Every business should have a website in an online world, but how can you make yours stand out?

A good website is made from essential elements, including its domain, design, content and security. Check out the rest of this guide to find out: 

  • How to find a good domain
  • How to protect your data
  • How to create an intuitive customer experience
  • The pages your website should have
  • How to optimise your website for Google

Setting up a new business and learning how to navigate an online world is hard enough without financial admin to deal with as well. Learn how to get ahead in business with Countingup below.

How to find a good domain

A good website makes sense. What’s the one thing every customer sees before they visit your website? Your domain. You’ll recognise domains as something like:

example.com or your-business-name-here.co.uk

A domain is made up of two important parts: the name (example) and the top-level domain, or TLD (.com). Getting each part right is vital as they need to fit each other and your business.

Naming your website

If you haven’t already got a domain name idea, aim for the following: 

  • Related to your business
  • Short, easy to spell and memorable for customers
  • Not too specific that it limits future growth or product offers

This allows customers to anticipate what they’ll expect to see when they visit your website. Not only does this help from an advertising point of view (because customers can more easily remember what your website offers), it also creates an impression of trust and professionalism for your business. Additionally, if your business grows, you’ll be able to pivot to introduce other products or services. 

For example, a business with a domain of ‘shoes.com’ will only ever be able to sell shoes. However, naming it ‘all-seasons-attire.com’ will allow you to launch new offers.

Making your TLD ‘fit’

The second part is the section after the name, like .com or .co.uk. The most common and trusted website TLD is .com as it’s one of the longest standing. However, you may have access to alternatives based on your location or industry. These domains can add clarity about what your business offers (like .edu for education) or where it operates (like .london, .wales or .scot) but may limit your growth to a single region.

Other options include:

  • .fm for your podcast
  • .shop for your online business
  • .io for your software or tech product

You may find that your domain name is available in .co.uk but not .com. If this happens, someone could confuse your website (by using the wrong TLD) and end up somewhere else. As you build your website, try to buy up other TLDs and have them re-route to your main website. 

You can buy a domain name at a low cost from several providers, including GoDaddy, Shopify and Google. Each offers different rates and introductory deals, so you should shop around to find the best value for you.

How to protect your data

A good website is a secure one, so as you’re looking for a host for your website, consider the security measures you may need or want. Data breaches are becoming a significant source of worry for many consumers as websites become more integral to our lives, hosting personal and financially sensitive information.

Avoid potential damage to your business’s reputation by having security measures such as SSL encryption, two-factor authentication for customer accounts, firewalls, and dedicated server space.

How to create an intuitive customer experience

A good website is a useful platform for information. While you’re setting up your website, you may be preoccupied with content and what’s going on it; however, a crucial element of any website is how it’s presented. Therefore, to create a positive customer experience on your website, make sure the graphic design work is high quality and appropriate.

Make sure your website is designed consistently throughout and works across devices. You should include colour profiles that work well together, easily readable fonts, accessible language, high-quality images. Also make sure related information is grouped together. 

For example, you can have tabs or menu sections that keep your website’s function (e.g. its store or booking platform) separate from the information about your business. The latter is where you might include your ‘about us’ section or features page.

Be wary, however. Your website should be a place where customers can find information. Entirely prioritising impressive graphic displays at the cost of navigability may make your website a beautiful but frustrating experience for customers.

The pages your website should have

While no two websites are the same, many websites are similar and customers have grown to expect certain staples of information to be available. A good website should usually include the following content.

How to optimise your website for Google

A good website is searchable and if you’re working with a web designer, they’ll already be familiar with this process. However, if you’re building a website of your own, you’ll need to learn SEO, or search engine optimisation.  Having a great website doesn’t matter if it can’t be found – that’s why you should optimise your site for Google.

This involves making information clear to search engines by tagging website content with keywords or common search phrases. Making sure you have fast-loading data and shareable blog content for customers is also important. This can help your website thrive even when you’re not running active advertising campaigns.

Learn more about optimising and advertising your website in our dedicated guide How to advertise a small local business.

How to save time when creating your website

Make sure you can dedicate yourself to launching your business and building your website by saving time on your financial admin.

Countingup is the business current account and accounting software in one app.

With automated invoicing and helpful receipt capture features, you can be confident that your financial records are accurate. And with real-time profit and loss statements, you’ll be able to understand your business performance quickly and easily.

Gain complete confidence in your books and save time with the Countingup app.

Find out more here and sign up for free today.