1.  DOMAIN NAME This is a pretty simple step. Find a domain name reseller and find a name you like. Stay with a .com or.net. These are the ones that people will try first. Find a name that is easy to remember and explains what you do. You do not need to spend more that $10.00 a year for a Domain Name.


2.  HOSTING This is where your web site will live. The host company should be C-panel Compliant and able to handle all your needs so that as you grow your web presence, your web site will be positioned to grow with you. A little planning on the front end will pay off in spades later on. Start out with hosting and email address. There are a lot of hosting companies out there–you should not spend more than $150.00 a year for all the bells and whistles.


3.  EMAIL ADDRESSES This also is provided by your hosting service. You own these email addresses and control them and have the right to view them any time you wish. You should get several emails with your hosting.


4.  WEB SITES This can be the hair-puller! Unless you are willing to put in the time, hire someone to create the web site for you. Content is the hardest thing for a web page programmer. The more preparation up front the cheaper on the back. A good functional multi-page site with the primary organic listing work in place should run you around $750.00 and go up from there depending on how sophisticated you want. Take baby steps at first and build as you understand what’s going on–start out with functional and build to sophisticated. Make sure that your web site is done in a  CMS (Content Management System) that is common in the market place. DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH SOMEONE THAT WANTS TO CONTROL YOUR WEB SITE.  YOU OWN IT–YOU CONTROL IT.


5.  MAPS Unless you understand all of the above and how it relates to what’s coming next, let a web map programmer do the maps. It’s a relatively cheap–around  $250.00–one time charge per location. That should get your location listed and certified on all the map listings, as well as put you in some GPS/navigation programs. They should give you the logins and pin numbers to your map listing. Some internet marketing company’s keep that information in case they need to do any changes. BE SURE TO ASK FOR IT IF YOU LEAVE THEM. DO NOT LET ANY ONE ELSE MESS WITH YOUR MAPS. KEEP IT IN ONE COMPANY.


6.  SEO– GEO TARGETED Search Engine Optimization. Trust me, leave it to the pros. This is where your web page is set up to look spider friendly. This is a process that your web programmer and your SEM (Search Engine Marketing) people will do for you. If they are not the same group make sure they communicate with each other. This is really important to your site coming up organically. FOR BEST RESULTS USE A LANDING PAGE IN CONJUNCTION WITH YOUR PRIMARY WEB SITE.


7.  BRANDING– GEO TARGETED Branding is also very important for your site and your company for your local market. Leave it to the pros. Branding is done more by the SEM specialist. This is introducing your company name to all the local lists where your brand gets recognized by the search spiders and, by extension, your customers, by being seen in more and more places.

8.  SEM—GEO TARGETED Search Engine Marketing to your local market. Leave it to the pros. A good SEM company will also do 6 and 7 for you as a package. It’s better to keep it that way because there are a lot of moving parts that all need to work together and be linked back to each other to give your site the web presence you want. They should be able to search, monitor, and maintain a landing page with a high PPS (Page Placement Score). The lower your PPS, the more you pay for Adwords. They should also be a Google ADWORDS QUALIFIED COMPANY.


9. SOCIAL MEDIA Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In, blogs and so on. A good web company will take care of this. You should also have a Facebook and Twitter account. If your web page is set up right, keeping them updated can be an easy process. With a good CMS that has the RSS (Real Simple Syndication) capabilities you can update one and it will update them all. YOU SHOULD HAVE A FACEBOOK AD CAMPAIGN AS WELL. NO QUESTION ABOUT IT.


10. MOBILE MARKETING. Marketing directly to the smart phones. It’s coming and if you aren’t ready, you should be. There are currently 3 smart phones for every computer.

Matt Shirey