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The Sales Garage is all about getting your business online the proper way. So, in case you missed The Sales Garage’s Mission… The Sales Garage is going to teach you WHY it is so important to treat your website just as you would your Top Salesperson!

 

The following are steps you can take that will get your business online, and The Sales Garage will be there with you every step of the way! Or, you might be thinking NAH!  Just have The Sales Garage Do It!  Sure! You can choose whichever one you wish and if you get stuck, The Sales Garage is here to help!

So, Let’s Get Started!

Step 1 | Get Online

The Sales Garage wants to get your business online, today!

Domain Name  First things first. What are we going to call your site? The domain name, or the www.YOURNAMEHERE.com part of the website. You need to register a domain name. There are literally hundreds of companies out there that can do this for you. A little warning, they will also try to sell you their hosting services like GoDaddy. YUCK! The Sales Garage highly recommends going elsewhere like SiteGround. Or, you can simply choose the NEW DOMAIN option with SiteGround when signing up for their hosting services.

Server Space | Hosting So, where are you going to put your website? Hosting is the second step in the process. Again, there are literally hundreds of companies out there that can do this for you. SiteGround is a great start, really easy to use, great uptime and pretty darn responsive customer service. Additionally, on the techie side of life, they offer a lot of tech (like PHP memory, total memory, and speed…  lots of speed! This is a good thing with Google!) for a very decent price.

Web Hosting

The Sales Garage perfers SiteGround over ANY OTHER web host simply for the customer service and speed!

WordPress Installation The Sales Garage absolutely prefers WordPress over ANY other website program. Why? It’s simple.  No, really… that is the answer. It’s simple. With some basic training, one can get a pretty decent website online pretty quickly. And, WordPress is FREE! So, we just need to install it. There are website hosts that will install this for you. But, The Sales Garage prefers to do it manually to ensure all of the features of the latest WordPress version is installed and working flawlessly. Techie talk coming up… This will require an SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol). HUH? This is simply a way to upload files directly to the server.

Stuck?

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as your help button!

Step 2 | WordPress

Time to get real with WordPress!

WordPress Plugins | Did you know that there are 53,001 plugins listed on WordPress? And, that’s just the free ones! There are many, many more plugins that are paid ones. That’s a lot to go through. So, what are the basics that are REALLY needed? And, NO it is NOT the more the merrier!

  • Security | Yep! People just LOVE to try to break into your site… Or, try to. Wordfence or All-In-One are great starts.
  • Optimize |You are going to see this word a lot! This simply means how well can we make your website run. This includes speed, size, complexity, and all of the techy stuff like databases, etc.
    • Pictures | Think of your website like a racecar. Hang in there… Notice how racecars place so much attention on weight. The lighter, the faster.  Same for your website. The smaller the faster.  SmushIt, EWWW, etc. Get one that works best for you!
    • Speed | Cache… What’s that? This is a fancy term for a plugin that loads common items that you find multiple times throughout your website, like your logo, all at one time instead of multiple times. Thus, making it faster to load all of the content.
    • Database | Optimizing the database. The whatabase?! To put this simply, organizing the file cabinet for your website. Getting rid of the old stuff that is bloating the system and keeping the file cabinet clean.
  • Social | Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram… heard of a few of these? Why not make sure that you are connecting all of those to your website. Yes, there is a plugin for that… multiple.
  • Mailing List | MailChimp, MailPoet, etc. are some great examples.

WordPress Theme | There are so many themes out there. Free and paid. So, how do you choose? The Sales Garage has a few warnings about themes. Make sure that it has ALL of the features that you are looking for. If not, MOVE ON! Second, there a lot of “web designers” that want to sell you their own custom website theme. Ask first, can YOU update it without the “web designer”, is it compatible with all the plugins, can you update it as WordPress updates, and how many other businesses are using the same exact license, (you wouldn’t believe how many times this happens and how large the client is… and they do not know better)? If you question ANY of these… RUN, RUN FAST and call The Sales Garage!

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Step 3 | Get Creative

Go ahead, get creative and have a little fun!

 

Design | Plan, Plan, Plan | What is it that your company does? What is your company known for? What makes you different? Plan it out. The Sales Garage has seen everything from PostIt notes, scraps of paper, and yes… even the bar napkin being used. Make a plan to show your potential customers exactly what your business does. Just be real, be authentic, and be you!

Content | Make It Sell | This is where the rubber hits the road. Would your potential customer know what your business does in less than 5 seconds of looking at your website? FYI, it’s even less on a mobile device! 55% of the time to be exact. What are items that affect this number? Website structure, page load times, broken links, etc. How do you track this? We’ll get there. But, here are a few items to keep in mind.

  • Content | Just like in sales…  Remember KISS! | Yep, that’s “Keep It Simple, Stupid!” Okay, so that spinning logo thingie looks really cool… to you. Not to a potential customer. Ask yourself when putting something on your website. Is this really important? If not, well… There is that delete key?!
  • Phone a friend! Not someone that works for you! | Phone someone that will actually act like a visitor to your website. What do they want to see? What do they think is important? Can you find those things easily on your website? Can they read the information on your site?  Is the text too technical, too simple, or just right?
  • M-O-B-I-L-E | Can your website be seen on a mobile device… or responsive? We sure hope so! Why? One word… Google. Google will pretty much only look at your site and list it if it is mobile friendly.
  • Content | Brand it! | Will a customer know who you are? It all matters… colors, fonts, logos, the voice you use in the content text. As one of The Sales Garage’s favorite customers stated… “It is a virtual front door!” Make it count! And, don’t be afraid to make the text your voice.

Stuck?

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as your help button!

Step 4 | Get Found

Believe it or not, it really helps if people can find you!

 

GYBO – Get Your Business Online By Google | Google is amazing for one thing. Helping people find your business! Believe it or not, we’ve actually heard businesses say, “do I really need to worry about Google?” Um… yes… Yes, you do! Google has 40,000 searches per SECOND, over 3.5 billion searches per day and over 1.2 trillion searches per year. So, yes, Google is important for your business. And, if you play as nice as you can with Google, they will play very nicely with you. Google has created a very easy way for you to make sure that your business listing is accurate. www.gybo.com Claim your address and input the correct information! And, yes… it is okay if they want to send you a postcard to verify your address!

Google Search Console | Think of this as the “How Does Google See My Site?” part. This is when you really play nice with Google. Be sure to sign up for an account. Google will make you VERIFY that you own the account with a variety of methods. The easiest one is to simply download a bit of code from Google and upload that (Where the SFTP account really comes into play) code to the server. Once verified, you can tell Google what is on your site. How? This little thing called a sitemap that we will talk about in the next screen.

Stuck?

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Step 5 | Get Analytical

Time to go full-out NERD with your business!

SEO – Search Engine Optimization | There has been so much written about SEO and tips, tricks, and even companies started that JUST do SEO. The Sales Garage is going to give away one HUGE secret to you. You’re welcome! Ready… It takes time! Yep, that was it. So, the next time you get an email that says this XYZ company can put you at the TOP of Google, run… run fast… and don’t turn around… unless you want to have a nice chat with the Nigerian Prince that wants to share his money with you. Trust The Sales Garage, once you register a domain, the emails come out of the woodwork on this! (Registering privately sometimes helps…  but not always!) UGH! Anyway, SEO IS extremely important! This is truly where the rubber meets the road! So, be patient, DO YOUR RESEARCH on what keywords are important to you and BUILD your content around that. HUH? Google has become VERY, VERY smart. The old… really old days of just listing a bunch of words on your website and hoping that Google will pick them up are GONE! You need to become the source of the keyword. The expert that knows all about that keyword and the website shows that you are. How? That’s the multi-million dollar question. And, with Google’s ever-changing algorithm, once you think you have it figured out… They’ll change it! Ugh!

Google Analytics | Most likely you are tracking your business’ finances. So, why not track where a lot of those finances are coming from? Google Analytics is THE spot to do all of that. You can even break your audience down to demographics.  Pretty cool!  So, if you haven’t already…  Get yourself a Google Analytics account for your website! Some things you can do with a Google Analytics account:

  • New Versus Old How many new visitors are you getting versus returning visitors?
  • How Much Time Are They Spending On Your Site This is EXTREMELY important to know. Are you actually getting people to interact with your brand?
  • Bounce Rate This is how often a person comes to your page and then clicks somewhere else next to immediately. The higher the percentage the more troubling the stats!
  • Location Where geographically are your visitors coming from? Are you focusing on the right location for your business?
  • Mobile V Desktop Remember when The Sales Garage mentioned how important it is for your site to be responsive (able to go from desktop to mobile)? Well, this will tell you how many times people come to your site from a mobile device or a desktop. Plan the site accordingly!

Stuck?

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as your help button!

Step 6 | Get Social

Getting social with your customers means they are getting social with your business!

Social Media Never before has your business had the ability to directly target your exact customer. If anything, social media has made it easier to target directly to them. Okay, so how do I start? Who is your target audience? And, if you say “everyone is a potential client”, I’m going to reach through this computer and smack the ever loving… Just hear that a lot! Not ONE SINGLE business that has “everyone” as a target audience. Seriously, not one! Know that first!

  • Facebook (2.061 Billion Users) You can niche literally every aspect of your marketing dollar. But, “I live in a business-to-business world”. Please don’t forget that over 50 million businesses have a page on Facebook and that 2.5 Million comments are made on these pages per month! (Forbes 2017)
  • Instagram (700 Million Users) Owned by Facebook!  Instagram is the pictorial Facebook. So, why not showcase exactly what your business can do.
  • YouTube (1.5 Billion Users) Owned by Google! This is not something to skip on. People watch over 1 Billion hours of videos on YouTube… PER DAY! Why not direct them to a YouTube video that is BRANDED with your business to show them exactly how to complete their task.  Then links back to your BRANDED channel to show them other videos of what else your business can do for them.
  • Twitter (328 Million Users) Twitter is a very good platform that forces the “be brief” concept. And, there are over 6,000 tweets sent every single second. WOW! The most fantastic thing for an advertiser is the ability to have real-time monitoring of that advertising dollar with Twitter. Take a look at the tools for businesses on Twitter.
  • Pinterest (200 Million Users)  The Sales Garage sees Pinterest as a place to connect with your potential audience and immerse your brand in that interest.
  • LinkedIn (106 Million Users)  LinkedIn means business!  This is not a Facebook to businesses! This is where businesses stay in the business mindset. This is perfect for the business-to-business market, but can also be good for select business-to-consumer markets geared toward the professional.

Stuck?

Think of 
as your help button!

Step 7 (Part 1)| Digital Marketing

Time to get serious about your marketing!

Social Media Marketing Never in the history of advertising was a business so able to focus down to the most pinpoint target and market to them directly. Now, with social media, a business is completely able to do so. The Sales Garage warns you, it gets pretty addictive to see just how far down you can drill to find your perfect target, but it sure is fun! “How much do I spend?” Yep! That is the question of the day. As much as you need to is the answer!

Newsletter Marketing Newsletters are a great way to keep your customer base involved in your business’ brand.  There are many…  many programs and plugins out there that can help such as MailChimp, Constant Contact, and MailPoet.  Each one offering different options depending on what you are looking for.  But, there is one thing that HAS to happen with these.  Consistency!  With that being said, there are two things to remember.  One, when is too much… too much?  But second, when is it time for a little more?  Those questions depend on your business and what you’re trying to accomplish with reaching out to your audience.  If you have a recurring business these are essential to staying connected with your customer base.  But, sending too many can be very annoying and turn the person off from your brand.  The point is to make them feel that you actually appreciate them and their business… like you do!  And, say that to them along with some other items that they may find interesting about your business.

Email Marketing Marketing is all about telling an impactful story about your business that connects with your customer.  What better than directly to the mailboxes of customers that want more information from your company.  Let me say that again…  from customers that want information from your company.  Notice what that didn’t say?  Please don’t SPAM people with information that they never had any intention of getting about your company. There’s a right way and a wrong way to do email marketing.  That would be the wrong way.

Doing it the right way is a fantastic way to motivate your customer base on the information that you give them.  Perfect for the cross-promotional messages that tell your company’s story about a new product line, or one that the customer isn’t familiar with.  Sales, new products, or just saying hello are great ways to email market.  So, the question that The Sales Garage gets all the time is “HOW MUCH”?  It really does depend on your business.  But, remember the last time that you placed someone in your SPAM folder?  How many times did you see that email? The same one…  1, 2, 3, times that day?  Just stick with what you would REALLY like to see from your company.

Stuck?

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as your help button!

Step 7 (Part 2)| Digital Marketing

Time to get serious about your marketing!

Customer Service  Believe it or not, Customer Service over social media is AWESOME!  …if done correctly!  I’m sure that you have seen what happens when Customer Service breaks down over social media.  Just read the reviews of United Airlines or Bank of America.  So, back to if done correctly.  This is a way to really make your company shine.  Would you believe that there is a Guinness World Record for customer service on social media?  Yep, and Microsoft’s XBOX takes the award.  They are the most responsive to anyone needing help.  And, this is what else is great.  They post the questions and the answer and make them searchable.  So, maybe someone else is having that issue and can find the answer quickly and accurately!  And, in most cases, they are taking a customer complaint and turning that into a positive.  But, just a warning…  this does take time and talent!  And remember GOOD customer service requires personalization, RESPONSIVENESS, competency, and convenience.

Stuck?

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Step 8 | SEO Keyword & Adwords

Stay strategic, stay relevant and grow your business!

Google AdWords The Sales Garage put this here simply because now is a great time to start thinking about keywords to utilize on your site.  Also, this is a great time to research what keywords your competition is using to attract YOUR potential customers. Also, if you are struggling to get your SEO going quickly… Google Adwords, or simply put, paid keywords is a great way to reach out to your potential customer quickly. Thus, making it the right time for your business and the right time to the customer that is looking for that keyword (product) that you would be happy to sell them! Just a warning, Google AdWords can become pretty addicting… and a little frustrating if you have never done it before.

Keyword Research | Analytics Wait?!  Isn’t this a repeat?  Okay, first things first… This is something that you should have been doing the entire way through all the steps. And, especially now that the site is up and running. Keyword research is all about finding out what your customers are searching for and how to connect them to your business. There are some FANTASTIC tools our there for doing this. Even Google has recently updated their search console to make things easier. But, there is also LonggtailPro, MOZ, among others. It just depends on how much help you need. But, the key (Yeah…  Sorry for the pun!) here is to always update and research your competitors on what keywords are hitting and what are missing.

SEO | Competitive Analysis Yes, this is also a repeat and something that you should have been doing throughout the entire process of getting your website up and online. So, now that things are done SEO is going to be more about what is working and what just simply isn’t working. Also, this is the time that you really start pulling in data on what the competition is doing to get visitors (not that you weren’t before). The focus here is adding in the keywords that are getting the viewership and tweaking the content to match what people are looking for. Also, this is the perfect time to really, really study your Google analytics and see where people are going, where are they bouncing off the site, and what is sticking with them.  What are you converting?  Do you have GOALS setup?

Stuck?

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Step 9 (Part 1) | Get Up-To-Date

Optimize, update and stay fresh!

WordPress Updates If you have made it to this point, that means you have a site that is up and running!  AWESOME!  But, let’s make sure that the site stays up and running! How? Stay up-to-date with your updates! And there are a lot of them! Let’s break it down.

  • WordPress Yes, WordPress is a fantastic thing! But, it also is updated all the time. And, that may break your site if you’re not keeping things Up-To-Date! Not sure how to do this? Get Started with The Sales Garage!
  • Themes  This is why The Sales Garage is such a stickler for picking the proper theme right from the start. WordPress updates all the time. Why does this matter? Think about how many times you have updated your computer software. Imagine if you didn’t.  That is what will happen if you can’t properly update your theme…  makes no difference if it is custom built for you or not! Stay-Up-To-Date!
  • Plugins  There are two steps to this one.
    • One, CAN the plugin be updated?  There are a lot of WordPress plugins… like over 29,000 of them!  And, some are updated and some are not.  Are you using a plugin that is not being updated?  Why does this matter? It may conflict with other plugins and cause the white screen of death for your site.  So, choose plugins that are updated consistently!
    • Two, keep your plugins Up-To-Date!  Period!  Seriously, they’re really important to keep Up-To-Date.  Not sure how to do this?  Get Started with The Sales Garage, TODAY!

Stuck?

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Step 9 (Part 2) | Get Up-To-Date

Optimize, update and stay fresh!

Optimize Your Site  There are many plugins for WordPress to optimize your site. So, what does optimize your site mean? Several things really. We’ll go through each one of them. Why? Simply put, the cleaner your site runs the faster it is, and the more Google will like your site. Google even has a tool to show you how fast your site is and what to fix… Google Page Insights. But, if you have no idea what this means, then time to Get Started with The Sales Garage, right NOW!
  • Optimize Your Database  Think about it as keeping your files clean for your business. Making them easily accessible right at your fingertips. There are a few really good tool plugins for doing this. WP-Optimize and All-In-One Optimize. Both essentially do the same thing. They clear out all of the old revisions (Yes, every time you revise the site a copy is made of the old one. Sometimes this is a good thing for the WHOOPS occasion, but once you have it perfect the old ones need to go!) that you have made to WordPress and keep the database as clean as possible.
    • Optimize Your Pictures Keeping tabs on your Media folder is a good thing! Keeping the file size as small as you can and keeping the pictures orderly with the size that you are actually using the picture for is imperative. Quick dies note… Make sure that you are getting all the SEO out of your pictures that you can with the correct file name and the ALT tags!
    • Cache Your Site We have spoken about this before in the setup phase, but keep this in mind to optimize the speed of the site in the final stages and beyond. Updating the settings to match your site is also imperative.

    Update Content  More like up-to-date content. The Sales Garage has seen the following scenario too many times to count. We hope that this isn’t you! The business pays a web developer BIG $$$ to bring them a new site. The web developer uses the content that the site already had, or approved content from the business. COOL! Fast forward 3-5 years… same content on the site, nothing updated, and nothing added. WARNING IOWA REFERENCE COMING… It is almost like the Feild of Dreams… “If you build it, they will come!” True!  But, how about “if you UPDATE IT, they will come again!” Seriously, update your content, or if the content is evergreen, update or add to it! Position your business as the expert in the field! And, show your visitors that you are! Having trouble doing this?  Get Started with The Sales Garage and we will do it for you!

Stuck?

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as your help button!