Thinking about building an online presence is a big deal and necessary for growing your business. While many parts of the process are new and exciting, there are also many parts that are unknown and important. Protect the online presence of your company without it becoming complicated and enjoy the process as much as possible knowing that you have taken the right actions.
1. Setup the Domain and Hosting
The domain needs to be hosted and many times you can do both in the same place. It’s an easy part of the process of getting your website started.
What kind of a hosting package you buy matters depending on your needs. Don’t overlook this step and get the cheapest one immediately. A site with no traffic isn’t working for you. Hosting packages can be very economical anyways, so it’s best to get what works for you.
For security of data and encryption, you also need to have a forced HTTPS redirection to a secure socket layer (SSL), (think the little padlock next to the URL), especially if you are accepting eCommerce payments. These sometimes come included with your hosting package. It’s a very standard service that isn’t very complicated. When securing bank details you need paid SSL.
Domboard can help track your domain after you set it up. If your site is about to expire, don’t let it fall into the wrong hands after building up all those customer relationships and doing all that work to build the site. We also offer tracking domain statistics to know how your site is working for you. Without statistics you have no idea if or when traffic is coming, or where it’s coming from, and you must know this in order to improve and tailor your site to your customers’ needs.
2. Have Domain Specific Email Addresses
You can create multiple email accounts depending on the hosting fee, but just one should be free. Emails specific to your domain show credibility and are recognizable to your customer without using a generic email account.
Having generic email addresses that go to your site in case you have employment turnover is important. Or if it’s a company run by partners that don’t change, having names can make it a bit more human. This is up to you and something to consider since you want to keep the same emails over the long run so people can always contact you.
This is another reason Domboard warns you of a site that will expire. Losing all of this contact information can negatively affect those great customer relationships you’ve built in the past and could confuse them or affect their trust of the website if these things change in the future.
3. Matching Social Media Names
Even if you are waiting to setup social media, you need to lockdown the matching names right away so they don’t get taken by somebody else. Have an easily identifiable name online with a logo so consumers always know where and how to find you.
Now link your domain to all your social media. Even if they’re not all built up from the very beginning. Consumers like to see you have an online presence everywhere. You decide what sites work for you. Some services don’t need to advertise on Twitter or Instagram for example; it’s just not that market. But keep in mind, consumers like convenience and they are going to go to the sites that they go to and have accounts in and check often, not because they’re going out of their way to search for you on Twitter, for example, if they don’t use it anyways.
Unless you have a built up reputation already like The Gap, people will most likely find you through social media sites which are a funnel to your website. This is important for advertising. Websites should be doing something for you. On top of having great content and SEO, there needs to be more than one place which is bringing you traffic.
4. Register and Trademark Your Business
This ensures no one can legally take your name after you’ve done all this work to preserve it. You also don’t want someone duplicating your site and stealing from your customers because they have the same name. Or maybe they give the same service as your business and had no intention of stealing your customers, but now the customers have been routed to your competitor’s site simply by means of similar naming.
5. Create Goals for Your Site
Will there be an online store with payments? eCommerce sites are special and need to have payment protection systems that protect your customer and your business. This is one of the biggest reasons you can’t let your domain expire. If someone picks up your name and copies your site, they can steal the credit card information of people intending to make purchases with you and instead giving it to a stranger. Not only will they get robbed, but people will no longer trust you. Even if it’s not your business, it’s supposedly your site, and they simply cannot risk getting their digital payment information stolen.
Will there be a blog? There should be space for that from the very beginning. Take a few SEO courses, have fun, and really make the site work for you! Done correctly it should be bringing in customers and generating income for you.
Will you setup a newsletter? Politely asking people if they would like to sign-up is a good idea and to set up some service that sends it out automatically every week. Avoid big pop ups immediately on the screen before you’ve built rapport with your customer.
6. Now You Can Start Building Your Website
Are you offering a product or service? How will that affect what you put on your site? There are many platforms to build it yourself but if it gets no traffic, there’s no point putting all the work into it. Do you enjoy doing it yourself? Or do you need a little graphic design or site building help? There are many different, affordable packages out there to suit your needs.
This is the front end of your online real estate. It’s the virtual store, or whatever service you’re bringing to the world, and represents your image. Having a great website is like dressing up to go to work everyday and taking care of your physical shop. Since half of consumers are buying online now, it’s best to invest well in it. Whether it’s something you truly enjoy designing on your own, or something you invest in having someone else design, the end result is that you should love it and that your customer should too!
Always have a mobile optimized website! Many people don’t normally use a computer and shop straight from their phones or tablets. This all depends on if you just have a blogging site, an eCommerce shop, or otherwise in regards to how complicated it is. But the most important thing, that no matter what the reason for the site, web optimization is key. Many companies have an app for the phone and their site really isn’t very user friendly by phone because they want you to use an app. But if you’re not going that far and you have a new business, having a mobile optimized site is imperative.
Now that you’ve done all of the necessary effort for your website, remember to track your domains and domain statistics with Domboard and never worry about losing your online real estate. It is worth it to keep your domain and the information of your customers private.