Why does your business need a website in the 2020s? There is no COVID-19 in the virtual world. 😅 This constitution may seem like an inappropriate joke, but at the same time, it describes our lives in the last years. A website for small businesses has always been important, and the pandemic era has made it essential.
Businesses have moved online because of the time people spend online. Having a website for business owners of any size and a presence on social media has become crucial. You might lose customers if you don't own a website. Knowing a website's importance is vital to growing your business.
An advantage of having a website is that anyone can access it anywhere, at any time. Your business needs to have a website so that customers can access it and get information even when it is not during business hours. On the other hand, a website helps you build and nurture your brand.
Before we go through every step of "How to" manage content and "How to" make a great site structure, let's see the top 5 reasons why you need a website for your small business.
Your clients are expecting it
Did you know that 97% of consumers search for local businesses online? So, in this sense, the website is the ID that gives you validation and recognition. It contains all essential and relevant information for your business, product, or service.
For potential customers to learn more about your business, you should create a website to centralize your business information and marketing messages. You should drive interested customers there with all of your other marketing efforts.
Put all of your essential business information in one place:
Contact form or contact email address
Menu or service list
integrate your website with Google Maps so that people can find you more easily
A business website will drive sales and bring you more customers
A far more sustainable approach than relying on social media algorithms is to optimize website pages using search engine optimization (SEO).
Research long-tail keywords for your website's written content. By doing so, you will be able to rank higher on Google for your site pages
Ensure that your website is visible when consumers search using specific keywords by creating content such as blog posts, how-to guides, and product descriptions
Analyze your SEO output with advanced analytics
24/7 online presence and customer support
You can offer your services even during non-working hours via your website, which is one of the significant advantages of having one. As well you can provide excellent customer support online efficiently and cost-effectively. FAQs are one of the most popular ways to provide excellent customer support. By providing FAQs on your website, you can answer your customers' most frequent queries, saving you time and resources.
Remember, the website runs 24/7 to ensure that customers who come in are always served in comfort.
You will always be up-to-date
Since your website is active 24/7, your customers can easily find updates and announcements. By doing so, you can keep them informed about what you're doing. When something is particularly relevant to them, it increases the chance you can upsell them.
With a company website, you control the narrative and brand awareness
Social media platforms are powerful advertising channels for businesses. They help build a larger audience and even help you conduct market research. Why do I need a website if I have a Facebook page or a business profile on Instagram?
However, social media networks should keep your business website. Want to know why:
You are not the actual owner of your profile
Let's say one morning; Facebook deactivates your page because someone reported it or your business does not mesh with its updated politics or rules. What will happen to your business? Puff, it would disappear in a second. Don't you believe me? Do you remember what happened to Trump's Twitter account? It was banned! Do you understand what I am trying to say? On social networks, you cannot control the narrative; you must adjust your page accordingly.
However, with your website, you have total control over your website's appearance and features.
Social media networks have SEO limitations
Consider this: Where do you go when looking for the info that you need? Facebook or Google? Google's 3.5 billion daily searches demonstrate that most people find information using search engines rather than social networks. Through your company website, you can position yourself so people will find you when searching for the products you sell or services you offer. In spite of the fact that you can compete easily with large websites, you should optimize your website for local searches so that you can reach a local audience.
On social networks, attention is given to friends, not to companies
Social media platforms are massively competitive. Being present there means that you're constantly fighting off competition from several other companies and with your potential client's Facebook friends or followers.
Ads can annoy people, especially when they want to interact with friends, so they ignore your business posts or advertisements.
Meanwhile, a company website ensures you have a potential client's full attention. Although you might have to work hard to get them to your website, their chances of becoming customers are higher once they're there.
How to build a website?
Building a company website is way simpler than you think. There are endless solutions and tools that can help you to build your online empire. It is true that today you need to have a computer and access to the Internet, and you are halfway there. Before you choose a platform or website builder that will help you build your website, what you really need to think through: is a website structure.
What is a website structure?
A website structure, also known as site architecture, describes how its pages and content are organized about other content on the page and between pages. Organizing content, grouping it together, and presenting it to visitors are all features of a website's structure.
Why is a website structure important?
Website architecture is an essential part of success, regardless of the size or type of website. This is because your site structure impacts both users and search engines.
Website structure is important for UX
Structure plays a key role in your site's usability. This is because making it easier for visitors to find what they came to your site for will lead those visitors to become customers. In other words, you should design your website to make it easy for users to find the products, services, or information they want.
Website structure for search engines
While an effective website structure is a key to presenting a high-quality user experience, it's also crucial to achieving SEO success.
By structuring your site correctly, search engines can better understand and rank your content higher.
The key reasons why website architecture matters for search engines are:
Topic-specific organization of content
The structure of your site plays an influential role in demonstrating how different pages and posts relate to one another. This helps search engines understand your website and gives context to the keywords you should be ranking for.
Topical relevance grouping, also called topical authority, helps search engines view you as an expert by showing that you thoroughly cover a subject.
Good structure helps your quality content to stand out from the crowd
You need to have a website architecture that allows you to emphasize your most significant pages (often called pillar pages) and position them as those that should rank for competitive, high-volume keywords.
Well-structured content is Google's favorite
Having thousands of pages or just ten, it is critical to prioritize which pages should be discovered by Google. It's simple if Google can't find the page, it can't rank it. Establishing an internal linking pattern to robust information architecture is also essential. The best way to create a google-friendly website with a logical structure is to organize pages in groups by categories or other criteria. That will make your company website easier to crawl, and Google will be able to find new pages faster.
Types of website structure
There are 3 basic website structures that are used for organizing and content management:
Hierarchical website structure (aka tree model)
Websites typically use the tree model, a hierarchical structure with the main page (homepage) and child pages (categories and subcategories) flowing from it.
If you look closely, you can see that this structure irresistibly resembles a family tree template.
Sequential website structure
In a sequential model, users are guided step-by-step through a process such as onboarding or account creation.
In a sequence structure, one performs an action or task, and then the following action is performed in order. A sequence can include any number of tasks in it, but there is no way to cascade off and skip any of them. Once a sequence of actions has been initiated, you must proceed step by step until the sequence is completed.
Matrix structure model
Users can determine their own path in a matrix structure since the content is linked in many ways. By taking advantage of hypertext, or HTML, this structure is able to fully take advantage of its principles. A user could select a date range based on their navigation preference, while another would select a topic range based on their navigation preference.
The matrix model is one of the oldest site structure types on the Internet. The best living example of this structure is Wikipedia. These types of sites are best navigated via search or internal links.
How to choose the best structure for your website?
Choose a hierarchical website structure if you don't want to make a mistake. Most simple websites, such as company websites, eCommerce stores, and common blogs, are based on this.
Your homepage must be the top page in your website hierarchy and the central place where users navigate your website from. Ensure that all the important pages on your website are linked from this page, but still, you don't want to link to too many pages from your homepage because that will cause clutter.
Your website's menu or the main navigation represents the relationship between your homepage and the main category pages.
Navigation or menu web structure
The navigation menu should be short and clear. That is the only way that visitors can handle it. Negation needs to be intuitive and logical.
So the best rules you should follow are:
Be clear (use one word or a short phrase)
Be simple ( avoid "complicated" words)
Be tidy (Don't put too many side links to the navigation bar)
FREE TRICK: Use a website's footer as a container for other helpful categories, such as utility pages (careers, disclaimers, legal information, etc.).
Categories and subcategories
You should use categories and subcategories to connect website pages with similar content, making it easy for users to access the content. As a result, you get a well-structured website with well-organized content too.
Depending on the kind of website, you have open space to create numerous categories and subcategories. For example, if you have a bike shop and you sell different types of bikes, you can decide to divide this category into a number of subcategories: 'Mtb bikes,' 'road bikes,' 'folding bikes,' etc. All of these subcategories contain products, in this case, bikes, of that specific type.
Your site's structure will also benefit from adding tags. Unlike categories, tags don't have that hierarchy. They act more like a "suggestion" but can be very useful.
Let's go back to the bike shop example. If your category is "Mtb bikes," the tag can provide closer or more specific information about a particular product; in this case, a helpful tag would be the bike brand ("Trek"), or the tag can divide mountain bikes by some other parameter, for example, the number of gears (3x7).
Website structure recap
As we saw, there are several reasons why site structure is important:
A good site structure helps both your visitors and Google navigate your site.
It makes it easier to implement changes and prevents competing with your own content.
Web structure helps with information organization
Website structure is connecting content on a website
Improves usability and user experience
Helps in managing your content and website growth
How to maintain your site structure?
When it comes to everything you have to do, structuring or restructuring your content may not always have a high priority. The process can seem a hassle, especially when you blog a lot or add content regularly. Although it isn't always fun, you have to do it, or your website might become a mess. To prevent that from happening, you need to not only fix your site structure but keep an eye on it while adding new content.
Since site structure refers to how you organize your website's content, the best way to do so more effortlessly and easily is to choose headless CMS. There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing Headless CMS for your company, but there are numerous benefits when a company uses Headless CMS as the ultimate solution.
With BCMS, you can deliver content to any channel, so you're ready for any platforms that arise in the future.
With BCMS, you don't have to manage website concerns whenever you publish content. This substantially increases the pace at which your business team and website team can work.
BCMS helps you to increase your site's performance, SEO efforts, and marketing capabilities
The BCMS, as your website builder tool, makes it easy to design and structure a website and makes a piece of cake for your collaboration with other team members.