Marketing and selling online is usually an essential part of most home businesses. Whether you need somewhere to showcase your homemade jewellery or to attract clients to your cleaning service, the right website can help you showcase your business to the right people.
Depending on the scale of your business, it could be entirely possible that you could earn enough by selling solely through sites like Facebook. Many small businesses do this successfully, but there is a risk involved. Your Facebook page is at the whim of Facebook. A change of algorithm, or a Facebook outage could cause a big loss for you. A website that you own is yours alone and always entirely under your control. But what should your site have on it?
- A simple, easy to remember URL. If possible, buy a URL in the name of your business. Keep the URL as simple as possible, with minimal added dashes or complicated spelling. Keep it easy to spell and easy to remember.
- Professional hosting. It can be tempting to go with the cheapest hosting you can find, but you need a host that is reliable. Heavy traffic can cause a site to crash, and you’ll want to be sure your customers don’t topple your site. Avoid an unprofessional looking URL; you don’t want yourbusiness.blogger, or .squarespace, for example. It looks cheap and won’t make you seem professional.
- Good page speed. A slow website causes people to click elsewhere and can will also have an impact of your Google ranking. If your site is slow to load and you don’t know why, you can use Google’s own Page Speed Insight tools to diagnose any issues.
- Mobile functionality. Mobile phones account for roughly half of all web traffic, so it’s important that your site functions correctly on mobile. Is the text a readable size on a smaller screen? Are buttons easy to press? Test your site across multiple devices.
- SEO. SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, is what helps your site rank on Google and allows potential customers to find you. SEO can be complicated, so it’s best to bring in someone who knows their way around it, like a professional digital marketing company.
- Business Information. It’s no good having a website if it doesn’t help people to reach you. Make sure you have your opening hours and contact details somewhere easy to find.
- FAQs. A good FAQ page could save you a lot of time. Make a note of any questions you are asked frequently, and your customer can use the page to easily find the information they’re looking for without contacting you. Good options would information on things like delivery times, privacy policies and return policies.
- Testimonials and reviews. Ask past customers or clients to leave reviews and testimonials. Seeing these can help a potential customer to build trust with you, and a review is more likely to be believed than you telling people you’re great. Of course, you can also use this feedback as a helpful tool to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your business.