A step-by-step guide to building your website

A step-by-step guide to building your website

So you are thinking about building a website, but you are new to this whole thing. You do not even really know where to start. It can be easy to find yourself frozen before you get started if you do not have a clear list of steps to guide you. To help you out, here is a step-by-step guide to what you need to start a website.

Step 1: Register your domain name

A domain name is what people type into their browser to view your website, for example, www.yourcompanyname.co.za. Domain registration is the procedure by which you can secure your website address. Once you have completed domain registration, the domain name becomes yours for one year. Before registration expires the domain must be renewed, else the domain reverts to being available to the public.

A benefit of creating a custom domain name is the ability to create custom email addresses. For example, info@yourcompanyname.co.za. A custom domain email address reinforces the credibility and professionalism of your brand. Also, in this digital age, many people do not want to do business with a company that does not have its own domain email address.

There is a wide range of domain name extensions available, such as .co.za, .com, .org, .net, .info, .biz. The extension that you select, will depend on the type of business that you have.

Step 2: Sign up for a website hosting package

After your website is designed, you will need to publish it using a web hosting service. Web hosting services store your website files in high-powered computers connected to a very fast network. When a user types in your domain name (www.yourcompanyname.co.za) in a browser, the Internet connects to the web host and then transfers your website information so that the user can browse your website. 

The hosting service provider charges a monthly fee to host your website. The type of hosting package that you select depends on the type of website you are creating as well as the design platform you are going to use. For example, a large website or a website with lots of images and videos will require more storage space compared to a smaller website. Or, if you are going to design your website using WordPress, you are required to have PHP and MySQL.

Remember: Some providers register your domain name for free when you purchase a hosting package from them.

Step 3: Plan your website

Once you have decided on a domain name, it is time to think about your website. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What is the purpose of my website? i.e. sell items, showcase products, provide information, submit articles, etc.
  • What are the goals of my website? Drive traffic, capture leads, raise conversion rate, build email database, etc.
  • Does my website require special coding? Or can it be designed using WordPress? Do I hire a website design company?
  • Review your competitors or industry-related websites, see how they do things, can you do it differently or better?
  • What pages should I create? i.e. Home, About, Services, Contact, etc.
  • What content, images, videos, and graphics can I use?
  • What are my website priorities? Can I start with a simple site and build more over time?

Step 4: Design your website

This step is the most fun as you get to be creative and build your website. Make sure the following aspects are included in your design:

  • Your website is responsive. i.e. your website looks good on all mobile devices.
  • Your website follows the best practices for design and user experience.
  • Your website is search engine friendly.
  • Your website is set up for Google Analytics (an analytical tool to find out how many people visited your website, when they visit your website, which page was visited the most, where did they arrive on your website from, etc.).

Step 5: Go Live

After you have added content, reviewed, and tested your website, it is time to make your website live.

Step 6: Promote your website

How your visitors will find your website? Include your website address on all of your marketing efforts such as business cards, social media, business directories, and paid advertising. 

Step 7: Analyse your website

It is important to understand how your website is performing and who is coming to your site. Website analytics can yield great insights into what you need to do more of, or what you need to change.

If you have chosen a website design agency to design your website, the above steps will be managed by the agency. It is a good idea to thoroughly go over step 3 with the agency and brainstorm ideas if required.

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“Getting a quality website is not an expense but rather an investment.”

– Dr. Christopher Dayagdag

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The benefits of email marketing for your business

The benefits of email marketing for your business

Email marketing is used by thousands of businesses of all sizes across the globe. Here are the top 6 benefits of incorporating email marketing into your marketing strategy.

  1. Email marketing is targeted
    Segmenting your email database into smaller groups (such as lead status, demographics, location, etc.) will help you take charge of exactly whom receives your email. Targeted emails ensure that your audience receives content suited specifically to their needs. This increases relevancy and value, which will lead to more conversions.
  1. Easily shareable
    Email design platforms have a built-in forward option that you can use to your advantage. With a simple click on the forward button, readers can share your specials, information, and news with their families and friends. Also, try and include social media sharing buttons so that your readers can simply share your content on their favourite social media platforms. This helps improve your reach and bring new leads to your business.
  1. Email marketing is measurable
    Email marketing encompasses valuable analytics, such as how many people are opening, reading, and clicking through your email content. This allows you to determine if your email campaigns are successful and as you make adjustments to subject lines and content, you can continue to track your success to see which strategies are bringing you the best results.
  1. Personalise your messages
    One of the main benefits of email marketing is that it allows you to personalise your message. Make sure to add your readers’ names when creating your database. You can address your readers by their names and speak directly to them. Your readers are more likely to respond to content that seems like it was written only for them.
  1. Email content is versatile and offers a variety
    Your content should speak to your target market. Which types of content will your reader care about? Not only are you able to email text and images but you can also embed videos, audios, add attachments, and links to relevant content.
  1. There are no character limits
    Social media platforms and online advertisements limit the number of characters you are allowed to use in your message. An email does not have character limits. You can take advantage of the opportunity to present a longer and more detailed message when necessary.

At Velocity Nine, we work with professional email marketing software. Working with us, you will be able to send out marketing campaigns, which are engaging, well coded, and thoroughly tested for different email service providers. 

 

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“Email has an ability many channels don’t: creating valuable, personal touches – at scale.”

– David Newman

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Aiming to rank your website higher on Google? Looking to establish authority in your niche? Want to engage a steady stream of followers on social media? We offer impeccable digital solutions that are customised to your needs. Using a cutting-edge strategy, we deliver services that are guaranteed to exceed your expectations.

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Velocity Nine is a digital marketing agency powered by market research, digital technology, and analytics. 

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Top 12 free South African business directories

Top 12 free South African business directories

Building brand awareness is an important part of your marketing process and one of the ways you can get your business name out there is to make sure that your business is listed on local and/or national business directories.

Many buyers search on online business directories for suppliers, partners, and providers. Make it easy for these buyers to find your business by maximising your visibility in these directories.

Business directory listings are great for search engine optimisation as it provides backlinks to your website. The biggest benefit is that it generates new Google listings. These listings appear on search engine results pages for your company name and point interested people to your website.

It is important to ensure that your business listing is up to date. While having your business listed on online business directories is a great advantage, incomplete and inaccurate business details can affect your online reputation and frustrate customers who are looking for your business. Customers, if unable to contact you, may end up landing on to your competitor’s perfectly updated listing and eventually doing business with them.

 

Top 12 free directory listings in South Africa:

 

  1. www.google.com/intl/en_za/business/
  2. www.hotfrog.co.za/
  3. www.southafricabusinessdirectory.co.za/
  4. www.foxlist.co.za/
  5. www.ananzi.co.za/Add_site
  6. www.brabys.com
  7. www.sayellow.com/
  8. www.sabusinessdirectory.co.za/
  9. www.thebusinessdirectory.co.za/
  10. www.yalwa.co.za/
  11. www.cylex.net.za/
  12. www.nichemarket.co.za/
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“For people to discover your website, you need to build pathways and big, flashing signs that lead them there. In digital marketing terms, this means you need links, links, and more links.”

– Luisito Batongbakal

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We thrive on helping businesses succeed online

Aiming to rank your website higher on Google? Looking to establish authority in your niche? Want to engage a steady stream of followers on social media? We offer impeccable digital solutions that are customised to your needs. Using a cutting-edge strategy, we deliver services that are guaranteed to exceed your expectations.

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Velocity Nine is a digital marketing agency powered by market research, digital technology, and analytics. 

Copyright © 2020 Velocity Nine. All rights reserved.

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Why you should not buy an email list

Why you should not buy an email list

An email database consists of a list of current or prospective customers and can be segmented in various ways depending on your business goals, products, services, or target market. Traditionally, email lists are built by asking individuals to subscribe to a newsletter via website call-to-actions, popups, surveys, email signatures, etc.

These days, instead of increasing email lists through traditional methods, many marketing professionals are starting to purchase these databases. Buying an email list sounds like a quick way to get some business, but it is a huge waste of money. From a high rate of unread emails to a damaged brand reputation, there are many reasons why it is not a good idea.

Let us take a look at the top 5 reasons why you should not buy an email list:

1. Poor quality database: It may sound fantastic to obtain a database of 10 000 names overnight, but it is going to be worthless if the database that you purchased may not have the information of ideal and suitable prospects for your business. The problems you may have to face with such databases are:

  • Missing or incomplete data (having the incorrect names for individuals on the list).
  • Out of date information (loads of email addresses that no longer exist or are abandoned).
  • Email addresses illegally collected from the internet (people who have not chosen to be added on any list).

2. Come across as a spammer

Do you enjoy receiving unsolicited emails? Chances are you will probably delete that email without reading it. And, if you receive many from the same company, you will unsubscribe or even mark them as spam.

Your emails may be well written and packed with high-quality information, but from the recipient’s perspective, you are just another unknown company barging into their inbox. When spamming, you damage your brand’s image and reputation. If you violate the terms and service of your email provider, they can and will ban your account and prevent you from sending out future emails.

3. Poor engagement rate

You may find that majority of the people on the list will not even open your email, let alone click through to your landing pages. If the email addresses are incorrect, your bounce rate will be high. Even if a few people open your email, and they are not interested in your offer, you will not make a sale. 

4. Other companies will be sending to the same people

Other businesses are probably purchasing the exact list that you bought. And what happens when they send an email just before you? Things like this make people annoyed, and when they are annoyed it is not a good thing, and they might even end up marking you as spam or putting a filter in place so that they will never receive another email from you again.

5. Legal issues with purchased lists

Under the new law, businesses are required to provide an opt-in option for all contacts who provide their email addresses and other personal data. If the contacts do not opt-in, then you are not allowed to email to them. Emailing without consent is also a violation of the CAN-SPAM Act. If you are caught violating the rules here, you could face a fine.

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“A small list that wants exactly what you’re offering is better than a bigger list that isn’t committed.”

– Ramsay Leimenstoll

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Aiming to rank your website higher on Google? Looking to establish authority in your niche? Want to engage a steady stream of followers on social media? We offer impeccable digital solutions that are customised to your needs. Using a cutting-edge strategy, we deliver services that are guaranteed to exceed your expectations.

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Velocity Nine is a digital marketing agency powered by market research, digital technology, and analytics. 

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6 lead generation ideas for your next campaign

6 lead generation ideas for your next campaign

A lead is a potential customer who has indicated an interest in your company’s products. They are people that have not yet made a purchase but have given reason to believe they may want to in the future.

Lead generation is the process of attracting new leads, nurturing those leads throughout the buying procedure, and eventually converting them into a paying customer.

The three most important elements to effective lead generation are developing excellent content, a powerful landing page, and following through leads efficiently and on time.

Here are our top 6 lead generation techniques

1. Content marketing: This is one of the most important aspects of lead generation. Content should be created with one primary focus in mind i.e. educating the lead and not selling. There are various types of content formats such as images, videos, infographics, case studies, white papers, etc. Remember that content needs to be of high quality, free from errors, professional, and should speak to your target market.

2. Social media: People spend two to three hours per day on Social Media. Social media is a fantastic platform to build brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, reach large audiences, and connect with prospects or customers. Depending on your type of business, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram are the top four channels that are essential for generating leads.

3. Email marketing: Email marketing is a key component of every digital marketing campaign. Collect email addresses from every prospect and keep building your database. Whether you are hosting an event, sending out a new piece of content, or promoting a new product, email should be one of your main forms of communication. Do not spam your leads.

4. Pay-Per-Click Ads: Generate leads through Google Ads. Clicking on a pay-per-click ad directs the visitor to a landing page and subsequently collects the visitor’s information. Pay-per-click ads are extremely effective in generating high-quality leads because they contain keywords relevant to your audience.

5. Display/Banner Adverts: A type of pay-per-click advertising, display ads are shown to people who are interested in your products, visit sites related to your products, and can be used for re-marketing. An example: You visited an e-commerce store and considered purchasing a product. While browsing other websites, you noticed display ads for the same product that you were interested in purchasing.

6. Website: Your website is where the magic happens. Optimise your website for converting visitors into leads. Make use of pop-up forms, pay attention to call-to-actions, and ensure your landing pages are built with precision. Pro tip: Always provide something of value to your potential leads. Either in the form of tips, free trials, or white papers in exchange for their information.

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“Approach each customer with the idea of helping him or her solve a problem or achieve a goal, not of selling a
product or service.”

– Brian Tracy

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We thrive on helping businesses succeed online

Aiming to rank your website higher on Google? Looking to establish authority in your niche? Want to engage a steady stream of followers on social media? We offer impeccable digital solutions that are customised to your needs. Using a cutting-edge strategy, we deliver services that are guaranteed to exceed your expectations.

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Velocity Nine is a digital marketing agency powered by market research, digital technology, and analytics. 

Copyright © 2020 Velocity Nine. All rights reserved.

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