Developing your online presence

Moving your business to the world wide web can be a big job, especially if you have not started out online and need to put your business online quickly. 

Have a look at some of the starting points below but remember that each one needs to be catered to your business’s personality and objectives.

Choose your audience

Putting a business online makes it accessible to a mass amount of markets you may not have realised will be interested in what you’re seeking, so make sure all your written content makes sense to anyone who may stumble across your website. 

Have a look at your competition and see how you can make your business stand out against it and gain the reception of your current target audience and new potential. You may even choose to consult friends and family about the purpose of your business to make sure they have total comprehension. 

Domains/URL 

Every part of your website set-up should be styled to represent your business. This includes the domain and URL names you choose. 

Be sure to choose a unique and available domain/URL so that there is no chance of another company coming along and claiming the same one. Also remember that suffixes can prevent this too, so be sure to choose the most appropriate such as; .co.uk or .com.

How will you host?

Finding a responsible web host is very important as large amounts of data are going to be shared throughout your website. Conduct thorough research and be sure to see what the reviews have said about popular web hosting packages.

Don’t forget to remember your budget. Even though cheap and cheerful may suit your price range, it is often better to go for a more adequately priced option and ensure you are getting the full support when you need it.

Hire an external developer

If timing is something you think you may struggle with, hiring an external web developer can be a great comfort as you know they’re channelling all their energy into making your website look great and function perfectly.

A significant amount of large business owners hire help after trying to set up their website themselves or after struggling for a long time with online website building tools. An external developer can be an excellent time-keeping decision as they ensure that your website is designed, set-up and run with your ideas in mind. 

External developers leave you with more time to focus on the run of your business rather than getting tied up with the nitty-gritty elements of website set-up. Furthermore, avoid choosing cheap and cheerful companies as they will often skim over the finer details. You want to hire a developer who is experienced and will dedicate time to your website. 

Monetise Your Site

Your site can work for you in more ways than just advertising your business. PPC marketing can add links that can pay at a cost per click rate. This can mean your site is still working, even when you are not. You can find out how to make this more effective by getting expert advice through PPC training. For any training, a one-to-one course can offer more value, providing opportunity to share your account with your trainer and discuss in more detail which  would not be possible in a large group.

Online trading is different

Even if you’re just selling one product on your website you need to ensure you website is compatible with that purpose. If trade is the sole purpose of your website, then Ecommerce sites e.g. Shopify are much more suited to your needs as it displays just the product sand their descriptions.

However, if you want to make your website more informative, a simple shopping cart software can be installed for your consumers to purchase from your website after reading about your company. Read reviews about the latest software and options based on your objectives.

Relevant content

Proof reading is more important than ever. You’re about to put your website out to the world and if minor mistakes aren’t taken care of it may reflect badly on your audience’s perception of your business.

To prevent this happening, get family or friends to thoroughly test your website and read the content that is on there and report back with any mistakes. 

If you have hired an external web developer than rest assured the developer in charge of your website will go through your website with you by their side and you can both check for errors or little things that may be worth changing and make a difference to your audience reception of your website. 

Once the checks have been made your website is ready to launch and you can start sharing your website on other platforms.

You’re on the world wide web!

A common mistake made by those who have just transgressed to the world of online trading is that they neglect the upkeep of their website. 

Driving traffic to your website is how you’re going to gain viewership and makes sales so spread the word! If you haven’t already, set up social media accounts and share the link to your website on them regularly. 

Another option is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) which can gradually bring in more and more traffic to your website and boost your Google rankings, meaning you will be making more business transactions and getting your brand known throughout the internet. Stockport Website design firms hold many years’ experience in responsive web design, and therefore understand and apply all the latest updates and strategies to your website when they manage it. 

Online Identity theft – Are we oversharing?

We spend so much of our time online these days. We shop online, consult online doctors, do our banking online, book our holidays online and do our tax returns online. There seems to be nothing that we cannot do at the click of a button and businesses often rely on the ability to work online, many being completely based on the internet, with virtual premises and systems. Whilst this is brilliant for our convenience in a modern world, it does mean that our personal data is out there, floating around cyberspace as we give our details out to everything from TV licencing, filling out tax returns, to ordering presents for Christmas.

More data and information is shared through our love of social media. I am a huge fan of social media, using Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram pretty much everyday. I am not ashamed to say that I use them all, both as a tool for sharing my work (and gaining more work) and also in a personal capacity. Facebook in particular is a way to keep in touch with friends and family who you don’t necessarily see all the time, to share photographs of Joe, and his milestones as he grows up. But are we putting ourselves in danger by our new obsession with over sharing.

Well, the answer is both yes and no. Online companies, and other companies who use the internet in some way are now taking our data, and its protection, very seriously. Companies collect data through master data management, with Microsoft’s Master Data Services becoming a preferred way of storing personal information – not just about the general public, but also about employees of said company. High levels of security have been put into place to monitor and restrict who is able to access and view our data which companies hold due to transactions and services. This is more reassuring than in the past, but our oversharing in other areas can still be a problem.

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This makes me giggle, but are we oversharing?

This makes me giggle, but are we oversharing?

Emails are a way that fraudsters can try to get us to give our personal details, and although Google is very good at filtering the spam from real emails, these spam emails still get through. As a blogger this has been a definite issue for me personally, with my email freely available on my blog for anyone who wants to try and make contact. This led to me removing my email from my homepage, there were just too many emails from cranks.

It got to the stage where I was getting email after email that claimed to be from my bank, or from Paypal, along with scores of emails about unclaimed vouchers and money I’ve inherited. Most of this was luckily filtered as spam, but some of it looks very plausible, and younger, more vulnerable people could well fall victim to it.

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Ultimately we need to be more vigilant ourselves when it comes to our data. We need to read the small print to see just how it is stored and used by the companies we give it to. The Data Protection Act of 2018 definitely improved matters, but you still need to look at whether you are ticking boxes to opt in or opt out. You have to carry some of that responsibility.