A great business website is one of those things that will always be valuable. Yes, social media is important, but a business shouldn’t rely on it. Social media can be fickle and misleading. On top fo that, social media can fall in and out of style. A great business website, though, is always there for you.
You might think that the only way to build a site for your business is to make one from scratch. That’s certainly a viable option, but it’s hardly the only option. As it turns out, WordPress is more than capable of supporting even the most robust business sites. It’s really just a matter of understanding what WordPress can (and can’t) do for you.
To help you with that, we’ve assembled this collection of tips that will help guide you towards creating the perfect WordPress business website. In order to ensure these tips apply to your situation, we’ve focused on more general tips that can aid just about anyone. That isn’t to say that they can’t help advanced sites but rather that ensuring your site adheres to these tips is the surest way to make sure you’re on the right path.
Start With A Proper Business Theme
As you might imagine, we think that a great website starts with a great theme. That’s especially true of a business website. Your theme represents your business in the mind of viewers. If it’s old, your business is old. Should your site be boring, your business is boring. If it’s great, however, well…your business just might be great.
The right business theme is dynamic, visually appealing, responsive, and easy-to-use. That may sound like a tall order, but that’s why the best business themes are usually among the best overall themes for WordPress. Here are just a few of the business themes we can easily recommend for any business website builder:
Use a Premium Host and Theme for Your Business Website
Speaking of themes, we should mention now that you should probably go premium for your business website theme and web host.
Why? Well, it’s not because free themes are necessarily that bad. There are a lot of great free business themes out there. However, one of the things that premium themes typically offer is a higher level of support. The revenue these themes generated usually goes straight to their support and infrastructure, which are two things you’re going to want if you’re serious about your business website.
Pick the Right Name/URL
When you pick a business name and URL, you need to think of it as a permanent choice. While that might not technically be the case, your name and URL are going to be a big part of your SEO ranking and your branding.
In both cases, you’re really looking for something that’s concise. Your name should be crisp. Your URL should be tight and easy to type in or search if necessary. If you find yourself being too wordy with either, it’s probably a pretty good sign that you’re on the wrong path.
Again, though, the important point here is that it’s better to pick a name early that you know you should stick with.
Figure Out What Kind Of Business Website You’ll Be
You’re probably wondering what we mean with this tip. After all, isn’t there really only one kind of business website?
As it turns out, that’s not the case. For instance, you can have the kind of business website where you directly sell all of your goods online. You can also have the kind of website that’s more of a portfolio or a catalog for your business. Not every business website needs to be the same, but being honest about what you need for your website is a vital part of the creation process.
It’s possible to change the intent of your business website over time, but that can be a lengthy process. It’s much better to simply understand what you want from it from the start and then build it over time.
Look At What’s Already Out There
We’ve got bad news for you. You’re probably not the first person to think of that new business idea. You’re also probably not the first person to envision that new business website.
That doesn’t necessarily spell success or doom, but it does mean that you need to understand what’s out there. By looking at how many other websites are your direct competition, you’ll have a better understanding of what you’re up against. More importantly, you’ll have an understanding of what other websites are (and aren’t) doing.
By being honest about what your competition offers, you’ll be able to steal their successes and learn from their failures. You’ll also have a better idea of how to set yourself apart.
Don’t Forget Your Business Email
This may sound like another simple tip, but you need to know that you can’t have a business website without a business email.
If you think you’re going to use your personal email address for a successful business, you have to think again. Not only will your email become flooded with unwanted messages, but you’ll look unprofessional. Even a Gmail address for your new business might not exactly send the right message.
Instead, you’ll want to use WordPress to generate a unique email address specifically created for your business. It’s professional, clean, and you can even forward emails to your personal account if you wish to do so.
Spend Time on Your Store
As we said, you actually don’t necessarily need a store for your business website. It’s perfectly fine to have one that is designed to promote your business or expand its service in some way.
However, if you do choose to feature a store, then you’ll probably want to spend more time on it than any other part of your website. If your store isn’t responsive, dynamic, and capable of supporting constant updates, then your website is doomed to fail.
While there are some really good store plugins out there, we highly recommend seeking the services of a professional if you’re not comfortable building a store of your own design.
Value The Quality of Your Copy
Again, this tip really only applies to your business website if you’re planning on actually selling or listing products. However, if that is the case, then you’ll need to learn to value the quality of your copy.
You need product and service descriptions that are as exciting as they are informative. If you’re already having trouble imagining how such a thing is possible, then you’re frankly on the wrong path. You need to find what is exciting about your products and then find a way to convey that as efficiently and effectively as possible to your visitors.
This is another one of those business website elements that you may want to hire someone to assist with if you’re not confident you can make it happen yourself.
Embed Social Media Share Options
This may prove to be a somewhat controversial business tip. After all, you don’t want to turn a processional website into something that’s loaded with social media embeds.
Having said that, there’s real value to ensuring you feature enough social media sharing options. So much of business marketing is effectively done on a customer to customer basis. You want to ensure that your customers are encouraged to share their experience as often as possible without feeling like you’re forcing them to do so.
By embedding social media share buttons on store pages and other key areas, you send a clear message without compromising the design of your site.
Don’t Skimp on the Plugins
There’s a slight catch to this business website tip which we will talk about in a bit. However, the gist of it is that you’ll want to take full advantage of plugins.
Most business sites demand the versatility needed to keep up with constantly changing times. While great themes can set you on the right path, plugins are the best way to ensure that you’re able to stay on top of changing technological trends. They open up completely new features and allow you to perform upgrades that would have otherwise demanded quite a few resources.
Plugins are important for any website, but please be sure to not only install them on your business website early but stay on top of which new plugins are available.
Response Time, Response Time, Response Time
With this piece of advice, we of course mean you should be quick to respond to customers and users. However, we’re really talking about the technical response time of your website.
Again, your website is really an introduction to your business. If your customers have to navigate a slow website that takes forever to load or doesn’t work properly on mobile, then you have roughly no chance of retaining their business. On top of that, you’ll find it very difficult to run a successful store on a site with slow response time.
Things like too many plugins can affect your response time, but a solid theme and technical foundation should carry much of the extra weight. Just be aware that any drops in speed could be traced back to overdoing it with some of the more advanced plugins.
Make Your Contact Information Easy to Find
Speaking of responses, contact information for a business website is more important than it might be elsewhere.
Here’s a test: look at your new business website. If you have to scroll down more than once or look further than a glance to find your contact information, you might want to reconsider your design. Some of the most passionate customers in the world love to know they can easily contact you with whatever questions they may have. Pleasing them is a great way to ensure that they help spread a positive word about your business and your business website.
This is another one of those areas where finding the right plugin may just be the best bet.
Understand Your Unique SEO Needs
SEO for business websites is especially tough. Not only do you need to follow the rules for any business website, but you also have to understand your own unique needs.
For instance, if you’re selling products in a more niche category, then you’ve got to understand what kind of keywords will reach as much of your market as possible. If you’re selling more general products, then you’ll need the right keywords to set yourself apart from the competition.
The same basic ideas are true for any website, but really know how to move your products through the right keywords and search trends can help a lot.
Add “Blog” Content if Possible
Ideally, you’ll be constantly updating your business website with lots of new products and services. Of course, we all know that isn’t always possible/ideal. The bad news there is that a lack of updates can hurt your search engine rankings and overall engagement.
That’s why you should consider adding “blog” style content, such as what you’re reading now. If you can find a way to create supplementary content related to your website that is fun, engaging, or both, then you’ll always have a reason to update your website.
This tactic is especially helpful for more “portfolio-based” websites as a blog can really help showcase your personality, reach, and knowledge on your topic.
Don’t Run Too Many Ads (If Any)
Yes, ads are still one of the best ways to generate profit online. Not everyone loves them, but they can still be incredibly effective.
Having said that, there are times when an ad can be counter-productive to the goals of a business website. If you’re planning on making most of your money through an online store or a similar function, then it really doesn’t make as much sense to run too many ads on your website.
The obvious exception to this rule is if you’re running ads for your own service or some kind of partner service. Otherwise, you may want to seek partners and promotional content through more organic means.