The traditional marketplace has changed and
the online marketplace is a world of it’s own, that every
business aspires to embrace. Join us and start your digital
This website provides a step by step guide to begin and
progress on your digital journey!
Step by Step Guide
for Starting a Business Online!
Step 1: Building a Website
Number one is to have a website – a website gives your business an online presence. The website is the digital representation of your business so you want it to adequately reflect your business.
Having a website allows you to provide a credible source of information for your clients and prospective clients. You have the power to control your brand image. With blog posts on your website you have the ability to communicate with your customers.
You have about 5 seconds to impress your clients when they come to your website so you want it to be professional and to reflect your business clearly.
About 30% of all websites on the internet are built using WordPress. WordPress is popular because it is an all-in-one solution which allows scalability when your business grows. Some of it’s features include the following. Plugins -There are thousands of plugins which can be additionally installed on your website to customize your site to whatever your need. SEO tools – There are built-in SEO tools which are paramount for getting your site ranked in Google or any other search engine. Themes – You can choose from a huge array of theme templates on which to build your website. Hosting and social media integration – WordPress has integration for hosting and social media platforms. Mobile friendly – Lastly it is mobile friendly which is also a definite must in today’s world.
Have your website SEO optimized.
You want your website to be appealing and user-friendly to your audience but first off it needs to be visible to your market. To make that happen it needs to appear when relevant keywords are searched in Google or any other search engine. To make this happen it needs to be SEO optimized.
SEO is an acronym that stands for search engine optimization. This is the process of optimizing your website to get organic, or unpaid traffic from the search engine results page.
There are two types of SEO namely: organic and local.
Organic SEO is 50% what you do on your site and 50% of what you do off your site, that is for example through external links with other sites.
On your website, SEO consists of working with the written content of a website so target keywords are identified and written within high quality content. Some of these keywords are located in the URL, the title, meta description, H1 and H2 tags, and image html. The length and quality of the content is also important. Additionally, the navigation structure and internal linking between webpages plays a role in the overall SEO of the website.
Local SEO helps businesses to promote their products and services to local customers. Features include having your business appearing on Goggle My Business and having your site listed in various business directories. Listing your business in business directories strengthens a businesses online presence in a local search.
Some American based directories:
- Better Business Bureau
- Yellow Pages
- Yahoo Local
- Bing Places for Business
- City Search
- Super Pages
- Google My Business
Something that is often overlooked by local businesses on their website is having the business name, address and phone number appear on their websites. Often all you are given is a contact form and possibly a phone number. The NAP (name, address and phone number) can be placed under the contact information and additionally in the footer of each webpage.
Google My Business Listing
Facebook and Google Ads
Because it can take several months (between three and six months) for one’s website to get ranked in Google, you may want to use some form of paid advertising to get customers to your site more quickly. Google or Facebook ad advertising are ways to achieve this.
Ads can get expense so it is important that your ad is focused on a specific service, product or offer. Within the set up of the ad a specific audience needs to be targeted, such as interest group, location, age, etc.
From the ad, interested visitors should be directed to a landing page rather than your website. Landing pages are single page websites that are designed to convert visitors into leads. It captures a visitors information such as an e-mail address or name. This information can be used to contact the visitors at a later time with further offers, products or services.
Using Social Media
From this point you can expand your online presence through developing a presence on different social media sites. Developing a business brand helps to market yourself. Social media sites may include: Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin and Instagram for example. These need to be linked back to your initial website. Posting on a regular basis will help to grow your online business and presence.
It’s always important to keep your audience in mind. Know the reason why you are on social media and who your audience is. Social Media gives you the opportunity to develop a relationship with your audience which can lead to greater growth of the business and fulfillment of the purpose for the social engagement.
Your website is your main asset as a digital component to your business. It needs to be properly optimized to be ranked adequately to be found by search engines. The main search engine being Google. The incorporation of additional paid advertising and integration with social media are ways to grow your online presence once you have your website in place.
Step 2: Choosing a domain
Step 3: Choosing a host