So you’ve decided on a domain name and a structure for your website. Are you ready for the next step? These days, you don’t have to be a computer hacking wizard to create a website. All you need is an easy-to-use service that provides the whole package.

Squarespace is one example, with a simple, drag-and-drop interface. It’s about as difficult to use as Microsoft Word – so don’t worry (and if you do worry, consider outsourcing the setup process – it’s just a few hours).

It’s time for design. The good thing about these new all-inclusive website builders is that their design templates are becoming increasingly stylish and appealing. Bad news for expensive web designers, good news for small business owners.

While choosing your design, always remember who your target audience is. If you’re a hair salon owner, maybe you shouldn’t design the page like a goth band would. Or maybe you should, what do I know? Play around with background colors, header images, social media widgets and other elements. You can find many royalty-free images online that may really enhance your website’s appearance.

Now, it’s come down to the creation of content. And the only thing to keep in mind is keeping it simple. Ask yourself, what problems are you facing with your business. What are your solutions? Never answer a question that nobody’s asked. Just cut to the chase.

One more thing before you carry on. Conduct some basic market research by involving your friends, and perhaps even some of your dearest customers, from now on. You want trustworthy people testing every element of the website as it unravels. After all, the purpose here is to create a user-friendly channel straight to the heart of your business. Leave no stones unturned!

We’ve already covered the advantages of having a blog. Sharing your passion and making it personal sounds beautiful but to blog is to commit. If you update frequently and consistently, the benefits are yours to reap. If you’re good at it, you and your brand can make expert status. But if you neglect it, your site will seem outdated, and Google will punish you for it. So have some sort of content plan before you make too many promises.

That’s all folks. When you’re ready, press enter and go online! The world will be yours!

Next time, we’ll talk some more about SEO – Search Engine Optimization, and how to be found online.