The internet—more specifically the web—has changed how we live in countless ways. Naturally, this means it has changed how we do business. These days, running a business without a quality website simply isn’t practical in most industries. Not only does a website have the potential to transform your day-to-day operations and save you money in the process, but it can also help to get your company the attention it needs and bring you customers from all over the world.
If you don’t currently have a website, or if you need to bring it to the next level, this article is for you. Let’s take a look at some of the most beneficial ways you can use your website as a small business owner:
Creating a Professional Website
First of all, it’s critical to have a website that looks appealing, works great, and is easy for visitors to use. Think of your website as your entire shop—from the window display to the shop floor to the checkout counter. FitSmallBusiness points out a lot of business is conducted online these days, not to mention it’s how many customers will first see your company.
Designing a website is no easy job. It requires a lot of knowledge and various skills. So if you don't have the experience necessary, it will save you time and money in the long-term to hire a freelance web designer. There are plenty of professionals to choose from, whether you’re looking for someone to take on full-time, part-time or project-based work.
It’s important to keep certain qualifications in mind when you’re choosing a web designer. The right candidate will be well-grounded in:
- Design platforms like Squarespace and Wordpress
- Communicating and collaborating
- UI and UX design
Making it Easy to Contact You
You should make sure anyone who visits your website can easily see how to get in touch with your company. While it’s best practice to keep your contact information on the bottom of each page, it’s imperative to at least have a contact page. Besides your email address, your phone number, physical/mailing address, and hours of operation should also be listed.
Selling Goods and Services
If you run an online store, this one is obvious. But even if your primary business is to sell products or provide services from a brick-and-mortar establishment, your company could benefit from allowing customers to purchase from your website. While it’s more professional to offer sales directly through your site, it may be more cost-effective to link to a third party. Either way, web-based sales are a smart way to broaden your customer base.
Linking to Social Media
Business2Community points out that nowadays, social media and websites go hand-in-hand. That is, you want to make sure you have a business page on all the major platforms (e.g., Instagram, Facebook, Twitter), and you want to provide visitors with easy-to-see widgets on your website that link to those social media pages. Likewise, it’s important to showcase your website on all your social media pages; when users engage with your company on social media, it drives traffic to your site and increases your SEO.
Providing Industry-Related Content
Providing quality content on your business website (e.g., articles, instructional videos) is important these days. Visitors want to know about your products or services; otherwise, they wouldn’t be looking at your site. Along with providing photos and descriptions of your products/services, maintain a blog of quality content related to your industry, and consider offering how-to videos. This will give visitors a little something extra while establishing your expertise and authority in the industry.
Having a great website is critical for virtually all kinds of businesses. Make sure your site is attractive, works well, and provides everything your customers will want - then tie everything together across social media. It may be a lot to think about, but putting in the effort to create a professional website can do wonders for your brand and, ultimately, your bottom line.
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