Series of handy tips – DIY online presence
Hi all, I’m starting a series of handy tips – DIY online presence. Obviously an on-line presence is required in this day and age, and I would consider WordPress to be the easiest platform that you can help yourself in.
You can start off with WordPress.com, and go from there, it is all in one place, that offers good pricing annually. Otherwise, you can also register your own domain and pay for your own hosting.
In this series, I am also going to share what I have learnt on search engine optimisation. Some folks say that the dot tk domain I have chosen is not a good idea, however, I shall try and prove them wrong.
First Impressions Count
Let’s face it – we live in a world where people Google before they shop, visit on-line review sites like Yelp before they buy and “check-in” via Facebook as they go about their days. Because of this, you want your first impression to be the best it can be. Beginning with your website, consumers are passing judgement and making decisions about whether or not they will even visit your store, restaurant or office. They’re likely to dismiss you entirely, as well, should they believe your website doesn’t reflect the kind of experience your business – or a business like yours – should offer.
Window Shopping Isn’t What It Use to Be
Strolling down your local Queen Street isn’t the only way people check out stores and other small businesses nowadays. With routine visits to Yahoo, Bing, Google, Yelp and other on-line sites, customers are constantly seeking where they plan to make their next purchases. Make sure your business is well represented on these sites by first and foremost, having a website – but by also being represented among each of the on-line search engines, review sites and other on-line spots your business may be considered for customer review. Beyond having your URL address available, also be sure your street address, phone number and email is easily visible. Social media links can’t hurt, either, but only include these if you are actually active on social media.
No Website Means Losing Business
By now it’s clear that if you don’t have a website, you’re missing out on opportunities for customers to identify who you are and if they want to spend money with you. This said, if you have a bad website it is better to have no website. While no website equals missed opportunities, a bad website can actually be worse since it literally makes your business look bad. With so many template based websites available nowadays, for you to customize for your unique business, there’s truly no excuse for your website to look unprofessional and sloppy. If you can’t proudly promote the website you have currently live and available for the world to see on-line, take it down. A bad website is far worse than no website – but let’s be clear… both are bad for business.
If you don’t have a website, you’re chance of ending up in customer on-line searches is significantly reduced. Whether you are a one man or woman show or operate with 100 employees, your website should appear as if you have a team dedicated exclusively to keeping your on-line presence strong and noteworthy. The key here is “appear” versus actually having someone updating your website everyday. For most small businesses, this is simply not necessary. However, having a professional, polished looking website that functions easily and offers customers easy navigation, strong photo images, professional quality content and an overall experience that engages them enough for them to want to do business with you is key.
Next I shall post on how to use your general GMail account as a professional email address with the domain you have just purchased, like me, I have firstname.lastname@example.org all running through my GMail.
Contact me if you have any questions!