Get Started with Your New Website
Overwhelmed? At a loss where to even begin? What is a registrar and why do I need an SSL thing? What is SSL actually?
Having a website is one of the most essential factors for your small business. It helps customers to trust your brand. It gives businesses flexibility & control and also improves their branding as well as credibility.
It all starts with a website you’re proud of. Let's get started.
As easy as 1, 2, 3... then 4, 5, 6, 7 and maybe 8 😜
- Research, research & research
- Choose a domain name
- Design and creation
- Choosing a host and launching
- Ongoing SEO optimization
- Set up custom email
- Integrate social media
- Let the conversions start!
Research, research and a little more research
Write a simple outline of the pages that you want to include on your website. Any content or if an ecommerce store, your product list. Any blog post ideas you may have will greatly increase your search engine rankings and drive visitors to your site.
Visit and study in detail the website of industry peers and immediate competitors. Also look for any features, colour schemes, and layouts that catch your eye.
Find what you like and just as importantly, find what you don’t like.
Open a Notion page or any word processor and take notes about the keywords you want to target, the pages you will want, the websites you would like to draw inspiration from and any components or designs you don’t like.
Perform SEO research on relevant keywords and how to incorporate them into your website to drive more organic traffic. What does this mean? Put yourself into the mindset of your customers or potential customers. How would they find you? What words would they type into Google to find what you offer? These are keywords.
Choosing a domain name
Choosing a domain name that’s easy to type is memorable and relatable to yiour industry is critical to online success.
Avoid using a dash (-) or other slang such as U instead of you as it may make it harder for customers to type. Numbers could also be problematic when they are verbally related to someone. Is it 4 or four?
Try to keep it short and memorable. Longer domain names run the risk of being mistyped. Most importantly, try to use a keyword in your name that relates to your business and make sure you do your research to make sure you are not violating any copyright or trademarks.
The domain extension should match your local or specific type of business. By far, .COM is the most popular but is not necessarily the best anymore. .CA for Canada is very popular and lets customers know you are Canadian.
Choose your Registrar. This is where you register and pay for your domain name and it can be registered for 1 or multiple years.
Choose a reputable Registrar, don’t go by price alone. If the first year renewal is super low, look into what they charge for subsequent years, it may be much higher (GoDaddy?) and not worth the first year savings.
Designing and creating your website
Mobile first. Why? The majority of your customers will be using their phones or tablets to view your website. Desktops are accounting for less and less traffic every year.
We create a wireframe (outline of your website) to show you the general layout and then work into a mockup of your site where it is easy to modify and make changes.
From there it is just a matter of coding, testing, tweaking then launching!
Choosing a host & launching your site
Choosing a web host is critical to your success. The most engaging, interesting and informative website will do poorly if it is hosted on a slow, hobbled, hackable web host.
The adage, “you get what you pay for” rings ever so true with web hosts. Those super deals with unlimited everything always come at a cost. It may not be directly out of your wallet, but you can be sure a server that has far too many sites on it, using far too many resources and lax security equals a slow load time, risk of hacking and worse, downtime. This inevitably means fewer conversions and unhappy customers.
What good is your website if no one can visit it?
Another consideration is location, you want a web host with servers near where you are expecting your visitors. A server in Ukraine would be awesome if you main clientele is Ukrainian, but if your main focus and customers are in Western Canada, then a host in Canada would benefit you more with better response time.
Ongoing SEO optimization
To attract as many visitors as possible, you’ll have to further optimize your website’s SEO. This is not very complicated, but it requires time and work. Also letting Google, Bing and Yahoo know about your site will trigger their crawling services to visit and index your site.
Custom email addresses
Use your brand for you your email. Does “firstname.lastname@example.org” really look professional? Some hosts allow email to be configured through cPanel. This is a great free solution to having your email with your domain. There are also other options which may be better performers such as using Google Workspace, Outlook 365, Zoho mail and others. The main benefit to these types of services to offset their monthly costs are mailbox size, calendar and contact syncing, as well as other “office” type software included.
Integrate social media
If you haven’t already set up your social media accounts, now is the time. If you have, let your visitors know by including links on your website and posting your blogs to your accounts. Make sure you mention your website in all your social media posts as well.
Let the conversions start!
You may think you can sit back and relax now, but if we have done our jobs right, the conversions will start and you are going to be kept busy fulfilling orders or interacting with new customers.