A Website – Before Social Media is a MUST
Are you a new business owner or been in business for a long time? Either way, you should know by now that you need an online identity. You need your brand showing up within the reach of the search engines at the very minimum.
When I started my business in 2006; I started with a website and a telephone. Now I have the reach of Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and numerous other Social Medias. (Which I love!). This got me thinking though, what would happen to my business if social media died tomorrow? Would I still have a business?
Well, yes! To put it simply, I have my own website, I have a mailing list, I have used the social Medias to gather contact details of clients who I work with now, and some whom I hope to work with in the future. (Read How do I create a simple Facebook Marketing Plan? to see a few tips and tricks on how to gather client information from social Media.)
It’s ironic to think that many small businesses still do not have a website and very little presence elsewhere. They think to themselves, “Business has been kind to me so far so I don’t need it” or “I have enough word of mouth out there to keep me going!”.
Every business needs a Marketing Strategy and one that is flexible to cope with today’s climate.
“So, let’s start with a simple website, buy a domain name, stick a few pictures and a bit of text on it, contact details and a map. There you go, that’s it done. I’ll look at it again in a few years’ time.”
Please don’t think about your website like this. Think of it as an extension to your business; keep it fresh, modern and up-to-date. The search engines LOVE revisiting a website to find new information to index.
Let’s start with a Domain Name
I love buying domain names, (It’s fun) but it comes with its own set of challenges. Every Tom, Dick and Harry before you; who has bought a domain name has already bought that exact domain name that you wanted for your website. So you have to become creative, most times, you will put together a combination of your business name and either a town, city or country (NI) before your ending suffix. (.com/.net/.co.uk)
Build a website
As I said earlier, your website will become an extension to your business, so as you would if you were building and extension onto your house, call a professional. Most web developers; if told can work within your budget. However, the return on investment for building a quality website will make it well worth the cost.
Registering your site with Search EngineS
Yes, I have a Capital “S” on the end of engines above, most people think of Google when they talk of search engines. I like to add websites that i build to all the major search engines, and some of the smaller ones. (Have a look at the search engine page on Wikipedia to see how many there is and how fast they all come and go).
Before we can add a site to the search engines we need to make sure it’s ready to be indexed by them. This means the site needs to be Search Engine Optimized (SEO).
A Search engine will look for a certain amount of items when it crawls your site.
- A focus keyword (The main Keyword for that page, If your business is a bakery, then the word “bakery” needs to be used quite a few times within the content of the page.)
- Heading (H1, H2, H3, and so on are HTML Heading tags, which create a heading at the top of a page. The focus keyword would normally be used here.)
- Page URL: (Your WWW. can also have the focus keyword )
- Content: (Use your focus keyword as often as possible within your content, but make sure the grammar is good.)
- Meta description: (This is the small paragraph that you will see under the link on a Google page. (Search engine results page))
With the tasks above completed, you’re on your way to becoming competitive in your local market. Now it’s time to use social media to drive traffic to it.
As always, If you found this helpful or have any further queries, leave a reply.