If you are not one of the 28% of SMEs in Malaysia that already have an online presence, it should be one of the New Year’s resolutions you make for your business in 2019.
Before you start
Creating an online presence can be as simple as setting up an account on one of the social media networks (where your customers are), like Facebook or LinkedIn or a simple blog. It can also be as daunting as creating a website for your business.
Intimidating? Yes. Difficult? Not really. As part of our ‘Digital Marketing’ theme for January, we will walk you through a few tips to create your own business website.
Do you already have a business and a business name? If you don’t, you need to start from there. If you already have a business, you need to decide what you want your website to do for you.
Related: From Bricks and Mortar to Online: 4 Main Advantages
For instance, do you want to sell your products and services directly to customers from your website? Or maybe you just want the website to provide basic information to people looking for your business online.You can even lead those people looking for you online to your offline store! Your choice here helps decide what details you put on your small business website. (More on this below.)
Related: Why Your Business Should Have a Website
Register your domain name and host your website
Your domain name (the part between ‘www’ and ’.com’) should be the name of your business to make it easy for people to find you online and offline. If your business name is already taken, add something that describes your business or the location.
You know how you pay rent for your store or office? That is what web hosting is online. It is rent paid for your website space on the Internet.
For your SME, many hosting providers offer ‘buffet-style’ options, and you can just select the basics that you need to get started. As your business grows and online traffic increases (and you get familiar with how it all works), you can add more things like bandwidth and storage space.
Plan and build
What do you want people to see when they first land on your website? Which product or service do you want customers to pay attention to? Or do you want people to come visit your store?
These are some things you should consider when building your small business website. Putting the information on the page that people arrive on makes it easy for them to see and follow any directions that you give to them.
It is good practice to draw what your website would look like with all the pages that should be in it. This should include which pages will connect to which, making the building part easier.
Related: What Makes a Good Business Website
After you have decided what goes where, decide on what you want to build your website with. For a start, you can use one of the website builders like Instaweb, Wix, Squarespace or the most popular option, WordPress. The first three allow you to build your website with little to no experience, while WordPress requires some learning.
Promote and maintain
After building and publishing your small business website online, you need to help your customers find you online. This applies to existing (especially if you sell directly online) and new customers.
Post updates on your social media and if you have a bricks-and-mortar store, have in-store printed announcements that let customers know where to find you online.
You should also regularly add content, like short blog posts, about business or product/service updates so that customers know what is new and potential clients can easily find your business on search engines like Google Search or Microsoft’s Bing.
That is it. There are many other things that go into making your website but these three are the basics and should get you up and running in no time.
Don’t even have the time to do those three things?
Well, you should consider Instaweb
that can help you create your website in just a few simple steps with no building or domain registration involved and reasonable pricing for SMEs. Whether it is an online business or a simple website, this website builder has you covered. Go ahead and sign up today!
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