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Creating An Online Presence: Part One

January 11, 2012
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There is a good chance that most business owners today have a sense of the importance surrounding an online presence.

But, not everyone feels as positively about acting on that task.

The Internet serves as an excellent source of affordable and easy marketing, communication and advertising opportunities that can greatly benefit a niche small business like one providing cleaning services.

As an available resource for custodial and maintenance assistance, it is vital for you to use cost-effective methods to promote your business and ensure that your company name is highly visible.

If your small business can create such a presence, the increased brand awareness will likely be reflected in an increase in sales and a growing customer base.

As a business owner interested in expanding your outreach onto the Internet, you need to consider working with a web hosting provider as a starting point for building an effective website.

Once you have selected a web host that can provide you with a hosting solution commiserate with your comfort and skill level, building a website can be done much more easily than is often perceived.

Choosing A Web Host

To ensure that your new website is as effective for your business as possible, be sure to spend time researching different web hosts.

Each provider includes their own selection of features in packages at different price points.

Therefore, when comparing web hosts, remember to take everything into consideration with your budget in mind.

An expensive package, for example, does not automatically imply high quality or indicate a large number of features.

Concentrate on finding a web host that fits into your budget and provides you with the best service.

It is also smart to clearly define what features you need for your website beforehand and compare prices from there.

Different hosts may provide you with a variety of additional features, but be sure to choose the best option for your specific needs.

The core components of a web hosting package are usually consistent between providers.

However, there has been a recent revolution in what web hosts are considering to be "modern basics" for features in a website package.

Unlimited web space and traffic are two elements to consider when shopping around for a web host, both of which will ensure that you can grow your online presence as you grow your business.

It is also beneficial to compare aspects such as the number of e-mail addresses and domain names a package includes, as well as the technical support offered to customers.

A useful benefit of web hosting providers is that they tend to offer free trials for new customers.

These trials allow you to test out their services for a given amount of time at no cost to you.

This is an excellent way to understand what they can provide your business with and to determine if their services match your needs.

From Web Host To Website

Once you have chosen a web host and the appropriate package, the next step is to build an effective website.

To be as efficient as possible, start with a plan.

It is important to understand what you want to gain from creating your business website as well as what your customers might look for on a site about cleaning services.

A website displaying your business and services is a core component of launching a web-based strategy.

However, burying important information in a cluttered space will not benefit you or those interested in your services.

But, if you choose to use a tool that offers preset design choices, maintaining an orderly site is an easy task.

Websites that include templates specific to your industry offer a user-friendly, comfortable layout for you to leverage.

Some solutions will also provide professionally written text and industry-specific images within the designs to use as a starting point for your attractive, informative and effective online space.

When deciding what to include in your website, some of the best lessons about successful content can be learned by observing others in the industry.

Look into how information is organized on competitors'' sites and how they relate specific details about their services through text and images.

This can be a great learning tool as you decide which elements will be most useful to your target customers.

However, it is important to realize that, while observing characteristics in others'' websites, you should only use this method to brainstorm content ideas.

Focus your efforts on incorporating essential and unique information into the site.

For example, place your contact details and business hours prominently on the homepage so they are easy to find.

It is also useful to organize information by subject matter across multiple pages and support those details with a balance of appropriate pictures that reinforce key messages.

Taking the right steps towards building an identity on the World Wide Web is a popular modern strategy for broadening one''s outreach.

As a small business offering specialized services, creating a unique presence online opens the door for you to leverage an accessible communication platform where you have control.

It places your business amongst other cleaning service companies who have already begun establishing their reputation online and, most importantly, offers you a stepping stone for setting your business apart from the others.

Be sure to check back next month for part two of this article.


Lauren Whitson is the spokesperson for 1&1 Internet Inc., the world''s largest web host. 1&1 was founded in 1988 and hosts more than 11 million domain names, while more than 70,000 servers run in the company''s five state-of-the-art, green data centers. 1&1''s global community is approximately 10 million customer contracts and growing. 1&1''s mission is to provide an optimal Internet presence for private users and small to medium-sized businesses by offering a complete range of innovative, high-quality web solutions at value prices. Find out more at www.1And1.com.

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