COOL NAME VS. RELEVANT KEYWORD:
Many of my clients have spent a lot of time picking out a cool name, or a clever name, for their business. This used to be the trend in business. It was part of the branding. However, the playing field has changed and there are a few things you need to keep in mind:
- If you use a cool name or a clever business name, you will need to seek out every customer or pay per click for every client.
- If you use a keyword-based business name, you can cash in on search engine optimization and you can more easily build up “organic” search traffic.
Today all website traffic is driven by keywords. So if you name is Ace Air Conditioning, getting a url in that name is a good idea. But what ifthe name of your company is Jones & Sons? Your url for www.jonesandsons.com will not give you any advantage in getting to the top of google search. Why? Because no one looking for new air conditioning or air conditioning repair is going to type in Jones and Sons in the search box.
If you have a well-established company by the name of Jones & Sons, you can still keep your company name, but it is a good idea to purchase additional urls with different keywords in order to take advantage of the search engines.
For example. You can purchase jonesandsons.com so you can tell the customers who know you that they can go to jonesandsons.com to find you. However, if you also purchase airconditioning-mytown-ny.com, and/or samedayairconditioning.com and/or airconditioningrepairandservice.com, you will get 4 bites at the search apple.
SHOULD I GET A LOGO RIGHT AWAY?
Building an online business requires work that is website design heavy; therefore, people who have not web skills focus on names, logos & business cards because those they can understand. A word of caution: Don’t spend money from your start-up budget to get high-end logo work. There is a period of time in the initial phases of launching an online business when you will get “organic growth” and this could change things quite a bit.
Let me give you an example. If you are a carpenter and can make cabinets, book cases, furniture, cribs, etc., you may within 6 months find out that the baby crib market is huge and there is a trend that you know will last for awhile. If you paid a fortune to have a logo made showing a hammer and ruler, you may find you want one after six months promoting you as a wooden crib specialist.
Even if you decide to go for a logo, be sure to make it general enough so it can be “added to” as you go through this period of organic growth.
WHAT COMES FIRST?
When you are ready to create an online business, below is a chronological list of what you will need to do and the order in which you need to do them.
- Find a web designer who specializes in start up businesses or who has started a few online businesses for clients. There are many “start up business” issues that always come up. You will want someone who can think ahead.
- Purchase your own website hosting account, which comes with one url web address. Your experienced web designer will protect you in this process as the add-ons offered to you in the sign-up process are usually not necessary.
- Set up a business email on the hosting server. For example: email@example.com
- Make a list of what functions you will need your website to perform. For example: Do you want your visitors to call you? Fill out a free-estimate form? Do you want them to click on a buy now button, or a donation button? Do you want a full-service shopping cart with merchant card services? Do you want to build a newsletter list? You get the picture.
- Find about 3 websites in similar industries that you love so you can show your web designer what type of look and style you want. Also decide what pages you will need and what you want to name them. Your web designer can help you with this process.
- Using other websites as a template, write your content. For example: For the about page, what do you want to tell your visitor about you and about your company? This will be populated with either pictures of your business, of you or of royalty-free-stock photos.
- Set up any supporting social media pages you will want to link to. For example: If you want to post on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, set up these pages. Do not do this until you know for certain what your business name will be and what your url web address will be. Your web designer can help you with this also.
WHAT COMES NEXT:
After you are set up for hosting and naming your business, your web designer will create the website. You will receive a link to go and see the draft of it. There is usually 3 runs of changes, corrections or additions. This process is what will buff up the website into its final professional look.