Help! How Do I Get My Website and Social Media Working?


Published: October 7, 2019 Author: Jason Holicky - Hometown Design Studio Inc.
How Do I Get My Website, Social Media, and Online Store Going?

Whether you’re launching a new business, re-launching an existing company, or you’ve finally realized that you can’t do business anymore without an online presence, there’s a lot to keep track of. How do you get a website up and running? How do you use social media? What about SEO? What is SEO?

It’s overwhelming, to say the least! The short answer to all these questions is to partner with a company whose expertise it is to create a unified launch for all your digital properties. The long answer, and to help those who feel hopeless, lies ahead.

How Do I Get My Website Up and Running?
Your first stop should be to create your website or update your current one to meet the expectations of today’s consumers. As tempting as it may be to head over to one of the many self-driven website builders, this is one area where engaging with a professional web design team is critical. We know that all business owners keep an eye on the bottom line. Keeping costs under control is a daily exercise, but there are better ways to shave a few bucks from your budget.

First, your website serves as a stand-in for you personally on the internet. More than just pretty graphics and clever clicks, your website is the hub of your company’s online presence and must be working hard at all hours of the day to bring you new business. Templates and DIY website builders seem fast and easy, but they can never do the work of a custom build.

No template designer and no drag-and-drop website builder know what your business goals are or who your best customers should be. They are completely unaware of your competition or what it will take to stand out. They may know a little bit about getting you found on Google, but they’re not interested in getting you the best results.

A custom website build always starts with a consultation to understand who you are and what drives your business. It should include clarifying your goals and a deep dive into how you need to separate yourself from the crowd. Plus, setting up an online store that your customers will trust and utilizes every financial safety feature is always a job for a professional.

What About Social Media?
Social media channels are a great way to expand your reach into new audiences, build rapport with your current customers and the online community, and boost the efforts of your other marketing initiatives. Establishing your social media pages is a good second step to getting your online presence built, and most channels have a very intuitive setup process.

Many business owners have found the process of setting up their own social sites easy enough to do themselves. If you venture down this path yourself, remember to keep your branding consistent! Use your company colors, logos, and other branding pieces to ensure a consistent look and feel for your readers.

Getting attention means creating your own posts (hint: posts with images get more than double the engagement than those without). Sharing posts from your social media community can be helpful, too, just be sure everything you share is relevant and interesting to your customers. Remember to engage with those who respond to your posts by inviting them to like or follow your page and reply to comments as quickly as you can.

When you’re ready to optimize or ramp up your social media feeds to get more followers and more leads, then it’s time to hire someone who can create a long-lasting strategy for your business.

I Keep Hearing About SEO….
This one can be one of the most overwhelming aspects of digital marketing, but it doesn’t have to be. In short, SEO (or search engine optimization) is the techy-sounding name for the process of making sure your website is found when your customers use Google and other search engines to find the products and services you offer.

Or, from another perspective: search engines like Google have customers to serve. Those customers are the people who type words into the search bar and expect to be given a page of highly relevant search results. Google wants happy customers. You want happy customers. SEO is the process of convincing Google that your website is a good fit for Google’s customers.

The best way to do this is to create a website that’s honest and packed with helpful information about what your company does and why you do it. Keywords are important, but if you’re creating content on your web pages with integrity, most keywords will naturally fall into place. Any additional keywords should be worked into your pages so they appear natural to the reader. There are a few technical details to mind, but if you’re using a professional web developer to build your site, they should be well-versed in these details and make sure your pages are optimized from the start.

Advanced SEO tactics such as link-building, promoting your website, and making sure your social media profiles are associated with your business website will help, too, but not until you’ve built a robust and reliable foundation from which to start.

What About Online Advertising?
Once you’ve done all the work of establishing your online presence, it’s time to make some noise and call some attention to your work! Like most digital endeavors, online advertising isn’t a one-size-fits-all project. Creating an advertising strategy that makes the most of your budget while also meeting business goals means understanding your audience and targeting the best channels for your niche. In some cases, a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign that targets people searching for specific terms is the most effective way to bring fresh traffic--and leads!--to your website. For some businesses, advertising on social media will provide better results. Display and native advertising (i.e., sponsored content on high-traffic pages) could be the best approach. Retail establishments may want to incorporate remarketing (targeting people who have browsed your products, but didn’t make a purchase or abandoned a shopping cart).

Digital advertising is another area where it's easy to become overwhelmed by the many choices. Most businesses don’t need to worry about most of these options. Instead, it’s better to focus on one or two channels that are the most promising for your products, services, and audience rather than spreading yourself too thin.

Getting Help to Get Out of the Weeds
As a business owner, it can be frustrating to find yourself overwhelmed with the idea of launching or optimizing your digital assets. However, think about your own customers: you’re there to provide a valuable product or service that’s designed to make their lives simpler, easier, and more productive. We are, too. More than just a functional presence, we want every one of our customers to find success from their website, social media profiles, and digital ads.

About the Author

Creative Director Jason co-founded Hometown Design Studio of New Lenox, IL in 2013. He spends his days guiding and consulting industrial clients and small businesses owners on their marketing strategy and projects. Jason enables everyone to be successful and grow their business by sharing his knowledge and experience.
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