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Guide To Setting Up a Website For Your Small Business

There are many reasons why having a website is crucial to any small business’ growth, and one of the main ones is control. When you build a site for your business, it is yours. It is all about you – it is who you are as a business and as a brand. Whether you hire web designers or build a website yourself, the final product is 100% yours. It is up to you to decide on content, goals, and design.

It is essential that every business has its own unique online identity – and this identity can only be established by creating a website that defines the business. As a business owner, it is worth noting that a business website serves as a point of contact. Even if your company doesn’t conduct business online, today’s consumers, both potential clients, and loyal customers, still expect to see you online. If they do not, you could be losing out on opportunities to get the word about your brand or business out and to increase your customer base.

Reasons Why Businesses Need A Website:

  • Make it easier for potential consumers to find you
  • Make it easier for you to showcase your services and products
  • Make it easier for you to build relationships with loyal and potential customers
  • Make it easier for you to market your brand
  • Provide social proof
  • Give you the power to control the narrative
  • Make you more competitive considering that all of your competitors have websites
  • Allow you to show up in Google’s search results
  • Create a resource center for both you and your staff
  • Give you more bang for your buck

Creating A Website For Your Business

When it comes to building a business website, there are a couple of things that you need to consider to ensure that you create something that will work for you. One crucial aspect to think about is your business website’s domain name.

Choosing a Domain Name

Domain names are the address that internet users will use to access a website and are used to identify and find sites on the internet. They are unique to their designated websites, just like fingerprints, and can’t be shared between websites.

One question people ask a lot is if websites and domain names are two separate things. In a sense, they are. To better understand the difference between domain names and websites, consider a domain name to be a phone number while the website is the phone. While the two are connected, they’re two separate items. You can change your website (phone) at any time but still keep your domain name (phone number), which you connect to a new website (new phone).

With that being said, it is essential that you pay close attention when choosing a domain name for your business since it is what you will stick with in the long run.

Domain names matter a lot since they are what both humans and search engines notice first. As such, it is essential that you don’t pick a name that isn’t too long or that has a poor domain extension such as .biz or .info (always consider working with a .com extension). A good domain should not only be short, but it should also be easy to say, remember and type.

Also, consider making it keyword-rich (for instance, if your business deals with car tires, try working with a name that incorporates the keyword in it such as richtires.com.) Doing so will improve your chances of ranking for that specific term since search engines consider a website’s domain name when trying to determine the site's ranking and domain names are often the anchor text that fellow marketers will use when linking back to your website.

Another thing to consider is whether to go for a paid or free domain name. While you can get free domain names from different website builders like Wix, WordPress and the likes, the thing with these domains is that they are sub-domains which means they are an extension of the provider’s domain. If you are looking to build a long-term name with your branding, then sub-domains aren’t right for you. To build your brand and image, consider spending a few dollars and get/register a proper domain name that you will own.

Where To Register Your Domain Name

There are lots of domain name registrars available today from which you can register or buy a domain name. When you register or buy one, you pay the registrar an annual fee to ensure that your name remains registered as yours. When the registration period comes to an end, and you do not renew, you’ll lose the name, and it’ll be made available in the market. Gratefully, most registrars will notify you via email that your registration period is almost expiring.

If you are looking to register a domain name for your business, choosing a dependable registrar is vital. NameCheap is an established and trusted domain name registrar that makes the registering, hosting and managing of domains easy and affordable. The site offers a barrage of services from selling and registering of domains to hosting to providing website security solutions and VPNs. Visit NameCheap.com to buy or register a domain name.

Website Hosting

Website hosting is where a service provider provides the services and technologies needed for websites or web pages to be view on the internet. Websites are stored or hosted on special computers known as servers. When an internet user wants to view a website, they type the site’s address into their browser. The network then connects to the site’s server, and the webpages are delivered to the user via the browser.

Some of the features you should expect from a hosting provider:

  • Email accounts
  • WordPress Support
  • FTP Access
  • Website builder
  • Shared hosting

A majority of hosting companies will require that you have a domain name for them to host your site. If you don’t have one, they will typically help you purchase one. However, there are companies like NameCheap that offer both hosting and domain name registration services.

Site Structure

The architecture of a website matters a lot and is an integral part of your SEO strategy. Clear site structure is still one of the top important & essential elements of a good business website in 2019. Your website’s structure shows Google the most important pages of your site – which means you can determine which content ranks highest in search engines using your website’s structure. At the same time, it determines the user experience. It is essential that your site's structure is reflected in its navigation since clear architecture will make it easy for your audience to find their way around the site.

Considering that site structure is an actionable part of your search engine optimization strategy, it is vital that you get it right the first time around. For more on site structure, check out this informative article on the basics of site architecture.

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