Website building for your small business

Creating a website is an important part of building a business today. Many businesses have abandoned brick and mortar altogether and opted to save money on rent. They’re doing so through a digital storefront. 

In 2020, Canadian businesses brought in over $350 billion in sales, whereas the physical retail sector earned $22 billion. The COVID-19 pandemic changed the landscape of e-commerce and the way people shop in general. 

Online sales for businesses grew significantly since 2013, when all Canadian businesses grossed $136 billion in e-commerce. An online storefront in a post-COVID-19 world can prove profitable. That is due to the new stream of consumers turning to online orders instead of in-store purchases. 

In terms of online sales, over 70 per cent of businesses with online sales used a company website and 36 per cent of businesses used a third-party website, platform, app or online marketplace. Around 11 per cent used an app they built for their business. The numbers show that most businesses are using websites to drive their online sales. Credit cards are also the most accepted mode of payment. As 81 per cent of businesses reported them as their primary payment method.

When constructing a website, one of the first steps is selecting a domain name that aligns with your business’ name. When choosing a domain, it is important to search what you plan to name your website. In doing so, make sure the chosen name isn’t already taken. It is important to keep your domain name short and concise and avoid unnecessary characters such as hyphens or underscores.

It is also highly recommended to choose a domain name that is search engine optimized (SEO). This means including keywords and a location in the domain name. For example, “TorontoMovers.ca” would be SEO-friendly because it is short and includes the business’ location and the service provided. 

If you have previous experience coding or building websites, creating a website from scratch is an option. There are also services to help with website-building for those less experienced in the area. Cira.ca is a website for Canadians looking to build their own website. It allows you to browse through registrars and select one that can offer the services you need. 

A registrar is a company that sells domain names and related services like web hosting. Choosing a registrar that works for you and your business’ needs is a key step in launching your website. 

After the technical elements are completed, it is important to start working on the “About us” section of your website. You want to communicate who you are and what you do clearly and concisely. Doing so will inform potential customers who visit your website. You should display your mission statement, contact information and any other relevant details that first-time website visitors need to know.

So users can purchase services and products from your website, you will need a service allowing customers to transact financially. There are many different platforms to use, such as Shopify, Wix, Business Squarespace and GoDaddy. You can assess your business needs and choose which platform is best for your growing business.

Once you get your website up and running, with hosting and e-commerce, you should spruce up the website. Make design choices that reflect your personal taste and the aesthetics chosen for your business and its services. 

From there your website will be ready for customers to browse with your products and services available to purchase.

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