How to Build a Website for Your Local Business
If you’re a local business, advertising, word of mouth, print, and social media bring people to your website. If you don’t have a website, here are the steps to get started.
by Justin Lewis, Co-Founder & CEO of Business Optimizer
Step 1 – Choose a Domain
First and foremost you need to have an idea for your websites domain name (http://yoursitehere.com/). I’ve found that it’s best to focus on building your brands name through the domain name itself.
For example, if you own “XYZ Construction” it would be wise to look for domains that incorporate the business name. Whether that be xyzconstruction.com, xyzconstructiontampa.net, xyzconstructioncompany.org. You can incorporate the primary location you serve into the domain name, but be aware it will be much more challenging to advance beyond that local area in the future.
I’d suggest using Namecheap to buy your domain.
Step 2 – Choose a Hosting Provider
There are plenty of hosting providers to choose from, however I’d suggest going with a hosting provider that allows easy setup of SSL (HTTPS) using a tool like Let’s Encrypt.
I’ve been using Siteground (shared hosting and wordpress hosting) and highly recommend it.
Step 3 – Choose a Platform
There are plenty of great platforms to use to create your website. These include Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, etc. and if you’re just starting out, one of these platforms could be your preference. However, using one of these platforms you’re putting your website in their hands.
By using a platform like WordPress you take control. You can pick between thousands of different themes (designs) and plugins (features) to enhance the website. Make sure if you pick a WordPress theme to find one that is responsive (mobile friendly) as a majority of local searchers are using their phones when searching.
My suggestion is to use WordPress (WordPress.org) which is self hosted and gives you full control of the website.
Focus on the Local Elements
If you own a local business, your highest priority should be to get straight to the point. When someone visits your website, they must have these questions answered within 5 seconds of landing on your site:
- Services: What services do you provide?
- Location: Can you provide those services to me?
- Contact: If so, how can I contact you via phone or email?
Making it easy for people to find the answers to the above questions will vastly put you ahead of your competition.