Too many businesses assume that just building a site, customers will come. Read these 5 steps will either make you ponder your current setup and whether its ideal for the business or light that fire you need to get your business of the ground. Either way, you will appreciate the amount of internet marketing support is involved to generate the most basic traffic to your website.
1. Create a communal, generic email account.
ie Choose email@example.com if your DBA is Acme. Use the business as first and last name info for the preliminary information and the owners contact info for email and phone number. Creating this email account is good for IT, internet marketing, and some other random but essential information. Your technology vendors will want access to this email. They will depend on it for creating hosting email, websites, Pay Per Click advertising, analytics, and hardware notifications. Note: Please setup MFA and unique accounts for security reasons once the preliminary setup of any service is performed.
It’s important to store and save passwords but do not use Word document or Google Docs for every hacker to abuse and steal your life away. Anyway, add thorough notes to the database once you feel you have a secure method for securing sensitive data. In IT this is called the hit by a bus scenario. All important data is secured if and when your more important people get hit by a bus. Thus you can recover from a disaster.
3. Pick a domain name from a domain registrar.
GoDaddy is the preferred or most well-known website. NameCheap is the cool, hip, and affordable alternative. They are called the domain registrar but try to up-sell you on services like:
- web hosting – Use Siteground instead
- email – Use Microsoft hosted Office 365
- security certificates
- web privacy
4. Make sure you have business class email and office suite.
Office 365 – Microsoft Hosted Office 365
Do us a favor and avoid GoDaddy or Rackspace Hosting for Office 365 Exchange email
Note: Read more about best practices for email retention and setup here.
ProTip! Migrating from an existing email server. Read this!
Choose a web developer that’s reasonable, reliable, and you get along with.
We use the team over at Stegosource or Up Top Digital Media to provide assistance with my marketing, coding, web dev needs. The alternative to designing a complex website is heading over to SquareSpace. They are like the iPhone of web Content Management Systems. It still requires time and effort but most people that understand their iPhone functionality will understand this site and how to create your own web site.
5. Pick a web hosting company. *Not needed if you go with SquareSpace
Site Ground has great support and special deals on pricing. Other popular ones include Bluehost or get one of those all in one bundle packages. I prefer to separate things out before specials and who provides the best services is always changing.
Read here for migrating an old WordPress site.
6. Choose a webmail hosting company.
Webmail hosting company are a dime a dozen. Typically, you get free webmail hosting when you choose a domain from your registrar. The most main stream one these days that I actually prefer is Google Apps for Work. Alternatives include, Office 365 and Yahoo! Small Business.
7. Advertise the website
First, get a Google Voice number (part of the benefits of having a Google Apps for Work email account) that forwards to your cell phone and others so you can filter unnecessary calls. Then start posting to all the free sites like Yp.com, yelp.com, Google Places or whatever they rebranded it as this month. Finally, spend time to get 101 lesson on Google Adwords. Ignore, all the businesses claiming to be Google and guaranteeing that you will be ranked #1. It’s all mumbo jumbo that will burn a hole in your pocket. Perform a google search for “google adwords 101” It’s the first link for your Google search. Learn, live, and breathe all the videos. Fill in the worksheets. Give adwords.google.com a call when you feel confident to create your own Adwords campaign.
Bonus: Start optimizing your landing pages for your Adwords campaign here and track all traffic through Google Analytics.
Congrats! You are now have an established business presence on the web and we grant you the honorary title of internet marketing support guru.
Bonus Resources for Small Businesses