As a business owner looking to get a simple business website set up to develop an online presence to support your business, there are several important factors you should consider.
In this blog we’re going to take a look at the necessary individual components of your website to help you get clear on what is important… any why.
What type of domain and hosting account do I need?
It is highly advisable that every expert should have a website in their own name… your personal brand. So if you have not yet purchased your own name as a domain, I strongly recommend you get that registered today.
This allows people who hear about you… who keep hearing your name and recognise you as the expert, to easily find you via your web site.
Also take a look at your audience – Are they only in the country of your residence ie. Australia or the UK? Or do you have an International audience covering the USA and other countries?
For the best results, you should have a .com.au domain for an Australian audience, a .co.uk for a UK audience, and a .com domain for an international audience. It’s not totally clear if this affects your Google rankings, but the domain will influence visitors to choose your site from their search results if they believe you to be serving their country of residence.
Similarly with hosting… although there are many cheap hosting accounts in the USA, its better (from the perspective of Google) to host your web site in your home country if you are targeting your audience there. This allows you to be found easier in searches.
What type of website or software do I need?
These days the more dynamic your web site is (more easily changeable), the better success you will have in getting found, as search engines love new content.
One of the best website systems to use is WordPress. It is easy to use and you can get many different plugins (extra pieces of software) that will enhance your website functionality, and many of them are FREE!
WordPress is also a blogging software which allows you to write regular blog posts to engage and build a relationship with your audience. And Google loves this as it means even more yummy fresh content!
Although you can start easily with a free blog site on wordpress.com or blogger.com, these sites are not owned by you. If you use these free sites for commercial marketing, or breach their terms in some other way, they could easily shut you down!
Plus you have very little control over the website appearance. So it is far better to have WordPress installed on your own domain and hosting server (available from wordpress.org) which means you own the site and can get it customised exactly to your choice of style.
You also need to look at the purpose of your website and where you are going with it as to how much money you should spend.
If you know that you will be building a business around your niche or topic, and will be needing your website and the software behind it to fully support your business, you may be better off spending a little more upfront to have a web site that grows with your business, and has all the functionality you need… rather than something free or very cheap that will have limited functionality.
What should go on my website?
There are 2 main areas you need to consider when planning out your website:
Your design should be clean and the colours and images should represent what you are about… it should portray the look and feel of your business.
On a website with your own name, you might also have a picture of you incorporated in the design. Many people get hung up on wanting to first make sure their branding or logo is created and they have everything perfect before they get started.
It is important to just start! You can always update your design or logo at a later stage.
You need to plan out your website pages and content as part of your website planning process. This is a huge area, but as a business owner, there are a few key pages your need as a starting point:
Home Page – this is the main landing page when people come to your site. Depending on the type of website you are creating, this could be an intro to your business, an opt-in page, or a blogging page.
Whatever you go with, it needs to be enticing to either get people to take the next step with you or to keep coming back to your site.
About Page – This is where people can find out more about you and your business. As an expert, you can put also your long biography here. Take a look at mine for a good example.
Services / Product Page – This could be multiple pages or just one. This is the place to showcase or sell your service or product. When it comes to selling a product or event online, this is a whole topic in itself!
Contact Page – this is the page where people can email you directly to find out more. If people hear about you but don’t know your business, when they Google your name and come to www.YourName.com, they will want to click on this contact page and send you an email to get in touch.
You can also get Plugins (E.g. vCita) that sync to your calendar and allow visitors to schedule a call or send you an email from a pop up message. This could be worth looking into to increase the number of enquiries coming through from your website.
I hope this has given you some food for thought and clarity around how best to get started with a simple business website. Do you have any tips to share? Please do leave a comment below and share your thoughts. I read every comment so I’d be super excited to hear from you.
More and more business owners are undergoing what I refer to as “The Lifestyle Shift”. They are waking up to the fact that they are the boss, and therefore should be able to design their business to fit their lifestyle… not the other way around! It’s YOUR time!