If you already have a website on the internet and are considering skipping this article… STOP! I want you to read it anyway. The strategies I’m about to teach you will help your marketing because it’s going to increase traffic to your site and help you rise in the search engine results pages (SERPs). Let’s get started now tih how to take your site live for sales.
I’ve talked about SERPs before, so just in case anyone doesn’t understand what they are, let’s discuss it. When we go to Google and conduct a search for waffles, the ads are on the right side of the screen, which people have paid for, but under the word Google are the natural – or organic – results.
Now, look at the #1 position for the keyword “waffles.” John Kerry comes up. Don’t worry, George W. Bush didn’t fare much better – the White House site comes up #1 when you enter a few choice firms. Now how did these two sites secure a top position in search engines like Google, MSN, and Yahoo when the keywords and phrases shouldn’t be connected to them? It was an experiment to see how Google’s algorithm works, and it’s known as Google-bombing, when tons of other sites point to yours to help it get higher ranking for a particular keyword.
An algorithm is like a math equation where X amount of the ranking depends on your relevant keywords, X amount depends on how many incoming links point to your site, X amount depends on how well the site was designed, and so on.
Google won’t divulge their formula, in an effort to keep things fair, and they change it up from time to time, which is a process known as the Google Dance, where some sites rise and some fall due to the new formula.
So now let’s look at some steps you can take when you create your information product and eBook sites on the internet that will help you secure a top spot for one of your keywords or phrases. You can have one primary domain, like a store for your entire product line, but it’s best if each eBook also has its own domain.
For instance, I have ConnieRagenGreen.com, but I also have individual domains registered for each product and course and eBook I launch or have in the planning stages. You don’t have to register all of them at once, just take it one step at a time.
Registering the Right Domain Name
Owning a piece of virtual real estate is an affordable option for anyone. Do not go with a free website. You need to have complete control and ownership over your domain.
Launching an information product from someone else’s domain, known as a sub-domain isn’t going to lend you the credibility you need to succeed – and you want control over every element of the site.
A lot of hosting companies will promise a “free domain” with the purchase of hosting, and what they mean is that you’ll get a domain called: www.HostingCompanyName.com/YourDomainName – it isn’t truly your own website.
So first go to a site like GoDaddy or Name Cheap where you will ONLY register your domain name. Do NOT sign up for any extras like hosting – and here’s why: A lot of people are complaining about their ability to hold your domain name hostage if your site ever receives a spam complaint, so I’m going to show you where to host your site in the next section.
When you get to GoDaddy, you’ll see a box where you can enter a domain name and see if it’s available. You always want to get a .com extension – don’t even bother with the other domain extensions because most consumers are used to entering .com, not .biz, .info, or even .net (although some well-known sites have made it with these, you want to be as easy to find as possible).
Try to keep the domain short. It doesn’t have to be one word, but don’t make it seven words, either. If your niche is wedding planning, then those two words plus dot com would be perfect, although I’m sure it’s already taken. When you enter the domain name you want, which hopefully had one or two of your keywords in it, you’ll click Go and it will tell you if it’s available.
Don’t bother backordering your desired domain name – most people get a million notices when it’s about to expire and it’s rare they let a good domain go. Instead, look at the list that says, “More Options.” See if anything there is worthwhile. The ONLY exception is if you’re attempting to get your name as a domain. Backordering was how I was able to ConnieGreen.com years ago.
Once you hit an available domain, you get the chance to register it. At GoDaddy, the 1-year domain registries are only $6.95. They run a $1.99 special if you sign up for hosting, but don’t do that.
If possible, register for more than 1 year – only because Google actually gives your site more points towards your ranking if you have a long-term registry. If you’re watching pennies, get a year and go back and make it longer once your profits start coming in. These days I purchase most of my domains for three years at a time.
How Hosting Affects Your Profit Margin
Hosting is what keeps your site live. Have you ever gone to a website to find something and couldn’t even find the site itself? Bad hosting is the likely culprit, and it can be devastating if your site goes down one night and you miss out on 15 sales of a $47 eBook. Not many people would like to lose out on $705 for the day.
You want a reliable, yet affordable host. Initially, I was using GoDaddy to host all of my domain names. I didn’t know any better. I was paying $3.99 per month PER domain to get my sites hosted, plus more money to get Traffic Facts added on so I could see where my traffic was coming from and another $2.99 for a blog, because at the time, I didn’t know I could import a free WordPress blog using c-panel, which stands for control panel and makes a huge difference when you’re running an online business.
Then a more experienced internet marketer set me straight and told me to go to A2 Hosting (go through me and receive some extra perks at no extra cost) and for less than a hundred dollars a year (with their “Drive” plan), I could get unlimited hosting, meaning I can host all of the domains I want to for that amount! Plus, you can see reports for FREE about where your traffic is coming from.
A2 has 99.5% uptime, which is what you want out of a hosting company, because it means your site doesn’t go down very often. You also get to use their site builder, and have access to 24/7 support (which is great for you marketers who want to work after the kids are in bed and you have ME time). There’s a whole host (no pun intended) of other benefits, but I’m not going to list them all here. You’ll find them on the website when you visit.
Simple Site Design Anyone Can Do
You’ll be happy to know that you don’t have to have a degree in web design to get started on the internet. You also don’t have to have a big budget. All you’re looking for is a template for a mini-site. A mini-site is a single page domain (sometimes it has extra pages for affiliate information, legal disclaimers, etc., but the main page is all anyone usually looks at). My evergreen site at Action Habits Challenge is an example of a mini-site.
A mini-site isn’t limited by space – your visitors just scroll down to read the information. Still, there are some design specifications that you want to use to help Google rank your site higher. I don’t care what your site looks like, but you may want the theme to reflect your niche. For instance, an info product on wedding planning might have a border with wedding bells in it or interlocking rings.
Your site should have a header to it. And in the future split test without the header because some tests have shown you will get more sales without the header. You can also build your own banner (header) using a simple free online tool. Just do a Google search for “Free Banner Creation Tool” and visit the sites to see which one you like best.
Everything you do should be implemented with SEO in mind. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It means you want the search engine spiders to have an easy time on your site and not encounter any obstacles. This way, you’ll rank higher in the SERPs.
Spiders are just automatic crawlers that are sent out from the search engines to scan your site and determine if and how it should be categorized (indexed) in their system. They’re often called ‘bots, robots, crawlers, and for Google – Googlebots!
If you have FrontPage, you can use that program to design your site. It’s an easy WYSIWYG editor, which means What You See Is What You Get. When you design something, it automatically creates the HTML code for you.
If you want more customization at the cheapest rate you can find, you can get a one-page mini-site template designed very cheap at a place like Elance. Just post the project and watch the bids pour in. There are some specifics you want to know about in regards to site design, whether you do it yourself or hire someone to do it for you:
Use text links with keywords whenever possible. If your site has links, use keywords that you hyperlink so that Google will associate the site or page you’re pointing to with the keyword you linked it with.
For example, on my wedding planner AdSense site, where I made money off of Google Ads and provided free articles, I didn’t just create a link that said, “Articles.” Instead, I named it “Wedding Articles,” so that Google would know that page should be ranked for the keyword phrase wedding articles.
Don’t copy content directly from Microsoft Word. Word processors can add needless code to your HTML, so if you write something in Word, copy it into Notepad first and then transfer it to your HTML editor.
Use CSS to simplify updates to your site. CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets and they’re replacing or being used in conjunction with many header tags (<h>) because it allows you to update the design in one quick maneuver if you have multiple pages.
Include a site map. You can create one for free at the SiteMap Generator and once it’s done, go to Google and submit it so that they can monitor your site. You can do that at the Google Sitemap Submission area.
Don’t use large graphics on your site. When your images are too big, it takes the average user too long to download and open the page. Go to a free site analysis tool like Net Mechanic and evaluate the performance of your site. This tool will also resize your images for you. Fast loading pages sell products!
Add Meta tags, just for good measure. There’s debate about whether or not Meta tags are even necessary anymore. Do it anyway. While Google doesn’t rank sites solely based on keyword Meta tags anymore, you want to have three tags in place just to help index your site All you need to include are these tags:
<TITLE>Up to 60 Characters</TITLE> – Your Title tag is what visitors will see when they open their browser and type in your domain. On my domain, ConnieRagenGreen.com, the Title reads, “Connie Ragen Green – Online Marketing Strategist.” Make sure you get one or two keywords in your title tag.
<META NAME=“description” CONTENT=“A description up to 250 characters of your site.”> – Your description tag can give Google and other search engines an idea of what to put for the snippet that shows up in search engine results when it gives a description of your site.
<META NAME=“keywords” CONTENT=“Add keyword list separated by commas.”> – Your last Meta tag is the keyword tag. You want to list the first 20-50 prime keywords you have. My site didn’t have keyword tags, either, so I had to go in and add that, too.
Make sure if you hire anyone to build your site, that you check to see if these elements (no frames, no Java links, Meta tags included, etc.), are included in the design. The best advice I can give about designing for search engine optimization is for you to not get too complex. Stay simple. Look at Google.com – lots of white space, clean design.
Same with most info-product pages. Your sales copy is what is going to help you profit – not fancy Flash or high-priced graphic designs. The layouts on my sites are clean and clutter-free, too – pretty much just text there!
Getting It Live
Once your site is designed, you’ll have files and images you want to upload. If you’re using A2 as I suggested above, then it’s very easy to use your c-panel and upload new files up onto the internet. If you’re using another hosting site, then find out how their ftp (File Transfer Protocol) system works and use it to upload your files and take your site live.
Click on Browse and look for the file on your computer. If you’re uploading a brand new file, then you simply click Upload and it’s done. But if you’ve edited a page and need to upload a revised edition, then make sure you also check the box above the upload button that says “Overwrite existing files.”
After you design your site, you want to submit it to search engine directories to have it indexed. Start with Google, of course. Once it’s picked up by Google, just about everyone else will find it.
But you can submit them individually just to make sure if you want to. To submit to Google go to the URL Submission area, type in your URL and a short description of your site, and submit it!
In addition to your sales copy page, you have a couple of extra elements you’re going to need. We’ll go into those in another post when I discuss setting up your shopping cart so people have a way to pay you.
Now we’re going to get into the steps of processing all of those orders you’re going to hopefully be getting for your info product! Since no one’s there to accept cash in hand, you have to have online systems in place to accept money and deliver the product to your customers.
The great thing is, it’s all automated – so once you set it up, you can sleep while orders are processed and money is deposited in your bank account. It’s just one of many perks you get from selling your information products on your website and eBooks online, as opposed to dealing with the print publishing industry.
I’m author, publisher, and entrepreneur Connie Ragen Green and would love to connect with you. If you are new to the world of online entrepreneurship please check out my comprehensive training on how to set up Funnels That Click and learn how to gain an unfair advantage when it comes to building a lucrative online business.