Small Business Website design begins with Visibility and Usability
Number one is Visibility: If your website cannot be found, your Return on Investment will be ZERO! Number two is Usability: if your website is not user-friendly, potential customers are not going to use it and again your ROI will be zero.
The major eight steps in establishing a profitable small business website Internet presence are. . .
1) Analyzing current and possible future true customer base. You must know who your online audience will be before you can appeal to them. You have to define them as precisely as possible in the hope of understanding the way they seek online.
2) Brainstorming to find keywords your true customers will most often use when searching the web. Everyone representing your enterprise who has knowledge of the Internet and meets your current customers on a regular basis can and should help during this critical step. Filter the resulting list of keywords by using them on Internet search engines to find who your competition is and what they are up to.
3) Collect the physical assets (domain name(s), web host, etc.) to begin designing. This process is mostly my responsibility. I have found an extremely reliable and inexpensive web hosting company. I know what software, training, and domain names are necessary to create a highly visible, attractive website.
4) Design with search engine visibility, ease-of-use, and attractiveness in mind. There are many search engines each with their own methodology for ranking sites but only a few are important. You cannot satisfy them all. I design with the top four (90% of Internet searchers use one of the four) in mind. Furthermore, each of your customers’ online physiological comfort must be considered always.
5) Execute the design. The complexity and size of your website dictate the time needed before your site can be completed. Even small business websites must be designed with a minimum of five pages before submitting to search engines for listing: once again, size matters.
6) Further site visibility by promoting both on and off the web. Once the domain name has been chosen, you must begin to place it everywhere practical. Your website must link to other related but non-competing Internet sites.
7) Gather feedback from online customers concerning the website’s usefulness. The most important step you can take to enhance repeat business. If the site never offers anything new, how many times would anyone check back?
8) Monitor website statistics and maintain. The Internet is a dynamic medium. You will want to update content and keep it fresh, to know your site is up and running at least 99.5% of the time, and what your site’s position is on the major search engines. You will want practical ways to measure its impact on your bottom line.