What You Should Know Before Building A Website
A lot of sellers don't currently have their own website. And that's okay. If you are using Etsy to pay your bills and feed your family, then it's time that you consider getting your own website. It's okay if you start off on one platform and then upgrade to a different one when you business grows. In this blog I will be talking about the different platforms and tips to help you build your own website. I will give you pros and cons for all the platforms that I would recommend, as well as more information on getting a e-mail list going for your own website.
Which Platform You Should Choose
If you are just starting out with your own website, I would recommend using Squarespace, Shopify, or Wordpress. Here is a small break down of each platform to help you decide which one is best for you.
I use Squarespace for my handmademastermind website. I find it much easier to use then Shopify. And it is also cheaper to use than Shopify which is good for those who are on a budget. It is also very easy to use. And by that I mean it is almost impossible for you to mess up when designing your own website. Squarespace also offers a free trail, which is a good thing for those who are just starting out.
If you are interested in using Squarespace, then I would recommend that you get a book like this to teach you how to build your website, step by step.
Shopify can be a little bit more pricey, but it does have a lot of more tools that you can use. If I didn't go with Wordpress, then Shopify would have been the route that I took for my own website. They have a lot of tools that can be helpful when trying to get higher conversion rates. The more apps you add to your Shopify, the more fees you will have to pay. The reason I would recommend going with Shopify or any other platform instead of Wordpress is because most of us are to busy to keep up with all the updates and tools that Wordpress has. Having Shopify will make it easier for the people who are busy to still have control over there own website.
Thinking about using Shopify for building your website? Then check out this book that will help you master Shopify!
Wordpress is good for those sellers who are currently making good money with their businesses. Similar to it feeling like a real business, and by that I mean that this is your primary source of income and this is how you support your family. If you are just starting out with your own website, then I would not recommend using Wordpress. It is a very complicated system to use if you are not tech savvy. However, unlike other platforms such as Shopify or WIX, when you use Wordpress you fully own your website with no restrictions. If you are interested in using Wordpress, I would suggest that you do your research and find out how to use it for your business. I eventually had to sit down are find out how to do certain things on my Wordpress site. Once I figured out how to change certain things on my own without having to hire help, it became very easy for me to do. It just takes patience and time.
If you are looking for a platform that does not have transaction fees, and doesn't cost you anything to use it then I would recommend using Wordpress. However, I do have to pay for hosting, but that is only about a few dollars a month. If you put Stripe on your website to use as a payment processing program, and it does directly to your bank then it is free. I wanted to go with a certain payment processing program, so I have to pay extra $30/month for that. I find it much easier to use and I like to be able to print the shipping labels directly from PayPal. Wordpress is hard to build on your own, if you go with Wordpress as your platform, then I would suggest getting someone to build it for you. If you would like to know the name of my Wordpress guy, you can message me in the private group and I will tell you there.
You don't want to have all your eggs in one basket. You want to have multiple places for your target market to find you on. Such as Amazon,Etsy, or your own website. If you have both a Etsy shop and your own dotcom, then it may be difficult for you to maintain both depending on the amount of sales you have. You also have to think about your e-mail list when it comes to your own website and making sure you are keeping up with that as well.
Thinking about using Wordpress for your own website? Then check out this step-by-step guide on how to use Wordpress for beginners.
Directing Traffic To Your Website
If you are thinking about creating your own website, here are some helpful tips to consider before you do. When you have your own website, there is only one fee that you have to pay for and that's your payment fee to use that hosting. After you have successfully built your own website, it is time for you to direct traffic to it. A few ways that you can do this is by : Google SEO, Blogging, Social Media, and Advertising. Don't have your own website? Then check out my blog post that give you 4 reasons why you need to upgrade to your own website.
There are ways to optimize your listings regarding SEO depending on the platforms you use. Google SEO is not like Etsy SEO. People often get confused on where to put their key phrases when doing google SEO. Here is a quick rundown on where you should be putting your key phrases.
The places that google cares about keyword phrases are:
- In you URL
- In your title (most of the time you will find that your URL and title are the same)
- In your H1-H6. (your heading)
I find that people don't need to use all the way to number 6. And what I mean by using keyword phrases in your heading is similar to writing an essay.
For example: When you write an essay, you have a topic ( heading) and then you have the body of the paragraph that goes into more detail about what the topic is.
There are things you should consider when you are doing your google SEO such as :
- Your loading time. If your website takes a long time to load, then there is a good chance that you will not be found on top of search.
- Another thing google takes into consideration is your font size. If your font size is to small to be read easily or if it is to big, then again you probably wont be found at the top of search.
- I would make sure that your website is very easy for people to navigate. Your Website should be set up in a way that is easy to use, is user friendly, and doesn't leave your customers asking questions.
If you want to know more about how Google SEO works and how to implement it with your products, you can get my Google SEO webinar here.
Naming your photos
Another thing that is becoming very popular when creating your own website it naming your photos. And I don't mean naming them random things, but using keywords that your target market will be searching for and that makes sense for that product. However Etsy automatically renames your photos once you upload them. On certain platforms you are able to name your images using keywords that describe your product. If you are able to name your photos, it will be under the Alt. Text. Using the Alt Text is like SEO for your photos.
Blogging is a simple,easy and free way to market your products to customers and get them to come to your website. If you are going to go with blogging as a way to direct traffic to your website, I would highly recommend that you have it within your website.
If you have any type of social media account, then you should have a link to your website on all of them. You should regularly post things to remind your followers to check out your website. I find this to be the hardest thing for people to accomplish when trying to direct traffic to their website. I have seen very few people do this on their own and actually succeed at it. Me personally, I have not started using my social media accounts to drive traffic to my website. I find that I prefer to use my e-mail list and it works great!
Not sure how to use social media for your business? Then click here to get more information about how to use social media for your business.
Don't forget to check out my blog post on how to use Instagram for your business.
Need help with using Pinterest to drive more traffic to your shop and get more sales? Then get my new Pinterest Webinar here.
Advertising is the next thing I would recommend for people like us. And what I mean by that is, small business owners who are on a budget. Advertising does cost money, but there are a lot of platforms for you to do advertising. Such as:
- Facebook Ads
- Google Ads
Another way that most people forget about is using your packaging to drive traffic to your website. When you send customers their order, that is another perfect way to get them to go to your own website. On your packaging, make sure that you have some sort of branding either on, inside or even a marketing insert.
Thinking about using packaging inserts for your business? Then check out my blog post that shows you the do's and don'ts when it comes to marketing.
Need help with your marketing inserts for your packages? Then click here to get my Marketing insert course that has marketing templates to use for your business.
These are the 3 things I use for my packaging to drive traffic to my website:
- Sticker on the outside of the package with my shops name and web address underneath
- Clear stickers that are one the sleeves for the stationery that have the same thing
- Marketing insert that gives them a special discount if they go to my website and sign up for my e-mail list
Using Your E-mail List To Direct Traffic
I have talked about e-mail list for a long time, and I hope by now most of you have started one. If you sell on more than one platform, i would suggest that you focus on driving traffic to your website. I find it that when people first start their own website that they have trouble directing traffic to it. But just in case if you haven't or don't know exactly how to use one to drive traffic I will give you a few helpful tips. Using a E-mail list is the perfect way to drive traffic to your website. E-mail lists are very important when you are trying to direct traffic to your website, just like social media is important. You will have higher conversion rates when you use an e-mail list. It is not like other things where you can get money the second you start one. It takes time to build an e-mail list and figure out what it is you want to tell your target market. The longer you work on growing your e-mail list, the more potential buyers you will have.
For example your e-mail to your subscriber can mention something like this:
- Today only, 25% off everything in my shop
- Sneak peak at my new line of men/ women's clothes coming this summer
You are not going to have 200 subscribers the day you start your e-mail list. However, it is never to late to start an e-mail list, but you will be wishing that you would have started one earlier. Even if you start a e-mail list today and you aren't ready to start marketing to them, that's okay. Because in a few months when you have built your e-mail list up to 200 subscribers, then you have a larger audience to send out your deals or updates to. But again these people don't know how many subscribers you have. So if you wanted to send out a e-mail to them, you still can.
Still not sure if an e-mail list is right for your business? Then click here to view my blog that gives you 4 great reasons why you need an e-mail list.
I find that most people struggle with these next steps when it comes to setting up a new e-mail list
- Knowing what to market to your subscribers.
- Find out what you want to tell them in the e-mail.
- Making sure that it is going to be something that makes them want to come back again.
- Creating a graphic that will make the subscriber want to purchase from you
You don't need your own website to have an e-mail list, you can direct them to your Etsy shop. Yes Etsy will take a small fee out, but it's still money in your pocket. However you are not allowed to direct traffic to your Etsy or your own website from your Amazon shop. People expect to spend money around the holiday seasons, that's why they are online looking at gifts. So I would recommend sending out a e-mail around the holiday times to attract more buyers.
If you are having trouble figuring out how to start an e-mail list then check out this FREE e-mail marketing download.
However, if you do decide to direct traffic to your website, then just remember that you have to be able to convert the people that go there. Make sure it looks professional, because if it doesn't then you wont get as many sales as you wanted to.
This is just another step that I go over with in my E-mail list webinar. I also break it down for you to see the different categories i go over before you purchase it. If you want to know more information about how to build a e-mail list for your business, you can get my e-mail list webinar here.
GOT ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS? LET ME KNOW BELOW, I'D LOVE TO CHAT!
Oh and I also have a private Facebook group you can join and ask questions and my awesome members and I will answer :) JOIN THE GROUP
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