How to Create a Website (Short Version)
- Do keyword research.
- Determine site structure/URLs.
- Produce/add optimized site content.
- Add a Tag Manager bin to the site.
- Set up measurement tools.
- Set up an email service provider and an email contact form.
Should I Build It Myself? (Long Version)
It’s tempting, especially as a small business owner, to save a few bucks by building your own website. I built my first site myself several years ago using WordPress. I had no previous experience and it was tough, but I did it and learned a lot. So, it is possible to construct your own site and I encourage you to do so if you have the time. But I would also suggest that you consult with a digital marketing strategist before taking the plunge.
Digital Marketing, like any specialty, takes time (years!) to master. Yes, you can build your own site, but will it attract traffic? The traffic that is most likely to engage with your business? Do you know how to set up goals on your site and measure success? Do you know how to set up and manage PPC ads so that your campaigns get more effective yet cheaper to run? Do you have the time to produce a quality piece of content every month? A lot goes into creating and managing a website that works for your business and if you don’t at least get the basics right, you don’t have a prayer of ever getting out from under the competition online.
A Digital Marketing Strategist will help you get the most out of your website. Actually, it’s a mistake to keep talking about your website in isolation. What your business needs is a “web presence” that includes a website and possibly PPC ad campaigns, social media accounts, email campaigns and a blog. So, in addition to all of the specialized tasks you have to get right while planning/building your website, you have off-site tasks to manage like a pro once the site is built. Not many entrepreneurs have the time or expertise to do it all – and do it well – while attending to the day-to-day management of their business.
I know it sounds like I’m discouraging you from creating your own website, but my goal here is to make sure that you understand what is involved so you don’t waste time and money building a site that does nothing for you. What I usually suggest to clients on a budget is that I create their basic on-line presence (an optimized website, measurement tools, social media accounts, etc.) then teach them how to manage everything going forward. Getting that solid foundation in place first gets the SEO ball rolling ASAP and buys the time necessary for you to learn how digital marketing works from the top down through social media and PPC advertising management.
A website paired with other digital marketing strategies will help grow your business if done right. Yes, you can build your business’ online presence yourself, but it will take a long time and won’t be nearly as effective as if you had at least consulted a digital marketing strategist first. In the long run, the attempt to cut corners by creating your own website without specialized knowledge will end up costing you both time and money, two resources that business owners hate to waste.
Contact me to get it right the first time.