by Jeremy Miller, Technician
Most if not all businesses can benefit from having an online-presence. Going on-line for a business can be a low-cost marketing solution.
Your online presence can help give customer’s quick access to information about you and your business, all the way to having automated inventory alerts that let clients know about new products and stock levels.
Before taking your business online, you’ll want to get a domain that represents your business. You’ll want to pick something that’s easy to remember, and easy to spell and type.
You don’t want a domain name that you have to spell out for clients – that makes it very hard to use in advertising.
There are many domain registrars to choose from, including Tech Experts.
After you have your domain name, you’ll need website hosting services. Most web hosts, including Tech Experts, include company email with the service.
Most hosting plans are very affordable. Our basic hosting plan starts at $9.99 per month.
If you want to take it a step further, you can set up an online store. There are a lot of options, depending on how involved you want the store to be.
Accepting credit cards online can be a hassle, especially with the new security and compliance regulations. If you expect to do a large volume of business in your store, it makes sense to set up a secure site and contract for the credit card processing services.
For smaller web stores, PayPal offers a checkout service that is fully PCI DSS compliant. Their basic service is free (less the processing costs).
Setting up a website is not enough to make your business drastically improve. You have to find a way to get customers to your website.
There are many ways to do this. An inexpensive and effective way to get your website noticed is to start a blog.
Blogs will show a human side to the business and search engines crawl blogs easily. Easy places to do this are popular websites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus.
This helps improve your ranking in a search on search engines. There are other ways to improve your ranking as well. In fact there is a periodic table guide to Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
By looking at the periodic table, you can see exactly on a point scale what increases and decreases your SEO ranking.
There are companies that specialize in SEO Optimization. The fees range from very reasonable to exorbitant. SEO is as much black art as science, and it pays to have professional help.
There are tools that track how users are using your website. Google Analytics tracks how much time is spent on your website, and where visitors are going.
This can be useful for you to optimize your site for ease-of-use. You want to make it easy for your users to find what they are looking for and browse easily as well.
Another tool that can be useful is Google AdSense, which places targeted ads on your site – and everytime someone clicks on the ad, Google will pay you a small amount.
The last thing to think about is the mobile version of your site. More users browse the Internet than ever before with their smart phones and tablets, so you’ll want to have a mobile site for these visitors.
This can be a little more tedious due to the fact that this technology is still emerging.
A lot of web sites require a mouse for them to function; an example of this would be a site with a menu bar at the top with a “mouse over” function to see the drop-down menu.
So having a site that detects the type of device and browser that the user is using and directs them to the correct site is important.