Website Building for Small Businesses
What if we told you that you don’t need to hire a designer to have a nice website?
So if you want to save yourself a couple thousand dollars in website building, here’s what you need to know to do it yourself.
Why have a website?
There are a bunch of reasons why you want to have a website, but the main one is that you want to be found by potential clients. Four out of five people today turn to a Google search to find local services.
A website allows you to effectively be open 24/7 for new and existing clients to find out about the services you provide and be inspired to book an appointment.
3 most important things to get right:
- SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) – Acronyms are scary and so are five syllable words, but SEO is actually super easy. It’s just making sure that your website matches the words people would use if they were searching for your services in their area.It’s the simple things that make a difference. The first title on your home page and the following paragraph of text should say where you are and what services you provide. Here’s a good example of how this should be done.
- Mobile optimisation – When your customers are looking at your website late at night on their smartphone, they have no tolerance for a display that requires pinch and zoom just to read what services you offer. Once someone leaves your website without making a purchase decision, there’s little chance of them coming back.Good website builders like Squarespace will optimise your website so that it suits whatever device your customer is viewing it on.
- Keep it fresh – Google loves fresh content. It tells their algorithms that people are being active on your website and that it’s not being neglected. Your blog is a great place to share news from your business and pictures of your work.Additionally, nothing is more frustrating to your customers than to come to your website and find that your information is outdated.
Website Building in Squarespace
Let’s start website building!.
1. Sign up + pick a theme
Go to Squarespace.com and hit “Get Started” to start scrolling through their themes. Click on the ones that you like the look of and it’ll pull up a live preview for you to see what it looks like. Focus on finding a theme that matches the vibe of your brand.
Once you’ve found a theme you like, hit “Get Started with this Design” to sign up to Squarespace and start website building.
2. Start with the settings
Go to “Settings” in the left hand menu and start working your way down through the different sections. Fill in as much as you can – if you are unsure about something leave it until last.
Here you’ll also be asked to point your domain name to your website or buy a new one. If you already have a domain name (like myawesomesalon.com) I recommend asking the company you bought it from to point it to your new website as this can be tricky. Or rope in a internet gifted friend to help if you need it :)
Next up go to the “Design” tab. Again, start from the top and work your way down adding the information you need.
4. Add pages
Go to “Pages” in the left hand menu, then click + to start adding pages.
Pages we recommend
What should you put on your website? It’s best to keep it simple for a start. Remember your main goal is to show potential clients why they should make a booking to come and see you. With that in mind we recommend the following pages:
- Home page – A description of your business and a big picture of your premises and/or yourself.
- About you – People want to know who they will be dealing with. Tell them about your team and upload pictures of your staff.
- Your services – What services do you provide and how much do they cause? How can your customers book these services?
- Photo gallery – Use images to showcase examples of what you do.
- Contact us – Where on the map are you? What are your opening hours and contact details. At bare minimum, the contact page should hold your phone number, email address, physical address, and Facebook page.
- Online booking – People want to take action when they’ve found something they like. Make a page for online booking and disperse the online booking button throughout your website too.
5. Add content
Hover over the page and you’ll see different sections pop up. Hit “Edit” to edit the “Page Content.”
We do have a few suggestions about adding content.
- Use good words. Websites with lots of words are boring but websites with no words are bad for SEO. So use good words that summarise what you’re trying to convey. A good place to start is by using the words that are in your titles.
- Use good images. Images can make an average website look great, and a great website look average. Invest in your photography!
- Don’t go overkill. You want to be right between too little and too much. That’s the sweet spot.
6. Add the Timely booking button
Squarespace has a great article on how to add Timely booking buttons to your new website right here.
Log in to Timely, go to Promote > Book now buttons and copy the booking button code. In Squarespace, click an insert point and add a code block.
Then hit “Save” and you should be able to start taking bookings on your new website once you publish your changes.
Here are some websites that we’ve found that nail the above. Have a look through them for inspiration and tips.
Website building is definitely a sizeable project. It’ll take time and you may need to invest in good photos, but in the long run you’ll be saving a lot of money! The other benefit of building your own website is that you’ll be able to change any part of it however you wish, without needing to pay someone to do it. How convenient :)
With the website builders available today, you can build something that looks fantastic fairly easily. If you can use Facebook, you can do it.