Your company’s website sets you up to reach new customers while making your brand more credible and professional. It also allows you to clearly showcase your products and services on a platform you can fully customize to fit your business needs. And a well-designed website markets your products and services around the clock, always working to convert visitors into customers.
Whether your brand is well-established, just an idea, or somewhere in between, it’s never too early to start building a strong online presence. Lucky for you, it’s easier than ever to create a business website.
In this post, we’ll help you navigate how to register a domain name, and establish your online presence in no time. Follow these seven simple steps to take your small business online.
Step 1: Determine the primary purpose of your website
Deciding on your website’s purpose first can help you consider the features that would be most beneficial to your small business. Clarity on your website’s primary purpose can lead to the design of an optimal website layout and user experience from the get-go, helping you to avoid inconvenient changes later.
If your company sells products that you want to make available to a broad audience online, your website’s primary purpose would likely be online sales. Take, for example, Dutch dog food brand Wooof.xyz. Their primary purpose appears to be online sales, based on the layout of their ecommerce website. They’ve centred the user experience around their neatly displayed dog food options with helpful product information, similar to a product brochure and order form. The company appears to have designed their website to encourage the browsing and purchasing of their dog food brand. Having a clear primary purpose of sales presumably led Wooof.xyz to design their website around the main actions they want to encourage their visitors to take – understanding and buying their product.
Determining your website’s primary purpose will help you to design your website to meet your business goals, and meet or even exceed your audience’s expectations.
Step 2: Choose a memorable domain name
Now that you’ve determined your website’s primary purpose, it’s a good time to select a memorable domain name. Your website is the online home for your business, making your domain name the home address. Just like physical real estate, it’s all about location, location, location. A memorable and fitting domain name can mean the difference between establishing an easily located online presence and getting lost in cyberspace.
When it comes to the length of your domain, shorter is generally better, because short domain names are easier to remember. Short domain names are also easier to fit on advertisements, business cards, packaging, and other marketing collateral. For these reasons, consider taking advantage of the availability of .xyz domain names. Award-winning Slovakian coffee roaster Black registered Black.xyz for their coffee shop’s website. This one-word domain fits cleanly on their marketing collateral, and is easy for their customers to remember. Visitors of the coffee shop can later type Black.xyz into their browsers so they can easily find the shop’s website and purchase Black’s coffee beans to consume or to sell at their business.
Choosing a domain name that is on-brand can help to communicate the goal of your business to potential customers.
“The radio test” is an important tool to consider when choosing your domain name. The radio test checks if potential visitors can spell a domain name when they hear it said aloud. Try this out on your friends, family, and colleagues! When you verbally invite people to check out your website, it is extremely important that they can easily remember and know how to spell your domain in order to find your website.
You may also want to do some research to ensure the name you want to use is not already trademarked. You can do a WHOIS search to make sure another business in your vertical hasn’t already popularized it. Act swiftly, before someone else grabs the name you want! Once you’ve decided on a domain, registration simply involves clicking “order Now”.
Step 3: Make a good impression with a well-designed website
A well-designed website doesn’t need to be a complex undertaking. While you’re designing your website, think about your primary purpose, which can be supported by the colors, fonts, and imagery you choose. You’re aiming for an aesthetic that will resonate with your desired audience and communicate your brand. Fortunately, with the ease of website builder templates and options for quick website development, designing a website that looks good and works well is easier than ever. You can quickly build your website by choosing a style that matches the vibe of your brand.
If you’re part of a visually creative industry, consider a website design that is built to highlight your images. As the adage goes, pictures are worth a thousand words. High quality imagery can be a useful way to effectively show your potential customers what you have to offer. Interior architecture and design agency AtelierInteriors.xyz aims to create “immersive, lived-in spaces full of character and depth” for their residential and commercial clients. The agency uses a sleek template to showcase their large portfolio of past projects. Through the template’s design, their interior images take up the majority of the website’s visual real estate so visitors can get a sense for the type of environments the agency is able to achieve.
Use website visuals that align with your brand’s aesthetic to help you effectively promote the services or products your brand offers.
Step 4: Include key content that sells your business to your audience
A well-designed website also needs convincing content to turn your visitors into customers. Start with succinctly telling users exactly what you do or what your company does through the use of an elevator pitch. This important information should be quick to read, and front and centre on your website. Look to mobile application builder AppMaker.xyz’s website for an example. The website clearly states “Enabling mobile commerce for your Brand” on the homepage, so visitors can quickly understand what the company does and has to offer. The elevator pitch should catch the attention of those interested in your service, and inspire continued browsing of your website to learn more.
Another essential and easy-to-add content piece is a clear call to action (CTA), an element of your website that tells your audience what to do next. This is where knowing your website’s primary purpose really comes into play. Website creators often will feature a highly visible link with action text, that makes it easy to see and click right off the bat. AppMaker.xyz utilizes a brightly coloured and prominent button that encourages visitors to “Get Started for Free.” Visitors don’t need to search around if they want to start now, and the design and position of the button encourages visitors to take the action that appears to be AppMaker.xyz’s main goal.
Further explain what your business has to offer your customers by sharing your value propositions on your website. A value proposition is a statement that tells a customer why they should choose your product or service. Value propositions list the direct benefits customers would receive by giving you their business. Sharing the value you can give to your visitors will help to persuade them to make a purchase. AppMaker.xyz lists six main value propositions on their homepage, including “acquire more users through App store discovery,” and “reduce cart abandonment,” making important benefits of using their service clear to their website visitors. Understanding the benefits can mean the difference between a potential and a paying customer.
An elevator pitch, clear CTAs, and your value propositions are a good place to start. Additional content you can use to effectively promote your business to your customers depends on the type of business you have.
Step 5: Ensure uniformity across email and social media
Your business website needs to include a way for visitors to contact and follow you. The most popular paths of communication are contact forms, email addresses, and social media handles. Ensuring uniformity across multiple methods of communication helps customers to remember how to find you, and instils trust. This includes making your social media handles consistent, if you can, and having a custom email address, which can add credibility to your brand.
Consistency makes it efficient and easy for potential customers to remember your handles. A custom email address using your domain will match the address of your website, which will confirm your connection to your website. Uniformity in email address, social media handles, and website address can also verify to visitors that they are communicating with the owners of the website, and help them navigate back to your website for more information.
An email address that ends in the same domain as your website can help you to look more professional by verifying that the owner of the website and the owner of the email are the same person or company. Using your domain name to create custom, branded email addresses connects all of your company representatives and public contact emails with your website. Look to digital fitness platform Moxie.xyz and Hong Kong’s largest employee benefits platform, Amaz.xyz as examples. Both businesses show brand consistency and trustworthiness to their customers with the support emails they list on their websites. By using (support)@moxie.xyz and (info)@amaz.xyz, customers are assured that they are emailing with a representative from those respective businesses.
Using your domain name across custom, branded email, and creating consistency with social media handles that incorporate your domain can increase brand recall and boost your business’s professionalism.
Step 6: Share your website to increase awareness
You can benefit from getting the word out about your website! Sharing your website is key to generating traffic and increasing your brand awareness, both of which can aid in expanding your business’s presence online.
The versatility and influence of social media content makes it a popular way to reach an audience. Post relevant topics and links to your website on social media platforms to help spread your message and what you have to offer. Engage with others in your audience’s community in order to increase visibility of your posts and updates.
Writer and freelance journalist MelissaHung.xyz takes advantage of Twitter to share her talents. She regularly exhibits her work through smart and witty tweets, and engages with the writing community in thoughtful replies and retweets. She’s amassed a following interested in staying up-to-date with her work, which can help her to reach potential new clients online. Her Twitter bio links to her portfolio website, so visitors are able to learn all about her experience and potentially hire her for their next writing job.
You may also consider publishing blog content on your website. If you have time and funds to invest in content creation, a blog can develop a loyal following of readers who will return to your website for the next installment. Discussions in the comments can generate even more engagement, as one remark can sometimes yield a larger conversation.
Additionally, leaving genuine comments and interactions on other influential blogs in your market can get you noticed by blog authors and their readers. If you include a link to related and useful information that you have published on your blog, those authors and their readers can easily find their way to your website. You can take a look at other blogs in your niche market for inspiration on topics and writers that are engaging and helpful to users and community members. Inviting guest submissions on your blog or serving as a guest on another blog are methods of cross-promotion that can generate increased readership on both blogs, provided the interaction is genuine and you included a link to your website in your post.
Awareness initiatives can increase your chances of exposure to your audience, and a growing audience is important for the growth and success of your small business.
Step 7: Evaluate your website’s progress
Along with your efforts to reach your business’s audience with your website, you can find ways to make improvements by analyzing the traffic to your website. Website analytics tools from popular search engines, web hosting platforms, and web builders can provide your business with helpful reports. These reports can show you informative details, like how visitors reached your site, the most popular content on your site, and more.
Putting this information to use can help you to make improvements to your website. When you learn which of your posts were well-received, continue creating similar content. If your content is not successful or popular, try a different approach. The available tools can also determine if your website is appearing in your desired search engines or if you need to make an adjustment to improve discoverability. Use analytics to help you to continually meet the online needs of your customer base.
Whether you’ve launched your small business or you’re still in the design phase, you can quickly use any of these simple steps to get started or improve! Make the digital leap with confidence and begin today.
You can get started for only R19 per month for the first three months, right now — take advantage of .xyz’s 7th Anniversary Celebration! Join the community of small businesses and entrepreneurs using .xyz for their websites. The .xyz domain is a truly generic choice for any type of small businesses venturing online. Short, effective, and memorable domains ending in .xyz are readily available, which means your brand name or keyword choice could be yours immediately.