A Business Name + Model
It goes without saying that you need to have a way of making money to start a business, and a name for people to remember it by to keep it going. My suggestion is to work with Go Daddy while you think of names for your business, so you can pick a name with an available corresponding domain. Otherwise, you could risk getting invested in a name that you love and then starting from scratch again when you find that the matching domain name isn’t available.
Once you find a domain name that accurately represents your business, and is easy to remember – buy it. Buy it for a year to start, but make sure to set it to auto-renew so you don’t risk the chance of losing it. Stick with a .com if you can, and please don’t use dashes. Seriously, no matter how important it is to get certain words in your domain name, if it has dashes in it, no one will remember it.
If your domain is the address of your home, your web host is who you pay rent to. Your web host is where all of your site’s files are stored and transferred between your computer and the Internet. A lot of small business owners host with iPage, Dreamhost, Bluehost, Go Daddy, or HostGator for their affordability, and more expensive hosts like Rackspace or WP Engine for enhanced support and security options.
You’ll want to get your email addresses set up before you start to build your website so you know what email address to use on your site and in your business card design.
Know Your Audience
You need to know who will be visiting your website before you start to build it. With a specific audience in mind, you can choose colors, fonts, words, an overall layout, and many more strategic design decisions to cater your message specifically to them.
Know how you want to measure conversions
While the word “conversion” is typically used in e-commerce to describe the act of converting site visitors into paying customers, it can also be considered as a result or indirect action that may lead to a sale further down the road. For some business owners, a conversion is when a website user signs up for their email list or requests a quote. While these actions are not direct purchases, they are proactive steps taken towards the final purchase. When you know how you want to measure conversions, you can have your site strategically designed to lead the prospective customer into taking the actions you want them to take.
Understand how people will be searching for your site
Because of the constant changes that Google is making to their algorithms, you can’t have an award winning SEO campaign based on keywords alone. However – they are unarguably the building blocks of SEO within your site, and you should absolutely identify which keywords are most valuable to you and your business. If you do your own research ahead of time and determine what keywords should be used throughout your site, your web designer will love you forever.
How did you do?
If you were able to check off any or all of the items listed above, congratulations! You’re officially on the easy and organized path to having a well-manicured piece of internet property.
When you’re ready to talk design, you know who to call. I’ll be over here playing with colors and fonts – shoot me a message!