Top tips to set up a business website on a budget

When starting a new business, you will have a lot to consider, the marketing budget might be tight and the design and development of a business website might seem unaffordable.

However, the world is going more and more digital and potential customers are all having smartphones and searching for services and products online, therefore it is crucial that every business, no matter how small, has their own website.

Your business online presence can make or break your future and it's worth doing all you can to make sure you are getting the most out of the world wide web - and drawing in lots of potential customers.

A new website does not have to crush your bank account. Here are my top xx tips that will help you to get your online presence without costing an arm and a leg.

1 Domain & Hosting

You will need to find a suitable provider for your website domain registration and hosting.

Best domain registrars to use are:

GoDaddy
Hover
Dynadot

What is the name of your business or your brand? The name of your website needs to be memorable, original, and punchy. A good way to find the best name for you and your brand is to list keywords that apply to your website. Play around with the list, and a domain name will emerge!

  • If you are creating a brand, and you want to reach a wider global audience try to aim for a dot-com domain. There are a lot of ‘novelty’ extensions now, and although they might seem fun and catchy, you can’t beat the more prominent and easy-to-find .com extension.

  • If it’s a business site, use your company name.

  • Go for something simple – you want people to be able to find you quickly. An obscure name that’s difficult to spell won’t do you any good.

  • Choose something that will stick- people should be able to remember you, and your SEO will be higher if your name is catchy.

  • Confirm that you aren’t pinching someone else’s name by searching it at copyright.gov.

  • Avoid numbers or hyphens. They won’t do you or your brand any favors.

  • You need to believe in your domain name – it’s the most essential part of your website’s identity, and it’s the hook that’s going to reel in visitors. Give it some proper thought!

The hosting for your new website depends on which website building platform you want to use. Most cloud based website builder the hosting of your website is included in their annual subscription. So check first before you also add hosting to your account.

2 Use a Website Builder

Think carefully about what you need for your small business website. If you think you could fully customise your small business website to your needs with a given tool, then that’s probably the best tool for you.

Using a website builder removes a lot of the technical headaches you might encounter, and limits your financial risks.

While searching for the best tool, you want to find a balance: The perfect platform is one that has a broad set of functionalities but, at the same time, is easy and intuitive to use.

In general, a good website builder:

  1. Helps you easily choose your domain name.

  2. Offers a variety of website templates.

  3. Has mobile design capabilities.

  4. Makes photo uploads and gallery uploads easy.

  5. Offers a shopping cart service

  6. Syncs with your social media accounts

  7. Provides options for SEO

  8. Gives access to an attentive customer support team

  9. Has a pricing structure that doesn’t break the bank!

4 Keyword Research

To write great content for your new website, the first step is to do a thorough research on what keywords your target market might be searching for. There are free tools online which can help you identify your keywords, like Google Keyword Planner, Google Trends, Keyword Tool.

These are at the types of keywords you should be looking for:

  • Primary and secondary keywords

  • Long-tail keywords

  • Competitor keywords

Once you identify your keywords, use them consistently in your website copy. It’s important to use your keywords naturally, because Google will penalise you if your website copy is too stuffed with keywords.

3 Content

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
— Content Marketing Institute

Content marketing is about creating added value for consumers through the provision of free, informative content, designed to attract an audience that genuinely wants to engage with and purchase from the brand.

This is achieved in various ways through – blogs, social media posts, YouTube videos, infographics, email campaigns, podcasts, etc.

  1. Good content creates trust

  2. Content is essential for SEO

  3. Content plays a crucial role in brand awareness

So here’s what you should do:

  1. Write naturally and weave in your target keywords in where they make sense. Usually, this happens automatically as you’re creating helpful content.

  2. Take into account that your long-tail keywords will often contain your primary or secondary keywords. This means you don’t necessarily need to use them separately.

  3. Pepper in a synonym or a couple of relevant contextual keywords here and there, but don’t overdo it.

4 Photos

As you design and layout your website, you might think that images are a “nice to have” element that don’t serve much of a purpose beyond looking good. But images on your website do so much more than paint a pretty picture.

  1. Website images bring your website and your brand to life

  2. Website images get more views

  3. Website images show up in search engine results

  4. Website images get shared on social media

Therefore it is crucial that you use good quality images.

  • For portraits of yourself and your team always use a professional photographer for authentic results and to convey your business culture and consistency

  • For stock photography search for unique and compelling images that are relevant to your brand and your message without looking cliché. There are some very good royalty free stock photo sites like Unsplash.

Conclusion

It can be daunting and sometime frustrating to build your own website, especially when it is your first time. There are probably a million things and concerns running through your head.

As with any major endeavours or projects that you want to explore, start with small, baby steps, to help limit your downside risks.

As part of my services I also offer training and support for Squarespace sites. So if you get stuck, please get in touch