What is Web presence?
Web presence is, without a doubt, the most important piece of your business.
It’s probably more important than the product or service you sell. Consider having a web presence for your business to be the equivalent of a home away from home. You need a home base where operations are performed, right? Well, running your company online is like having a satellite office or store right in your customer’s home, always open for business.
There’s countless reasons why so many businesses and organizations can be found online. Your competition is online, because:
- Yours and their customers are on there every day looking for you, and your services and or products
- There’s so much flexibility when handling business related tasks (sales, marketing, customer service, ect)
- It reduces your overhead and gives you an awesome return on your investment Having a website for your company says, “I mean business”.
See yourself in the shoes of your customers. Wouldn’t you take a new business opening in your area more seriously if you could look them up online and find information about them? What about if they also had testimonials that were added from a third party like Yelp on their home page? If you were able to contact a company via email, would your perception of them change if you were corresponding over a Gmail or Aol email address?
Wouldn’t you see that business as a full fledged company if you were sending to and receiving emails from firstname.lastname@example.org instead?
Why do you need web presence?
Having a website for your business is also like having a top notch worker on your payroll. But the great thing is, he works for cheap, and he works about 24 hours an day, seven days a week, including holidays. He does a lot of heavy lifting for your business, and won’t ask for a raise or paid vacations. Another great thing? Your website becomes your representative / receptionist after an offline advertising campaign (radio, TV, print, ect) is launched, amplifying your ads ability to generate more income.
As I mentioned before, people are looking for you. Yes, right now. As we speak, people are searching for the services you provide. Your competition’s website is raising it’s hand, ready to serve the customers that should be yours.
I’m not going to get too deep into the need for web presence, since it will likely be a more detailed article in the future. What I will do is briefly tell you one thing that a website will do that gets me giddy every time I think about it.
It increases your chances of getting difficult but desirable consumer demographics. A website in concert with social media is the secret to propelling your business from obscurity to super-stardom. If you are reaching out to the millennial age bracket, this one two combination is money, literally. If you wanted business professionals and other entrepreneurs, you can combine your website with LinkedIn to reach other businesses (if you are a B2B company) and potential customers like nothing else.
And the coolest byproduct of this combination….. is trust. You’ll have social proof from those who like and comment on your social media accounts. If you have tons of people ready and able to vouch for your company, then you must be the real deal, right?
How do you get web presence?
Now, to get to the juicy part of this article. How in the world do I get web presence for my business?
The things listed below are the basics that you’ll need to get the ball rolling on getting your business online. You can search everything underlined online and do your own due diligence, or you can try what I’m using right now (listed further below).
- You’ll need a domain name. Search for reasonably priced domain registries to find the domain URL that you want. (I went to these guys to get my URLs for this site.)
- You’ll need a web hosting company. If the domain name for a website is the street address, the web hosting is the two story house. Good hosting is vital to keep your website online and visible. (These guys are doing the hosting for this site.)
- You’ll need web designing help or WordPress. Don’t let estimates online fool you. There are inexpensive options to having a website built if you lack web design skills. One option is to handle 1-3 of this list with this company, which has an easy to use WYSIWYG editor built in. Another other option is to find a stand alone WYSIWYG website editor. Then there’s Elance.com. Fiverr.com may work for you as well, but you’ll need patience. (If anyone knows other alternatives, let everyone know in the comment section.) Also, WordPress is a clutch software script that comes with themes you can install and use without needing web design help at all. It’s easy to learn to use, and it’s uses are endless when you add plug-ins.
- You’ll need a little (or a lot of) search engine optimization knowledge. Unless you are selling products online and need further reach to your customers, you may only need to know a little SEO for local exposure. Don’t know the first thing about SEO? Look no further than…
- You’ll need YouTube. Crash courses are provided on YouTube, my friends. If you want to know how to set up WordPress, check YouTube. Need to know how to apply SEO (search engine optimization) to your new website? YouTube will tell you.
So here’s what I’m using. And trust me guys, I’m all about paying the least and getting the most when I can.
- I’ve found that cheap-domainregistration.com is the cheapest that I’ve seen so far in comparison to others (with fees included) If anyone can find a cheaper registry, let me know and I will list that website instead. You can cut corners here, because a domain name is a domain name. There’s no such thing as quality with a domain URL.
- My web hosting is with www.greengeeks.com. This company handled my first website, Son of a Business, and has never failed me once. Plus, they are cheap!! Make no mistake, the quality is top notch. The key to making this web host cheap is to use coupon codes, which are always available on the Retail-me-not website. Search for them online and be ready to paste it in the coupon code section when you are about to make your purchase. Let me add that the more time you purchase for the site hosting ( 2-3 years), the cheaper it gets.
- WordPress comes with my web hosting. So does an awesome SEO package that handles my Offsite SEO. Not sure what offsite SEO is? YouTube it!
- I use Themler to design and maintain my website, but I won’t recommend it to you until they make their program more user friendly. I don’t believe anyone should pay for something that is meant to be easy to use, but feels like you need a college semester to learn.
I personally haven’t used Wix or their WYSIWYG editor to design and host my websites, but I know people who have and they have nothing but good things to say about the service. My only issue is that websites that are designed with Wix show up blank initially on Firefox web browsers that have the No Script Add-on active, making some visitors believe that your site doesn’t exist. With any other browser or Firefox without No Script, your sites with show without issues.
Other than that, Wix is perfectly fine for someone who has no experience with web design. Plus they have easy to use plug-ins to supercharge your website.
You can also design sites specifically for phones with Wix as well. Check them out here.
Before I end this article, I want to recommend Web.com for those of us who need a hands-free approach. You get a domain name, website hosting, free web design, SEO services, and they will help you with boosting your social media marketing campaign. I would reserve this option for entrepreneurs who don’t trust themselves with their website.
Now that you know what it takes to bring your business into the 21st century, lets get to work!! Here’s the list one more time…