If you’ve recently created a new business, I’d first like to offer my congratulations. It takes a lot of bravery, perseverance, time, and resources to take on such an endeavor. And, as you probably know, your journey has just begun.
You surely have a laundry list of tasks and a budget to follow, but make sure to make creating a website a priority. Creating an optimized website is an achievable task which can help you build a customer base and strengthen your newly created brand. There are many ways to design an effective business website without dishing out a lot of funds.
Even with little to no coding or website design skills, you can still create a dynamic, visually-appealing website. Website builders (sometimes called WYSIWYGs, or “What You See Is What You Get) can help you accomplish this. By choosing from a variety of layouts and customizing to suit your needs, a website builder can easily create a web presence matching the theme, branding, and messaging of your business.
Squarespace is a great option with clean layouts, extensive customization, and unique features. It has a bit of a learning curve, but the results are worth it. Squarespace offers a free 14-day trial and offers three pricing structures ranging from $8 to $26 per month.
Video and photography content trumps text any day. Adding visual and audio elements to your business website makes it compelling and interactive. Video and photos allow you to show, rather than tell, the story about your business and brand.
To create this content, it may be tempting to use some of your budget to hire a professional photographer or videographer. Although the results will be more professional, going this route is sure to be costly. You can create your own digital content by using your smartphone and free or inexpensive editing software until it makes more sense financially to hire a professional.
Look up tutorials, download camera apps, and practice your new-found skills to shoot photos and videos for your website.
Search engine optimization can be your biggest ally or your worst enemy. Google’s constantly-evolving formulas can be difficult to follow and understand, but listening to Google’s rules can help your website perform well on search engines.
For the very basics of search engine optimization, identify keywords potential customers would use to find your business on Google. There are free tools online, such as WordStream, which can help you identify your keywords.
Once you identify your keywords, use them consistently in your website copy. It’s important to use your keywords naturally, because Google will penalize you if your website copy is too stuffed with keywords.
Although these are just the first steps in the long optimization process, they will help you to understand the basics of SEO. Consider getting a subscription to Lynda.com, a video education website, costing $250 per year; the site covers many topics revolving around SEO, online marketing, and other helpful tutorials.
Blogs are a great tool to generate traffic to your business website. A combination of entertaining and educational content will attract readers and potential customers. Expand beyond straight text for your blogs; consider videos, pictures, infographics, quizzes, and other interactive material to engage your readers.
Maintaining a blog also offers an excellent opportunity to team up with other writers and collaborate. By creating relationships with other bloggers you can expand your readership and network with professionals.
Contact blog authors and ask if they will share your content in exchange for sharing, mentioning, or promoting their content. Obtaining links to your website is also a strategy for search engine optimization.
Coordinating Social Profiles
After setting up your site, determine which social media profiles would be appropriate for your brand. You can interact with customers, continue to strengthen your businesses’s presence, and post your blogs and other content on your social media networks.
Facebook and Twitter are absolutely necessary. Depending on your target audience, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest may also be beneficial. Many social media platforms have their own advertising platforms you can use to target your customers and expand your reach, even with a limited budget.
A quality business website is an essential tool for a growing business. Creating a variety of website content, promoting this content through social media, collaborating with professionals, and optimizing your website will help you cultivate your business and your brand.