How to Take Your Business Online
If you want to take your Businesses or Business Online and you need information on how to go about this, then this article is right here for you. As you read on, you will learn and steps on how to take your business online doing it yourself.
Creating a Business site or an e-commerce website can be daunting. Most of the information concerning this subject that can be found on the internet is either much too general or horribly complex. The task is not that difficult, however, when you break the process down into small, logical steps.
The first step is choosing a domain name for your website. The domain name is what people will type into the browser to navigate to your site. Domain names are like telephone numbers, no two people can have the same one. There are different "area codes" available, such as .com, .org, and .us to allow the same domain name to be used several times. There are many websites that you can use to see if a domain name has already been taken, just do a Google search for "domain registration". If you're lucky, your current business name will work. If not, you'll have to be creative. Be careful what you choose, however, as your domain name needs to be both memorable and easy to spell. You want people to be able to spread information about your website using word of mouth.
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Once you have chosen a web hosting company, you need to decide how you are going to accept payment. For the first year, I would recommend using PayPal. They are easy to work with and easy to implement on your website. A very basic knowledge of HTML is all that you need to get the PayPal shopping cart up and running. Eventually you will want to move to a more sophisticated payment gateway, such as Authorize.net, but the costs make this prohibitive for starting out, especially if you don't know how much you are going to be selling online.
The actual design of your website is probably the most complex part of taking a business online. Many web hosting companies offer tools to help create web sites, and there are many templates that can be downloaded. Using these tools and templates in the beginning will help things get started, but learning HTML is a must. There is no need to buy expensive books or take training classes. There are many online resources available that are dedicated to teaching HTML. My favorite site for this purpose would have to be http://www.w3schools.com/. This site has several tutorials and reference guides to help you along your way. The most important thing to remember is to keep things simple.
After creating a website, you need to drive traffic to your site. There are many ways to do this, but the most simple is to submit your site to a search engine. After submitting your site, it could take as long as a month to be indexed. During this time, it is important to build links to your site. There are many "web directories" that you can submit your site too, as well as contacting other companies that are selling merchandise complementary to your own (such as a flower shop linking to a wedding planner). Many search engines, such as Google and Yahoo!, use the number of links directed to you page to determine how high you will rank. The more relevant the content of your site and of the sites linking to you, the more visitors you can expect at your site.
The overall task may seem overwhelming, but when broken into steps, the process of taking your business online can be much simpler. First, you need to decide a domain name and a hosting company. Then you must choose a payment gateway and design your site. Finally, you must submit your site to search engines and begin the process of building links.
Jeremiah Lutz is a web designer and Vice-President of a small business in North Carolina. You can view his business website at the following URL: