are also a lot of nuances that can be complicated, such as ensuring your privacy policy is up to date and that you are complying with your customers local privacy and cookie laws. For this reason, many business owners choose to hire professional web designers.

What are the costs?

The cost of building a professional website can vary depending on factors such as the size of your website, the complexity of its features, and the platform you use to build it. However, you can expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $5,000 or more to build a professional website for your small business.

That’s a Wrap

Your website serves as the face of your business online and provides a platform for customers to learn more about your products or services. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can create a website that both meets your business needs and engages your target audience.

Remember to determine your website goals and target audience, choose a domain name and hosting provider, design your website with a user-friendly layout and navigation, create compelling content that showcases your business, and optimize your website for search engines and mobile devices.

While the cost of building a professional website can vary, the investment is worth it. A well-designed website can help you attract and retain customers, establish your business as an industry leader, and ultimately, drive sales and revenue. Don’t wait any longer to build your own website for small business – start today and take your online presence to the next level.

NerdCraft Labs

Here at NerdCraft Labs, we take pride in creating websites that are beautiful, functional, and fully optimized for search engines and reasonable prices. Visit our Contact page to get in touch with us for a free consultation.