The Beginners Guide to Internet Marketing
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Today, there are website and design companies which want to have complete control over your web presence. That way your business is always coming back to them for future business. If you really want to start having control of your online bsiness then you will need a few things to get started. Even if you are in the process of setting up your web presence you shouldn't skip this post.
Step 1 - Getting all of your materials
The first few things that you will need to get started is your origional design files. Here at ATCG Web Design, we make sure that you always have your files when you need them by giving them to you during and after the project.
This includes the following:
Website Design Files
Images Used on Your Site
Second - You should always have access to your website's hosting logins.
When it comes to creating a website you need two different things. The firs tis your domain name (we will come back to this later) and the second is your hosting service. A hosting service works just like your Windows Explorer on your computer. It stores all of your online files. In addition, to having access to your hosting files, it is always a good idea to create a uniquie PIN and email notification of any changes to your account. By doing this, you will know if someone changes your password, transfers your domain hosting elsewhere, or changes your email address. Not only does this protect you from hackers and if someone gets your password and username. It also will help you keep all of your files in your name.
Third - Backups of all your content, pages, and HTML code
Backups are important for several reasons and can easily be implemented on your website. I have posted a quick video by GoDaddy, to show you how you can do this, if you're interested. But a good way to explain why back-ups are important is through an example.
Let's say that your hosting provider goes out of business. In this instance having a backup of all your files on your home or work computer can make switching to another provider easy and stress free. Furthermore, let's say one of your collugues makes a huge mistake on your site and crashes your business's page. You don't want to be out of commission very long, so having a backup automatically downloaded and ready to go can save you loads of time and money.
Fourth - Domain Name Logins and Registrations in Your Name
This tip is important for similar reasons that having the your hosting login is important. However, most people ususally have their domain and hosting set up together. In addition, when registering your domain you can make sure your online business presence is registered when someone looks up your business on WHOIS.
This means that when you register a domain name, unless otherwise specified, your registration information for your domain can be viewed. You can avoid this if you really want by buying a privacy lock on your website. This gives people a generalized registration so your information is kept private. However, if someone still wanted to contact you, let's say for purchasing your site, then they can contact you without getting your direct contact information.
Fifth - Additional Logins or Passwords
The last piece of information that you will need when starting your website is any additional logins that are associated with your website. For instance, in creating a website it is fairly common to create a gmail account to be associated with your website. This way you can install and manage things like Google Analytics or Google AdWords. In doing this, you can always know that you will have access to the data behind your website and how to access it if something arises.
Step 2 - Identifying Your Business & Competition
When looking at your new online business, it is crutial to look at your competition. For instance, if you are looking at starting a business that requires online transactions then you need to ask yourself what your competition is doing on their website and how could you be better. This goes doubly for a service based business as well. A lot of service based businesses think that all they need is a website that conveys what they do but if you want to be on top of your competition then providing additional services on your site is always helpful.
For instance, if your business happens to be in finance, and you are an accountant then you can do much more than describe who your business is. In this scenario, you can look for free tools or build your own tools which can help people understand their finances. You can even look into different affiliation programs so you can grab those few customers who are interested in your services but decide to go somewhere else.
Step 3 - Communication
This is where analytics can come in handy but we will cover that in another post. But when it comes to communicating your business solutions, it is crutial that you know what your customer is coming to your website for. A good way to get an understanding of this is to talk to some of your potential or current customers to see what they are interested in relation to your business and to make sure that your "big ticket items" are on display when a vistor arrives on your site. This might take a bit of time to get things completely optimized but can help your overall web presense tremendiously.
Furthermore, when a visitor on your site takes the next step and either contacts you, purchases something from your online store, or visits your location this is called a conversion. When visitors convert into customers, it is key to keep track of these conversions on a monthly, weekly, and daily basis. This is what is called a conversion rate.
The conversion rate can be determined by several things such as online advertising, physical advertising, blog posts, newsletters, and a number of other factors. In understanding your conversion rate it is usually a good idea to list our the different avenues that a potential customer can reach your site or you.
Step 4 - Driving Traffic to your Site
After your website is converting visitors on a small scale it is time to increase your visitation. You can think of it this way: If your site is bad but you have a large amount of visitors then you should still make a little profit; but if you have a good site with a large amount of visitors then you should be making a good amount of profit.
To do this, you need to focus on creating content for your site and improving your site's SEO. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and is how different search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, ect. rank your website. There are a few factors which effect SEO, to name a few: mobile speed, responsive design, and schema organization. If you don't know how to do a few of these it is better to talk to your webmaster to make sure you have an SEO ready website.
Creating content is the next step after making a SEO ready website. This can be as simple as a weekly podcast, press releases, blogs, or youtube videos. Anything that you can put on your site that allows you to update it with content that is related to your subject is always a good idea.
Step 5 - Becoming an Expert
When looking at a lot of big businesses or the global leaders in your field, they usually have one of two things going for them when it comes to their website. They are either so well known in the industery by their presteige or they are considered an expert in their field. Since you are just starting out or trying to improve your web presence, it is a good idea to show people in the area(s) that you are an expert in your field.
There are several ways to do this. For instance a blog is one of the easiest ways to start. This is something that can contain graphics, video, and interactive text. Although it is the easiest, it is also the most common and will be high in competition. Other ways that you can show you are an expert is by going live streams of your work, providing examples of work you have done, creating videos explaining your services, or writing ebooks. These are almost always effective but usually require a lot more work.
Step 6 - Partnerships
After knowing a bit about your business, where your traffic comes from, and who your target customers are it is always a great idea to partner with organizations, industries, and non-profits that have your target customers. By partnering or giving a free service to an organization in need, you can easily boost traffic to your site as well as spread the name of your business.
That's it for today's blog post in getting started with your online presence. If you would like to be notified when we post again follow us on social media or if you have any questions feel free to get in contact with us!