Just to set a few points straight, I’m going to talk about the very basic steps to getting your web presence up and running. Because as it stands, there’s always a schiester out there, who likes to sell themselves as an expert in website design, optimization and who knows what else.
Since we’re working with the premise that you already own a business, you need to see if the domain name you’re interested in is available for purchase. So for example, your business sells personalized bath towels and robes. Now when you’re trying to decide what your domain name should be, using personalizedbathaccessories.com isn’t necessarily the best idea. Sure it has your most relevant keyword as your url, but that really doesn’t make as major a difference as some would make you believe. Just in the interest of relative ease, we’ll use the domain name of bathwear.ca for the example, url is not the holy grail of search. Step 1 is in control, congratulations!
Step 2, you need to decide on a host for your website. Things can get really crazy in this aspect, bandwidth usage, email usage, users allowed on the site, so on and so forth. When it comes to your host, you’re most interested in server uptime. It doesn’t matter if it only cost you $5 a month to host your site if it’s offline for 30% of the time. That’s 30% less time you have to be making sales online! You get what you pay for, so if your hosting plan for 99.99% uptime is $45 a month, bite the bullet and go with quality. You definitely get what you pay for, and if you’re curious about the reliability of a host, a quick perusal of their support boards is a good gauge of their quality of service.
Step 3 is where the magic begins, you’ll begin to build your website! There are dozens of different programming languages out there, but the tried and true HTML coding with some CSS magic for aesthetics can do an amazing job of a website. Additionally, it’s exceptionally easy to find even free templates with which to work from. If you visit a developer and they tell you it’s going to cost you thousands upon thousands of dollars to develop your basic website for your business, then it’s in your best interest to ask for some examples of their work. Another point to consider, how did you find the developers website to navigate? It’s often a reflection of their devotion and competance in their field of work.
Once you’ve gotten your website built, uploaded it to your host and assigned your DNS properly, you’re good to start spreading the word that you have yourself a website. There’s always the path of using existing media, television, radio and newspaper, or you could opt for a much more results oriented and trackable search engine marketing and search engine optimization. As a new website, just making it’s way online if you’re looking for fast “rankings” AdWords is the way to go. It can help draw attention to your fledgling site as you begin the much more intensive organic listings work with SEO. If you haven’t been caught by the snake oil salesmen yet, this is your last hurdle in their maze. SEO and SEM, while time consuming are both extremely measurable metrics tied to their investment. If you have an SEO for example tell you they’ll work for only $200 a month, you might think that’s a great savings, but that would be like going to the school carwash to detail your new Porsche. You absolutely positively get what you pay for when it comes to a search engine optimization company, and the number one way to find the big fish in the pond?
Search for them.
There we go, not so hard is it?