In today’s world, a website is the equivalent of a listing in the phone book. A local business without a website is missing out on a hefty portion of customers who start their searches for restaurants, dentists, doctors and just about anything else with a trip to Google. Here’s how to create a website for a local business in fou easy to follow steps.
Choose a Domain Name
The right domain name is an important part of marketing a local business on the Internet. These considerations can help a business owner make the right choice.
For professionals and businesses with local name recognition, the business name is the best choice for a domain name.
A domain name that combines the product or service with the local area can help with marketing.
A domain name should be easy to remember and easy to spell.
A .com URL is almost always the best choice for a business website.
Purchase Web Hosting
Many web hosting companies register domain names for customers, often at no cost for the first year. While there are some disadvantages to registering a domain name through a web host, the convenience and ease of having web hosting and domain name registration handled in one place generally outweighs those. The web hosting company handles all the technical details, such as setting up domain name servers, leaving the business owner free to concentrate on creating the website and getting back to business.
Build the Website
Most web hosting companies include an easy website builder that’s adequate for the needs of a local business. Each builder is slightly different, but they all lead the user step by step through creating a main page and several sub-pages. Most allow the business owner to choose among several professionally designed templates, making it easy to create a website that looks professional and streamlined.
A local business website should include at least these four important pages.
A main page with the business name, a short description of the business and a contact telephone number
An “About Us” page that tells a little bit about the company and its connection to the community
A “Services” page that lists the services or products offered by the company
A “Contact” page that provides telephone numbers, physical address, email address and other contact information for the company. A map and directions can on the contact page can help customers find the business location.
Optimize the Website
Search engine optimization, or SEO, helps search engines classify and index a website and serve it up when someone searches for the information it provides. While SEO is a wide subject with lots of moving parts, there are a few things any business owner can do to help his website rank for local search results.
Research keywords for the business. Some are obvious. A plumber in Canton, Ohio, for example, would obviously target “Canton Ohio plumber”. He should also target more obscure search phrases, such as “clogged drain Canton”.
Write a good Meta description for the website and include the strongest keywords in it.
Use keywords liberally throughout the website content.
Use keywords in the Title tags on each website page.
While there’s a great deal more that can be added to a business website, these basic steps are a great start to get a company noticed and bring in more customers for a local company.