How to make your own website How to make your own website

How to Make Your Own Website

A step-by-step guide for real small business owners & entrepreneurs looking to
learn how to make a website and get online without any programming!
How to make your own website How to make your own website
Overview

Step 5 – Video 2: Managing & Maintaining Your Website

In this video, we’ll cover what you can do next and how to successfully manage and maintain your website now that it’s built. This includes things like keeping your website and it’s content up to date, marketing your website with free and paid services, performing offsite SEO, actively monitoring website traffic & behavior, and more.

Video Transcript

Managing and maintaining your website is where the real work comes in. Unfortunately, you can’t just build a website and leave it alone, expecting it to help your business grow. You need to continually work on it. Think of your website as an investment that requires your continual care and attention before it can yield any return.

This means continually keeping your website up to date – like adding new content, updating existing content, and removing old content so that all the information on your website is accurate for your viewers. You need to test it and tweak it, and continually optimize it for better conversion rates. Furthermore, you’ll need to market your website and actively review website traffic & behavior, along with a variety of other tasks.

Now, some of these do depend on how much time and money you have available, but in general, the more tasks you accomplish, the more you keep your website competitive and successful. So at the very least, here are some further tasks to complete along with some additional things you may want to consider:

Get a Professional Email Address

First and foremost, you should get a professional email address set up! Now that you have a website, using a professional email address with your domain is a MUST for any business. Never respond to your customers via the Gmail account I mentioned earlier – or any other free email service. Always use a professional email address with your website domain. An example of this would be support@mydomainname.com or info@mydomainname.com. It is ok to create different email addresses for different purposes or departments within your business. For example, Sarah could use orders@sarahsbakery.com to send an order confirmation email to her customers, yet display an info@sarahsbakery.com email address on her website for general inquires. To get started on this task, refer to your website builder’s documentation on how to create email addresses. In Wix, you can easily do this by logging into your main dashboard and then going to Domains & Mailboxes.

Add a Blog

Next, you may want to consider adding a blog to your website. A blog can be beneficial for your business in numerous ways, such as attracting leads, writing about your expertise and sharing it, creating a conversation for your customers, and many more. You can read our resource article on why your business should have a blog for more info on this. To create a blog, once again refer to your website builder’s documentation on how to add a blog. In Wix, you can easily accomplish this task by logging in to your website editor and then click ADD a Blog to get started.

Add Google Analytics

Next, you may want to add Google Analytics to your website so that you can start collecting analytical data about your website and its traffic. Even if you don’t plan on using this data any time soon, it’s a good idea to start collecting it so that you have it for when you do. Google Analytics is a free service from Google that lets you measure sales and conversions, along with useful insights into how visitors use your website, how they arrived on your website, and how you can keep them coming back. Ultimately, this data can be very beneficial in understanding your viewer’s behaviors and can help you determine what works and what doesn’t for your website.

Visit www.google.com/analytics/standard to get started. You can also refer to your website builder’s documentation on how to add Google Analytics.

Set Up a Google “My Business” Account

Next, you should consider claiming a Google My Business account. This depends on the type of business you have, but for small business owners that do business locally with a physical address, such as Sarah and her bakery shop, this is an important task. Your goal should be to rank well on Google’s local search and claiming a Google My Business account is the first step to accomplishing that goal. If you perform a search for any local business service on Google and you’ll see 3 top-rated businesses displayed at the very top of the page. This section is called the 3-pack, and it’s understandably the coveted position for every local business owner. Ranking well in Google takes time, which is why you should get started with a Google “My Business” account as soon as you can. This is a great way to claim your business location and brand in Google search.

Visit www.google.com/business to get started.

Use Social Media

Another task to consider is setting up and using social media. Virtually every major business now uses social media to communicate with customers. In fact, it’s become such a popular customer communication tool, that many customers expect it from a business, large or small. You can manage support queries, product and service questions, and share content related to your industry.

You don’t need to be present on every social media network, but you should be present on the ones that make sense. For example, Sarah bakes a lot of tasty treats that make your mouth water just by looking at them, so it makes sense to at least have Pinterest and Instagram to share her photos. If you have a service related business, Facebook and Twitter are common for customer updates. If you don’t have the time, you can even hire a social media manager to help you.

Collect Online Reviews

Next, you should consider collecting online reviews to showcase on your website, and if possible, acquire a positive rating from the Better Business Bureau. Surveys show that 88% of consumers read online reviews to determine the quality of a local business. When you also factor in the popularity of online directories like Yelp, you’ll quickly realize how important it is to start collecting online reviews and increase positive feedback for your business.

Marketing Your Website

Next to consider is paid marketing for your website. Any new website exists in a virtual void until you actually start marketing it. Even if you have a small budget, paid marketing can instantly drive new visitors and potential customers to your website. There are a number of marketing services available for you to consider as well.

I already discussed the importance of social media and you can use paid social media marketing as one method to market your website.

Another popular method that works well for many small businesses, is pay-per-click ads. Popular pay-per-click advertising include Google AdWords and Bing Ads. PPC can be very effective but also expensive if not properly utilized. Define your budget and manage your ads appropriately for a good return on your investment.

Hiring an SEO

Next to consider is SEO. I already briefly discussed SEO and some onsite optimization for your website in a previous video, but there is so much more to SEO. Hiring a professional SEO company can help you with both onsite and offsite SEO work while providing your business with professional advice and personal insights. Done properly, SEO can greatly help you your business grow on the web. However, hiring a SEO company is an important decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Do your research and take careful consideration in your hiring approach. SEO can also be expensive so make sure you have a budget set aside.

Conclusion

As you can see, there is a lot more work ahead now that your new website has been built. Managing and maintaining your website will require hard work and dedication in order for it to succeed. I would highly recommend setting aside a budget for marketing, search engine optimization, and other paid tasks as well. However, if you cannot afford this just yet, that’s still ok. At this point, you can focus on the free tasks I mentioned earlier and work on keeping your website continually up to date for your readers. Remember, your website is ultimately all about providing them with accurate information in an efficient manner.

Also keep in mind that every website and every business is different. For example, marketing with pay-per-click ads may work well for some and not so well for others. There’s a wide variety of marketing strategies out there and you’ll need to find and test different marketing strategies to find the ones that work for you. This same thing applies for other aspects of your website when managing and maintaining it. Ultimately, the success of your website relies upon you – keep your website up to date and in step with the latest website best practices. And then, eventually when you can, start testing some paid marketing strategies.

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