First Steps For Setting up and Naming your Business Online
Welcome to the marketing uncensored podcast with me, your host James Sweete.
In this episode I am going to be focusing on the first steps on how to get your business an online presence. This episode is to merely nail the very basics. But obviously this will also set the foundations for your businesses success online.
I plan to outline every aspect of getting your business setup and creating an online presence. Looking at naming, domains, and social media pages.
Of course If you already have your business online, you may not need to hear some of this and so can maybe skip onto the next episode, or feel free to stick with it, you never know… I might cover something you may not have thought about.
So are we set? Well lets jump straight in shall we?
I think we can all agree that starting your business is a huge deal for anyone. If you are an anxious ball of nerves like me, then you can be filled with feelings of doubt and uncertainty. You may not know what to do next. Or even where to start. Heck I know I didn’t when I started out all them many years ago. I have had to pick everything up and learn along the way. And In some cases it’s been the hard way believe me. So Im here to help you get going and make sure you don’t make the mistakes I made in the early days of setting my business.
So although I started my business back in 2005, and back then online marketing was fairly easy. The web wasn’t so crowded, not many people knew about SEO or marketing and names etc were easy to find and secure. But having worked with our clients and obviously setting up our own side projects over more recent years. It is something that is certainly getting more and more complex every year.
So… let’s set the scene.. you’ve got your business idea, you think it’s unique and going to be the next big thing. And you’re super pumped and excited. So now you need to tell the masses and get your first customers or clients. Easy right? Well if done right it can be.
You’ve likely chosen a name by now, but before you go gun ho with this, you need to start checking that this name is available, not just for legal purposes, but also for your marketing purposes… for example… is your dream social media handle taken by someone else? Does someone rank for your business name? Are domain names available for you in your country. Does anyone have a similar domain name?
Things like this can sometimes force a harsh u-turn on your direction with your business name or brand. But fear not. It doesn’t always have to be a headache if you follow these guidelines.
Believe me, I have helped people who have been so far down the rabbit hole, by the time they realised their name was taken it was basically too late, and it just forced us to struggle on and try rectify and make the best of a bad situation. So if this sounds like you, I feel you, it’s not easy but it is fixable. But to go into how to obtain full rights to a name you really want, well that is a whole other episode I may well do later. Or feel free to ask for help in the marketing uncensored group on Facebook and I can advise for your situation there.
Anyway, following these simple rules will help you avoid this.
So first check your domain names, you will want to check your local domain extension so for me here in the UK I would look for a .co.uk domain ideally. If the .uk is available and theres budget for it, then buy that as well. This can protect your brand later down the line to ensure no one else can start a similar named website and start stealing your brand traffic on google.
If you can get the .com also then get this also. You can go really bold here and buy all variations. I tend to just go for a global and the local country extensions.
A common question here is, “James, if I cant get the .co.uk for my business name, can I buy a .co or .org or something else to still get the domain name I was after?”. And the answer to this is well of course you can. But, and its a big but here. If your customers miss type your url and end up at another website, this can be confusing, and even worse, if they offer the same services they may go with them and not you. This not only causes trust issues for your business, it’s also confusing and can sometimes hinder your Google rankings. Things like brand and name links, and citations can become a little challenging later down the line in assuring credibility to search engines.
Once you have found a domain name thats available, dont buy it just yet. Believe me we’ve all been there. We buy the perfect domain to only realised later it’s not so perfect.
Next you will want to check all social handles, so Facebook, instagram, twitter, TikTok etc and see if your chosen name is available. Again this could sway your decision on if this name is even suitable to your branding.
You want a name thats unique, easy to promote, easy to remember that doesn’t have any strong competitors or ideally any competitors at all. Remember later down the line you will be competing to rank for your product or service keywords on Google. So it’s best not to start out needing to compete for your business name as well!
Once you find a name that is available, lastly check that it doesnt mean anything else, or have any other trickery in the word. Honestly the amount of names or logos I have seen that have said silly rude words, or had alternative meanings ive spotted or maybe that’s just the childish humour within me. Once you are 100% on the name its time to register, get everything in one go. There are people or bots out there that will snapup potential usernames to try sell them back to you, so its always a good idea to ensure you get everything registered from the start to save any headaches. After all you just spent ages researching and making sure your name is perfect and available.
Once you do this, it’s a good idea to setup a Google my business profile, which is now under google maps to my frustration. (It used to be in its own area and that was so much better, but hey, we live in developing times, maybe this will be better once we all get used to it). For your google my business profile you want to complete all fields, and ensure you have as many relevant services, and locations selected to ensure you get the widest reach of your profile. Remember to only use relevant locations and key-phrases. Google can hit you with a penalty if it deems your listing as spammy.
Now everything is setup and you have an online presence. Woop woop. So why’s the phone not ringing? You might be wondering. Well this is just the beginning.
You want to now start posting on your social media accounts and get awareness of your products or services out there. Remember to use good quality imagery to uphold a professional and trustworthy profile. Again ensure your social media profiles have a all your information completed but don’t make them spammy. Start building a relevant audience, in order to do this try to target your ideal customer demographic. You can even use paid ads to give your account an initial kick to get it going.
Whilst you are waiting for your social media posts to gain traction. This is the time to start working on a website or getting a website built for you to start receiving sales.
You should get a website to target what you want to sell. So if its more of a store with lots of products, you need an e-commerce solution to allow you to take payments and offer a shopping experience online. If it is more service based then just a standard brochure website will suffice to merely advertise your services with links driving customers to contact you to start that conversation.
Obviously this aspect is a whole subject of its own, so let’s leave it there for this episode and we will cover the basics of website variations and platforms on the next episode.
So thats it from me for now. If you enjoyed this episode why not give us a 5 star rating in your podcast app. It will honestly mean a lot to me.
If there are any subjects you would like me to cover in future episodes, feel free to drop me a message on social media or join the conversation in our Facebook group [Marketing Uncensored – Facebook Group]. Just search for marketing uncensored podcast and I hope you can join me on the next episode.