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If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.  Zig Ziglar


We build our businesses through relationships and great service. Some  entrepreneurs like ourselves go the extra mile to show our customers that we care by remembering their birthdays and even their first names.


In the good old days, the local store knew your name, your children, and even had time to have a conversation with you. You were able to build your business through strong community relationships. If you wanted to market yourself, you could do some flyers and have them dropped in the mailboxes or maybe an advert in the local newspaper or community newsletter. However, times have changed.


Today, advertising is an act of promotion that aims to sell a product or a service to the target consumer. Advertising is one of the oldest forms of marketing which influences the target audience to buy, sell, or do something with that advertised product. With a specifically designed message, the advertisement can either be targeted to a very specific audience or to the audience as a whole. 


Marketing activities like Email Marketing and Search Engine Marketing came way after advertising was introduced. Ever since the internet grew common, advertising has been divided into traditional advertising and digital advertising.


Forms of traditional advertising include print, TV, and radio advertisements. The most effective advertising is print media because it revolves around a target audience that personally receives the advertisements through flyers, newspapers, and mail.

Any advertising activities fall under the category of digital advertising, such as Social Media Advertising, PPC, Display Advertising, etc. This is a cheaper form of advertising and is easier to track. Therefore, it is a more widely used form of marketing (Oberlo, n.d.).[1] 


Importance of Advertising

Today, businesses use advertising, and companies place ads in diverse media to accomplish goals. Besides advertising products traditionally in newspapers and general magazines, businesses use the media with the highest number of reach. For example, a portable device used for communication is advertised on a social media site whose audience is mostly the younger generation. The importance of advertising can be understood for the following reasons:


Introduction of the Product and Awareness

When a business comes up with a new product, advertising helps make the market aware of the new product. Often, ads are presented with a solution to a common problem. For example, ads for new cellphones presented that it could solve the problem of a "dropped call." Similarly, ads for anti-frizz treatments show the results after using the product, so the market is aware of how effective the product is. 

 

Events of Product Sale

Advertising is a great way to get a message out to the market about a limited time offer on products. Ads that are sale-based can be generated by local shops, or they can come from the manufacturer of the product. In a lot of cases, the manufacturer and the retailer both split the amount of the ad. This advertising is known as "co-op advertising." It uses the graphics and the design provided by the manufacturer. Only the retailer's name is added to the ad.

 

Product Differentiation from Competitors

Businesses use advertisements to demonstrate that their products are more beneficial and more effective than the competitors' products. In some instances, retailers think it is necessary to advertise their products because they have flooded the newspapers and the television with their ads. If the retailers do not market their products in abundance, it is possible that the customers just overlook the product. 


Advances in the Product

Advertising is a tool used to communicate any advancements in the present product. By September 2003, the "Advertising Age" was a time of the soap wars where manufacturers aggressively advertised their products. By 1980, the first liquid hand soap was introduced. This soap promised to solve the problem of leftover soap residue on the sink. This product was then purchased by a national brand, after which competitors also came up with their own liquid soap products.

 

Institutional Advertising to Depict a Good Image

Companies use institutional advertising to communicate information about their operations or show why their products are the best choice. Zig Ziegler claims that this type of advertising is not meant to increase sales. However, it gives out a good image of the company and about the product. This advertising will then lead to sales. Ziegler says that even if the customer does not purchase the product now, the company will have his name for the future (Hazelden, 2019).[2]


Kinds of Advertising

At this stage of this book, you have a clear understanding of Search engines, how local search works, and the importance of a website. The next step is deciding the kind of advertising and the different platforms to advertise on.


Print

Print media include newspapers, catalogs, magazines, direct mail, and program books. This form of advertising allows customers to spend as much time as they want with your ad. They could either see it in one look or return it to you when they are done. You must use someone who has knowledge of advertising, layout, and design when creating your ads.

 

Radio

Radio adds a dimension to your advertising that print cannot. That is sound. Pick an announcer who will attract your customers and catch their attention. Radio can be more effective than print if you have commuters in your target audience.

 

Television

As cable and dish channels have emerged, TV advertising has become much more affordable than in the past. It allows you to reach better audiences. Along with the sound, TV also offers a vision that lets you showcase your product better than any other media of advertisement.

 

Outdoor

Another way to build a reputation with the commuters is to catch them outdoors. You can opt for billboards, signboards on the buildings, park benches, buses, cabs, and sidewalks. Your messages should be short for the commuter to read as they pass by them.

 

Internet

With the emergence of the internet today, advertising is making its way to people's screens. Over the internet, you can buy static or animated banners, sign up for PPC (pay-per-click) on websites that attract word searches, or use social media tools like Facebook, Instagram, Google Plus, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn (Milano, n.d.).[3] 

As we move on further into the chapter, let's take a look at how advertisements work over the internet.


[1] Oberlo (2020). What is Advertising? Retrieved from https://www.oberlo.com/ecommerce-wiki/advertising

[2] Chron (2020). Importance of Advertising in Business. Retrieved from https://smallbusiness.chron.com/importance-advertising-business-3260.html

[3] Chron (2020). Different Advertising Platforms. Retrieved from https://smallbusiness.chron.com/different-advertising-platforms-64606.html

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Having the right website is not only about putting something up. It is also about using the right tools to make an effective website, properly brand a website, and optimize it to help attract people and convert them to customers. But unfortunately, building a small business website is easier said than done. Businesses face a lot of challenges, especially when building a website.

Here are some challenges businesses can face when building a website:


Getting Hosting

When you can find hundreds of companies hosting your website online, it becomes difficult to understand the technicalities involved with building a website. Terms like FTP is unknown to you and your business. You are not aware of what it is used for. What are name servers, and how to configure websites with them?


Creating Good Looking Websites

Design is a major challenge that small businesses face when it comes to building a website. When you decide to use a CMS such as WordPress or decide to hire a professional website designer, you can easily see yourself spending $5,000 only for basic web design. That is quite expensive for businesses.


Getting Ranked in Search Engines

Getting ranked well on several search engines is an integral part of building a website. If you create a proper, SEO-optimized website with the right tools, you have a better chance of being ranked higher than someone who ignores the importance of SEO. For your website to rank well in the search engines, it has to be light and fast. The code has to be clean and move-able. Also, every element of on-page SEO should be in place.


Cost

When you calculate the cost of building a website for your business, you will notice that you are spending hundreds and thousands of dollars only to ensure that your website is running properly.


Updating Your Website

Now that your website is up and running, you will need to timely update your website. Having the best website has no such value if you cannot update your website.[1]


Testing a Website

Every person involved in making the website has a role to play.


For the Editor and Writers

Spelling, Grammar, and Punctuation

Recheck for any typos, grammar errors, and spellings. Not only in article texts and headlines but throughout the web page, including navigation, calls-to-action, buttons, forms, etc.


Forms

Fill out the forms and go through the following questions:

· Can the flow be improved?

· Do you get stuck?

· Are the instructions easy and accurate?

· Does the completed form get sent to the right people or person?


Check Images

Make sure that all the images are optimized for the web. Make sure that the images are not too large and overwhelming. The images should be appropriately labeled with titles and alt-text.


Context

When giving a critical eye to the pages within the site, ask yourself:

· Why would I visit the page?

· Is the content ready for the visitor?

· Does the page address the audience?


For the Web Designer

Speed of the Site

Make sure to check the size of your pages and their load time. You can make use of Google's own site speed test to do this. Site speed is a ranking factor. Therefore, follow any recommendations that Google suggests.


Mobile Friendliness

Is your website mobile-friendly?



Compatibility

Check to make sure that your website's pages render well in common browsers. Browser share is a moving target, and it helps prioritize efforts.


Fonts

Sometimes, fonts get dropped into a page inadvertently, making a word or a letter look funny. Check to see that the formatting is consistent and look out for odd blips in the copy.


Navigation

Test the navigation to the breaking point. Ensure that every journey through your website leads where it is meant to without any broken links or wrong pages.

Make sure that your onsite search works and delivers the correct results.


For the Web Developer

Live URLs

Most of the time, sites are built at a URL that is not the final destination of the website. When a website goes live, the URLs are transferred from a staging area to production. All the URLs change at this time, and they need to be tested accordingly.


Sign up to "Google Search Console"

Google Search Console is a tool that all webmasters use. This is where Google will communicate with you if anything goes wrong on your website. Through the Search Console, you can easily monitor your site's performance, identify any issues, submit content for crawling, remove any content that you do not like, view the search queries of visitors, and monitor all backlinks.


Minify

This technique combines and compresses the website code into smaller chunks so that you can increase your site's speed.


404 Pages

When a 404 error occurs, make sure that you have a customized page that will help your visitor find something else that may help them, even if it wasn't what they were looking for.


Favicon

Favicons are small iconic images that show up in the address bar and tabs of your browser. This is a small branding opportunity that lends credibility to your site.


For the SEO Team:

301 Redirects

There are times when the content is repurposed or moved to a new location on the site. If you have an existing site and are changing the URL structure with your new site, you need to make sure that you mapped the old URLs to the new ones.


Title Tags

This may seem very outdated, but this easy-to-fix mistake tends to happen every day. Make sure that every page has its own title tag and make sure that each one of them is unique and distinguishable.


XML Sitemaps

Make sure that your website has an accurate site map in XML and HTML format. This way, you can upload your sitemap to Search Console. However, most CMS, like WordPress, will have a sitemap for you automatically.


Analytics

Make sure that Google Analytics or any other analytics package you are using is set up and ready to go to measure and analyze the traffic towards your site.


Social Media Integration

Do the social media icons on your website lead to the correct pages? Do you have the right buttons and social plugins installed that will do exactly what the user wants to do?


SERP Display

Are the search engines showing your pages accurately in the search results? Did you write the correct Meta Descriptions? Are they being used? Make sure to thoroughly investigate your visibility in Search Console.


PPC Setup

Ensure that if you are running any PPC campaigns, they should be set up and ready to go with the site launch. To avoid any lapse in the service, if you have a Google PPC rep, you can set and pause all your campaigns to the new URLs before the launch. Instead of the ads getting disapproved, your rep can approve them manually.[2]


Scaling Your Website

Scaling means the ability to support any traffic. Unfortunately, most business owners do not really think about this until their website crashes due to heavy traffic. That is why it is important to plan for scaling and anticipate your peak load beforehand. Once you are aware of where the load is, you can put measures in place to avoid any downtime and frustrated visitors on the road.


When Should You Scale?

Scaling is essential when you want to keep the function of the application or the website the same as the load increases. If your website loads in less than 2 seconds right now with 500,000 visitors a month, then you will want your website to load within 2 seconds even when you cross 1 million visitors a month.

Scaling is important because you never know when you will face a spike in traffic. Having a plan in place will prevent disasters like crashing websites.


Other Website Options

There are many options when it comes to building a website. However, what is the solution that can provide the most value for your website and your business goals? A website can be as simple as an informational brochure or a basic blogging site, or it could be as complicated as an operating system for a business.

The website's complexity depends on the purpose, goals for performance, and the function and feature requirements. If these three elements have been mapped out from the beginning, it becomes easier to choose the optimal solution for building a website.

In the past, for you to build a website, you need to have extensive knowledge of how to code, build, and design a successful website. Now, almost anyone can have their own online presence with the many different options available for website development. Here are some of the options present in the market:

· Using a DIY website builder

· Using a template or a pre-made theme for an open-source content management system (CMS).

· Hiring a web design and development company to build a custom website on an open-source CMS.

· Hiring a web design and development company to build a custom website along with a framework.

The optimal solution for building a website totally depends on the complexity of the website's requirements and the needs of the business. Here are a few points to consider when choosing your way of building a website, including abilities, benefits, limitations, and costs.


Defining the Value of the Website

The first step for building a website should include defining the expectations of the project or the business. That way, in the end, you will get the most value out of a project that can meet the goals of the website as well as the business.

Purpose of the Website

The first thing to consider is the purpose of building the website. Understanding the purpose of a website will help define the website elements and the functions that the website needs. A website should represent the company, the brand, and the customers that interact with it.


Requirements of the Website

The purpose of the website influences the elements and the functions needed to build the desired website. There are countless components to consider when building a website. Moreover, it is what will help understand the requirements for the different features and functions of the website. Depending on the website's purpose and the goals, some requirements can be more complex or may need customization.


Users of the Website

Users of the website can include the target audience of the company. Moreover, it can also include the internal staff who will be operating behind the scenes. How will the administrators of the website access the site? Some administrators require a sophisticated system that will provide access to only the distinctive users. What will the users have to do? Will they be able to interact with the site? Will they be able to log in, create profiles, or will they be simply looking for content? Once you have understood the requirements and how complex the website is, you can easily determine what solution is best for you and your business. To get the most out of a website project, you should look for a solution that is able to build a website with your purposes and requirements.[3]

[1] Easy Web Content (2020). 5 Challenges Small Businesses Face when Building a Website. Retrieved from http://www.easywebcontent.com/blog/5-challenges-small-businesses-face-when-building-a-website/ [2] Search Engine Watch (2020). How to Test a Website Before You Launch: a 28 Checkpoint List. Retrieved from https://www.searchenginewatch.com/2016/09/13/how-to-test-a-website-before-you-launch-a-28-point-checklist/ [3] Clutch (2020). What Are Your Options for Building a Website? Retrieved from https://clutch.co/web-designers/resources/options-for-building-a-website




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You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great. Zig Ziglar


We often use the term website in our daily conversations but are we aware of what it really means? A website is a collection of accessible, interlinked Web pages that all share a single domain name. Websites are easily created and maintained by various people. It could be an individual, a group of people, a business, or an organization that serves website services.


Altogether, all websites accessible by the public add up to make the World Wide Web.

There are several types of websites. These include educational sites, news sites, forums, social media, e-commerce sites, and more. The pages within a website are a combination of text and other media. With that said, there are no rules to making a website.[1]


In today's era, why is a website considered to be important for businesses? Living in this world of digitization, websites are the most crucial tool for a business. If your business does not have a present website, you are losing out on opportunities for your business to grow. A website can be used to accomplish different marketing strategies that will help your business grow.


The Importance of a Website

The web has a much broader reach as compared to any other means of advertisement. Your website will be the center of your company's online presence. With your website, you can advertise your business around the web over social media sites, forums, and through pay-per-click programs.


Having a website and being present online allows you to market your business over the web. A website is important because it helps in building your business rapport. Websites provide a map and directions to the physical shops or offices of your business. This way, visitors can easily find your location.


Another important factor to consider is that you represent your business to your customers with a website. This way, they are aware of why they should trust you. The testimonials present on the website will boost their trust in you and your business.


Nowadays, people are busy and smart. They do not have the time to visit stores. Therefore, they simply go online and search through the internet for products and services. They study different websites, the reviews, the different price offers, and then they make a purchase. Through the internet, they can learn about the brand, the features, the price, the size, the color, and more.


When you provide your customers with a good service or a good product, the good word about your business spreads. A website not only gives you credibility, but it also leaves a good impression of your company. It shows that you have a reliable, bigger, and successful company.


One positive thing about the internet is that the size of your company does not matter. The website is more important for a small business as compared to big business. Websites are always available and accessible all day. As a result, your customers can visit your website at any time of the day and learn about your products and services.[2]

[1] Techopedia (2020). Website. Retrieved from https://www.techopedia.com/definition/5411/website [2] Blue 16 Media (2020). Importance of Having a Business Website. Retrieved from https://blue16media.com/blog/2019/08/01/the-importance-of-having-a-business-website

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