Have you ever wished for a mentor who could guide you through the ins and outs of getting online results? You want more leads, more subscribers, and more relevant traffic. And you want sales. But how do you make that happen? Most local businesses understand the need to include online marketing, but many feel lost about where to start and what to do.
You can find general business information almost anywhere, but it’s hard to find straightforward advice for local businesses that creates results.
Join the Small Business Enabler community and receive a free copy of Small Business Enabler Quick Start Guide to take you from concept to reality. You'll learn the how and the why behind taking your business to the Internet plus designing, developing, and marketing your new site to gain new customers and grow your business.
Now you can create a detailed road map for your online business that will broaden your audience and increase revenue plus establish yourself as an authority. And once you've established that authority, you can take your business to new heights.
Once you sign up, you can download the eBook immediately.
You know you need a website, but do you know what kind? If you build a website without a specific goal or set of goals in mind, you won't give your business the boost it needs, and you can actually hinder growth. You'll learn important facts about getting online:
By the end of Part One, you'll be ready to establish your online presence and move on to the next component of your website.
As you probably know, you can get free website hosting from several popular online services. They allow you to build an entire site on their platform completely free of charge.
That sounds great—until you discover how little control you have over a free site. Hosting isn't that expensive, and the return on the investment is well worth the price. In Part Two, you'll learn everything you need to know:
The many hosting services available can make choosing the right one a difficult task. Once you've read this section, you'll be able to make an educated choice and move on to the next phase of building your website.
Establishing goals for your website will help you determine the right kind of design.
If you’re not a designer, though, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you have to add every bell and whistle available. Not so. Making your site too cluttered or difficult to navigate can actually cause people to leave before they even learn what your business is about.
This section will walk you through basic design considerations:
Design isn't just about color and graphics. Every element of your website makes a big difference in how your potential customers feel about your business and your brand. It's not a factor to be taken lightly. But it's only one of many components in building a successful website. Once you settle on a design, you must develop your site.
No matter how powerful your site is or how good it looks, without high-quality copy (written content) you won't have much to hold anyone's attention for long. The copy on your site is how you'll communicate with your audience and potential customers. It's how you share ideas and inform people of your products and services.
If you don't take the time to either write high-quality copy or have it written, you run the risk of making a poor impression. Part Four will delve into all things copy:
Being able to communicate clearly and succinctly with your audience is paramount, and it’s a primary reason for having a website in the first place. It doesn't make sense to go to all the trouble of finding a great host, designing a beautiful site, and creating a powerful back end only to fill your site with poor writing. Make sure your site copy is top-notch and, once you have the copy in place, you can start promoting your site.
You might be thinking aren't web design and web development the same thing?
Not at all. Design means visual: it’s what visitors see on your site and how they get from one page to another.
Development, on the other hand, means operational. This is the back end—the programming. It includes tools such as scripts, style sheets, and even the ability to publish content to your site. Part Five covers easy tricks even a beginner can use:
Without a development plan in place, your website is little more than a well-designed shell. It's almost like a luxury car with a scooter engine. Properly develop your site, and put some power under the hood to make your site perform. Once you've done that, you’re just about good to go.
Just as the Internet is about more than funny cat videos, social networking sites are about much more than games and silly memes. They're powerful tools you can use to reach your customers and bolster your business by bringing more traffic to your site. Part Six will cover all things social so you can start your social media marketing campaign:
Used intelligently, social media can help you broaden your audience and expose your business to large groups of people very quickly. It can also help you observe your competition so you can either emulate their strategies or do things better to set yourself apart. The social sphere naturally flows into the final stage of creating a strong online presence, which is covered in the final part of the eBook.
You built it, but it doesn't mean they'll come.
Customers and readers can't interact with your site or buy your products or services if they don't know how to find you, right? Word of mouth is still a powerful method of advertising, but it only gets you halfway there on the Internet. Part Seven will teach you about incorporating other marketing methods:
You may feel you're not a marketer—you're a business owner. And that's okay. You have many tools available to help you with your online marketing efforts as well as professionals at Small Business Enabler who can walk you through the processes. But the bottom line is that your business will stagnate without marketing, so don't turn a blind eye to the need for it.
Once you've downloaded The Quickstart Guide, continue your online business education by visiting the Small Business Enabler blog—often. You'll find it will quickly become an extension of this eBook, a place where you'll be able to learn about every one of these website facets in more detail, from the broad topics like local SEO to the minute details like how to structure your navigation menu.
What you'll end up with is essentially a detailed road map for creating an online presence for your business that will help you not only broaden your audience and increase revenue, but start the process of establishing yourself as an authority in your space. And once you've established that authority, you can take your business to new heights.