One of the first things consumers do when looking for a solution is to head to the internet.
A website is essential for every kind of business. It’s the foundation of your digital marketing strategy, and imperative for spreading brand awareness.
But getting your website up and running can feel overwhelming.
We’re here to teach you the important steps of creating, launching, and improving a website.
When building a website, you need a domain name before you have anything else.
This URL is what you’ll share on social media and send to current and potential clients, so you want it to be descriptive but also easy to remember and type in. Your domain name should also be short and not feature abbreviations, acronyms, and numbers if you want to steer clear of customer confusion.
Ideally, include your company name in your domain name. Take our domain name, for example, https://engage2engage.com/. It directly includes the company name, which is incredibly important for branding and credibility.
After finding a domain name, you must confirm its availability and purchase it through a domain registrar; specific examples of domain registrars include Domain.com, GoDaddy, and Network Solutions.
Be sure to check copyrights so that you’re not infringing on anyone else’s protected name. If the URL you were hoping to use is already taken, call the company using it and ask to buy it from them. You can also use a domain buying service from a company that will contact the domain owner for you and try to help you take ownership. This service costs money per domain so be sure to think through whether or not you need a particular domain.
To be accessible to the public, your site will need to be hosted. Web hosts lease their server space for websites.
If you run a small business, then we recommend using an external host since they’re less expensive than hosting your website internally. I have hosted my website internally before and it is not only expensive but also time consuming needing dedicated hours.
WordPress provides a helpful list of hosting sites. We have used Dreamhost to host our WordPress site and have used others for our clients, like WP Engine and SiteGround.
We recommend using website hosting services with Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), a technology that can encrypt data between the user and the server. Installing an SSL certificate on your website’s server will also allow you to use a HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS), which gives customers and visitors access to important information about the certificate including the issuing authority and the corporate name of the website owner.
Modern websites contain several pages. These pages should cover different aspects of your business. Examples of pages include:
● Products / Services
To create custom pages with the features you need, you may need to use plug-ins. Plug-ins are additional software components (outside of your theme and page builder) that add unique features without changing the host program. WordPress has hundreds of helpful plug-ins that you can install to customize your site.
Once your site is ready to go, it’s launch time! An email is a great tool for spreading awareness of your site and generating future leads. You can send a newsletter announcement to your existing email list. However, you should also use your website to attract more email leads. Make sure you have a clear, easy call-to-action (CTA) for joining the email list on your website.
Launching your site is just the beginning. To ensure your website is effective and up to date, you must manage and report on its activities. For example, you want to know how your site is doing in terms of SEO. Which keywords are you ranking for? Which do you want to rank for but are not yet? Where is your website traffic coming from?
There are a plethora of tools out there to help you manage and report on SEO and other website activities. One of the most helpful tools we use ourselves and recommend to all of our clients is Google Analytics. With Google Analytics, you can track advertising ROI, page data, and more. To use it, you’ll need to include a block of code on your site for tracking.