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As a Website Designer I often have clients that have this “pie in the sky” perception about having a website. Their expectation that by having a budget website of one or two pages will result in a sudden increase in business within 2-3 days of it being launched, it makes me think of the movie “Field of Dreams”.

The truth of the matter is that having a website built is the first step in a very long process of creating an online presence for your business. I read a post recently that having the expectation that a Website will solve all of your turnover problems, is similar to starting a restaurant and employing a great chef, having a great chef will not make your restaurant a success, it will just make the food taste good, you need to consider the venue, the location, the décor, the service and the advertising, be it through word of mouth or paid media … Only then will you have a successful restaurant.

The same apples to having a website ….

Build a DIY site on WIX or have a website designer build you a one page site with 2 paragraphs of text and 3 out of focus pictures taken with an old Nokia 3310 and then sit  back and hope and pray that the business will suddenly start rolling in …. You are doomed to failure and so is your business.

There are several things you need to do and consider when embarking on this journey of taking your business online and getting found on the worldwide web.

CONTENT

The best web designer in the world is not going to build you the best website if you cannot invest time into providing good quality images and content for your website, Google cannot read pretty stock images, they need to know about your business and you have two options in this respect, either get a qualified content writer to create the content for you or spend time and effort in doing so yourself to make the visitor to your site and Google understand what you do, why you do it and how you do it.

THE DESIGN      

Now that you have the content on hand and you have some awesome photos for your new website, you look for a website designer, or you embark on a long and arduous journey of trying to design a site using a free drag and drop website builder like Wix, again, you are not investing in your business using the DIY methods, there is a lot more to web design than simply dropping pictures and text into little blocks.

Then you have those clients with requests like “make the logo bigger” or “lets make the background more colourful” and stuff like that and while it might look pretty, is it practical? Will it work? Does it comply with requirements that Google needs before it will index and list your site.

THE HOSTING

Now that your awesome site has been designed well and looks great, it needs to be stored somewhere on a server in the big wide world, and luckily you found a great package with a host somewhere in the middle of nowhere that will only cost you a couple of rand a month, however once launched, your site is as slow as a turtle on a beach in mating season and times out more than it loads… and two months after it was launched it is hacked and has malicious code injected into it that redirects the user to a Chinese adult toy site and your site and domain is now blacklisted by Google.

Alternatively you invest in your business and buy hosting that has security, that is reliable and has a good uptime track record, and this is where you load your awesome new site.

MARKETING

So now you have a website, and you have hosted it on a super fast and reliable server, now you need to tell people about, but more importantly, you need to tell the search engines across the world that your site exists and allow then to serve up your details to the users that is searching for your services. There are many aspects to marketing and some of it costs more than others but you need them in at least one form or another in order to get people to visit your site and the general rule is that the more people that visit your site and the longer they stay on your site, the higher Google will rank it and the easier you will appear in searches, there are obviously a lot of other things that the search engines like Google take into account …

Stay tuned for the next instalment on the importance and methods of Marketing and how it can help your business get found.

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