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Getting started with a website and online marketing? Here’s what you need…

January 17, 2013

When I’m out and about and chatting with people, they sometimes ask me what I think they need if they are about to focus on their web presence.  The list below includes the generic answer that I would give to anyone ranging from a sole proprietor, to a political candidate, to a non-profit agency, to an owner of a huge company.

If you are getting ready to begin building an online presence, you need:

  • An overall marketing strategy with an understanding of the target market.
  • A realistic budget.
  • A great logo and tagline.
  • Nice-looking business cards.
  • Facebook and Twitter pages, and depending on your business or organization, a Pinterest, Google Plus, and LinkedIn page.
  • Local listings (Google Places, Yelp, City Search, etc.) that are populated with data about your business or organization.
  • A Mail Chimp or Constant Contact account.
  • A website.
  • Well-written copy for your website.

The next question people usually ask is about what features their website needs to have in order to be eye-catching, fast-loading, feature-rich, and flexible for future growth.  Below is a list of what I tell them…

What features does my website need to have?

  • A striking design that makes a statement, but that is not so striking that you forget about the content.
  • Original images and/or stock photography that complements the website design
  • Content that is well-written that addresses the audience’s problems and offers a solution.
  • A CMS (content management system) backend that supports growth and flexibility.  The best CMSs are ones with easy-to-install form builders, slider modules, photo galleries, e-commerce plugins, blogging modules, search engine optimization tools, and other types of add-on functionality.
  • Ties to social media sites.  This includes both links to your own social media pages as well as social media sharing buttons that allow people to hit the “like,” “tweet,” “pin,” or “share” buttons.
  • A blog that is updated regularly and that people can subscribe to by submitting their email address.
  • A navigational structure that is intuitive and search engine friendly.
  • A text editor that allows for easy formatting and content editing.

These lists can be a good starting point for anyone who is getting ready to establish an online presence or to enhance an existing one.  If you have everything on the list and even a little bit of motivation to ensure that either you or someone you’re paying is pushing out fresh content, it will be impossible not to increase awareness of your business or organization.

Good luck and for more information, contact me anytime…