5 Tips for Creating Your First Business Website

If your business doesn’t have a website, you could be missing out on a lot of opportunities.

Before you go rushing into building a business website from scratch, here are a few key tips to get your new site up and running:

1. Find a Host

Generally, free hosting sites and web sites with “click to set up” templates won’t meet the needs of a business web site. You need a web host that provides a comprehensive management system. The hosting company should also provide access to languages such as Java, Perl, and PHP, as many databases and other website programs need these to run. Choose the best web hosting company for your site; one that supports databases, Flash objects and email. Make sure your web host provides enough email slots for your company. Small businesses may need only one email address, or you may need additional addresses for each employee, plus customer service, sales and other departmental mailboxes.

2. Choose a Domain Name

You don’t want something that is difficult to remember or spell. If you can’t get your company’s name, choose words that are descriptive of your company.

3. Make It Professional

If you cannot code, and do not have a coder on staff, use one of the many content management portals available, such as Joomla! A content management system (CMS) allows you to choose from a variety of free and paid templates. Templates are customizable, and most CMS portals allow you to choose a style, whether its a blog, two-column or three-column site.

4. Deliver on Content

Add content that links to other areas of your website. Search engine ranking is partially based on these links, as well as incoming links to your site. Make sure outside links are relevant to your products or services, but not in direct competition with them. For internal links, include a link to your contact page, newsletter page or additional services pages on your company’s home page.

5. Be Clear

Make sure the heading on your business website, and the site description, are clear and concise. When your page is indexed, this information is posted (along with your URL) on search engine results. Check spelling and grammar throughout your web pages; glaring mistakes could turn readers off.

With these tips, you’re on your way to a well-balanced, readable and productive site. Look into using social media and email marketing to promote your business website. Create — or have someone create — good web copy for your site. Blog about your products or services, and be sure to update your business blog regularly. Readers are always looking for new and interesting pieces.

A contact page link should appear on every page of your site. Include business name, address, phone number, fax number and email address on the contact page. Alternatively, use a contact form if you are worried about spam bots. You should also put your contact information in the footer on every page, to make it easy for people to get in touch with you about your services and products.

This is a guest post by Maggie Ruggieri. Maggie loves anything and everything related to technology. She also volunteers at her local pet shelter when she can break away from her iPhone.

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