I am pleased to welcome Dustin Wyse as a guest author. Dustin spent his post-college years backpacking through South America. He is now a freelance writer and travel consultant with a focus on Spanish-speaking countries.
In today’s business climate, a website is no longer a luxury, it is a necessity. Your modern, tech-savvy customers no longer wonder if you have a website; when they want information about your business, they assume you do. A website will allow you to advertise your services, answer your customers’ questions, gather information on potential markets and even accept orders. If you have a business — large or small — if you don’t already have a website, you need one, stat. Here are the five best tips for starting that website today.
1. Find a host
A web hosting company is a business that stores the electronic data that will make up your web pages. Through them, your website will be accessible to people searching the Internet. For a monthly fee, a virtual private server hosting company will give you a platform for your webpage that may include graphics, email accounts and even software to help you manage your data effectively.
2. Pick a great domain name
A domain name is the string of letters and numbers that, if typed into an Internet address bar, will take the user straight to your website. Even if your web hosting company helps you set this up, you will still need to pick the name yourself. While as far as a computer is concerned, your domain name need only be a unique string of letters, numbers and characters, your name should still be chosen with care. If at all possible, it should have some connection to your company. That way, people will be able to identify you and your product simply by looking at your domain name. “Otherwise,” according to a recent article on Office Desk Reviews, “you will be missing out on a great deal of traffic.”
3. Make your site appealing
Half of the Internet marketing battle is getting customers to your site; the other half is engaging them once they’re there. Bright graphics is one way to retain users. Useful and changing content is another. While you will, of course, want to include information about your business and what it has to offer on your website, don’t forget to add other, interesting content. The free content that users receive when visiting your site is their reward. It will keep traffic coming back to your site. Free content can be as simple as a “how to” article or as complex as free downloads.
4. Welcome social media traffic
Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are used by literally millions of people every day. By including these types of links on your new website, you are encouraging people to “like” your site. In other words, if they have visited your site and enjoyed it, they will pass that information on to their friends who will then, most likely, visit your site as well. Social media is a way to spread the news about your new website. Consider stating your own social media accounts as well. They can refer user traffic back to your main webpage.
5. Link to other sites
Add links to other websites on your web pages. The major search engines, according to an article on the Small Business Advisor, “like Google and Bing still largely base their rankings off links.” Not only do links give visitors to your site more bang for their buck in the form of interesting and useful content, they also get your site ranked higher when people perform searches for the types of services your company supplies.
Starting your own website may seem daunting at first, but once you get going, you’ll wonder why you ever waited so long. Hopefully these tips can get you started and going in the right direction. Let us know if they work for you!