With so many Google updates through out 2012 such as Panda, Penguin, EMD (Exact Match Domain) and now Hummingbird in October 2013 and no sign of these updates stopping it’s essential that you know how to avoid mistakes when creating your business website.
Update April 2015: Google releases what is being called “MobileGeddon” an algorithm that is giving preference to mobile sites in search.
You have probably done your own research and seen how easy it can be to create you own business site right, after all there are so many free templates, cheap hosting and free advice available online about getting it right that anyone should be able to do it. WRONG!
Even if you have a very tight budget with-in your new online business venture and with all the free advice you think this is the only practical solution you can see to get a site operational and making money for your business. This can still be a complete waste of your time and effort even though you think it is free.
This post on mistakes to avoid when marketing a small online business is going to show you how you can be getting it wrong right from the start by not planning or understanding what is really needed to have a solid and profitable online business. Believe it or not this process of making mistakes can start even before you spend one cent on any aspect of your internet business.
Why You Could Be Heading For Disaster
I am not here to frighten, only to help OK, yes I am a web designer and SEO marketer and I make my living creating sites for small business but that’s not the reason for this post. I want to help you get it right the first time. And you need to understand right from the start that your website will become your brand online where people will come to see your products and services to either get additional information about your business or buy your products or services.
Now lets take a step back, I want you to tell me what happens when you go to a website online and find a very poorly presented website you know the ones that look homemade with bad navigation and little to no useful content, maybe a picture of the product and that’s about it, you leave just as fast as you arrived right, or at least I do regardless of the product or service being offered.
Then you have all the other aspects of creating your website such as keywords, navigation including internal links and even the content and images you are using on your site the list goes on and on and most of the advice you find online is only half right and is usually a tactic that worked 12 months ago and is not as effective now. In some cases this type of advice can even see your site get a penalty within Google simply because you followed some advice that was wrong.
Getting the right information and having a professional web image online is easier than you think.
Getting The Right Information The First Time
Planning Your Online Business
This is the most important aspect that many people simply forget to do. You need to have a plan for your online business. It all starts from the creation to the way you are going to market the online business and even what products and services as well as how you are going to accept payments.
Knowing how many products you will be selling from your business site is also going to give you some indication as to what hosting package you will need when first starting out, to small and you will have to spend more money moving the site later on or to big you will be spending money you just don’t need to. We have a series of videos here that will help you to plan and work with your website.
Selecting The Right Hosting Platform
If you want to go it alone and try and put a small business site together then here are some resources to get you started. Firstly you are going to need a hosting provider for your business and we are not talking about finding a free service that will advertise different products and services on your website in return for free hosting. We use and recommend HostGator for all our Client sites where you either have the choice to set this up yourself or where we can mange all this for you.
HostGator even though based in the USA has a fantastic reputation and excellent support, unlike many Australian hosting companies that are expensive and very slow to respond to support questions. Some of these Australian hosting companies are resellers for other international hosting companies, all they do is register a domain name in Australia and sell it under their own reseller brand. So if you really feel the need to have a Australian hosting company you need to find out if the site will actually be hosted in Australia.
Selecting Your Domain Name
This is another area where you can find a lot of bad information about registering a domain name,keep it simple and register either your business name or the brand name or your product or service, forget about going after keyword rich domain names for now it will have little to no impact on what you would to achieve.
If you chose to use your own hosting then the best time for you to register your domain name is when you are also ordering your hosting package from HostGator, this keeps everything in the one area and makes it easier for you to manage.
You may be thinking that there are cheaper alternatives to this, in my experience with companies offering cheap domain name registration only the first year is cheap like $9.85 AUD after the first year you can be paying as much as $24.oo AUD to $38.00 AUD a year for registration on my last check HostGator is $15.00 USD a year unless they run a promotion you can then get it cheaper.
Choosing Your Websites Design
Firstly we would like to suggest that you stay clear or any templates that are Static HTML they are harder to rank and what you want here is to build interaction with your potential clients by allowing them to comment and interact with your sites content.
You can do this by using the WordPress management system (It’s Free). The next aspect you want to seriously consider is whether or not you need a mobile responsive site, what this means is that people using various mobile devices can view your site content.
Update October 2013 – Internet users are becoming more tech savvy and everyday more and more people are using a mobile device to view content on the internet. Some devices even allow for voice search go figure that!
Go grab your mobile phone now and type in our site URL https://www.marketingtilt.com.au to see how this site displays in your mobile device. As of the end of 2012 more than 66% of web searches are being done from mobile devices.
To help our clients keep down the costs of website creation we use and recommend Studiopress, they have a huge range of WordPress templates available with a large amount of their themes being mobile response which are easily customized and already setup for SEO Optimisation.
This is the first in a series of posts on mistakes to avoid when marketing we will be releasing. We also have a 12 part video series (SOLD OUT) that you can access right now that will walk you through every aspect of not only creating your site but optimizing it and using social media to build authority around your brand without the fear of being penalized ensuring longevity and profitability online.