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How to get your business online

Last updated on by Freeola Support

Every business should have a website, whether it's for selling products and services, promoting your jobs and projects, or simply as a way for customers to contact you, and most importantly, that website should reflect the quality and professionalism of your business.

One way to achieve this is to hire a web designer. With the proper information, they should be able to create a website that looks the part and is right for you and your customers. You could get a professional web design from as little as £299 up to several thousands depending on your needs.

Another option is to do it yourself using a content management system such as our own easy website builder, RQS. This would allow you to create the pages and elements you need without any specialist coding knowledge or experience. Most people can achieve a professional-looking result with a little effort, and you'll find all of the features you need straight out of the box.

Either way, you'll want to cover the basics, then consider which additional elements are important to your business. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but some examples are:

Website Address

Every site requires one of these. If you can't use your actual business name, aim for something short and memorable, preferably that relates to your business or industry, and you won't go far wrong. With the large amount of domain extensions available now, it's also much easier to find a perfect domain name.

Email Addresses

Your domain name also gives you the option to create unlimited email addresses  using the same name and extension as your website. For example, your website might be "my-business.com", so your email addresses would be "[email protected]" and so on. This adds to the professional appearance, and could help to build more confidence  in your brand when compared to generic email accounts.

Secure Certificate

Buy a Secure Certificate (or SSL) to prompt web browsers like Chrome and Firefox to show a padlock mark in the browser bar when people visit your site. Not only does this reassure potential customers that your site is genuine, but also Google and other search engines prioritise secure sites over those that have no certificate, meaning that your site is more likely to appear in search results. Important for every site, but absolutely vital if you are going to sell products or services.

E-Commerce

If you need to sell products or services, then this is an essential feature. You will have options to easily add and manage product details and images, set prices, co-ordinate sales and vouchers, and more. Create categories and sub-ctegories if you have lots of products, to ensure your customers can find what they want with ease. Secure payments and no seller's fees are a bonus.

Contact Forms

Probably one of the most common features of any site, a properly configured contact form will allow site visitors and customers to get in touch without you having to give out your email address. This will eliminate a lot of potential spam, and ensure that legitimate communication reaches you reliably. This is something that pretty much every business website should have.

The fully customisable layout can also be used to create more complex forms, such as questionnaires, allowing you to gather the information that you need.

Blog Pages

A bit like an online newsletter or diary, a blog is a great way of communicating with your customer base, keeping them up to date with the latest developments or products. New content on your website is also good for Google Search, so a regularly updated blog is a big positive for any site owner.

Image Galleries and Slideshows

Similar to blog pages, image galleries are an excellent tool for letting your customers see what you do. Show off products, projects, completed jobs, your offices and staff, and more. Regularly updated galleries are another good way of helping to get your site seen. Add galleries and slideshows to any section, or give them their own page.

Search Engine Optimisation

More of a "behind the scenes" feature, a properly configured page will perform better in searches. A little work here to give your pages proper titles and descriptions can make a big difference to how many people find your website. It will also help to target the right people, meaning that those who visit are more likely to engage with your content. Try using words and phrases in your titles and descriptions that you would expect potential visitors to use when searching.

Once you have decided on the important elements and pages for your site, it should be far easier to ensure that the end result is suitable for your business, and gives the best possible impression to your customers.


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