Having a website is just one stepping stone on the path towards mastering digital marketing and achieving online success for your business.
Another vital component is not looking like a lone wolf, meaning that it is vital to connect with other online features, such as online directories. Why? Because being connected and building a network helps your business expand.
There are many online directories where you can list your business for free. If you choose to go down this road you may find that many of these companies will be in touch with you soon after offering you the opportunity to enhance your listing, i.e. pay for an upgrade. Dependent upon your budget, paying for an upgrade is not needed at this point unless you’re happy to do so.
Being listed across the internet on different online directories adds weight and authority to your business. It also indicates that your business is live and active.
Here are some points to remember:
NAP (Name, Address and Phone number)
You must be consistent across all listings with exactly the same layout. Any discrepancies can confuse the search engine algorithms and make it think that your one business is in fact, two, three or even four separate businesses. You can see how this can be perplexing and it may affect your organic search positioning.
Description within the listings
While it’s extremely tempting to create an introduction to your business and copy and paste this across your all of your other listings - this could penalise you. Search algorithms can detect text that is exactly written the same way elsewhere. When this happens, you compromise your organic search positioning.
Add personality through images and photos
Let your potential customers get a feel for what your business offers. If you have photos that are of your business’ services, use them to give your customers a sense of who you are.
Build out as much as you can
Each directory will enable you to add a varying degree of content. While this can be a time-consuming task initially - getting it right and enhancing your listing to the max will pay off over time. So do it well and do it once.
If you are busy with your business and would like help, Perfect Layout can do this for you for a small fee. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule this work in with our team.
I’m not good with technology and don’t know where to start with buying a website address, is this easy?
Yes, buying a website name otherwise known as a domain name is fairly simple. You can go to any of the domain providers, such as 123-reg, GoDaddy and see if the domain is available. Simply type in your business name and they will tell you which extensions are available. The most popular ones are .com and .co.uk, so they may already be taken.
How to choose a name for your business?
The hard part is finding the right name for your business. Think about what your company offers and what might be appropriate. Do you want something unrelated to your business service, like Amazon and Apple did? As a start-up company, are you planning on building a brand?
If you have a local business that provides a service in a particular location, you might want to think about a domain using ‘city + service type’, such as www.romfordplumbers.com
Does the length of my company name matter?
Yes it might do. We recommend that you try not to make the business name too long, otherwise your domains and email extensions will be long too. It not only becomes a pain to let your customers know your web address or email, but it could limit you on social media handles too.
If the domain is already taken, what do I do now?
If your preferred domain name www.businessname.com is taken, is there another extension that you are happy with, such as .co.uk or .org. If they are all taken, it is not a case of throwing the towel in, but thinking perhaps of variations to your name. However, we don’t recommend spelling the name your own way, such as www.bykeshop.com instead of www.bikeshop.com, as this will not be easy for people to remember.
Once you have your name, and it is available, you then need to decide how long you want to purchase is for (in multiples of years) – you can renew year-on-year or you can buy in for say 2 years or more. Do what you think is best for your company. At this point you can also purchase mailboxes, also recommended, so that your domain and email addresses are consistent.
Having the same email and website address makes your business look professional.
If you are reading this, still feeling lost, Perfect Layout can help you with purchasing your domain. Look at the full range of services we offer.
Perfect Layout attended a Havering Chamber of Commerce and Industry (HCCI) business showcasing event last year, which you may have read about. It was a well-attended event where we got to network, not only for potential clients, but also to gain a feel for other local services and what they had to offer.
Whilst there, we found out that HCCI also offers monthly breakfast meetings, where non-members are welcome to join for a small fee. The aim of the Breakfast Club is to have guest speakers, workshops, specialist advice, business showcases, networking and more. What was there not to like?
At the beginning of January, Perfect Layout went along and found the group to be extremely welcoming. Isn’t it always a little daunting heading to these things when you don’t know anybody…? I think we all feel the same way. But with the HCCI there was no need to be, everyone mingled and I met a number of interesting people and businesses. Some of them may help improve our business and others, we hope, will use our services at some point in the future. Time will tell, but these are the little seeds that will grow into wonderful oak trees.
If you are the owner of a local business, I recommend you look for your own networking groups in your area. Go along and learn what’s going on in your neighbourhood; there may be an chance for you and your business to grow connections in the local business community.
Later in the month Havering Women in Business were hosting a networking evening in Hornchurch. The theme of the evening was how to increase profit with training. This provided us with insight into hiring apprentices and offering work experience, as a way for smaller businesses to expand their team with staff wanting to learn on the job whilst at the same time studying for a qualification. This was a smaller gathering, but it was rich in information, contacts and prospective opportunities.
Off the back of that meeting we were invited by one of the ladies to attend a Women in Business Network lunch, which was another opportunity to meet other local business owners, exchange business cards, have a chance to tell the group what you do, as well as network independently. From that meeting we made more interesting contacts that could potentially turn into new business.
If you haven’t yet dipped your toe into networking events - be bold, be brave and go forth. It can open you up to a whole new world that you were previously closed off too. As I always say, it not just the people you meet, but it is who they know that might benefit you too.
Having a website in 2018, is not the financial investment that it was a few years ago - where even a simple website would cost thousands of pounds.
These days there are many platforms that you can use to build a site yourself. For those of you less courageous or who want to ensure that your website not only looks good, but is going to be found at the top of search engines, commissioning the redesign of your website to a professional company will be the right choice.
At Perfect Layout Digital Marketing, we have website packages at affordable prices for all businesses, whether large or small.
For companies that already have a website and are looking for a redesign, we would charge an hourly rate for our services. We would have a consultation meeting to determine what your current website offers and what you want from your new site. We would advise whether the platform that your site is currently built on is one that we would work with, or whether we recommend changing to another one. Following the consultation meeting we would agree on the website’s site navigation.
If you are not confident at writing content, the copy editors at Perfect Layout Digital Marketing can do an analysis of your sector and determine the correct keywords that should be incorporated into your pages. They will then write keyword-rich content for each of your pages. This work is charged on an hourly basis.
We would also determine the colour scheme, photos and look of the website before beginning the construction of your pages.
However, if a client wishes to write the content and provide all the images for the website, the build-only cost for a redesign for a 10-page website would be in the region of £500.
If you are considering a monthly support package (which can help you move towards to the top of the search engine rankings) take a look at our other website packages.
Call Perfect Layout Digital Marketing Services today to talk through your website redesign.