This post was last updated on July 12, 2022.
This is a unique moment in time for small business owners and entrepreneurs to reposition their products, services and brands online. A McKinsey 2022 survey found that, while U.S. consumers are back to regularly visiting brick-and-mortar stores, they’re still spending more money online than ever.
To capitalize on the increased market, you need to establish a strong online presence. From choosing a business template to working with tools like a name generator and adding features to enhance the user experience, this guide will take you through the steps to making a profitable and successful small business website:
How to make a business website:
01. Pick a business website template
Start by going over these different categories of Wix business websites for inspiration ahead of creating your own. As you set out to choose a template for your website, thoroughly search the different categories to find the best match for your business goals and persona. You should consider the look and feel (modern, simplistic or retro) of what you want your website to express.
02. Choose a web host and domain name
To get online, you need a web hosting provider for others to discover your website.
Tip: Wix offers free website hosting that’s protected and reliable, with 24/7 security monitoring and integrated SSL certificates to keep customers safe. It also boosts an impressive 99.9% uptime, meaning your site will stay up and running on secure and stable networks.
Next, you’ll need to get a domain name, also known as your website address, and connect it to your hosting provider. Selecting a strong domain name will add credibility to your business site and provide visibility for your brand. Follow these best practices when picking a domain name:
Make it easy to pronounce and spell so that your domain name can be shareable and understandable by many.
Keep it brief and user-friendly to help people remember your domain name. For example, typing a lengthy name into the address bar is more susceptible to typos than a short name.
Be unique to stand out against the crowd. It’s also a good idea to keep your domain name in line with your brand, paving the way for a cohesive online presence. You can align your domain name with your business name, or something similar to it.
Avoid numbers and hyphens in your domain name as they are often too confusing (is it 5 or five?) or difficult to remember. Hyphens, in particular, are easy to misplace when typing.
03. Optimize for SEO
SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process ensuring websites can rank well on search engines through organic queries. Improving your site’s ranking within relevant search results will allow you to reach a larger audience, thus increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website.
Though there is a lot to learn about how to get your business found on Google, you can begin by implementing some of these essential SEO strategies to your site:
Find relevant keywords. You’ll need to do keyword research to better understand what your potential customers search for—the exact phrases or words they use to find specific products, services and solutions. Implementing these keywords naturally on your website, from the page heading and content to the image alt text, will help improve your rank in relevant search results.
Improve your website performance. Website performance impacts your site’s position on search engine results. Your web pages should fully load or display in both desktop and mobile browsers in 1-2 seconds. Some ways to improve your website performance is including correct image sizes, for example, using JPEG files over PNG, and avoiding overloading your web pages with content.
Add a meta description. This is the short summary of your website that appears below your URL in search results or social shares. Having strong, keyword-optimized meta description copy can enhance your website’s click-through rate, boosting your chances of ranking higher in search engine results.
Tip: Explore the robust Wix SEO tool to start optimizing your website.
04. Focus on the user experience
An effective website design will influence how your customers perceive you and your brand. Moreover, creating a good user experience can help your visitors feel satisfied with your business and can positively affect your website’s traffic, conversion and bounce rates.
In this case, you’ll want to pay attention to the following:
Navigation menu. Website navigation can make or break a user’s experience. To optimize navigation and satisfy visitors, choose the right menu for your audience and site. For example, the classic menu is placed at the top of every web page (the site’s header). Or the hamburger menu, a widely recognizable yet simple three line icon, that’s more commonly used on mobile websites.
Calls-to-action. A CTA button is an element with the goal of getting people to take a certain action, such as “contact,” “buy,” “subscribe” or “submit.” An effective CTA depends on the text, color, size, shape and even placement on your site, all of which entice a user to click and move towards making a purchase or filling a contact form.
Make it mobile-friendly. Did you know that mobile devices account for approximately half of web traffic worldwide? You’ll definitely want to consider how visitors view the mobile version of your site, since billions of people use their smartphones to do just about everything, from shopping to booking appointments and taking courses.
Tip: Easily make your website mobile-friendly with the Wix mobile Editor.
Social media links. The social media icons or links displayed on your can affect the user experience. You can add Twitter, Facebook or Instagram icons in your copy to help visitors further engage with your business. Place them prominently in headers and footers as reminders to visitors, or integrate live social media feeds. Additionally, you can implement a social bar to your site, linking visitors directly to any of your social channels.
05. Build relevant pages
Having a multipage website is an absolute must for any business online. It allows you to cover a broad range of content, products or services and nearly every nut and bolt of your venture.
Tip: Easily create a website with multiple pages on Wix—and add new pages after it’s established.
Consider these essential pages when making a business website:
Homepage. Often compared to being the storefront of your business, an attractive homepage will hook your potential customers if it’s inviting and easy to navigate. Ensure this by using eye-catching images or videos, as well as readable fonts. Also place strategic calls-to-action throughout your site to guide visitors to take further steps.
About Us. Prospective clients want to know who you are and what distinguishes you from competitors. An “About Us” page effectively communicates this vital information, as well as your business’s story, goals, values and mission statement. If you have a particularly small business, you can also consider adding a professional bio to this page.
Contact Us. A contact page is the best way for potential customers to get in touch with you. This page should include all your contact information, such as location, business phone number, social media links, business email address and a short contact form.
Online store. With online sales on the rise, it has become essential for many businesses to adapt to an eCommerce model. Setting up an online store comes with several benefits, as advanced web tools can help you manage and scale your small business. These include everything from managing order fulfillment and creating a customized checkout experience for customers to accepting secure online payments. Once you’ve launched an eCommerce site, you’ll be able to streamline all your operations from a single and potent dashboard—on desktop and mobile.
Bookings page. If you’re a service provider, you know that extending convenience and efficiency to potential clients is a crucial part of your business. Adding an online scheduling software to your site will allow you to seamlessly accept bookings and payments. An all-in-one booking solution lets you manage your calendars for clients and staff, offer membership plans, subscriptions and open trial sessions. It also allows you to host sessions via Zoom, enabling you to reach larger audiences and build your clientele.
06. Fill your site with rich content
Having quality, fresh content on your website not only encourages visitors to return to you, but also signals to search engines that your site includes up-to-date information.
As you start thinking about incorporating or writing website content that drives traffic and engages your target market, consider these forms of content on your website:
Blog. Many businesses create business blogs, providing insights into their field of expertise and sharing content with their clients. Bloggers write and post articles—dedicated to specific subject matter—and often serve as a platform for active online discussions. You’ll want to prioritize and choose relevant blog post topics that resonate with your audience and can establish you as a voice in your industry. Compelling blog content can draw new audiences to your brand. For example, if you make and sell wine, a blog post about “How to Store Wine at Home” can capture new audiences and introduce your brand in the process.
Testimonials. Testimonials usually come from customers, peers or anyone who has benefited from your offerings or work. Incorporating testimonials to your website helps boost your business’s credibility and build trust among clients. This is crucial, since potential clients can assess if you will meet their needs based upon others’ experiences. With different testimonials out there, most businesses use customer quotes as they’re easy to obtain. Just ask a customer directly for one. You can place testimonials in just about any section of your website, from the home page, product or service page, or even a dedicated testimonial page.
07. Implement a strong CRM
You’ll need solid customer relationship management (CRM) to build long-term rapport and capture more leads. Once connected to your website, a CRM provides you with marketing and sales force automation, as well as customer contact and project management.
Tip: Ascend by Wix offers a complete and powerful free CRM that can be easily integrated with your website. The platform includes a wide range of advanced features, such as forms to collect key contact details like emails, leads and testimonials.
Many countries around the world require businesses to disclose how they collect, handle, and process visitor data. In turn, users have become more protective of their personal data and concerned about how companies use it.
09. Promote your site
After you make a website, you’ll notice that you’ve also created a hub of all your digital marketing efforts. You can use your site to increase your business’s exposure to prospective clients by applying a couple of these low-investment and effective marketing strategies:
Email marketing. This targeted communication generates conversions and develops relationships with customers. Additional benefits include building engagement with your brand, driving traffic to your site and promoting your business. A robust email marketing service allows you to create and send all types of email campaigns and customize them for your target audience.
Social media marketing. Today, many businesses leverage the power of social media and reach out to mass audiences from across the world through platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, Pinterest and Twitter. With social media marketing, you can regularly promote and share content around your business in the form of live streaming, user generated content, stories or posting in specific groups.
10. Track web performance
To fully understand your site’s performance, turn to web analytics tools and dive deeper into your site’s traffic trends. Visitor behavior can clue you into where your users come from, how they got to your site, and which pages they stay on for longer periods of time. Once you have a better understanding of your visitors—first time or returning -—you can make data-driven decisions on what your site needs to improve overall performance.
Tip: Wix Analytics provides in-depth insight into your site’s traffic trends and visitor behavior.
By Cecilia Lazzaro Blasbalg
Small Business Expert & Writer