Who This Article is For
This article is written to help someone who has a company or professional practice but no web site. These days potential customers judge you by your web presence. If you don’t have any web presence you are making a statement about your business – and it isn’t a good one. Does this mean you must have a huge and very fancy web site? Not necessarily. For instance if you are a single attorney practice serving a very local market you may only need a web page that states who you are, your qualifications, a description of your practice and your contact information. The domain name for the site may just be your name or something like johnasmithpc.com. This has the added benefit of giving you an email address like firstname.lastname@example.org which is much better and more professional than an email address @aol.com or hotmail.
Of course the more you put into your web presence the more you will get out of it. A lot of people today find business not by using the phone book but by typing something like “dentist mytown” to find a local dentist. The dentist who has taken the time and effort to create a web site that is search engine optimized for local searches will show up and have an opportunity to get that business.
What is the Basic Information You Will Need to Set Up a Web Site?
To get started you will first need:
- Company Name
- Contact Name
- Company Physical Address (1234 Main St, Anytown, PA 19000)
- Phone number you want to be contact on.
- The name of industry/market you serve. Can be more than one.
- Company description
- Domain Name
Numbers 1 thru 6 is pretty simple and straight forward and most business people have that or can put it together rather quickly. The next two items, a logo and domain name, some people may or may not have.
Getting a Logo on a Budget
It can’t be stressed enough that a company, even a one person professional, needs a logo. Don’t get your cousin who likes to play with Illustrator on the weekend to do your logo. Believe me it shows. On the expensive end a good logo done by a top logo designer will run around $6,000. If you are a small to medium sized business and have big plans for the future I strongly recommend investing the money. A great logo designer I would recommend is Michael Manoogian.
On the other hand if you have a smaller budget you can get a logo for around $500. For that you need to go to Netgonian’s cheap logo design where you can get a logo in around 7 days starting at $499.99.
Getting a Domain Name
This is a very important part of the process. Your domain name is your address on the Internet and you want it to be something that will represent you well. Usually that would be your company name but it can also be something like “anytowndentist.com” if you are a dentist in the town “anytown”. Domain names are cheap, about $10/year. Follow this link to get a domain name.
What Pages Should You Have on Your Website
You could get away with just a one page web site with a brief description of who you are and what you do. That is better than nothing but without too much effort you can put together something much more professional and much more helpful for visitors with a 5 page website:
- Home Page – this page should tell the visitor exactly what problem you can help them with and how to get in touch with you.
- About Us page – this page is there to tell the visitor who you are and answers the question “Are you qualified to help me?”
- Contact Us page – this is a self evident page and instruct the visitor more thoroughly how to get in touch with you (phone, fax, email, business hours, driving directions).
- Testimonials page – this page helps the visitor have more confidence in your ability to help them.
- Services/Products page – this page helps the user know in more detail what types of things you can help them with.
In setting up the content for your pages keep in mind that the web site is for the visitors and usually helping them solve 3 basic problems:
- knowing that you provide the service/product they are looking for (home page, services page)
- gaining the confidence that you are the right person/company for them (about us page and testimonials page)
- contact you so that they can get the help they need (home page and contact us page)
The above applies to corporate presence web sites and is a basic guideline that can help many businesses with their first web site. If you need more help designing your site architecture just give us a call!
Now You are Ready for a Web Site
Armed with the above you are ready for your first web site. If you don’t want to do any work in getting your first web site together you can have the professionals at Netgonian put together a very cheap web site that will only cost $49.99 per month. This is great if you have simple web site needs. But that solution isn’t good for you if you want to really play in the big league in terms of web presence. We offer starting at about $1,000 great solutions that give you more control over your web presence and allows for better search engine optimization and more advanced features. Contact us for a web site design estimate.
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