Last month I ran my SEOctober challenge, and as I was chatting with people about how to get their products & services showing up in Google search, I heard a lot of resistance from new business owners.
“All my products are on Etsy. Do I really need a website to get found?”(No, you can sell from Etsy. But if you don’t want to rely on Etsy’s rules — which are constantly changing! — you need a website.)
“I have a big following on LinkedIn. Can’t Google look at my posts there?”(Sure! But your LinkedIn posts have a shorter shelf life than a blog post. So why not post similar content in both places so that Google AND LinkedIn can share it?)
“I’m working on my new website, but it’s not done yet. I’m hoping that it’ll be ready in about 3 months, THEN I’ll start SEO.”
This last one is the one that breaks my heart. So many people get stuck on creating the PERFECT website, but they aren’t sure about the tech or the content … so it just get stuck in development purgatory.
Here’s the thing: A website isn’t a painting that you put on a wall behind glass for people to admire.
A website is a garden. Publishing it is just the first step, like tilling the soil and planting the seeds. And then it’s going to constantly need sunlight and water and love to grow into something that you can harvest so it can feed & nourish you.
But the first step is to get your website LIVE, so that it can start working for you. Publish it in all its imperfect glory … then you can adjust and change it as you learn more about your ideal customer and your business evolves.
If you want somebody to build your website for you …
But if you’re getting stuck in the HOW & the tech nonsense is holding you back, here are a few ways to get your new website live for $2K or less:
Rachel Vane’s StartSolid websites are a steal at $2000. Rachel has built hundreds of websites for small businesses, so she knows not only how to make them work for you NOW, but how to build something that can grow with your business.
She has a process to help you write your copy, choose your images, select your brand standards, and will get the site up for you quickly … and you learn how to update it, so you won’t be beholden to a web designer forever whenever need an update.
Find out more at StartSolid websites.
If you want a professionally designed website but don’t have 5 figures to spend on a custom design, consider hiring a web designer for a day.
You’d be amazed at what a professional web designer can do in 8 hours! If you have all your copy ready & images selected, they can literally build your entire site in a day. You’ll have to come prepared — and they can help you in advance with all the info that you want to gather — but a “design in a day” package is an amazing way to get a professionally designed website at a marginal cost, without all the back-and-forth and delays that some web projects can experience.
If you can make decisions quickly? This is a great option for you.
Find out more:
Bracken House Branding
Designed with Strategy
If you want to learn how to build your website, write your copy and market your business …
I love those professional designers above. I’ve worked with each of them on their client projects, and respect the hell out of their experience.
But if you’re just getting started running your business online … you don’t want to feel stuck every time you want to make a change to your website, or like your designer becomes your bottleneck. Maybe eventually you can work your way up to having a designer on your team, but …
When you’re brand new to business, IMHO, one of the best investments you can make is learning how to build, write, maintain and market yourself online. And that means (gasp) DIYing your website.
There are a lot of “website builders” out there that promise to make it easy. Wix, Weebly, GoDaddy website builder, and dozens more options promise to take the pain out of web design.
But as somebody who looks at the back end of a LOT of websites, and tries to get those websites to show up on search results, here’s what I constantly see: those “easy” website builders like Wix & Weebly are full of extra code that penalize their SEO.
If you’re building a website, there are really only 3 platforms that I recommend: WordPress, Squarespace, and Shopify. Shopify is PERFECT for e-commerce, especially for marketing & sales of physical products, so if you know you want to sell products only, go with Shopify. Otherwise:
Most new business owners should build their websites on either WordPress or Squarespace.
How do you know if you should go with WordPress or Squarespace? I’ve written about the differences between WordPress & Squarespace before and explained how to choose based on YOUR business needs.
If you want a fully customizable website & you’re not afraid of a little bit of technology, build your website on WordPress.
WordPress website courses
Let’s Do Launch, by RKA Ink
If you want a comprehensive understanding of not just getting your website up and running, but also how to write copy that people love reading AND how to leverage that website to market the heck out of your business, there’s no better resource than Rachael at RKA Ink.
The best part about Let’s Do Launch? It’s running live, so you can go through the 5-part process and get feedback on every step from Rachael, based on YOUR business needs.
Rachael breaks down online marketing to make it easy to understand, using her signature humor to poke fun at all the confusion. Want a sneak peak of her approach to web design & digital marketing? Check out this episode of her amazing business comedy show, Awkward Marketing:
Simple Start, from Do Well Websites
If you want to get started with your website design, like, yesterday, check out Simple Start from Do Well Websites, which walks you through attracting your dream client, planning your visual brand, writing copy that connects & getting that WordPress website up & running.
And since the course is self-paced, you can start ASAP and work at your own pace to get your website built on your timeline.
Squarespace website resources
Simple Site Blueprint by Cami Farey
Personally, I LOVE WordPress for its flexibility … but sometimes you just want a solution that works out of the box without needing to worry about hosting or domain registration. And if you don’t want to worry about security or site back-ups, Squarespace is my fave SEO option for non-tech-savvy entrepreneurs.
Enter: Cami Farey, of Simple Site Blueprint. Cami is incredible at simplifying exactly what your website needs to do (without extra steps) and telling you how to get a stunning website up quickly on the Squarespace platform. This course is Squarespace-specific, so she suggests the best themes for entrepreneurs and shows you exactly how to customize them to your brand specifications, as well as how to write the copy & select the images that will resonate with your audience.
All the recommendations I’ve made above are from marketing professionals who I’ve worked with, and who I trust understand SEO best practices (often because they come to me for training!). The sites they’ll help you build can be the foundation of your website being found on Google.
Don’t wait until inspiration strikes or you suddenly have time to watch all the YouTube videos in the world to learn how to pull this together. Hire one of these professionals to help you get your website up & running, so it can start working for you.
(And then when you’re ready, download my SEO Starter Kit to start creating content to show up in search results for your ideal client …)
Your SEO Starter Kit
Get your FREE guide full of fun tips (and flow charts, mad libs, and references to The Office) to get found on Google ... without needing a degree in nerdspeak.