How do I get started with online advertising?
I would like to update my website design myself. I have one now that a friend created for me, but it is outdated and I can't make changes to it. I don't have a lot of money to invest. Is updating my website the first thing I should do to get started with online advertising?
Great advice from Daniel Shlifer. I however do not suggest you spending a lot of your own time doing the design. But yes you could do the content/site map and hire a web design consultant to do your website. You can easily find some from the freelance website who could fit your budget.
Hi, I would advise getting your website up to scratch for user experience, afterall getting the traffic is one thing, keeping visitors engaged once youmanaged to attract them to your website is a whole different matter. I wouldnt fret too much about the budget initially, keep networking and someone will help you out, as for ads there are many incentives in the form of coupons and free credits for many of networks, but define a budget nevertheless and also your goals, keeping realistic in terms of what you can afford to spend and the return for your investment.
PS: what is you website built on CMS wise?
Don't fall into the trap thinking that a good looking website is actually going to increase your sales. A halfway decent site will still show high conversion. Here is what my priorities would be in the following order of decreasing importance:
1) Content: Get more quality content on your site that not only attracts SEO but also delivers value to customers for free. Engage your audience honestly. Consider having a formal blog and editorial process. This pays off very highly in the long run.
2) Pricing and Product offering: If you are doing eCommerce you need to have the right product at the right price. If you are doing consulting etc. then the price portion may be hidden. Note that Amazon does not have a pretty website but its product lineup and pricing are super-competitive
3) Site organization: Visitors need to be able to navigate to what they need quickly.
4) Site Analytics: Invest time in Google Analytics to study which content on your site is interesting and what is driving conversion. You will be amazed with what you will learn about your customers.
5) Advertising $ spend: setting up campaigns via Google Adwords or other vendors out there.
6) Website development and design: Combining the learnings from all the above design a new site to better serve your customers. Don't forget to have a mobile version as I reckon 50% of your customers must be viewing your site on a mobile device.
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It all depends on what business you are in. If you are a local or regional business, I would put most of your resources into building the strongest social media presence that you can in as many networks that are applicable to you. Facebook, Twitter, Google +, etc. etc. These are enormous opportunities and are free aside from the time it will take you to manage/promote.
Then once you get the social machine primed, determine a real budget that you can appropriate to the website and hire a reputable developer with a real company (or reputable freelancer).
That depends on what kind of website you are talking about. html? Wordpress? Drupal? Joomla? Boonex? How is the SEO? many factors to consider.
Sorry, unless you are a developer you shouldn't be doing a website on your own. What people don't realize is how you appear to the public when you create a website on your own. I'm working with a customer right now that is having all sorts of trouble because they bought a template on Wordpress and installed it on their own to save money. It's costing them more to fix the problems than a new site would cost. They aren't the only example.
I can do my own plumbing in my house by viewing some videos on the internet. The problem is, I don't have the tools and because I don't have the experience, it'll take me much longer that the plumber would. It's actually cheaper for me to have the plumber do it (my time versus his time) and I'm almost guaranteed it's not going to start leaking while I'm out of town and ruin my entire house.
Trust me, if you build a website on your own, you are going to lose more customers than you'll ever realize. There are many ways to save money, and the website is just not one of those places. It's your brand, your image. If your image isn't building trust with your customer, you are tripping over dollars to save pennies.
Would you rather be running your business, or spend time learning how to become a web developer?
I recommend Wordpress as a CMS that you can use to update and modernize your current website. You can completely redesign your website yourself, modernize it, get Yoast SEO Plugin and other great plugins and you can have a modern site that is optimized for search. You can also hire a Wordpress - PHP Developer if you REALLY want to change or alter a template for unique purposes. However, with affordable web hosting and virtually unlimited options, Wordpress seems the way to go in this case. With Wordpress, you can really get ahead start on online marketing with SEO and plugins that allow you automatically forward all your posts to Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms.
Yes you should have professional website up before you advertise. If you don't have lot of money to give it to company you have option to hire some economical freelancer that can do the job.
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I would suggest, first focus on getting your website revamp. Depending in the industry and clients and competitors, take a look at what are the changes that you need in your website.
Use a CMS platform so that you can change the content in your site yourself. There are loads of templates available, that will cut down your time to create a good looking site.
Get your sitemap organized and start writing the content. Do research on the keywords prevalent, so write the content keeping in mind the visitor needs as well as for SEO.
Identify the relevant images/ artwork that can support each page.
Get all your testimonials in place, get the photographs of people providing your testimonial.
Once ready, then start targeting on online advertising. Because there is no point being online and not having content to start a dialogue with your prospect. Oh, also please create landing pages to ensure that you can collect the contact details of your visitors.