Essential checklist for your very first website

Every year thousands of people take the plunge and launch their own small business. In fact, between 2022 and 2023, the total business population in the UK increased by a whopping 46,000.

As a small business just starting out, there are so many tasks to add to your to do list. 

But one job you really can’t ignore in today’s world is the need for a website which showcases your product or service and engages potential customers with your brand. 

Many people find when it comes to taking their small business online, they feel more than a little bamboozled about where to begin. So, we have come up with an essential checklist to help you start to put the wheels in motion. 

What’s the purpose of your site? 

This may sound like an obvious starting point, but many find themselves so focused on just getting something online that they fail to stop and think through what they actually want to achieve. 

So, your very first job is to take a little time to think about what you want people to do when they visit your site. Once you truly understand what your site is aiming to achieve you can then make sure the path is clear for users to move through the site and accomplish these goals.  

For a brand-new business offering a service, like a dog groomer, life coach or electrician for example, the function of your site may simply to be to show people who you are, what you do and how to contact you. 

If you are selling a product, the role and complexity of your website may need to be quite different, with the facility for visitors to place orders online. 

Securing the right URL 

Every website needs a URL, and it goes without saying that ideally this should include your company name. URLs are available to buy online from a range of companies from as little as £1 a year. You want to make sure your URL is as easy as possible for customers remember so keep it short, avoid abbreviations and don’t use numbers, dashes or symbols. And don’t forget to check copyrights to make sure your web address isn’t infringing on someone else’s protected name. 

Who should build your site?

If you are tech savvy, template sites such as Wix, Weebly and Square Space are straightforward enough to use, giving you the freedom to build your site yourself. However, many people prefer to seek the help of a website designer and developer at this stage.  

At SBG we have a developer and designer working together to create sites which look good and deliver for our clients and we spend time learning about our clients to ensure the final site really meets their business needs. 

Words matter

Clear and engaging text is one of the most important requirements for a successful website. Visitors should be able to easily gain a good understanding of your product or service. Fail to provide this and you could lose potential customers at the first hurdle. Try not to be too word, avoid jargon and be clear about the difference you can make to their lives. And importantly don’t forget a clear call to action. 

Invest in good photography

In the same way as your copy needs to be clear and engaging, so does your photography. In an ideal world, we would advise our clients to commission professional photography of their product or service. However, if you don’t have the budget available for this, Page Crafter has some great tips for how to take your own photos for your website. 

Don’t forget your SEO!

Search Engine Optimisation – or SEO – is all about ensuring that your site is properly labeled so it’s picked up when someone makes a relevant search in Google or similar. Spending a little time sharpening up your SEO can have real impact, increasing the quality and quantity of traffic to your website.  

Make sure your site is safe

The safety of your site should be a top priority as it’s not just big business websites that get hacked. Make sure you host your website in a safe place and a plan is put in place to regularly back up content, run virus checking software and periodically change your passwords. 

While some people will have the skills and confidence to create their own website, others may need support with all or part of the process. At SBG we have specialists in web design, development, copywriting, marketing and search engine optimisation. This wide range of services makes sure you will get a site that works for you. Our team cares about producing a good quality site that will add value to your business. 

A helping hand

All of these services are offered as standalone options, or as a complete package, so get in touch to discuss how we can help you. 

1 thought on “Essential checklist for your very first website”

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