[Today’s article was written by Emily Miller, a marketing professional and small business blogger.]
5 Steps to Creating Your First Web Presence
As you begin making your entrepreneurial idea a reality in business, eliminate start up growing pains by formulating a good strategy on how to quickly get your business on its feet. When it comes time to create a website and establish yourself in social media, take these five crucial steps to make your online presence a success.
Register your domain
Domain registration is the first step in establishing your online presence. This entails choosing a domain name, which may simply consist of your company name. Keep in mind that a good domain name is part of your brand. Choose something memorable, catchy, and easy to type for those accessing your site directly.
When determining if your domain name is available, a domain registrar can let you know if your ideal domain name is up for grabs. If your first choice is taken, brainstorm for another choice and come up with something that fits your company.
When you’ve developed the perfect domain name and found that it’s still available, the domain registrar will register it for a fee. Find a dependable company that offers affordable rates with security and monitoring services. Once your domain name has been sewn up, move on to developing content.
Build your website
When customers want to learn more about your business or organization, they’ll turn to your website. Offering strong content that answers questions is essential for turning visitors into customers. Information must be easy to locate and appear in conjunction with a stylish, creative design that matches your company’s personality. Include the ever-popular social sharing buttons on your pages to enable users to quickly and easily send content to colleagues and friends.
Having a blog as part of your site is also important, as it will be a setting for news, company activities and articles about industry developments. A blog helps establish the personality of your company and allows customers to get a sense of who you are. Someone searching for a particular topic may come across one of your blog posts and discover your site for the first time, potentially becoming a new customer. Also, a page devoted to information about your company is a good way to present a portrait of your establishment and the history behind it.
Claim your social media profiles
The exposure social media provides is an incredibly effective way to connect with consumers. It’s another way to give people updates, news and entertaining content that can help create a buzz about your company and drive traffic to your site. Twitter and Facebook can be used to keep loyal customers informed about recent activity and potentially draw in new customers intrigued by your posts and tweets. Social media is so widespread that people expect new businesses to jump on the bandwagon, so make your posts informative and engaging.
Announce it to your contacts, and keep talking about it
You’ve got great content, excellent Web design and a social media network that’s ready to roll. The only thing missing is an audience. Spreading the word is the next step, as great content and graphics don’t mean much unless people are interacting with them. Make sure your URL and any social media information are included on any branding materials or print information, and use your social media channels to notify the digital world. Don’t be shy about alerting colleagues, business partners and the major search engines.
Keep posting, updating, and interacting
Although it may seem that all your work is finished, maintaining your site and social media accounts still requires time and energy on your part. Stay connected to your audience and continually provide news and information to keep their attention. If you only post information when the mood strikes, your customers will drift toward a competitor providing more constant communication.
It may take some time to build up a devoted base of customers for your start up, but good content always finds an audience. By following the five steps outlined here, your efforts will pay off and lead to an effective online presence.
Emily Miller is a marketing professional and small business blogger who contributes regularly to Professional Intern. Her educational background is in English and Small Business Management, and she is fascinated by how technology can be used as solutions for start ups and small companies. Follow her on twitter @e_millr!