A website is your brand’s essential marketing asset in the digital age. According to the Local Search Association’s Digital Future Report, consumers spend almost 23 hours per week online. Sixty percent of these users go online at least once a week to find information about products.

Why Your Business Needs a Website

Not having a website means your business will lose out on potential customers. If you’re not online, your target audience won’t be able to find the products or services you offer. They’ll most likely go to your competitor instead.

Having an online presence widens your reach, both locally and internationally. Even if your business is in Tampa, you can meet the needs of customers in, say, Jersey City.

Having a website also gives you information about your customers and your industry. You can monitor customer behavior when you go online and research how your competitors do business. Doing so allows you to tweak your business strategies.

Requirements to Begin a Website

Website development can seem like an overwhelming task. Where do you begin? What tools and features do you need?

It helps to start with these essential features:

#1: Domain Name

The domain name is your digital address that people will use to connect to your site. Although you can choose a free domain name, a paid name is more professional and develops your online presence more effectively.

#2: Website Development Software

A website development software helps you build your site using various design templates and plug-ins. This feature is incredibly helpful if you’re not versed in web design.

#3: Website Hosting

A hosting serves as your website’s storage unit. The type and cost of hosting depend on your site traffic.

#4: Google Analytics

Google Analytics helps you understand how your visitors interact with your website and what pages you can improve. You can find out which pages earn the most traffic, how long they stay on each page, and what device they’re using.

#5: Google Search Console

Not to be confused with Google Analytics, Google Search Console helps you monitor, maintain, and improve how Google sees your site. You can view search engine traffic on your website, which keywords your target audience uses to search for you, and which sites link to yours.

Website Design for Small Businesses

You want your website to bring in leads and convert them to sales, connect to other digital platforms, and provide information about your brand. Here are ways you can optimize your site:

Get help from a digital agency

Hiring a digital marketing agency helps you implement the right combination of skills to meet your campaign goals. It also helps you spend your marketing budget more effectively. Just set the budget and expectations, and they’ll work to make your goals a success.

Create a strategy

Your website plan should identify who your audience is, what your site’s goals are, and what functionalities are needed. The strategy should also include how you’ll measure the success of the campaign.

Set a clear website structure

Create an outline of how you want your site to look like. It should start with a homepage and top-level pages like “About Us,” “Products/Services,” and “Contact Us.” More content will then fall under those categories.

Keep your website design simple

Keep your website uncluttered and your color scheme minimal. Focus on the user experience so your target audience can browse through your site seamlessly.

Having an online presence is increasingly important as consumers choose to learn about brands through the Internet. Creating an effective website can help your small business connect with and learn about your customers, improving your business strategy in the process.