Market to Market: Establishing Your Online Presence and Creating Your Website
So, you have your business started. You’ve created your marketing plan, put together your team of people, taken the training and are now ready to hit the ground running. But wait, how is your online presence? Is your website up? Can customers find you with a quick Google search?
We commonly hear from many of our refinishers that building and maintaining a website can be confusing and frustrating. “I don’t even know where to start.” Or, “I am not tech-savvy, how am I supposed to build a website?” Not knowing where to start is sometimes the most challenging part of establishing your online presence. In today’s digital age, if you don’t have a website, your online presence will be almost non-existent so it’s a crucial step to marketing your business or services.
Starting your website, or learning how to maintain it, doesn’t have to be a scary experience. There are numerous website building sites out there that offer an account set up tutorial and are making it easier to navigate the process. So, let’s dive into the basics, how to start.
How to Create & Design a Website
1. Select the site that’s best for you.
Choose from a huge range of template designs already ready to go. Each site builder has its different perks and varies in pricing. All of these options have a demo or tutorial that can show you have to navigate the site and will have you started designing your very own website in no time.
Vistaprint – Vistaprint empowers small businesses like yours to market themselves effectively. Design and order custom printed marketing materials, signage and websites. If you’ve already printed your marketing collateral through Vistaprint, you can purchase a matching website. Or vice-versa. Design a website then easily print matching marketing materials for consistent branding. So your business cards, magnets, pens, brochures, etc. can all have the same matching deign. Vistaprint is one of the cheaper website builders but doesn’t offer as much as other top running website builders like SEO, customer tracking, email marketing, and other marketing tools to help you. The cost of Vistaprint starts at a low $14 a month and offers a free trial.
Wix – WIX is a website builder that has grown in popularity over the past few years. It not only is a web builder but blog maker, logo designer, and is also SEO fixed. WIX offers a 14-day free trial to get you setup and make sure you like their site. Then you can purchase the professional version starting as low as $22 per month. Tutorials and demos are available.
Squarespace – Is an extremely popular website builder and has won awards because of its ease to create, navigate and is successful for almost all users who are taking advantage of all the site has to offer. It too has a web builder, logo designer, and is SEO fixed, but it also provides an online shop, a point-of-sale system to accept payments from customers, built in ability to send email campaigns and so much more. Squarespace also has a free trial offer and starts as low as $26 a month.
2. Get creative with how your site looks.
Now that you’ve chosen one of the above site builders, start to tailor the website to make it look the exact way you want it to. You can customize the fonts, upload your own photos, and change the margins with the built-in style kit. Think of your website as the face of your company. Take the time to make it look nice and professional.
3. View previews of your web design on all digital platforms.
Remember, the way your website looks on a desktop computer is going to be different than the way it appears on mobile. Make sure as you are building your site, you’re previewing in all platforms to make sure you like the way it looks.
4. Add your branding and logo.
The most important part is making sure you add your logo. Make sure you are following the correct size specifications so the logo is clear and not grainy. Don’t have a logo yet? That’s ok! You can create one for your brand with a free logo maker like this one.
5. Create your messages and setup your page(s).
Now that people will be able to find you online with your new website, you need to make sure they know who you are and what you do. Think of websites you like to visit. What pages do they typically have? Are there any refinishers or refinishing websites that you like, use those as a model.
You need to have at least a one page site that shows who you are, what you have to offer, and how you can help customers with the problem they have. All this can be said on one page, your homepage, and with just a few photos.
There are numerous amounts of build-your-own website building tools available on the internet to make building and maintaining your website an easy process. Utilize online demos, tutorials and videos to help guide you even further into this process and remember, your time and effort in building your site and establishing your online presence will quickly pay off when customers are easily able to find you when searching for a refinisher in the area.
In this “Market to Market” series, stay tuned for other blogs on marketing your services and how to reach more customers.