5 Website Hosting Tips for Your Small Business
Small businesses need an online presence in today’s digital world. A website builds brand awareness and creates opportunities for customer engagement. Websites come with a huge payoff, but only if small business owners think strategically about how to host them.
Don’t settle for a website that was slapped together at the last minute. Developing a solid action plan for your website will help your business compete with others on the World Wide Web. Follow these top web hosting strategies to optimize your website now and for the future.
1. Choose a domain name for the site
A well-planned domain name makes it easier for customers to find your website. The name will appear in the website address users type into the URL search field. The most effective domain names are short, easy to spell and accurately represent your business. You can set the domain name as just your company’s name or combine it with a service type and geotag to improve your SEO ranking.
Although I don’t recommend overly long domain names – steprightupandgetyourfirstdomainnamehere.com, for example – their meaning is right on the nose. But a somewhat common mistake is to go too far the other way and sacrifice all recognizableness in exchange for brevity. srud99.com, for example, has a lot less characters! It’s an acronym for StepRightUpDomain99 (my birthday at the end there) and it’s available! But, well… it’s not good for Google and not too good for your audience to remember, either.
I also recommend you get feedback from others on the sensibility of your domain name options. People may not love the one you’re leaning toward since it’s a stretch to find anything close to “the perfect” domain names – they’re basically not available. But listen to the opinions of others. It’s easy to get lost in the process when you’ve tried to imagine using 500 different letter/word combinations and can no longer tell which sound reasonable and which just sound downright weird. So be patient and keep looking for the right balance of reasonable brevity, Google friendly word relevance, and availability.
Speaking of availability, before creating a domain name, make sure another business hasn’t claimed it first. You can also search for the domain name in the United States Patent and Trademark Office to see if it has a registered trademark. It’s possible to purchase an existing domain name if this expense fits within your company’s budget. However, the cheaper option is to create a unique domain name that’s memorable, SEO-friendly and encompasses the full scope of your business.
2. Design a user-friendly interface
Customers gravitate toward user-friendly websites that provide what they’re looking for as quickly as possible. A well-built interface can guide leads further down the sales funnel and increase profits. Create a layout that’s easy to navigate and prioritizes the customer’s needs. The main menu should be clean and simple with page links that lead to relevant information.
The most effective website interfaces are both functional and beautiful. Once you’ve designed a user-friendly layout, incorporate images and eye-catching graphics to hold the customer’s attention. The content and graphic designs should complement one another to create a positive user experience that encourages customers to keep visiting your website.
3. Research SEO best practices
Optimize online content so your website ranks high in search engine results. Search engine optimization (SEO) increases visibility and drives traffic to your business’s website. Good SEO practices include installing security software and building popular, relevant keywords into the content. Backlinks on social media pages and external websites can also boost site traffic.
Also consider other factors that improve SEO ranking, such as quick loading speeds, mobile adaptability and positive online reviews. All these factors boost your business’s credibility and increase the amount of time users spend on the website. The longer they stay on your site, the closer it will get to the top of search engine results.
4. Track activity with webmaster tools
A website isn’t finished when it goes live on the internet. Small businesses should continuously monitor the site’s performance and make small adjustments as time goes on. Webmaster tools can help you track analytics like the number of page views, bounce rate, keyword effectiveness and backlinks on external sites. These analytics will fluctuate over time and provide valuable insight on how the interface measures up to your competitors’ websites.
Simply put, webmaster tools help you identify what’s working and what’s not. A dip in page views can pinpoint pieces of content that have become obsolete or don’t resonate with your target audience. Webmaster tools allow you to troubleshoot broken links and fix slow download times so that users will have a better website experience.
5. Collaborate with a web hosting company
Launching your first website can be a little intimidating. Help the process go a lot smoother by choosing the right web hosting company. A web hosting company provides the physical server that puts your website on the internet. When a user types in your website address, the browser will display the content held in your hosting company’s database.
Aside from publishing your website to the internet, web hosting companies offer a variety of services to create and maintain the website. Many provide live tech support to help you fix site errors as quickly as possible. Web hosting companies also implement security to protect user data and stop hackers from breaching the website.
The road to a strong website starts here
Your business’s website doesn’t have to be perfect right out of the gates. Web development is an ongoing process that will help your site become more effective with time. A web hosting company like Seeworthy Marketing will guide you through the creation process and monitor back-end operations to optimize the customer experience. Reach out today to get started!