- After all if you are a brick & mortar business you have your name in the phone book and local paper advertisements.
- With a website the local brick & mortar business can advertise globally and advertise specials & sales with a couple of mouse clicks. Much quicker than sending something to a printer then mailing it out.
- A website is the only way a non-brick & mortar company can be seen and visited.
- In today’s technical environment having a web site increases credibility, increased convenience for shoppers.
The first step is to decide what to name the site. If you are putting an existing brick & mortar business online, then you would want to use the business name with a .com etc. If it is not for an existing brick & mortar business you will need to do some domain name research.
Steps to select a domain name [name of your site]:
- What is your main product or service? Search keywords to see how people are searching for information and sites. [Google has a free one https://adwords.google.com ]
- Try to design your name using a keyword. If not possible create something that will brand you or your product. Good keywords can be used as meta-tags to increase the site information [hidden words that the web browsers can read].
- Take me for example, I am Dr Jill so I am putting my name on the sites that I use. I have an informational site for business and health tips, another is my blog and another is my business expansion site. All have Dr Jill in the title, but have different words in the title as keywords or descriptions, to assist people in finding me.
- I used the company GoDaddy to purchase my domain names and they have reasonable packages to purchase your domain name and web building software all at one place. [link to GoDaddy]
Ok so you have your name – now what?
- There are many companies that have software to help you design your website. Some are free and some are for sale at a variety of cost.
- Some require you to be able to understand and use the html language and some do not.
- I opt for the ones that you can use text much like using Microsoft word so that it is familiar. These programs have a template that take the material that you input in a text form into the html for you. Yipeee – one less thing to cram into your already full brain.
- A good start and the one that I use is GoDaddy’s Website Tonight which is free for a basic 5 page web site, including a tech phone number for real person to help. You can purchase additional pages or custom templates for extra money.
- With the idea about what you wish to promote select the template, picture, that best suits your business
- The template software also offers ways to add social network links and paypal or other payment options with a click or two.
- You can put pix of your shop, yourself, products, services into the web site with a click or two with easy software program at a site like GoDaddy.
So you have your domain name and your website template – now what?
- The basic template has tabs for pages that are built in. Home, About Us, Contact Us are usually used. The tab names may be changed to meet your specific needs. The templates come with a selection of pictures to use on the home page and other pages, or has instructions to use your own pictures on the site.
- Remember the language used for online marketing is more like talking face to face rather than the stiff formal, technical printed brochures that have been used for brick & mortar companies for years. The language sets the tone of the business. Strive to have the language and presentation show expertise without being stuffy. People are more likely to buy from your site if you present as knowledgeable, helpful and friendly.
- The home page is your front door, make it inviting, tempt people to enter.
- The page should show visitors what you are about in a manner that piques their interest to continue reading.
- Remember internet searchers may only read for 5-10 seconds before clicking to another site.
- So, capture their attention.
- You can put small blip about temporary shipping reduction, special sale item on home page – but remember to change it frequently.
- Products Page[s]: Show the product picture, give some attention grabbing information regarding ease of use etc.
- At the end of the description or on another page [click for details] show the technical features.
- Do not start with the picky technical features – only the teckies will need or want that info, so don’t feature it.
- Remember the short attention span of the online visitor.
- Policy page: Shipping and return policies need to be spelled out in easy to understand language. This information can be placed on the contact us page with a separate heading.
All done, right? Not quite, remember to proofread and preview your website then check to see that all links work and the pages look like you intended them to look. It should be clean, easy to navigate.