If you have a small offline business, you need to bring it online to reach and communicate effectively with existing and potential customers.

So how do you get started? Your business needs an online presence with a well-designed, lead-catching, sales-increasing, brand-differentiating website. That sounds like a lot, but all great websites share the same fundamentals.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Start with a name

Your website's name is your identity, through which your customers are able to reach and connect with you online. Make sure to choose a name that not only suits your business, but that your customers can easily relate to. Make it easy to type, keep it short, and make it memorable.

2. Choose a domain extension

Domain extensions are suffixes that come toward the end of web addresses. Choosing one that works well for your business is key - but how can you decide when there are hundreds of domain extensions available today?

The good news is that search engines, like Google, treat them all equally, so choose a domain extension that offers availability with the domain name you want and that matches your businesses. A .biz domain extension is globally accepted as short for 'business' and, as such, .biz helps to increase your website’s credibility.

Photo by Christiann Koepke / Unsplash

3. Design and define

One of the most basic elements that make up your online identity is your website design. When customers visit your website, it is the first impression they have of your business. It impacts how they perceive your brand and the likelihood of them doing business with you. Your website doesn’t have to have the newest bells and whistles: a professional yet simple design gains a customer’s trust and makes it easy for them to find the information they are looking for. A simple design and a user-friendly interface is the optimum combination.

4. Ensure you're secure

Just like you need to protect your offline business and keep it safe, you need to do the same for your online business, too. You do that with an SSL certificate.

Having SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) will ensure that the sensitive data of your website's visitors will be transferred over a secure network. A website with SSL displays a security padlock in the upper left corner of the address bar of the browser, which helps assure your website visitors they their information is safe and that you take their privacy seriously.

Vintage coffee shop counter
Photo by Nafinia Putra / Unsplash

5. Be found

The World Wide Web is a vast place and your website can easily get lost in this thousands of sites offering similar information. Enter SEO - aka Search Engine Optimization. By using SEO, you can increase your credibility and quality around specific keywords to help amp up your search ranking and better ensure customers can find your site. A strong SEO strategy is pivotal to the success of any website.

Keep these simple tips in mind to help your business shine online. Get started with a .BIZ domain from Rebel.