One of the most common questions for people who want to build a website to ask is, “What should I create a website about?” But, once you find your profitable niche, you might find yourself asking, “What kind of website should I make?”
How do people actually make money from their site? 5 top ways to bring in revenue!
A website is no longer just a website anymore. It can be a business page, an online brochure, an informative story, an e-store, a thorough industry guide, or a combination of types of websites. Basically, your business website can do just about anything you want it to, from generating leads to enticing people to purchase your products or services.
We’re going to talk about seven of the most common types of business sites you’ll see on the web. Each type has its pros and cons, which we’ll outline so that you can choose a winning type for your business.
Building your first site? Check out this newbie guide for help.
What Website Should I Make for My Business?
Believe it or not, “What kind of website should I make for my business?” is a common question for business owners to consider. It’s also one of the most important questions you’ll need to ask yourself as a business owner. In today’s world, your website can make or break your business, so you’ll want to make sure you make the right type of website to appeal to your audience.
The success of your website strongly depends on your niche. Do you have a profitable niche? Is it one that stands out from the crowd? If not, you can use Long Tail Pro to help guide your keyword research into a winning niche.
If your niche is already in place, you should also work on making your website stand out from the competition, creating a unique online experience that intrigues your audience.
Your website will also depend on your type of business. Do you want to sell products or services? Would you rather talk about other products and earn money? Or, do you simply want to gather some leads for a physical business? Here are a few questions to ask yourself before we delve into the common types of business sites:
- What purpose will my business website serve?
- How will my audience prefer to interact with my business?
- What types of business websites do I love to visit?
- What do I want my audience to do on my site?
- Would I rather interact with my customers through my website, in person, or in some other way (email, social media, etc.)?
- How do I want to market my site?
Keeping your answers to these questions in mind, let’s look at the most common types of business sites to consider for your site.
Which Type of Website Should I Make? Seven Common Types of Money-Making Sites
Finding the most suitable type of website for your business shouldn’t be stressful. If you have a good idea of what you want your business to be about, then you’re off to a good start. The main point to factor in is whether you want your website to be the main part of your business, or just to support your business.
Blogs originally started as a way for people to have an online, public journal about their lives and interests. They’ve developed into so much more in recent years, becoming a platform on which people can earn money online. In other words, your blog can be your business. Deb at SmittenKitchen, for example, shows how you can sell products (she sells her books) through your content.
Blogs tend to be the choice of people who use affiliate links or other forms of advertising. Bloggers also make money through sponsorships with brands. They might write posts for a brand that features its products while telling a story that fits within that blogger’s brand. Some bloggers also sell their own products on their websites, like coaching courses or eBooks.
Blogging can be an option for those in fashion, food, crafting, or other lifestyle industries. With this type of site, your content is your main source of income, but you can use it to branch into other types of income streams through your blog. If you have several products you want to sell, though, you might want to consider an ecommerce site with a blog attached so that you have a place to display your products on your site.
Google AdSense Site
Google AdSense is a program that lets you place ads on your website. Bloggers certainly use this program as a supplemental form of income, but others use Google AdSense in a way that makes it their main source of business income.
Usually, this works best if you have a website that others will come to for something helpful, such as a photo editing tool. Your tool can be 100% free to attract visitors. You might place some content on your site to attract visitors from Google with the right keywords. Once there, your visitors will see your ads placed around the tool and, hopefully, they’ll be enticed to click them.
A successful Google AdSense site can be tricky to perfect, though. Your ad layout should make your ads stand out, but it can be easy to cross into the overwhelming-on-the-eyes territory. If you place too many ads, you could risk turning off your audience and making them leave your site.
This site is a good example of balancing helpful content with Google ads within its content and sidebar.
An affiliate site lets you make money through affiliate sales of products or services, rather than through direct sales. An affiliate link basically gives you commission from someone purchasing the product or service you linked to. As we mentioned, bloggers tend to use affiliate marketing as an extra form of income, but you can focus solely on creating content around your affiliate links to focus on them.
Nerdwallet is a successful affiliate site that links visitors to credit cards and other money products with affiliate links.
The biggest problem with affiliate sites is that they take time to start making you money. You need an audience that trusts you enough to purchase the products you recommend. This could take months or years, depending on your marketing strategy.
Ecommerce sites are best for business owners who sell several products and want those products to be the focus of the business. Amazon.com and Overstock.com are excellent examples of successful ecommerce sites. They sell thousands of products in a range of categories and make most of their money through their product sales. This type of site is a good choice if you plan to do most to all your product selling online.
Ecommerce sites aren’t easy to set up, though, and you’ll likely have to spend money just to get yours off the ground. These sites can also lack a personal touch that many customers crave, so you might want to consider reaching out to customers in other ways, too, even if it’s through a blog or social media.
Support for Your Business
Business or Brand Website
Some businesses opt for a business or brand website that exists simply to give information about the company. A good example of a brand website is Green Mountain Coffee’s website. It’s simple, yet features recognizable branding and lets customers know its values, how to follow the brand on social media, where to purchase the coffee, and how to contact the company.
The downside of the brand website is that it may not do you much good until your brand is already established. These sites can be difficult to rank because they don’t typically have a lot of pages to optimize.
Lead Generation Site
If you want to use a site to get leads for your business, a lead generation website can do that. Lead generation sites are among the simplest sites to create. They usually feature nothing other than some company branding and a contact form, which is a great way to generate leads for your physical or digital business. Playbuzz’s landing page offers an excellent example of how to generate leads using a single page.
Most companies that use a lead generation site use it only as one of their landing pages, though, rather than their main site. It’s a good idea to have another form of a business website in addition to one that helps you get leads.
Business owners in a tech industry might consider creating a support website for their business. Apple has its own support website, for example, which exists only to provide technical help for its products and services.
This type of site will require a team of experts to run, though, which can be costly depending on how large your team will need to be. If your business is still in its beginning stages, you can probably get away with having a support contact link on your main site instead.
The Most Important Cornerstone of Determining Which Model Will Work For You
No matter which model you decide is best for you, you’ll need to choose the right keywords to attract people to your website. Keywords are words that people type into search engines, like “how to fix my tire”, and if you don’t have the right ones or you choose the wrong ones, developing a website won’t help you reach more people. Use Long Tail Pro to find the right keywords for your site. Sign up for our free 7 day trial and keyword research lessons.