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Getting Irish Business Online
Getting Irish Business Online
Getting Irish Business Online
Getting Irish Business Online
Getting Irish Business Online
Getting Irish Business Online
Getting Irish Business Online
Getting Irish Business Online
Getting Irish Business Online
Getting Irish Business Online
Getting Irish Business Online
Getting Irish Business Online
Getting Irish Business Online
Getting Irish Business Online
Getting Irish Business Online
Getting Irish Business Online
Getting Irish Business Online
Getting Irish Business Online
Getting Irish Business Online
Getting Irish Business Online
Getting Irish Business Online
Getting Irish Business Online
Getting Irish Business Online
Getting Irish Business Online
Getting Irish Business Online
Getting Irish Business Online
Getting Irish Business Online
Getting Irish Business Online
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Getting Irish Business Online

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Guide produces in Ireland for new business to set up a website

Guide produces in Ireland for new business to set up a website

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  • 1. GET YOUR BUSINESS ONLINELIAM, HEATING & AIR CONDITIONING SERVICES MANAGER, IS ONLINE www.aacservices.ie“I see the GETTING IRISH BUSINESS ONLINE initiative as an opportunity for a business like mine to have a constant presence in every home or office that contains a computer.”
  • 2. HERE ARE THREEGOOD REASONS TOGET ONLINE NOW1 BE WHERE YOUR CUSTOMERS AREThe number of online users in Ireland grew from66% in 2009 to 77% in 2010.2 MAKE SURE YOUR BUSINESS CAN BE FOUNDOver 75% of Irish customers use the internet astheir primary tool for researching new companiesand products.3 DO MORE BUSINESS71% of Irish internet users have shopped online.Sources:ComReg Consumer ICT survey, 2010, www.comreg.ieConsumer Barometer, TNS Infratest, 2010, www.consumerbarometer.eu
  • 3. AND IT REALLY ISN’T HARD…Honestly - getting your business online couldn’t be easierthanks to the GETTING IRISH BUSINESS ONLINE initiative.The steps we’re about to show you for getting yourbusiness online don’t require any specialist technical skillsto implement. All you need to do is take a little time tolearn, set up and maintain your online presence.Just go towww.gettingbusinessonline.ie/guide,follow our simple guide and you’ll be online in no time. GET YOUR BUSINESS ONLINE 1
  • 4. CONTENTS3JUST GETTING STARTED?Go to Phase 1 to find out how to getyour website set up!11ALREADY HAVE A WEBSITE BUT WANTTO IMPROVE ITS PERFORMANCE?Go to Phase 2 to find some ideas forimproving your content and design17WANT TO UNDERSTAND YOUR VISITORSAND GET MORE OF THEM?Go to Phase 3 to learn about trackingand promotional techniques2 www.gettingbusinessonline.ie/guide
  • 5. PHASE 1 SET UP Our tool will help you create your website with a quick and easy step-by-step process: 2 GET YOUR WEBSITE ADDRESS Choose a name for your website and register your business to secure it. 1 SET YOUR GOALS (page 5) Businesses go online for You will need: different reasons – what – Your business address and details. are yours? (page 4) – VAT number or company number. – A mobile phone number so that we can text you a code. 3 CREATE YOUR HOMEPAGE Type a brief description of your business 4 SELECT YOUR and our tool will automatically create PREFERRED DESIGN your site. (page 6) Choose from a range of designs and see how your content looks before you decide on your favourite. (page 7) 5 YOU’VE GOT A WEBSITE! At this stage you are online and your potential customers can find you. If you want to add more pages, more content or images etc. you can do so at any stage (page 8). Learn how to do more with your website in Phases 2 and 3. GET YOUR BUSINESS ONLINE PHASE 1 3
  • 6. 1 SET YOUR GOALSBusinesses go online for different reasons – what are yours?Do you want to increase sales? Get more inquiries or leads?Provide your customers with extra information about your products?Your answers to these basic questions will help you design a websitethat makes sense for your business.Your customers:– Who are the customers you want to reach?– What kinds of information do these customers find useful when making purchasing decisions?– What are your customers already saying online about your products or services? (A Google search for your business name can give you an invaluable insight into what your customers care about, love and hate.)Your competitors:– Are they online yet?– If so, what are they doing online?Your offering:– What are your business’s main selling points?– What is the story behind your business?– Will you sell products online?Keep your answers to these questions in mind as you create your websiteand make decisions about your business’s online development.4 www.gettingbusinessonline.ie/guide
  • 7. 2 GET YOUR WEBSITE ADDRESSChoose a name for your website and register your business to secure it.Your unique website address (e.g. www.yourbusinessnamehere.ie)is also known as your domain name or URL.Choosing the right website address for your business is an important decision.Here are some things you should take into account:– Are you happy for this to be your business’s permanent online address? Even if you move premises, your online address will generally stay the same.– Make it short, easy to remember, clear and unambiguous when spoken – any name that requires spelling out or explanation should be avoided.– Make sure it relates to your business – ideally it should be the full or abbreviated version of your company name or a word or phrase connected to your industry.– If you’re targeting customers in a specific location you could consider including the name of your location in your domain name e.g. www.tropicalfishcork.com.If your first choice of website address isn’t available, try searching with a variation ofthe name e.g. including the location of your business. Once you’ve chosen your domainyou will need to sign up and register your business, it’s only at this point that thewebsite address will be secured for you and you can start creating the website. Choose a domain Enter your business name or a few words that say what you do, we will try to find a domain that suits you. mans best friend find mansbestfriend.ie Unavailable mansbestfriend.eu Select mansbestfriend.com Unavailable GET YOUR BUSINESS ONLINE PHASE 1 5
  • 8. 3 CREATE YOUR HOME PAGEFirst impressions count – and your homepage is the first impression manyvisitors will get of your business. Imagine your homepage as your onlineshop front. Make it clear what it is you offer, make it easy to access,and make it attractive.When considering what to put on your homepage, think about the most importantthing you want customers to do with your site. Do you want them to view yourproducts, write a review, call you… or something else? Whatever you want, makesure that this action is clear and simple for your customers.Write a brief description of your business in the ‘About’ section. You can come backand add pages to your website if you need to, so don’t feel like you have to puteverything you do on the homepage. Our sitebuilder tool lets you change fonts,sizes and colours if you want to – kind of like using a word processing tool. Site Home Page For now we want some basic information to put on your homepage. Later on you can change any of this from within the sitebuilder at http://cp.blacknight.com Site title Mans Best Friend Description Dog Walking About6 www.gettingbusinessonline.ie/guide
  • 9. 4 SELECT YOUR PREFERRED DESIGNThere are a range of design themes to choose from – just click on theone you like best and the tool will do the rest. Choose the look Choose a template for your website to give it a unique look and feel. Theme selector Pick from one of the following themes for your site. Take your time and find the theme that is best for you. Clean Forbairt CrispAfter you select a theme, choose your username and password (please keep arecord of these as you will need them to update your website).Then click the button ‘Complete’. Your details will be verified and your newwebsite will be live (visible to everybody on the internet).Once you have completed this stage, we’ll send you an email to confirm.In future, your website can be updated by logging in at http://cp.blacknight.com Login details Choose a username and password to login at http://cp.blacknight.com Username | Password Confirm Password Next >> GET YOUR BUSINESS ONLINE PHASE 1 7
  • 10. 5 YOU’VE GOT A WEBSITE!If you’ve followed all of the steps and completed sign up, your website isnow up and running. There are a couple of things you should include straightaway, which will appear on your homepage.A CONTACT DETAILSNot every business or sole trader has premises – or you might be working fromhome – so when your website first goes live it won’t automatically display youraddress and contact details. We recommend you add as many details as possible –it couldn’t be easier!ALL YOU HAVE TO DO:– Go to http://cp.blacknight.com– Enter your username and password– Move the slider to show or hide your addressB ADD A GOOGLE MAPYou can choose to show your address along with a Google map showing peoplehow to find your business. Having your address displayed as text on your page isuseful for Google’s search engine and a map is really the easiest way for people tofind your business.ALL YOU HAVE TO DO:– Go to http://cp.blacknight.com– Enter your username and password– Move the slider to highlight ‘ON’ or ‘OFF’8 www.gettingbusinessonline.ie/guide
  • 11. Your address 39 Canal View Rathmines Dublin 6 Dublin Hide Show address ON Use Google maps Save SettingsMany smaller businesses will find that a simple one-page website like you’ve justcreated is plenty. You can, however, add to your site at any stage. See tips for thenext phase starting on page 11, and don’t forget to promote your new website,no matter how big or small it is. QUICK TIPS Pages and updates After you sign up, you’ll have one page: your home page. This is an important page and acts like an overview page of your business. You may add other pages to your website from here from the outset (About Us, News, Services etc.) For tips on how to add more content see Phase 2, on page 11. Themes Think your website needs a face lift? Perhaps you rushed through your application eager to get online. Don’t worry! You can change to one of our other themes at any point. GET YOUR BUSINESS ONLINE PHASE 1 9
  • 12. BARBARA & JENNIE, OWNERS OF DESIGNIST, ARE ONLINE www.designist.ie“The website gives people a taste of the shop before they get here. A huge percentage of the people who come through the door tell us they looked at the website before they visited.”10 www.gettingbusinessonline.ie/guide
  • 13. PHASE 2 IMPROVING YOUR WEBSITE Improving and developing your website is easy with our sitebuilder. Follow our tips to work out what you need for your business, and how to get it out there. 6 DECIDE ON YOUR WEBSITE STRUCTURE 7 IMPROVE YOUR WEBSITE CONTENT REMEMBER: If you want to make changes to your website, you need to enter your username and password into our sitebuilder: Login http://cp.blacknight.com Username | Password Login Forgot password? GET YOUR BUSINESS ONLINE PHASE 2 11
  • 14. 6 DECIDE ON YOUR WEBSITE STRUCTUREThe easier and quicker it is for customers to navigate a website, the morelikely they are to use it. Break down and arrange the information you’reintending to put on your website in the most logical and user-friendly way.One way of approaching this task is to draw a simple map or outline of thesite on a sheet of paper. Home page About us Offers/Products Reviews / Contact us Our location Testimonials / Awards12 www.gettingbusinessonline.ie/guide
  • 15. HERE’S A TYPICAL WEBSITE STRUCTURE - FEEL FREE TO ADAPT IT TO YOUR OWNBUSINESS’S PARTICULAR NEEDS:Home page The first page your customers will see - and therefore the most important part of your site. This page needs to make an instantly positive impression and encourage visitors to stay and investigate further. You should include clear links from your homepage to the other main pages of your site, so that customers can easily find and click through to those pages.About us This is where you describe your business – who you are, what you do and how you do it. Include details of your business history, experience and customer testimonials.Offer/Products Here’s where you describe what your business has to offer. Clearly communicate the benefits of your products and services - and what makes you stand out from your competition. Include prices and photos or videos if possible and appropriate.Reviews / Use this section of your website to let others do the talking for yourTestimonials / business – quotes from satisfied customers, reviews from general orAwards specialist media, and details of industry awards.Contact us This is where you’ll display your business address, phone, email address and other contact details. You may also decide to include your phone number and email address at the foot of every page of your website.Location This is for the benefit of customers or suppliers wishing to travel to your business’s physical location – do give accurate road directions and, ideally, a map which they can print. GET YOUR BUSINESS ONLINE PHASE 2 13
  • 16. 7 IMPROVE YOUR WEBSITE CONTENTOnce you’ve decided on the right structure for your website, the nextstep is to decide on your content – the actual text and images whichyou’ll be featuring on the site.This is where the notes you’ve taken when you Set Your Goals (page 1)really come into play – what kind of content will be most appropriate foryour business and useful or interesting to your customers?HERE ARE SOME GENERAL TIPS:Find your voiceYour website should reflect your business’s personality. So choose a tone of voicefor your content that reflects that personality - funny or serious, emotive or clinical,informal or formal.Tailor to the mediumUsers interact with online content differently than they do with newspaper ads ordirect mail pieces. So existing offline content needs to be adapted for your website.Use short sentences, clear headings and bullet points.Most important information firstMany users won’t scroll down through a whole piece of content. Always put themost crucial information at the top of the page where it can be seen immediately.Speak their languageWrite content using the kinds of words that your customers would use, not yourcolleagues – avoid industry jargon.14 www.gettingbusinessonline.ie/guide
  • 17. Use imagesWherever possible and appropriate include good-quality visual and audio-visualcontent. Useful and interesting photos and film clips can add immensely to theappeal of your site.Clearly communicate your benefitsInclude the information about your products and services most likely to persuadecustomers to choose your business over your competitors.Clearly brand your siteMake sure people know they’re in the right place by adding logos and making it lookconsistent with the rest of your marketing materials and stationery.Keep your content freshOver time, there’ll be changes in your business – you’ll offer new services, discontinueproducts, win awards or move premises – and your website will need to be updatedpromptly to reflect those changes. GET YOUR BUSINESS ONLINE PHASE 2 15
  • 18. BRENDAN, PRINCIPAL OF DILLON SOLICITORS, IS ONLINE www.dillon.ie“Having a website is a basic business tool that shouldn’t be ignored. Many people nowadays do not consider you a professional if you’re not online.”16 www.gettingbusinessonline.ie/guide
  • 19. PHASE 3 PROMOTING AND TRACKING YOUR WEBSITE Adding your new website address to your business card, invoices, flyers, business vehicle and shop front signage will help get the word out about your website. There are many more ways of ensuring a potential customer can find you if they are searching online, free or otherwise. In this section, our tips will help you promote your website and give you advice on tracking to make sure you understand who’s visiting your website and what they’re doing on it. 8 PROMOTE YOUR WEBSITE 9 ADVERTISE ONLINE WITH GOOGLE ADWORDS 10 USE SOCIAL NETWORKING 11 MEASURE YOUR WEBSITE’S EFFECTIVENESS 12 LEARN EVEN MORE GET YOUR BUSINESS ONLINE PHASE 3 17
  • 20. 8 PROMOTE YOUR WEBSITEYou’ve got your website up and running. Now you need to get customersto visit it. Here are some promotional ideas to try out:A ADD YOUR WEBSITE ADDRESS TO YOUR MARKETING MATERIALS AND STATIONERYYour website should become the first port of call for anyone seeking moreinformation on who you are and what you do.Your website address should appear on any materials your business uses tocommunicate with the public, from letterhead, business cards and invoices tot-shirts and promotional calendars.Similarly be sure to include your web address in all advertising or othermarketing materials.B MAKE SURE GOOGLE CAN FIND YOUR WEBSITEIn order to make sure that somebody searching for your kind of businessfinds you, you need to make sure that your website comes up as early aspossible on that person’s Google search results.Here are a few simple tips on how you can make your website more easilyfound in Google search.18 www.gettingbusinessonline.ie/guide
  • 21. TextWhile Google can analyse many different types of content on your website, text isstill the easiest for it to understand. The more you can make the words on eachpage of your website relevant to and focused on your core business offering, theeasier it will be for people searching on Google for your business to find you.External Links and RecommendationsJust as in the offline world, you build your online reputation through therecommendations of others – which typically means having other businessesand individuals linking their websites to yours.Ways in which you can increase your online reputation include:– Contacting your local chamber of commerce or industry organisation and asking them to link from their websites to yours, and/or list your website address in any relevant offline publications or listings.– Participating in relevant professional online forums and sharing advice and useful information with other internet users.– Encouraging satisfied customers to write reviews of your products or services and publishing these on your site.For more tips go to www.google.com/webmastersIf you just want to learn more about how Google searches work go towww.google.com/howgoogleworks GET YOUR BUSINESS ONLINE PHASE 3 19
  • 22. 9 ADVERTISE ONLINE WITH GOOGLE ADWORDSWith Google AdWords, you can create and run ads for your business, quicklyand simply across Google and a huge network of partner websites.– Advertising with AdWords allows you to reach new customers at the precise moment when they are searching for your type of products and services.– You only pay when someone clicks on your ad, and you control how much you spend on each click, your daily budget, and where your ads appear.– AdWords accounts also include graphs and performance data so you can track what’s working and edit your ads accordingly.– You select where you advertise. You can decide whether to show your ads only to people in your own local town or region, or to the whole world.Why not try out Google AdWords to attract more customers to your website?Call us on 1890 907 098, you’ll receive an AdWords credit* and one of our friendlyAdWords experts will help you set up your account. If you want to learn more goto www.gettingbusinessonline.ie/befound*Terms and Conditions apply.20 www.gettingbusinessonline.ie/guide
  • 23. 10 USE SOCIAL TOOLS TO CONNECT WITH CUSTOMERSThe explosion in the popularity of online social networks provides enormousopportunities for your business. Here are some ways in which social mediacan be invaluable in helping you promote your business:Keep your customers up to date. Set up an account on a social media site, write a blog orsend out an email newsletter to provide your customers with news of new products,promotional offers and usage tips. It’s important to refresh information regularly – theless you update your blog or social network profile, the less often people will return toview it. You should also check the legality of emailing customers to make sure you arecomplying with email marketing policies.Listen to what customers are saying. Aside from any direct feedback you may receive viasocial media, you can find out what’s being said about your business, your competitorsand your industry by regularly checking in on review sites, online forums and socialnetworks relevant to your business. There are a number of specific tools available tohelp you find these sources of customer feedback:– Google Alerts. Simply sign in with your Google account, enter some keywords and you’ll be alerted whenever Google finds those keywords used anywhere on the Internet. www.google.com/alerts– Google Blogsearch. Find blogs focused on your industry and products plus one-off mentions of your products in other blogs. www.blogsearch.google.com– Twitter Search. See what is being tweeted about your business, your products, and your industry. www.search.twitter.comOnce you’ve identified a useful source of information, get used to checking in regularly.Monitor and be proactive about reviews and ratings. Many local business directories andconsumer websites feature user ratings and reviews. It’s important to pay attention towhat other sites in your industry are saying about your products and services – and torespond promptly to any reviews or queries regarding your business. Try to boost yourbusiness’s profile on these sites and be proactive in encouraging satisfied customersto post reviews. GET YOUR BUSINESS ONLINE PHASE 3 21
  • 24. 11 MEASURE YOUR WEBSITE’S EFFECTIVENESSOnce you’ve got your website up and running it’s important to keep trackof how it’s working for your business.There are a wide variety of tools available to enable you to track and analyseyour website’s impact on customers - how many people visited your site,how many of those visits led to purchases, and so on.You can also understand and improve the effectiveness of your advertisingand promotions online by carefully monitoring the results of each burst ofmarketing activity.SIMPLE TRACKING TECHNIQUESHere are a few of the more straightforward methods of measuring your website’s effectiveness:– Use a new phone number (i.e. not your regular business number) for your website contact details – you’ll know whenever you get a call on this new number that it’s from an online customer.– Make special offer coupons available on your website – every customer who redeems a coupon has come via your website.– Ask new customers to complete an online form – or simply ask them on the phone or in person to find out how they heard about your business.– Use an online statistics counter to track how many visitors your website is attracting. Search online and you’ll easily find a free tool to help you.22 www.gettingbusinessonline.ie/guide
  • 25. MORE ADVANCED TRACKING TECHNIQUESSome of the more advanced things you can find out through tracking are:– Referring Sites. Where are people coming from, and which of your ads and promotions are driving them to your website?– Keywords. Which words and phrases are visitors using in their searches to bring them to your website?– Content by Title. Which pages of your website are visited most often?– Specific Link. How many people clicked through an individual link included in a particular email sent or ad posted by you?When analysing activity on your website, you’ll want to focus particularly on therates of conversion – how many of the visitors to your website actually signedup for a newsletter, made a purchase, or contacted your business.Google Analytics is a powerful free tracking and analysis tool which allows you to getdetailed information on where visitors to your website are coming from, what drovethem to you, and what they do once they arrive.Google Analytics can also help you analyse the effectiveness of your online advertisingwith Google AdWords (see page 20) and other e-commerce solutions.You can find our more about Google Analytics at www.google.com/analytics GET YOUR BUSINESS ONLINE PHASE 3 23
  • 26. 12 LEARN EVEN MORE...By setting up your business website and spending some time developingbasic strategies to promote yourself online, you’ve already done yourbusiness a big favour.There are many more ways in which you can use the online environment to promoteyour business – and with a little time and motivation you could master these moreadvanced strategies too.There’s lots of useful information on promotional and advertising techniques,search engine optimisation, e-commerce and advanced measurement tools availableabsolutely free at www.gettingbusinessonline.ie24 www.gettingbusinessonline.ie/guide
  • 27. SIMON, OWNER OF SPARTAN BOXING, IS ONLINE www.spartanboxingfitness.ie“I’ve wanted to set up a website for a while now. One of the main reasons I hadn’t was I didn’t think I had the time or the knowledge but with GETTING IRISH BUSINESS ONLINE it’s been easy.” GET YOUR BUSINESS ONLINE 25
  • 28. ROSIE, OWNER OF BROADWAY BAGELS, IS ONLINE www.broadwaybagels.ie“Being online has opened my business to the world.”www.gettingbusinessonline.ie

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