Why a Facebook Page Isn’t Enough for Your Business

Facebook

Why do you have a website? For self-expression? To make money? To share information about your organization, business, or some other subject that’s important?

I run into people all the time who tell me that they don’t  need to invest in a website, because after all, Facebook is free, and it serves the same purpose. That’s true, but there are some points to consider before making it the only means of representing your company on the internet:

You don’t own your Facebook page — You are at the mercy of Facebook’s whims when it comes to what you can and can’t do with your site. Facebook currently governs what you can say,  and what pictures and apps you can have on your site, and to some extent, where you’re allowed to put them. Facebook policies and technical specifications change frequently and staying ahead of the learning curve can cost time and money.

Facebook reaches a limited audience — You customers will only know about your page if they’re on Facebook.

It can be challenging to keep information current — If someone wants to refer to information you made a post you made last year, they may have a hard time finding it. There are many times when I’ve gotten frustrated with FB pages that make me hunt around for information that I need (when and where a musical act will be appearing, for example). More often than not, I’ve gotten tired of looking and just found something else (on a website with a calendar of events and/or searchable posts) to do with my time (and money).

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) issues — You want people to be able to find your site when they look on Google, bing,  or some other search engine. Studies show that most people will stop looking at listings before the 3rd page, so where your site comes up can be important.

You can make money on your own site — While you may make money on sales from people who see your page on Facebook and decide to do business with you, the big difference is that you can set up an e-commerce section on your website and make money from products that you sell or from ads that you run for other companies’ services. You don’t have any control over the sponsored ads that show up as visitors are viewing your Facebook page.

While the two aren’t mutually exclusive, customers still prefer websites.

How to Upload Media to Your Site

Uploading media to a website is a basic skill that anyone in charge of maintaining it will use often. Clients ask me how to do this all the time,  so I thought I would write a post with simple instructions. These instructions can apply to uploading audio and video files as well. You may want to think about hosting your videos on a YouTube account and then embedding them on your site instead of uploading them, but that’s a post for another time.

From the Dashboard/Posts screen place your cursor where you want to insert the media item, then click the “Add Media” button, which is outlined in red in the picture below. (Click on any picture in this blog post to enlarge them it).

upload_media_1

Another screen will open. Click the  “Upload files” link on the top left hand side (highlighted in red below). Click the big “Upload Files” button in the middle of the page and select the file you want to upload from a file selection box, or locate it (on your desktop perhaps?) and just drag it somewhere onto the screen .

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When it’s finished uploading, click the blue “Insert into post” button at the bottom of the screen.

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Once  the graphic is inserted into the post, you might want to edit it. You can do this by clicking on the picture that you want to edit and selecting the little picture in the upper left corner of the selection,  or by going to the media gallery and selecting the picture there.

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Once a picture has been selected, you can edit the size, alignment, enter a title and/or caption and change link URL settings or click the “Advanced Settings” tab for even more options.

 

 

Choosing a Domain Name

Internet

Choosing a good domain name for your site is one of the most important tasks to do when setting up a new website. It’s the “address” that people will use to find your website on the internet, so the easier it is for them remember and access your site, the better.

Things to consider:

Your main goal is to pick a name that describes what the site is about and that’s easy to remember, and incorporates keywords that might be used to find the site in a search engine. For example, tonibdesign.com, is short, easy to spell and because it contains the word design, it’s likely to come up when people are searching Google for “web design”.

Pick a name that’s not too long. The longer the name is, the more chance for someone to misspell it and not be able to get to your site, which brings me to my next point —

Try to avoid names where you’re going to have to explain how it’s spelled. Remember, www.yourwebsiteone.com and www.yourwebsite1.com are two different sites. Also try to avoid punctuation, and “0”, which is often confused with “O”. I often run into people that aren’t always familiar with the names of punctuation marks and if they’re in a hurry may mistake a hyphen (-) and an underscore (_) for example. You’ll want to be prepared with an quick, concise way to explain how to get to your site.

Stick to .com, .org, or .net. There are many other domain endings, but a lot of people are more suspicious of domains that end in .biz, .tv, etc. because those domain names are often associated with spam, phishing scams and viruses. Plus, these days most people assume that a website ends in .com anyway.

How to Write a WordPress Blog Post

One of the essential skills of managing your WordPress site is knowing how to upload your content. The procedure is pretty much the same whether you’re adding a blog post or a new page.

Go to the Dashboard, locate the “Add New” button under the “Posts” controls section (outlined in red) on the upper left side and enter a title for your post. Select either the Visual or HTML tab on the grey bar just above the content box. The Visual view operates like any word processor, and you will see a row of buttons on the grey bar that control the formatting of your work. Hover your mouse over each button to get a brief description of what it does. The HTML view shows the coding that affects the look of your post. This is the view you would use if you want to embed a video on your site, change the size of text and headings, or other things not covered by the standard formatting buttons. Now go ahead and start writing your post.

Posts box on the dashboard

You may also want to categorize your post and add some tags so that your readers will be able to search your site for articles that interest them. An article about the difference between categories and tags is coming soon!

When you’re done, save a draft by clicking on the Save Draft button in the upper right corner and then take a look at your work by clicking on either of the Preview buttons outlined in red in the picture below.

Preview buttons outlined

When you’re finished, you can save the draft for later by clicking the Save Draft button, or if you’re ready to post it, click the blue Publish button. This will upload your post for all to see.

Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Website

Why go through all of this trouble to have a presence on the web?

  1. The internet is today’s Yellow Pages.  Potential customers are using the web to find companies that can fulfill their needs.  Unlike a Yellow Pages ad in a book, your site can be seen by people all over the world at any time of the day or night, not just potential customers in your local telephone area.
  2. A website contains more information than what appears on a standard business card or in a print ad.  A well thought out website makes it easier for people to get more information about your business.  Use it to tell your company’s story — post biographies of key employees, include a list of products and services, put up a contact information page, etc.
  3. A website provides an easy way to interact with your customers.  For example, you can post answers to frequently asked questions, get customer feedback using contact forms, post regular news updates, or provide customized directions to your business with the help of applications like Google maps.
  4. A website facilitates e-commerce. You don’t need a building to have a store. Online purchasing  technology makes it easy for you to sell products online without having to pay for expensive overhead items like rent and utilities.  If you already have a bricks-and-mortar store, e-commerce products make it possible for customers to make purchases even after you’ve locked up and gone home for the night.
  5. With an online presence you can promote your business to potential clients regionally, nationwide or globally.
  6. People expect you to have one.