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How to Build a Website

 

The best ways to plan and build
a small business website.

 

There are, of course, many ways to build a website but here is an outline of the steps that are essential for the creation of a basic small business site.

 

Choose a website topic.

A website should be based around a theme for best results with the search engines. This means nearly all the pages should be focused on a keyword (phrase) that is related to the website theme.

Before you spend any money or time, you must do some research to see how popular your potential theme is on the web.

It is best to start with several possible theme ideas. Then you can see which theme is most popular on the web by finding out how many people are searching for information on that topic.

Use the free Wordtracker tool to test the demand for your potential topics.

Click the above link and enter each of the potential themes in the Keyword box to see the daily search volume for each theme and also all the related terms that contain the theme. You will probably find that one of your ideas has much greater search demand than the others. It is also interesting to see what people are searching for on the web.

 

Choose the type of web site – blog or build.

One of the most important decisions is to decide if your site will be a traditional site with a 3-tier navigation (home page, topics & sub-topics) or a blog. A blog is an online diary and may not be suitable for organizing information the way a content site can group pages into topics and sub-topics.

Should You Blog Or Build A Web Site?
Blogging is a great way to build a simple content site. But does it really build a sustainable, long-term, money-making business? This Blog or Build article by Ken Evoy will help you make the choice.

You could have the best of both worlds and integrate a content website with a blog. However this is more work because it is essentially two websites linked together; but it is the most effective because it combines the advantages of both kinds of websites.

Blogs are indexed by the search engines more quickly and new blog content will bring traffic to your site sooner than new content on a conventional website. The search engines also “forget” about blog content much more quickly than a content site which has a lot more “staying power”.

 

Choose a website hosting service.

Once you have chosen your topic (or narrowed it down to two or three) and decided if you will blog or build (or both), you can choose how you will host your website.

You can choose free hosting, generic paid hosting, or you can choose hosting that is specifically designed for running a small business.

Free website hosting – Sites like MySpace.com, Facebook.com and Squidoo.com (my personal favorite) are free and can be used as promotion for a business, or also to send traffic to another web site. In my opinion, Squidoo is the best because the pages have the best look, are the easiest to create, and it is very easy to add online store sections with products from eBay and CafePress ... and you can actually get paid by Squidoo!

Free blog hosting is available from a number of places including Wordpress.com and Blogger.com. Free blogs are the easiest to set up – just pick a blog theme (page style) and start typing!

Generic Paid Hosting – There are literally hundreds of website hosting companies that will host your site, even build your site and help you bring traffic to it. The cost can vary from five dollars per month for the most basic plan to a thousand dollars and more for deluxe hosting and a complex website with an online store.

My favorite conventional hosting company is Bluehost. If you are planning to host a blog that you can fully customize they are the way to go.

In my opinion, this basic website hosting, with all the programmable tools, is really just for students studying computer science and for hobby sites. If you plan to run a business website you should use a hosting company that is designed from the ground up for small business hosting and has a track record of success.

Site Build It Website Hosting - I use and recommend Site Build It (SBI) hosting service for all of my websites and the websites I build for my clients. SBI is much more than just a web hosting service. They provide all the knowledge and tools to research, design, build and run a small business website:

  • A complete library of books and articles on every facet of building and running a small business website.
  • Web hosting service including all the tools and services you need at one fixed price including mailing list, RSS syndication, contact forms, SiteBuilder tool, traffic statistics, search engine statistics and much more.
  • A community of online forums where you can get answers to any question from other SBI owners.This is the most effective and powerful method for hosting a small business web site. I have not found anything else like it!
  • The best reason to use Site Build It is that websites built with SBI will draw more traffic than any other web design system!

 

Choose the tools you will use to design it.

Free Websites – The free web services like Squidoo and Wordpress do not need any design tools, they are built into the site itself. You can customize the look of your page or blog just by picking from a list of options. You can also use some basic HTML to control the look of your text on the page.

Generic paid hosting – Most hosting companies also offer some type of basic website creation tool as well as basic web page templates that you can use to get started. If you want to go with conventional web hosting for your business website, you should use a web design tool that is specifically made for business websites. The best tool for a non-technical website builder to use with conventional hosting is XSitePro.

Site Build It – SBI has an integrated SiteBuilder tool and also allows you to use any of the standard website design software packages like Dreamweaver or Microsoft Expression Web.

 

Important Lesson: Perhaps the most important lesson I have learned from SBI and from working so hard on the look of my websites, is that a fancy design may be impressive, but it does nothing for the effectiveness of a website.

You would be much better off focusing on the information and content of your website. It is much better to have 50 pages of great information than 20 pages that look really slick. That is why I have chosen such a simple, clean design for this site – it’s all about the content.

 

Pick your set of research tools & resources.

You can, of course, use Google and other general & specialty search engines to do your research. SBI has a great free tool called Search It that is a set of pre-configured web searches that save a lot of time doing site research.

Search It can help you easily scope out your competition, check domain name legalities, do topic research and keyword evaluation, check links to your site, find out which website pages have been indexed by Google and much more.

 

Find related products to promote.

In addition to promoting your own products or services on your website, you can make money promoting related products by others for a commission.

This is called affiliate marketing and it is one of the best ways to make money with a website because you do not have to stock or ship any products, don’t have to deal with customers, and don’t even need to process any payments yourself. You just recommend products on your site and send the traffic to an online store run by someone else.

The catch to affiliate marketing is that you need a website with traffic, lots of traffic – at least 500 visitors per day – to be able to make affiliate marketing worthwhile. You will need to build up, at the very least, 30 web pages to get that much traffic, and probably more, depending on the search demand for your website topic.

Search It can also help you find related affiliate programs to promote on your site.

Of the hosting options above I have found that SBI will give you the best advantage for drawing the amount of website traffic needed for affiliate marketing.

Free Download!

For more In-depth information about the most effective ways to build long-term traffic to your website download Make Your Links Work by Dr. Ken Evoy

Right-click & Save As to download -->

Make Your Links Work by Ken Evoy

 

Summary:

Free website best choices: Squidoo.com and Wordpress.com.

Conventional website best choices: Bluehost.com for hosting, XSitePro for design and AWeber.com for mailing list service.

Specific small business hosting & design best choice: Site Build It.

 

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