Small businesses need awesome websites! That’s just a given.
We are living in a fast-paced world where everything has gone digital. Customers these days prefer the convenience of an online world and make their purchasing decisions by doing their own online research. According to Web Archive, 81% of people gather information from a company’s website before making a purchasing decision and a whopping 97% are influenced by a companies website when it comes to making a decision. A business website is a representation of your brand, an important communication tool to explain what your business does, and a means of converting prospects into customers. If your business doesn’t have a digital footprint, you’re going to miss out on targeting a large chunk of your potential customer base.
If you haven’t got a website because you don’t have any change lying around for this right now it is important to know that you don’t have to break the bank to get a business website going. A website doesn’t have to cost you and arm and a leg. There are ways to get an eye-catching, user-friendly website up and running on a budget.
How to build an awesome website on a budget
1. Register a domain name with a website host
If you get a domain name that describes your company’s business or name, people can easily search for you online. Web architect and designer Phillip Hollowell, owner of PS Web Design Studio, suggests checking affordable web hosting sites like to see if the domain you want is available. Purchasing a domain name from someone else will cost you extra, so it’s advisable to go for one that’s available for registration. Inexpensive sites include GoDaddy, that costs around US$10 to US$35 (R129,66- R453,82) for a domain name and includes freebies like web redirection, a starter web page, and a “for sale” page. Another great tip is to search online for any coupons and discounts. RetailMeNot has a wide selection of coupons to choose from for sites like GoDaddy, Name.com, and Domain.com.
2. Use website builders
If you’re new to creating a website, then a website builder can simplify things for you. A website builder helps you create a website without needing to have any special programming skills or use manual code editing. Some good examples of website builders include Weebly which includes an option to create a blog and mobile apps if you want to take your business’s digital experience to the next level. WordPress, although not a website builder, also works great for the purposes of a business website and has some great free themes and templates to choose from. These are also easily customisable, safe and secure, and search engine friendly. Because both of these tools make it easy to customise a website yourself you don’t need to hire a web designer to create and manage your business’s website.
3. Use free online tutorials or guides
You might not know the ins and outs of what website best practices are – it is probably not your area of expertise, and that’s okay. But there is a ton of free content, videos and downloadable guides out there to help you gain some basic knowledge.
- For content about website search engine optimisation take a look at Moz and download their free beginner’s guide
- For help creating a user-friendly website that is easy for a visitor to navigate take a look at articles like this by Common Places.
- Learn about how to go about designing and choosing a website layout that suits your business. Here are some great tips to get you started.
4. Market your website
Once you’ve created a business website you want to start focusing on getting traffic to your site. A big part of this involves good website SEO basics to start bringing in organic traffic. But you can’t always rely on this alone. You need to consider running some online advertising through AdWords or social media like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or one of the other channels you are on. This will help you to get in front of the right audience and highlight your website so that they can find out more about your products or services and get in contact with you.
While we’ve shared some great ways to save on building a business website there will be small costs involved in registering a domain, purchasing the theme or template and possibly hiring a freelance content writer for some initial help with your website copy. While these costs will still be a lot lower than hiring an agency or web designer, some small business funding can come in handy, particularly when you feel you’re ready to market your website.
Lulalend offers short-term business funding to help you finance this expense or other small business marketing needs. We can help ensure that you have a steady cash flow to spend on the immediate needs of your small business such as an online presence. The benefits of a website are clear; it can help you reach a wider customer base and bring in new business. So if you require small business funding to assist with these needs, contact Lula for more information.