If you are planning on starting a new business in 2014, getting up and running online is probably a high priority. With budget concerns, many business owners will be willing to do as much as they can themselves. Here are some money saving tips to get started.
- Research and Register Your Domain Name
When coming up with a name for your new venture make sure you also check out domain name availability. There is nothing worse than coming up with a great business name to find the domain name is unavailable. Godaddy is a good place to do you research.
Ideally you want one that is
- Short and sweet
- Can be easily communicated verbally – avoid weird spellings
- Avoids hyphenation
- Has the .com extension
- Your Website
If you are technically savvy you may want to have a go at building your site yourself- WordPress.com is a good place to start. But if HTML, CSS, SEO, templates, plugins, widgets and web hosting give you the shivers it is probably best to leave the creation of your website to a professional web design company. Scope a few local web designers and when getting a quote be specific as possible in what you are looking for. This way you will help the designer come up with an accurate quote right from the start and not have to worry about hidden costs later into the project.
Some areas to consider are-
- The size of your site – sketch out a site map of all of the pages you would like, it doesn’t have to be perfect.
- The functionality – do you need e-commerce, a blogging platform or want visitors to be able to upload information. Think long and hard exactly what you want your visitors to do once they reach your site.
- The look and feel of the site -will you need a logo and brand image creation
- Do you want your web site to be responsive? – look great on a desktop. tablet, cell phone etc … full explanation of responsive web design
- Do you want to be able to update the site yourself ?
- Are there any third party tools that you want integrated into your site
- Search engine optimization- to get your site ranking well in the search engines required a myriad of behind the scenes code enhancements. All search engine optimization projects start with a researched list of keywords and key phrases. Get a jump start on your list –a great tool for evaluating what phrases are worth targeting is Google’s Adwords click “Tools and Analysis” for a keyword planner.
- Online Marketing
Getting visitors to your site will require an online marketing strategy, many web design companies – including Indigo Image, can do this for you. If you decide to tackle this yourself some of the basics you need to address are
- Submitting your site to all the major search engine- each search engine is slightly different
- Creating quality links to your site from as many different sites as possible
- Setting up social media profiles e.g Facebook page, Twitter account, Linkedin , Pinterest. Make sure you use a brand image consistent with your site across all social networks.
- Engaging and promoting your business within your targeted social networks. It is much better to select a few social networks to focus on rather than dabble in all of them.
- If your site has a blog write it as often as you can…to begin with aim for a post every day for maximum impact.
- Promote any new content on your site through your social networks.
- Website Maintenance
Keeping your website fresh is important not only for returning visitors but also for your search engine rankings. Search engines will favor sites with frequent content updates compared to those with few.
If your site has been built on a platform like WordPress you will be able ( if you are so inclined!) to update the site yourself.