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Getting Your Business Online

Whether you’re a brand-new startup or retail store looking to break into the online market, it’s important to think about how you can make your website more visible to your audience. Whether it’s through social media, paid advertising or influencers, there are many ways to improve your exposure and reach out to a bigger audience.

However, none of that matters if your business isn’t online in the first place.

In this post, we’re going to talk about three important areas to focus on when establishing the foundation of your website; domain names, web hosts and email service providers.

1. Deciding on a Domain Name

Some of the most popular websites on the internet have simple names that are short, snappy and easy to type. Just think of websites like Google, Reddit and Facebook. They all have .com domain names, they’re easy to remember, simple to type and also short. These are the hallmarks of any good domain name, but there are going to be cases where your company name doesn’t allow for this.

For instance, if your company has a much longer name that doesn’t fit the criteria of being short, then you’re going to need to find a way to incorporate it into your domain name or potentially shorten it to something abbreviated. Some good examples of this include “nfl.com” and “imdb.com”.

So here are a couple of tips to help you decide on a domain name.

1. Avoid using any numbers and hyphens in your domain

While hyphens and numbers can seem quite easy to remember as a web domain, it comes with one glaring issue that a lot of people overlook; it’s hard to pronounce it! If your website has a hyphen or number then it can confuse people when you say the name of your domain. They might need to ask for clarification or they might just assume your domain name and then type it wrong when they decide to visit your site.

2. Pick the right extension for your domain name

There are all kinds of extensions for your domain name and some of them can open up fun and interesting possibilities. Most people just assume that .com is the only one that you should focus on because it’s universally recognized. However, if you’re an international business then domain extensions that are specific to your country may fare better. There are also unique domain extensions that can be added on to the end of your domain to make interesting and unique domains. For instance, .ke is a Kenyan domain that can be used in creative ways like “ca.ke” or “sna.ke”.

3. Shorten your domain when possible

It’s also vital that you shorten the domain name when possible. Try and leave out your full business name if it’s too long or abbreviate it to its core components. For instance, if you’re a local computer repair business and your company name is too long, then you can reduce your company’s purpose to some core words. For instance, it could just be “TechRepairCA”. The name is just what you do plus your location. It’s short, snappy and simply just works.

4. Make sure it’s catchy

A good way to ensure that your domain name is catchy is to repeat it to yourself, wait a couple of days then and see if it sticks. If it’s memorable and makes sense, then you’ve probably got a winner on your hands. You can also consider asking your colleagues, friends and family members to see what they think of the name. Everyone’s going to have different opinions, so make sure you ask several people instead of just the opinion of one person.

5. Check what's available on a domain registration service

Lastly, make sure you check a reputable domain registration service to see what’s available. You could come up with a brilliant domain name but it’s going to be pointless if it’s not actually available. Make sure you’re constantly looking at what’s available because you might run into some unique suggestions and alternatives. While the .com extension for your domain name might not be available, there might be other options available that make sense.

As you can see, picking a domain name is incredibly involved and there are a lot of considerations to keep in mind. From picking a reputable domain registration service to working out a catchy way to shorten your business name, there’s a lot more to a domain name than most people think. With a good domain name, you’ll have a much easier time growing your business over the internet.

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Getting your business online

2. Choosing a Web Host

It’s also a good idea to pick the right web host when focusing on internet marketing. After all, your marketing isn’t going to be very effective if the website it links to is down, broken or simply too slow. While a cheap host can be perfectly fine if you’re just showing a few pictures and a bit of text, your website’s needs can get very complex when you start adding cloud-based apps and videos.

The reliability of your web host also plays a huge role in the success of your internet marketing campaign. An inexpensive or unreliable host will cause major issues with the accessibility of your website. Random dropouts and downtime will make it hard for your customers to find your website, let alone purchase products and services from it.

This is why it’s vital to pick a reliable web host that can keep your website up and running smoothly. If you notice that your website is inaccessible for long periods of time or if it runs incredibly slowly, then it’s a good idea to consider switching your web host. Luckily, switching isn’t difficult and as long as you’ve backed up your website’s files somewhere, it’s usually just a case of re-uploading everything to your new host and tweaking a few settings.

To help you out, here are a couple of things to keep in mind when choosing a web host.

  • How reliable is the web host? Have you checked reviews to see if they are a recommended host?
  • What pricing tiers are there, and what does each tier offer you?
  • Have you compared the service features of one web host to another? What differences are there that could have an impact on your website?
  • What other services does the web host offer? Do they bundle in a website builder, domain name registration and an email service provider?
  • Are the costs easy to understand and within your budget?

Even if you’re not sure how to use a web host, a reputable service will be able to guide you through the steps to take in order to transfer your website from one host to another. The process is simple, quick and doesn’t require much technical knowledge. With the right web host, you guarantee that your website stays online, remains snappy and works as intended.

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3. Choosing an Email Service Provider

Lastly, we should also mention the need for a reliable email service provider when planning your internet marketing campaign. While sending emails with your current host is probably good enough at the beginning, it will eventually reach a point where you’ll need to send bulk emails to all of your clients and customers, or manage contact lists and track certain emails or conversations.

This is where the power of an email service provider comes in handy. By giving you more options to control large volumes of emails and the ability to manage your email subscribers, you can do a lot more in terms of bolstering your internet marketing campaign. Some email service providers can even offer you campaign automation services, giving you the ability to nurture and identify leads automatically without needing to actively monitor your campaign.

So here are a couple of points to keep in mind when picking an email service provider:

  • What goals do you have for the service? Are you just looking for a cheap way to start your email marketing campaign, or are you looking for a service that can be scaled to your needs?
  • Does the company offer excellent customer support? Unless you’re a savvy internet marketing specialist, chances are you’re going to need some professional support as you learn to use the service. In these cases, it’s best to choose a service that offers an outstanding level of support to make things easier for you.
  • Are the costs easy to understand and do they fit your budget? Email service providers typically offer multiple pricing tiers, each with different features that could be relevant to your needs. Make sure you understand these costs and features, then check if they’re within your budget.
  • Does the email service provider support social media? If the email service provider doesn’t support social media, then you’re going to need another type of customer relationship management software to help you manage it.

Email service providers are a crucial component of any successful internet marketing campaign that utilises email. While it can seem like an unnecessary expense at first, it’s actually an incredibly important consideration to keep in mind if you want to scale up your email marketing campaigns and take advantage of your email subscribers by nurturing leads.

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