Minicast: Business 101 - Set Up Your Online Presence
Updated: Jul 7, 2022
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Let's say have a business and you are growing, your clients love you and keep you busy. This is very exciting and we celebrate entrepreneurship. Soon, we may even be one of your clients.
Question: How are you growing clients? Do you have a website? Is it setup to serve your clients?
These are simple things we could tend to forget as new business owners, because we take such good care running the actual business. Almost without exception, you need a website or form of online presence in today's market, even if you are like us and believe that word of mouth is still the best marketing tool. The reason for a digital presence can be broken down twofold:
To show your customer where to find you - do the yellow pages even exist any more?
If you're interested in growth, then your website can serve you along the way - by adding products or services that can be sold while you sleep.
An aside, a Facebook page isn't website. As you start your business, these can serve for a time until you have a plan for how to set up or sell your products and services.
Basic starting points for setting up your digital presence:
Domain - Literally, this is the www._____________.com part of your site. It doesn't have to be .com, but the ending of your site has relevance (ie: .org = organizations, .io = input/output in computer circles and tends to deal more with technology based companies). You can get your URL from Google, or GoDaddy, or another domain company. Technically speaking, a domain is a name with which name server records are associated that describe subdomains or host. Often times you can even buy your domain name through your website platform. Speaking of that....
Website Platform - This is WordPress, Shopify, Squarespace, or yes, Wix, which we use and love. This is where you will choose and design your layout for your website, as well input all the delicious content that you have created about you and what you do. We love this creative part of business building. We suggest researching each platform and plan offered by each platform before paying too much for staring out. When starting out, you really only need a landing page to let customers know who you are and what you do. As your business grows, your website will grow, too. Future note: a refresh of your site is recommended every two years.
Google My Business - Think of this as the former yellow pages. When someone searches for the number to call you, you want to be available. As a result, you list on Google My Business. It's a simple process allowing Google to verify your location, phone number, and service area and other relevant data. We highly recommend doing this properly and quickly, so that people can find you. The internet is a maze, and this is a key to helping customers navigate to you. It's also free!
Host - An internet hosting service runs servers connected to the Internet, allowing organizations and individuals to serve content or host services connected to the Internet. A common kind of hosting is web hosting. Think of it similar to renting space on the internet. This can get tech-y - so here is an article to get you started on the types of hosting. Our thoughts on this - skip this part if you are just getting started, as most website platforms have internal hosting options.
As you set up your online presence, we are excited to see how you grow! Connect with us and let us know if something worked for you! We love websites that serve others well. At VanWhy CoOp, we dive into the UX/UI experience with each site we build and refresh, while ensuring that our end result makes you smile. If you need assistance through a website audit, a refresh, or an entire build, we can help. Contact us today to set up an appointment!