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How To Get Your Startup Online: Key Things You Need To Know

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by Startacus Admin

Whatever you do as a business, you have to have an eye on your online output. It doesn’t matter if your startup is heavily digital in its operation or not, the world wide web is no longer an optional extra for a business. 

Don’t believe it? Consider this: 81 per cent of customers do some research online before making a purchase. As a business, you need to cater for your customers or you’ll struggle to survive. If they’re online – and they are - that’s where you need to be.

It’s even more important for startups to get this right as they are the very businesses who need to be found for the first time. 

Start off with a name

One of the first things you need to do is register a domain. In essence, this gives you the name for your website. This should, ideally, include the name of your business or at least a phrase or word very closely associated with your business. Remember, you need to make it as easy as possible for people to find you. 

What do you want your site to do?

The next step is building a website but there is an important thing you need to do before you go any further. You need to decide what it is that you want your site to do. If you just want a page that can help customers to find you then you’ll need something different to a business that wants to sell goods online directly. 

You might think that you don’t know what you want and that’s fine – that’s why this stage is important. If you’re in this boat, then it’s time to do some research. Look at competitors, rivals and other businesses of a similar size that you admire. Look at what they do well and not so well and decide which features you’d like to have for yourself. It’s easier to decide this from the outset. 

Build it up

Next, it’s time to actually build the site. This process will need to deliver all the things that you highlighted in the previous step and turn them into something that is user-friendly for you and your customer.

As This Is Money notes, there are three ways to tackle this – handle it yourself, get a DIY template or pay for a professional to do it. This will depend on your expertise and on what you actually want your website to do. It might also depend on the budget you have available and the time you are able to dedicate to your website. You do, after all, still need to focus a lot of time, energy and money into perfecting the product and service you’re offering to build up a reputation and, as a startup, it’s unlikely you’ll have countless members of staff sitting around waiting to take on this challenge for you.

Basic business packages are fairly cheap these days and templated sites have improved, meaning that you don’t just have to look like everyone else or spend too long ensuring you don’t look like a basic blog set up in someone’s bedroom. The best advice would be to browse a few business site builders and look at what they can do. If you think it’s not enough then you’ll need a pro, if you’re sitting there thinking you could do a better job yourself then you could take on the challenge.

Hosting is crucial

Once your name and site are established you need to get the right hosting package. Think of this as the online equivalent of a premises for your shop. Just as with a premises, you need to think about the space you can get and the facilities that you can benefit from within that space.

As a startup you need to look for affordable business hosting packages that can get you up and running with everything you need and offer support if anything goes wrong.

Keep it up

A name, site and hosting package are all you need but you should also bear in mind that your website work doesn’t end here. You need to ensure the information is kept up to date and, if you can, add some nice content – a blog, product pages, FAQs – which will help your customers and catch the eye of Google when would-be customers are searching.

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Published on: 15th December 2016

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