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Why a Website is Essential for Every Small Business

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Photographer: KOBU Agency | Source: Unsplash

In today's digital world, having a professional website is no longer optional for business success – it's mandatory. An online presence allows you to be discovered by customers 24/7, even when your doors are closed.

Specific reasons why a website is a must-have:

– Drives New Business: Over 80% of consumers research online before purchasing. A website puts your business in front of a vast audience.

– Builds Credibility: An amateurish or non-existent site looks terrible and hurts trust. A polished website lends legitimacy.

– Allows You to Compete: Customers will choose businesses with informative web presences over those without. Level the playing field.

– Improves Customer Service: Product info, contact forms, real-time chat features, etc. make you more accessible to customers.

– Future-Proofs Your Business: Web traffic is only growing. Get ahead of the curve now before it's too late!

The process of building your first site can seem intimidating. But the payoff for your business makes it well worth the effort. Follow this beginner's guide to get started.

Where do you even start? Don't worry, I've got your back. I've put together this easy-to-follow beginner's guide to walk you through creating your small business website in 6 simple steps.

Photographer: Nastuh Abootalebi | Source: Unsplash

Choose Your Website Platform

The first step is deciding what software you want to use to build your site. The three most popular options for small businesses are:

Squarespace: Known for professional design templates and easy drag-and-drop editing. Great for getting a polished site quickly.

Wix: Extremely beginner-friendly but with less design flexibility on the free version. A primary site should be easy to start on Wix.

WordPress: Open-source software that can be customized significantly but requires more tech skills. Best for advanced functionality.

Consider whether you prioritize an intuitive editor (Squarespace or Wix) or maximum customization (WordPress) when deciding on a platform.

Select Your Site Structure

Figure out what pages you need. Most small business sites include:

– Home: Explains what you do with your key benefits.

– About: Your brand story and mission.

– Services/Products: What you sell.

– Blog: For news updates, articles, etc.

– Contact: How people can get in touch.

Choose a Template

All website builders have professionally designed templates to simplify layout and styling. Browse until you find one that aligns with your brand image.

Add Your Branding

Make sure to establish visual consistency. Decide on brand colors, fonts, etc., and apply them across your site for recognizable styling your audience will remember.

Write Compelling Content

The words on your site make a significant impact! Focus your copy on communicating clear benefits to your customers. Use an approachable tone that builds trust and positions your business as an invaluable guide.

Find High-Quality Images

Imagery is also crucial to leaving an impression. Use photos that authentically represent your business and make visitors feel something. Stock sites like Unsplash have great free options.

Check Mobile Friendliness

Your site must look good on smartphones and tablets, too. Preview your site across devices and tweak anything that doesn't display well.

Photographer: Carl Heyerdahl | Source: Unsplash

And that covers the basics for getting your first small business website online! The most important thing is to think carefully – start simple and build from there. You've got this! Let me know in the comments if you have any other questions.