When starting a new online venture, a beginning entrepreneur would probably do three things first:
- Buy A Domain Name
- Get a Web Designer and craft the collest web design on earth
- Create five pages or so containing an overview of his products and services, his business, mission and vision, some photos here and there, etc.
After a few days, he could be laughing already confident in his ability in getting a cheap web designer after dumping the high-profile professional aside.
A week or two later, he begins to invite his friends to take a look at his latest business innovation. He would even tell his friends to tell their friends about the website — an experiment on word-of-mouth marketing. But will they do it? Heck, no!
Months past, he is wondering already why his website has only three constant visitors daily: he, his wife and his web designer (who would probably be still doing a few tweaks here and there).
Small businesses still don’t get it. Like other professionals in any field, not all web designers or web developers are equal. If they are, they would all be probably long-haired by now.
When it comes to having a website, small businesses still don’t get it. A website is not just an online business card or electronic company brochure that you only update once in a decade.
A website is (or should be):
- A money-making machine minus the friction of the moving parts real machines have.
- A salesman who never sleeps and best of all never complains about it.
- A PR Officer that invites the visitors and sells them the benefits of doing business with you.
- An electronic catalog that visitors can use to find the products that interest them – not you.
The list could go on, but you get the picture. If you want to get the best of what your website can do for your business, there are basic things that you need to grasp so you can be on the right track.
You can do it right the time if you carefully follow the 5 Steps to Website Success below.
Five Steps To Success For Any New Website
1. Get A Domain Name That Sells
At the minimum, your domain should reflect what you are offering to your clients. It must be easy to remember and even easier to type on the keyboard. If you are a professional and your name is quite popular, get domain name that is based on your first and last names. If you are a company, your domain name should be based on the brand that your company is known for or a brand that you want to promote on the market.
2. Perform A Keyword Research and Analysis
Many small businesses have no idea about this.
When a web user wants to get information on something, he relies, almost always, on the search results generated by the search engines after typing some words and phrases on the search box.
There are millions of searches performed every single minute. It’s mind-boggling to know each one of them. But you don’t have to. You are only after the keywords that are related to your services or the products you are offering.
Think about those phrases. Do you have them on your pages? How about your competitors, are they doing a good job on placing the right keywords on their pages?
In essence, that is what keyword research and analysis is all about. It’s getting a snapshot of what the visitors are searching for when they needed information; hopefully, your information.
There are tools on how to perform this very important task. Don’t ever launch another website without having an idea of the keywords relevant to your business.
3. Prepare Your Killer Content
Content is the king. A good content is educational and information-rich. They should be related to your business or products and services. The content must be in an easy-to-read text format. Use graphics sparingly and only when they help convey the point of you text. Video and Audio may be good, but remember search engines can’t index the information contained in your video and audio streams.
One more thing on content: Never promote your website if it lacks the basic content that the visitors would expect. Putting the sign that says, “This website is under construction,” is a fastest way of telling your visitors, “Don’t come back here anymore.“
4. Get A Top-notch Web Design
One of the biggest mistakes small businesses make when deciding to get a Web developer is to award the contract to the lowest-bidding web designer who knocks on their door. Don’t do it. Cheap, even free, can be even more expensive than you originally imagined. You should understand that anything worth having always comes with a price and if you are dead serious about getting it, you should be ready to pay the price. Are you ready to pay the price in exchange for the things that you wanted the most?
Another mistake is to get the one with the cutest web design. Cute maybe nice, but it doesn’t always translate into positive cash flow or business savings. Worst, the graphic design could turn out to be just an expression of the designer’s artistic talent, which is totally unrelated (even hurtful) to your marketing campaign.
Tip: A lot of Web Designers out there are frustrated artists and painters experimenting their way into the digital media. Sure, they can come up with really creative and out-of-this-world designs. But would you rather run an online digital art gallery or a business website? It’s your call.
5. Promote the Website
I can’t emphasize this highly enough. Promote your website or it will die a natural death. Web Promotion is everything.
There are many ways of doing it: forums, email campaigns, newsletters, RSS, etc. The advent of social networking sites makes web promotion a snap.
If all you wanted to have is just a website, it’s ok not to promote it. But if you want the benefits of owning a popular website, positive user feedback, money from traffic, then web promotion should be a consistent activity of your business.