They say it’s the little things in life that count, and for startups that rely on their .biz website to drive revenue and awareness, nothing could be truer. Yet it’s also these little things that typically get overlooked, and if you’re not careful, ignoring them, can bring your online presence to a screeching halt before your business has the chance to take off.Building a website is considerably different than it was 10, five or even two years ago. Security threats are more complex, traffic patterns are more unpredictable and differentiation is even more difficult in the competitive and crowded search marketplace. As technology evolves on a daily basis, business owners need to constantly re-evaluate the domain names and tools they use and ensure that they are keeping pace with the latest trends that can impact their business.
Startups should consider these three things when building a website:
1) Choosing the right web address
Too many startups make the mistake of failing to register the right web address when building their sites. So just what is the “right” address?
To start, you want it to be something that’s easily remembered, easy to type and, if applicable, best represents the community you’re a part of, whether physical or virtual. If your customers are searching online, having an appealing, easily remembered site address is a surefire way to make your site findable.
Another way to make your site address memorable is to consider the last three letters, or the part “to the right of the dot.” This is also known as a top-level domain, and although .com is obviously the most ubiquitous domain, why not consider using your TLD as another differentiator for your business? For example, registering a .biz or any other such TLD can help your brand stand out among other small businesses.
2) Getting Traffic
Once you’ve launched your site with the right web address, it’s time to focus on generating traffic. Search engine optimization remains an effective (and affordable) way to drive traffic. It’s important to stay apprised of the key terms and phrases related to your business that show up most frequently in search and have these well-represented in the content of your site.
If you have some money to spend on advertising, paid search can be a cost-effective way to drive traffic. Investing in paid search will ensure your site appears in sponsored links on Google or Bing, and you want to make sure your business is seen in as many listings as possible to get in front of the greatest number of customers. Tools like Localeze can help you manage your online search listings.
3) Managing Performance and Ensuring Security
Though neither should impact your business much in the very early stages, site performance and security will likely be important factors as your online presence grows. Monitoring and testing your website regularly can help avoid slow load times and broken shopping carts, both of which can result in lost revenue and unsatisfied customers.
As you grow, start thinking about the methods and tools you’ll use to safeguard your site performance and security, implementing these tools when it becomes necessary to ensure continued revenue growth.
Building a standout website today isn’t like what it used to be. There’s more competition, more tools and a greater number of options for discoverability than ever before. When launching your site, make sure to consider these three critical components and you’ll have a head-start toward online startup success.
About the author:
Jim Rogers, Head of Marketing, Neustar Enterprise Services