WEBSITE BASICS – HOW TO ESTABLISH your online presence.
Number One: Why do you think you need a website? Businesses find that a website is an essential part of selling as it opens doors to opportunities that wouldn’t otherwise exist. With an idea and creativity, a website can be developed into an entire online business or be part of an existing brick and mortar industry. A website by its very nature makes it versatile for just about anything you can think to exist online from the Letter A to Zebra watching (and more) and everything in-between.
People like the idea of a web presence and YOU want one because you have:
- Something to sell
- To have a way to attract customers to your local painting service
- Lots of family photographs to share and your family is all over the country
- Lost a pet and want to setup a memorial website
- A following of people who need a place to play the new game you designed
- So many cool ideas to make money.
Number Two: Select a domain name. This is essential, as a domain name is your (virtual) online address, (website address) that allows existing and potential customers to find you on the Internet.
There’s many advantages when you register a specific domain name including,
- The establishment of your business online identity
- A way to build trust between you and your website visitors
- Free listings in the popular search engines
- The use of domain email: an easy way that continuously promotes your website every time your send or receive email
- An easy way for people to recall how to find your business, rather than remember a physical address
BTW Some buy domain names because they sound cool, others to make money by reselling them. A long while ago a customer of ours, who was an AVON representative purchased beauty.com. She never setup the website as she intended, but held on to the name just the same. She eventually sold it for $5000. Who would have thought!
Decision Time – are you going to design your website yourself (we do offer easy to use tools), or you can employ our designer or hire someone on your own.
Where to host? Some hosting companies are free, but beware when using a free site, most likely they will use their web address not yours. In doing so, you typically lose the benefits of owning your own domain name. Why not host here?
Content As you develop your website, whether solo or not, you must determine what information is essential and valuable to your visitors. At the very least make sure you include your contact information, with your web email address and phone number.
Layout: The best way to plan out a website: use a storybook layout. Think about how to make the site easy to navigate. Consider the design; will a flyer type design work or a full-blown e-commerce site.
Promotion:Think about how you find websites and follow that lead. Put your web address everywhere, business cards, and social media. In face everywhere, you can. Setup a mailing list for existing and potential customers. To learn more about mailing lists visit: mailinglistservices.com.