How To Launch Your Business’ Website

Step 1 You Have An Idea!

Maybe you have a new gadget you’ve been wanting to sell to the world or perhaps you’re a specialist in your field and want to share your ideas online. Or maybe you own an award-winning bakery and want to sell your baked goods not only to those in your town but also somewhere else in your province or the country.

Regardless of where you came from, you have an idea, a product or a service you want to promote online!

It’s been proven that businesses who have an online presence are more likely to stay in business, longer.

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Step 2 Contact A Professional Web Design Consultant

Just like you would call a plumber if you had a leak or you

would go to a dentist if your tooth ached, you should contact

a web design professional as the next step. There are

definitely a lot of DIY web design services out there ranging

from free to hundreds of dollars a month and range in

complexity from super easy to “gotta get an HTML book”

complicated. There are also many different ways of building a

website such as in simple HTML or using a framework like

WordPress, OpenCart or Drupal. Each framework has its own

unique features and are better suited for certain websites.

Choosing the wrong framework might make you waste

hundreds of dollars or leaving you with a buggy, slow, over-

bloated website. A web design professional will know what

framework is better suited for the project and can guide you

along the way to launching your business.

Step 3 Get Your Dot Com & Hosting!

In order for you to share your website to the world, you’ll

need a “web address” or URL. For example our web address

is www.OMIS.ca! You’ll also need to reserve your space on

the internet – or “hosting.” Hosting is the space you have

online to store your website, emails, pictures and all the

other content within your website.

It is highly recommended you work with a professional

domain and/or hosting provider. As it is the case with our

business, we offer hosting and domain managements

services as an added service. There are many sneaky and

automated domain services out there that could really

jack up the prices of domains. As a reference, you should

never pay more than $50 for a new domain and depending

on the provider, anywhere between $10 to $50/month is a

fair hosting price.

With respect to your domain name. A professional will know

how to find the availability of your domain, some alternative

suggestions in case one is taken, and also the impact it could

have on your branding or SEO.

With hosting, there is a lot to consider to a professional

would be better equipped to handle the scope and the hosting

requirements of your website. For example, do you have a

high traffic expectation? Do you store heavy content like videos

and images? Do you need secure encryption for online shopping?

Step 4 Build The Website – Create The Content!

It’s always important to set out your timeline when starting

a new project. Quite often, the web designer/developer can

get started on the framework of the website while the client

puts together their content, images, videos and everything

else that will be featured on the website. This overlap of

work can cut your launch date in half!

Always speak with your web designer as to what is the

desired format they would like to receive their content.

For us, we’ll take emails, Word documents and even PDF’s.

As long as we can cut and paste we’ll get it on your website!

Keep in touch throughout the initial stages in case you have

any special circumstances like a big page of content or

charts/graphs etc. Quite often these can also be incorporated

into the design.

Step 5 Content: Meet Website!

This step might sound a little redundant after reading

the previous “Create content” step. However, this is the

step that will make your website stand out and give it

that extra professional look and feel. Certain types of

content, deserve different layouts and formats. For

example an FAQ page. You might not want to read the

answers to all the questions so why not “hide” the

answers until the user clicks on the question? This can

cut down the size of a page by 90% making it more

visually appealing, less text-dense and extremely more

user-friendly! Same with an image gallery or a news

section. There is an ideal way to effectively and visually

deliver content to your users.

Step 6 Set Up Third Party Services

Along with your website, you will need peripheral or third

party services. Some of these might include links to social

media websites or plugins to keep track of website

statistics like Google Analytics or even payment related

services like an SSL certificate or PayPal Payments. We’re

also a big fan of MailChimp and ConstantContact for

managing your email and newsletter services.

A web design professional will be aware of these and should

have worked it into the scope of the project as they are

somewhat technical in nature and involve very minor coding.

Many of these should be setup prior to launching your

website – during the final testing period of your website.

A final important service to consider is email! Are you

keeping your “old” email? Does your host provider also host

email? Do you want to manage your emails using Google G

Suite or Microsoft 360? Email should be tested and used as

soon as possible (See Step 3 Above!) to ensure no

miscommunication happens once the website is launched.

Step 7 Plan Your Launch Date

You and your website designer have spent countless of

hours going through content, clicking on links, putting in

sample orders and test user registrations and everything

works! Your website is now ready for launch!

Even though you can’t wait to tell the world about your

new website, it’s always a wise move to plan a “soft

launch”. A soft launch is basically launching your website

without spreading the word… just yet! This allows you to

tell a few friends to browse around the site and test things

out. Someones a fresh pair of eyes can make a difference.

In the case of an online shopping website, it allows you to

place a “real” order and see how it all works.

Once you are confident your website works without a hitch,

you can start to promote it on social media, by email and

activate any marketing campaigns.

Step 8 Monitor Your Website

Just like any regular business, you should continuously

monitor your website. You can primarily do with with

Google Analytics but some platforms like WordPress and

Shopify, offer their own internal traffic and statistic

tracking tools. Monitoring your website will allow you

to see what pages of content users like, see if there are

any errors or broken links logged and also help you

monitor your sales, inventory or customers.

You should also consider putting in practice some

regular routines like writing a newsletter or a blog.

Checking in with past customers to receive a review or

a testimonial and also engage with your social media

users to bring them to your website. Adding and revising

content on your website will prevent your website from

getting “stale” and will keep users coming back (and

Search Engines too!).

Step 9 Keep In Touch With Your Web Design Consultant

As mentioned in Step 2, hiring a professional for the

service required (plumber, dentist, web designer) as an

advantage. Just like a dentist would keep informed about

industry technology or ways to fix a cavity, a web designer

should also do the same. Keeping informed on the latest

web trends, coding practices or user expectations, a good

web design company will make it part of their practice to

inform their clients through a blog, social media or a

newsletter. One big example is the rise in use of mobile

devices to view websites. For some of our clients, nearly

50% of the traffic is viewed from mobile devices so it’s

imperative that your website is mobile friendly and

“responsive”.

Step 10 Website Marketing & Search Engine Optimization

It’s no longer 1995. Simply launching your website doesn’t mean viewers are going to come crashing your site! We’re now in an environment where online competition is very high! Nearly everyone has accepted the use of internet or do transactions and research online. In fact the internet and online businesses are so popular that they are even causing normal businesses to close their brick and mortar store doors.

Just like businesses have traditional ways of advertising such as newspaper, TV and radio. Websites need to consider online advertising and allocate a budget for search engine optimization. Online advertising (for example Google AdWords or Facebook ads) is an easy way to promote your website and grow your users. What’s great is that quite often you can “qualify” the cost as you know exactly how many clicks or views your ads received.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is something to consider after the launch of your website. Depending on your business and your competition, you might rank on page 1 or page 100 after launching your website! For example, being a real estate agent in New York would be a lot more competitive than a veterinarian in a rural town! The real estate agent would have to outrank many more websites than the Vet! It’s always best to wait a few weeks to see where where your website “lands” with respect to the competition given a select few keywords. Following this period, a professional SEO company will be able to see the limiting factors and the required work needed to help you rank higher.

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