Getting Started Online
The Covid Chronicles | Volume 3
Essential steps to consider when looking to build an online presence.
Has this lockdown business made you realize the importance of an online presence to reach your customers?
Current circumstances have left many businesses scrambling to establish platforms to interact and operate; but how can you ensure the steps you take now, will help put you in the best possible position for your future needs?
With a little knowledge and planning you can quickly establish a presence that both meets your immediate needs and allows for a smooth transition into the digital world!
Here at Tinker Creative, we are strong believers that setting yourself up with scalable technology from the get-go is key to success. We use a combination of tried and tested Open Source Framework, and easily accessible marketing tools to ensure you are putting your best foot forward and building a foundation for growth.
Here are some essential steps to consider when looking to build an online presence:
1: Secure a Domain Name:
Even if you aren’t ready for a website this is a useful step to establish an online presence. Don’t just go for the cheapest option either. If your target market is domestic, use a .co.nz or .nz extension. Put some thought into your domain – try to make it short and sweet, easy to remember and to tell people over the phone.
When looking for a registrar make sure you choose somewhere that allows for easy DNS records management and redirects. This means you can direct your domain to a Social Media Page or online ordering form as a temporary measure. If you aren’t familiar with all this jargon, I suggest contacting your local IT Support provider, it’s likely they are a reseller for domain names and can support you with records management. #shoplocal
2: Get Social:
Social Media is a great tool to establish a presence and interact with your market, but only create accounts that you can maintain. Social Media that is poorly maintained can be worse for your business image than having none at all. That being said, I do recommend some social presence; and having it setup correctly can reduce the admin greatly. Utilize features such as Autoresponders and “Call to Action” functions to direct customers with less need for hands on time from you.
3: Polish up your Branding:
If you are going to put yourself out there on the world wide web, make sure you make a good first impression. Your brand is the face of your business, done right it can establish a sense of trust and professionalism. Strong consistent branding makes your business easily recognizable memorable. If you haven’t got a professionally established brand and aren’t in a position to do so, check out Free graphics design tools such as Canva, they are great for creating consistent content. Be weary of using these tools for logo creation though – you may run into some issues with trademarking and usability.
4: Sign Up For Google My Business:
Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool which allows businesses to manage their online presence across Google services. It’s an important part of SEO. Google verifies your location as part of the sign up process, which helps your chances of being found in location specific searches, i.e. “Coffee Westport ”. Registering with GMB not only guarantees your place on Google Maps and boosts your local search visibility, but also ensures that customers can easily; Call you, Visit your Website, Get Directions and more.
5: Time for a Website?
Take a little time to plan what your needs are here before jumping into anything. There is more content required to build a decent website than most people realize. You may be better starting out with a temporary splash page with your contact details while you do some planning.
Start to think about what you want to achieve. Who you want to interact with, and what you want to communicate? Gather any previous marketing material and start to build a document of content.
Then when it comes to building, make sure you chose a platform that doesn’t limit your ability to grow and offer additional services in the future. If you want to go down the DIY route there are some good solutions out there, but not all are created equal; and not all are appropriate for your needs. Changing of platforms down the road can not only be costly and time consuming; it can also be detrimental to Search Engine Optimization efforts. Have a quick chat with an experienced professional to make sure you have scoped your needs correctly, and are setting your self up for success and scalability.