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Published March 07, 2019
A weekly look at issues facing Wyoming business owners and entrepreneurs from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.
By Audrey Jansen, market researcher, Wyoming SBDC Network
Websites are a vital piece of any marketing strategy, but most entrepreneurs struggle with how to get started creating their own. In order to guide you through the process, we’ve created a helpful website checklist.
-- Do your homework. This is the step most people will skip, but it makes all the difference. Check out the websites of your competitors; begin gathering visual content for your own site; and begin collecting written content.
-- Select and purchase a domain name. Spend time brainstorming web address names (URLs) that are a good fit for your business -- these URLs should be short, descriptive and without characters -- and then shop around with reputable domain providers.
-- Choose between a platform and a web developer. This is one of the most significant decisions you will make in regards to your website. For platforms, I would recommend considering one of the following major players: Weebly, Wix, WordPress or Squarespace. If you decide to hire a developer (recommended), you should ask to see a portfolio and testimonials while also critically reviewing any required contracts.
-- Google Analytics/SEO plug-ins. Once you have a website, you’ll want to make sure you are using Google Analytics (for traffic data) and a search engine optimization (SEO) plug-in such as Yoast.
-- Get listed online. Now that you have a website to link to, it’s important that you make sure your business is listed with online search directories. Some of the big ones are: Google, Acxiom and Bing. You can check your listings anytime at https://getlisted.org.
-- Work, work and rework your site. Your website is not a static marketing piece. It is something that should be updated frequently, especially in the first year that it’s live.
-- Get a website analysis. One of the Wyoming SBDC Network’s no-cost services is an in-depth website analysis. I would be happy to go through your site and create a written report that outlines what you are doing well, what you are missing and what needs improvement.
It might be overwhelming at first, but a website can work wonders for your business when well-executed. If you have any questions while working through this checklist, please feel free to reach out to your local business adviser by visiting www.wyomingsbdc.org.
You also can find more information about this topic and links to the resources I’ve mentioned in the blog section of our website.
The Wyoming SBDC Network offers business expertise to help Wyoming residents think about, launch, grow, reinvent or exit their business. The Wyoming SBDC Network is hosted by UW with state funds from the Wyoming Business Council and funded, in part, through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.
To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, email email@example.com, or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY, 82071-3922.