Have you ever wondered how to set up a website?
Well if you are anything like many of the small business owners that we talk to everyday, you may have gone online and registered your domain name with a "registar" someone like GoDaddy, Register.com, Network Solutions, 1&1 or whoever.
Once you did that, you had a few things you needed to think about.
1) How am I going to build my website?
2) Who is going to write the content for your website?
3) How do I get myself found on line?
4) How do I set up email services?
These are just some of the questions you may have. Now if you don't really know how to make all of this work you may reach out to a website developer and they may be able to get everything up and running for you... the problem is that if you can't get in touch with your developer and you didn't ask how he has it all set up you could be in for a world of hurt.
One of our clients had started working on his online presence over ten years ago, when he registered his domain name. He wasn't really sure how to set up a website so he had hired a web developer to help him set everything up. The Web Developer told our client, he needed to give him all of the information that he wanted on his site and he would put it together for him.
So sure enough, our client hired someone to write his information for him, and he handed everything over to the website developer and the developer got everything working. The customers web site, his email and his domain name were all working together in perfect harmony... for awhile.
Fast forward five years, when our customer started to see his ranking on Google start to drop and so he tried to reach out to the website developer. The developer however was no where to be found.
The silver lining to his story at that point was that the domain name was actually registered under his name. If it had not been, then he would have lost all control of his online presence, but lucky for him, he did that part himself.
The business owner then reached out to some friends of his and they told him that he should try to use a do it myself website solution. So he shopped around and found one that was easy for him, and sure enough he put that site together. His email continued to work, but they found another way to set up the domain name and so here he was, everything was working for him again, but it was actually kind of broken.
Fast forward till today when one of my business consultants called the customer to renew his domain name.
At this point, the customer had forgotten where he registered his domain name (10 years ago) and he realized he was spending too much money.
When we looked into his account, we were able to figure out that
1) His domain name was with us, however he was also paying for a hosting package with another company but he was only using his email services there (even though they are charging him for a domain name that he is not using)
2) He was paying another company to host his website, however he had written all of the content and it was not being found by any search engines.
3) He had no idea how to fix things, he just knew it needed to be done differently.
At this point, my agent came to me and asked me to look over the account to make sure everything we were seeing was able to be fixed.
We were able to bring all of his services under one roof, we are building him a new SEO optimized website, hosting his site, giving him unlimited modifications and getting his email fixed.
This is a huge thing for a small business owner, as he was paying well over 500 per year for his services, but he wasn't seeing a return.
If you want me to take a look at your site and what is happening with your hosting, site or anything online feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to help.
"make your site Googleable"
Well it's currently 5:15am on a Friday and most people who are normal would try to go back to sleep.
In my world though there are too many things rushing through my head. I fully believe that there are so many opportunities online everyday and things that I could be doing that would improve my life in the long term and so I feel the need to get to work.
Does it mean that everything that I will be working on will actually pan out... no of course not but I do have to try.
When looking how to get the top spot of Google there are many, many, many different factors that come into play.
As I mentioned In my first blog post. The domain name that you choose can be influential in getting you the right type of traffic. Keep in mind that your domain name should be something that is short, easy to remember and something that you can put everywhere.
By everywhere, I mean in your logo, on your shirts that your staff wear, on billboards, print ads, television ads, facebook posts, Instagram posts, your snapchat logo, and anywhere else you can think of putting it out.
Yes folks, getting to the top of the heap on Google is all about that stuff as well. Think about it, if someone is Googling for your company name, it should just make sense that they should find you. If they can’t then you have some other major problems that you need to take a look at.
The second thing that I wanted to bring up is the content that you are putting out on your web site. Now when you think of content you may be thinking… great, now I need to have someone write my stuff for me. Well in some cases you may be right.
Google is looking for the most relevant information for the query or search that someone is doing. If what you do is really important to what people search for, then you need to make sure that you have the correct content on your site, and in the right areas.
What is the correct content? Well, let’s put it this way… if I said that I run a shoe store, let’s say it’s called the economy shoe shop, or economyshoeshop.com what would you think you would find there? Well I am betting that you would think that you would find some value shoes… tell me if I am wrong.
In Halifax Nova Scotia Canada (my home town) the name economy shoe shop means something totally different than anywhere else in the world. It is actually known for some of the best nachos, and evening atmospheres in Halifax. Yes the Economy Shoe Shop is actually a pub / café. So the key here is the content that is on the web site.
If I was actually running a shoe store called the economy shoe shop, I would need to make sure that the information on my main page of my web site would match up with the type of shoes that I sell. Maybe I would sell men’s and women’s dress shoes. If this was the case I would need to make sure that the content on the page matches up to the key words, and the sentences etc that someone would be looking for.
Something like – “Welcome to the Economy Shoe Shop, an affordable place in Halifax Nova Scotia for Men’s and Women’s Dress Shoes. We purchase our shoes from retailers who are going out of business as well as end of season specials. This allows us to give you an affordable solution to all of your dress shoe needs.”
Throughout the main page of my site, I would also then want to make sure that I had some of the brand names that people would be searching for as well as the titles of the different types of shoes that we have in stock, as well as all of the information that people would need to know about our location, hours of operation as well as the phone number and any social media links that I would have that would feed back to my store. This is all of the stuff that would be extremely important not only to my customers but also to Google, to ensure that the information that I have on my site matches up to what people may be searching for online.
So to recap, the second piece of this , your content on the main page of your site should include, the key words, phrases and terms that someone would be searching for, for the things that you want to be known for. You should also do a little bit of market research to find out what your competition is doing and what they are using the words for. This will help you see what they are doing and have it match up to them.
I hope this helps a little more.
So far we have covered:
Before we jump into the information, let me give you some background information on how I know this stuff, and what it is that I do for a living.
Over the past six years, I have worked with Web.com starting on the phones calling out to our existing customer base to discuss their online presence and what it takes to be successful online. During that time I moved up in the company and I worked with literally thousands of small business owners in regards to what they are trying to accomplish on line and all of the different factors that come into play.
Over the next few weeks I am going to post some of the insights that I have found by working in this industry. None of this is proprietary information, it is stuff that you can find online, however I can tell you that these factors all help when you are a small business owner trying to stake your place online.
The first thing that you need to do if you are trying to get to the top of Google, is to stop and think about what it is that you want to be known for. This is where it all begins, before you start to put your business plan together, you need to see what the competition looks like and also what your online goals are.
Are you trying to get people to come to your site?
Do you want people to come to your store?
Are you trying to get them to purchase online?
Will you be updating your site all the time or just once every couple of months?
Who will be maintaining your website?
What is your online profile and what does it look like now?
Where can people find information out about you online now?
These are some of the first things that you want to look at.
Once you have that started, you need to start with your Domain Names. Now for those of you who are trying to figure out what's in a domain name, there are way more options out there now than you would expect.
A good domain name will be something that is memorable, short and has some key words that people will remember or will Google for. This will help not only on line, but also when trying to explain to people what your company looks like and what you do.
Now, if you have ever tried to find a short, catchy domain name, you know that this is much easier than it sounds. Most people find that the "best" domain names are gone.
Well, I would challenge that there are new domains that you didn't even know existed.
Did you know that there are new extensions outside the .com, .org, .info and .net? There are now domain extensions that are much more specific. If you are a coffee shop, you can get a .coffee or if you are a beer company, you can get a .beer, shoe store, a bank you can get a .bank, and the list goes on.
Sure these new domains are "new" but think about this, at one point in time, the idea of having a car seemed outrageous, and these were only things that "rich" people had. Well domain names are the same way, if you get in early, then you will have the right key words and phrases to get you the traffic that you want.
I will let you know, I do work for Web.com, which has Register.com and Network Solutions, who are both domain companies, however we don't specialize in domain names, we are small and medium business consultants. When you buy a domain name from us you are also paying for the chance to deal with Google Certified small business consultants.
However, feel free if you think that getting your domain name from someone else will help you, however I will let you know that there are many more factors that you will need to look at to get to the first page of Google.
Keep an eye open for more of my posts, as I keep going through what it takes to get to page one.