How to Build a Website for Your Aussie Small Business [10 BASIC DIY STEPS]

Building a small business website involves several steps to ensure it’s functional, attractive, and serves the purpose of the business.

This is not meant to be a detailed step-by-step guide but rather a broad overview of the steps involved in building a site for yourself, or a useful checklist if you’re having a website built by somebody else.

Here are the 10 basic steps to get your website up and running:

Define Your Goals

Before doing anything else, it’s important to consider the purpose of your website. Is it for showcasing products/services, generating leads, providing information, or selling products directly online? This will help you determine the type of website building platform and site layout.

Choose a Domain Name

Also known as your website name or address, select a domain name that reflects your business and is easy to remember. Typically this will be your business name or a variation on this. The shorter and simpler the better.

Next, visit a reputable domain registrar to ensure that it is available. Keep in mind there are several domain types you can choose from, [YOURSITE].com, [YOURSITE].com.au (for Australian businesses) and [YOURSITE].au, which are the most common for commercial enterprises.

Once you’ve found a domain name that suits you, the domain registrar will give you the option to register it for a year or multiple years, which you will need to renew when the time comes. Prices can vary between registrars.

Select a Web Hosting Provider

In simple terms, a web host is where your website lives.

Choose a reliable web hosting provider that meets your needs in terms of performance (how long a site takes to load), uptime (no interruptions to display) and customer support. Other more technical factors you might want to consider are things like bandwidth, storage and scalability.

Initially, my advice is don’t overthink this. Choose a reputable provider that is within your budget, prices can vary considerably. When choosing a new provider, I typically sign up by the month, just in case the service doesn’t live up to expectations. You can then change plans, providers or duration of subscription as you choose.

Select a Website Building Platform

The basic building blocks of a website are the coding applications HTML and CSS. Of course, it’s possible to have a site built in these by a designer or coder (or do it yourself if you are very keen), but it often proves more complex and expensive than it needs to be.

Instead, you can choose a website-building platform (sometimes referred to as a content management system) that makes it simpler to create a site, easier when it comes to updating your site, and significantly cheaper.

Popular options include WordPress, Wix, Squarespace and Shopify (specifically for online stores). When making a choice consider things like your budget, technical skills required, customisation options, and, importantly, the support and assistance available to you.

WordPress (WordPress.org) is the world’s most popular content management system. It’s free to use and offers a myriad of free and paid customisation options for both design and functionality. Many web hosting services offer a one-click WordPress installation on your website to get you started.

If doing it yourself, keep in mind that no matter which option you choose there will be a bit of a learning curve involved in the beginning. If you have the time and inclination, I recommend having a poke around and learning at least the basics of the system, so if you do outsource the creation or updating of your website, you have an idea of what you’re paying for.

Choose a Design for Your Website

All of the website-building platforms mentioned above will offer you a range of complete website designs and customisation options to choose from.

In the case of WordPress there are literally thousands of website designs (also called themes) available from third-party providers, both free and paid. I recommend choosing a popular theme provider that offers a good level of customer support.

Important things to consider when choosing a website design include:

  • Does the layout match the goals of your website? (e.g. direct sales, purely informational, etc.)
  • Does the colour scheme, fonts and imagery align with your brand identity?
  • Is the design user-friendly and inviting to your visitors?
  • Is the design responsive? (displays correctly on different types of devices, such as computers, tablets and mobile phones)

Create Content

My advice is don’t get too bogged down in technical details and design decisions initially. You’ll find that these will change and evolve, so don’t spend days agonising over the perfect colour scheme, for example.

Remember that the words matter. How and what you communicate to your website visitors is the key. Ensure that your website clearly explains what your business does, what makes your product/service special, and how to purchase/contact you. Use high-quality images and videos (if you have them) to enhance engagement.

Consider these five essential pages of a website first:

  • Homepage (succinctly describe what your business does and what makes it different or special)
  • Product / service page(s) (clearly describe your products/services and lead the visitor to take the next step in the sales process)
  • About us (information about you, your business and your team)
  • Contact page (make it clear and easy for the visitor to get in contact)
  • Sales page (make it easy for the visitor to make a direct purchase or take the next step in the sales process)

Regular blogging can be great for building authority in your industry and engaging visitors.

Optimise for Search Engines (SEO)

Basic SEO (search engine optimisation) is important when creating your site, but keep in mind this too will evolve and change over time, so don’t get overawed with it at the start. It’s a big subject.

My advice when setting up your site is to focus on these basic elements:

  • Keywords (the words or phrases people use when searching for your product/service)
  • Title tags (the title of each of your pages that tells a search engine what it is about, typically including a relevant keyword)
  • Meta descriptions (the brief description of each page that appears when a search engine displays a page)

Remember the best thing for seach engine optimisation and attracting backlinks (other sites linking to your site) is creating good quality content.

Set Up Analytics

I’m a great fan of the quote by management guru Peter Drucker; “What gets measured gets managed.” And it’s as true for your website as it is in any facet of your business.

There are many options for tracking how your website is performing, but I suggest starting with the free Google Analytics tool. It is a very effective tool for measuring your website performance.

Google Analytics will help you:

  • Measure website performance (total visitor numbers, page views, visitor engagement, and more)
  • Track visitor behaviour (helping you turn visitors into leads and sales)
  • Gain insights into your audience (helping you refine products and services and creating content that gets attention)

This information will prove invaluable in helping you refine your website and marketing strategies.

Test and Review

Before launching your website, thoroughly test it across different browsers and different devices (computers, tablets, mobile phones) to ensure everything displays and functions as it should for each type of device.

At this point, it’s also important to review all content for accuracy and consistency.

Launch Your Website

Once everything has been reviewed and tested, it’s time for launch.

I like to check and test again on different devices to ensure nothing has gone awry during the launch.

Once you’re satisfied that everything is looking and performing as expected, all that’s left is to announce the launch to the world via your social media and email list, for example.

Thanks for reading, I hope it’s proved useful. If you’ve got a question, get in contact with me at Darrin@CoversionCraft.co

Conversion Craft
Weekly Action Email

 

Get one actionable tip for improving your website,
straight to your inbox each week.

Invalid email address
No spam. No BS. Unsubscribe anytime.