I read an interesting post recently by David Wallace on On Increasing the Visibility of a Small Business Website on a Shoestring Budget. He gave some interesting advice for a small business starting on the web. I would like to build on this the way George Lucas built on the Star Wars series; with a prequel.

You see, David assumed the business already had a website. This post will provide advice on getting started with a website, use very little money and generate enough revenue to begin investing in David’s advice. I actually used what follows in this post to get a friend started on a shoe string.

  1. Sign up for Yahoo! Site Builder.
    • Yahoo! Site Builder(aff) provides an easy way for the do-it-yourselfer to have a website and it is easier to use than PowerPoint.
    • URL is included.
    • Comes with Domain Based email, which you need to look professional. No more mybusiness@aol.com.
    • Yahoo! indexes this site quickly… I used this service earlier in the year for a quickie and the site was indexed within a couple of days. And came up on the first page of search results for the keyword + regional term on Yahoo!. Like David said, if this was a mortgage broker it would have been more difficult but for a Painting Contractor it worked just fine.
    • $100 credit for Yahoo! search marketing (will need a $30 initial deposit)
  2. Price Tag: $25 + $11/mo.

  3. Read some good, practical and free advice on SEO:
    • This one from Jill Whalen’s High Rankings Advisor about title tags alone might be enough to get a local site ranked.
    • Here is one from Seomoz that is a good read for anyone but especially a newbie because it will educate you enough that you will be insulated from the garbage written about SEO on the web. It will also familiarize you with the rock stars of the industry… read their blogs often and you won’t go wrong. And lastly, it will educate you about the factors that really matter when optimizing your site.
    • Read this post from Local Biz Bits if you are going to create a site with multiple pages: Break Up With Your Services Page
    • And you can find a good SEO e-book for free from Dan Thies at Seo Fast Start

    Price Tag: $0

  4. Buy Perry Marshall’s Ultimate Guide to Google’s Adwords and use Google’s how-to resource
  5. Price tag: $16.47

  6. Begin your paid search marketing program
    • Sign up for Google Adwords
    • Sign up for Yahoo Search Marketing
    • Try and get your ads to the top of the search results so they are above the natural results by writing your way to to the top.

  7. Price tag: Difficult to say: I spent less than $30 before I started seeing conversions.

  8. Devise your IYP/Maps/Local site strategy
    • Figure out the most popular IYPs in your area
    • Sign up if the price is right and you are able to follow Dick Larkin’s advice and get to the top. Superpages offers a PPC program that will allow you to get to the top with little money down and no contract… $50 at set-up covers the cost of clicks with a $15 monthly minimum.
    • Go to the local sites mentioned above and set up your business profiles.
    • Call satisfied customers and ask them to review you on these sites as well.
  9. Price tag: $50

Your business is now all over the web and the phone calls and emails will begin coming in from new customers. For a local service service business this list should provide you with the opportunity to get Thousands of dollars in revenue before you spend $200. And the credit card bill hasn’t even arrived yet… woo hoo!

Now, you have the money to invest in David’s advice.

 

6 Responses to Do It Yourself Website And Promotion On A Shoe String

  1. Perry Marshall’s books are a big help to anyone who is a little unsure about Google Adwords. Its woth the 16 bucks.

  2. ajay says:

    common man, don’t try to upsell various things because people who read your blogs dont know stuff. Yahoo hosting is probably the worst thing that has happened to the web

  3. Thanks for your input ajay but I disagree. It was excellent for my needs at the time. If a person does not know code and wants to go the do it yourself route it works. It reduces the difficulty of a website to the level of powerpoint.
    I agree that a more experienced designer would not use Sitebuilder but nor would they be on a shoe string.

  4. ketones says:

    I paid google for adword
    but so far my site count have not increase
    Now I wonder did I did something wrong

  5. William says:

    Nice tips.

    I’m 100% sure that Yahoo sitebuilder is the best alternative on that budget. Of course, it is working and a perfect alternative for beginners but I prefer more traditional styles. I would not spend $ 16 on a Google Adwords guide either, it is easy to get free information online..

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