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Category: ENTREPRENEURSHIP, I.T Business

How to build a good website for your small business
Written by Rowan Govender
14 December 2012

It's necessary for any young entrepreneur who's starting their own small business to have a website. The sweech business portal is on of the ways a business can increase online presence, which is highly important in today's digital world. But how can a small business owner tell the difference between a good website and a bad one? What are the characteristics of a high quality website?

Entrepreneur.com offers these 10 guidelines for what to look for in a small business website: 




  1. A clear despcription of who you are
  2. A simple, sensible Web address
  3. An easily-navigated site map
  4. Easy-to-find contact information
  5. Customer Testimonials
  6. An obvious call to action
  7. Know the basics of SEO
  8. Fresh, quality content
  9. A secure hosting platform
  10. A design and style that's friendly to online readers

With a basic idea of what to look for in a website, how would a small business then owner go about acquiring one?

You have two options when building a website: you can either build it yourself, or you can outsource to a company or individual that does website design.

Building your own website vs. outsourcing

If you do choose to go the DIY route and build the website yourself, you don't need to learn all the various tools and programming languages required to build the website from scratch. There are many services, such as Weebly and Yola that allow you to build your own website using templates and drag-and-drop tools. These website builders have the added advantage of low cost without looking amateurish.  Funds you'd have spent on the website can then be put into other aspects of your small business.

Unfortunately, you are limited by what's on offer through the built-in tools and templates. If you do decide to go the DIY route, you may not be able to incorporate all the great ideas you have simply because there isn't an existing tool or template for you to use.

You can also choose to pay someone to design the website for your small business. This will allow you to create a unique look and feel, and include options that may not be available on template based DIY websites.

The downside to this is of course the time that it will take for the designer to create the website, and of course, the cost will obviously be higher than using one of the other methods.

Content is king

After you've gotten your website designed, you're going to need to add content for your target market. Depending on the target market that your website is aimed at, your content may include editorials, interviews, reviews or a variety of other copy. The key here is not to underestimate the importance of good copy. Good copy will help your small business develop a relationship with your target market.

What is good copy? Good copy is writing that sells your product, while still being short, sweet, and to the point. Most web copy is conversational, but you may choose to go for a more formal or academic style, depending on the target market your website is trying to reach.

Another important factor that ties into good copy is SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation. SEO is driven by the effective use of keywords and the distribution of your website's content. A search engine will index a website according to the keywords it finds and by checking other websites for links to your content. When you are developing copy for your website, you need to ensure that certain keywords appear regularly.

Once a website is properly optimised, a search engine can easily find and index it. Good SEO will help bring your target market to your website, whether they're using Google, Bing or Yahoo.


You also need to be aware of how compatible your website is. In the past, most users used Internet Explorer on a PC to browse the web. Today there various browsers such as Firefox, Chrome, and Safari, which are used on a PC to accessed the web. Not only that, but now there are multiple hardware platforms, such as tablets and mobile phones, which are also used for Internet access. Each of these software and hardware platforms will affect the way your website is viewed. It's necessary for your website to be compatible with all major platforms so that users have a trouble-free experience.

 The ideas discussed above cover some of the major areas of web design. With this information in hand you'll be able to explore other aspects of web development in order to develop a website that's perfect for your small business. 


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