This is a guest post by Roslyn Lenk.
So you took the plunge and decided to start your own business. Like any business, you’re starting small, and will hopefully continue to grow larger as you establish yourself and increase productivity. But it’s going to take a lot of hard work and dedication. However, one thing not to sweat over should be the website. Websites are essential for creating leads via online searches and promoting brand awareness. You’re going to want to be involved in the website development process, so here’s a step-by-step guide on how to go about starting it and maintaining quality:
Step 1: Social Media
Social media is important, especially if you’re a small business owner. Not only should you have Facebook and Twitter accounts for your business, but you should keep them updated (at least once per day) with business news, coupons, promotions and anything else relevant to the website operations. Not only does this keep your clients and prospects in the loop, but it also helps in terms of search engine results. That’s right- search engines are beginning to weigh your social media presence in terms of online searches. Therefore, those who utilize search optimization religiously are more likely to appear in search options.
Step 2: The web hosting
The best way to go about deciding web hosting is finding a quality host. That’s right- there are varieties of web hosting services available today, but you’re going to want to decide on a host that’s not only secure, stable and full of high quality, but one to easily maintain. With a quality host, you can spend less time (and money) worrying about the website and more time investing your efforts on other creative ways to increase traffic to your website.
Step 3: The design
Remember the list of website accommodations you made at the end of Step 1? The one with everything you want the website to include? Take that list and start deciding how to lay out items on your new website. This is best done in a user-friendly manner making navigation easy for the consumer. Remember, if the user can’t easily find it on your site, you’re losing a potential consumer because it’s just as easy for them to look elsewhere. You might also try experimenting with eye-catching fonts.
Step 4: The concept
When brainstorming your website, there are several factors you’re going to consider, beyond just an “about us” and “contact us” page. For instance, you’re going to create pages for each specific service you offer, customer testimonials, and a photo gallery of your best work. It’s also a good idea to start a business blog on the website to increase your personal production with fresh content on the daily. And don’t forget search engine optimization (SEO) to keep the site circulating in the search windows. Videos are another good addition to any website- it’s proven that more people would rather watch a video with relevant information than read an article of information.
Step 5: Maintain
Finally, now you need to maintain the website. This means keeping blogs updated, posting new videos and pictures as they become available, and include any new business news or events on your page as they keep developing. Doing so will give the customers a reason to return to your page often- it also keeps your website updated with fresh content for SEO purposes. And this can result in more leads.
Guest author: Roslyn Lenk
Roslyn received her Bachelor’s degree in English and went back for her Master’s In Digital Journalism. She now writes for a small newspaper in Los Angeles.