Build Your Own Business Website

And build for business success with Business Website Plus

Today we’d like to provide anyone thinking about launching a business website for the first time some tips by focusing on one of our top web hosting services: our Business Website Plus web hosting package.

We’re going to go through and highlight its features and try to explain why features like these matter to business owners so you can make more informed decisions and ultimately choose the best web hosting service for your business.

business website plus - web hosting serviceWEB HOSTING OVERVIEW

Our Business Website Plus package is designed for small businesses that want an easy and effective way to build, manage, and market their own website. It offers an easy-to-use website builder with advanced business web templates, an easy-to-install WordPress blog, email marketing and social media tools, and a mobile-optimized website.

BUILDING YOUR BUSINESS WEBSITE

When getting started with web hosting, you’ll want to feel confident you’ve got everything you need to get a really professional and effective website launched – with minimal time and stress. So you’ll want to look for features like these offered with Business Website Plus.

  • Website Builder: An easy-to-use website builder like ours can empower you to quickly create a professional-looking website. You shouldn’t need to know an HTML or anything about coding or websites. (If you really don’t want to do it yourself you should look for a web hosting plan that includes professional website design.)
  • Mobile Website Builder: It’s more and more important to have a mobile-friendly website to reach smartphone & tablet users. So you’ll want to make sure you have an easy-to use mobile website builder, too.
  • Website Templates: Templates make site building as easy as possible. Simply select the business-themed template that works best for your business and add your business and product information. Click. Publish.
  • Advanced Web Templates: Having more options is always good. Business Website Plus offers thousands of highly customizable, advanced templates along with the more basic templates.
  • WordPress Blog Installer: Even if you know you won’t start blogging right away, you should be read to do so. Blogging is a great way to promote your business, engage your customers, and get search engine results. WordPress is the #1 blogging software, and having a simple WordPress Installer lets you add a blog to your business website in no time.
  • Photo Gallery Installer: A picture gallery is another feature that can help you showcase your business. Having an installer to seamlessly set this up on your business website is key.

OPTIMIZING & MARKETING YOUR WEBSITE

Getting your business website online is a huge first step. Next is making sure you can optimize it so search engines rank it, effectively marketing to attract visitors, and measuring your success. So, you’ll want to look for web hosting features like these from our Business Website Plus plan.

  • Search Engine Optimization: Search engine optimization (a.k.a. SEO) are the techniques you use to help your web pages rank higher in search engine results. And higher rankings equals more traffic to your business website. Our EasySiteOptimizer too helps you with SEO; select keywords for each webpage, analyze site content and layout, and identify areas that require changes.
  • Directory Listings: While search engines are more important for most businesses, online directories can also help send traffic to your website and your local business. Easily submit your business information to more than 60 online business directories and GPS navigation systems at one time.
  • Email Marketing: Email is still an effective way to market your business and keep your customer base engaged. Our Announcer Pro tool lets Business Website Plus subscribers store 500 contacts, and create and send HTML emails (campaigns and newsletters). You can choose from 300+ easy email templates and get detailed reporting on your email marketing results.
  • Call Tracking: Get valuable insights into your marketing with a unique phone number for marketing campaign measurement; features include call recording, lead capture, call forwarding, voicemail-to-email, virtual receptionist, click-to-call and more.
  • Social Media Marketing: Social media is an important place to engage your customers and reach out to new ones. But it can be a lot of work. Our social media tool helps you manage multiple social media accounts from one simple interface. Post to your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn networks simultaneously.
  • Website Analytics: Knowledge is power, right? That’s why you’ll want to learn as much as you can about your visitors. Use our website analytics tools to track site visits, duration on page, referrals and more so you can optimize your site.

In addition to these web hosting plan features, you’ll want to make sure you get a domain name (Business Website Plus includes a free domain and supports up to 10 domains), domain email addresses (Business Website Plus includes 200 of them, with 1GB of storage for each address), and enough storage space and bandwidth for your business website (Business Website Plus includes 300GB of storage and 3,000GB per month of bandwidth).

Whether you choose our Business Website Plus or another web hosting service, we hope this information helped you make a decision and we wish you the best of luck with your business online.

Email Marketing Results – How to Track Them with Announcer Pro

email marketing results chart in Announcer ProWant to grow your business or keep your current customer base engaged with email marketing? Then read on.

Several months ago, we posted about how to create and send your first marketing emails with Announcer Pro, an easy-to-use tool that’s built into the EarthLink Web Hosting Control panel.

Announcer Pro is included with all our EarthLink web hosting, ecommerce hosting, and professional website design and hosting plans. (The maximum number of contacts you can use, however, does vary by plan.)

After you’ve sent your first marketing email (using the 5 steps outlined in our previous post), you should get ready to monitor the results.

Today we’ll show you just what results and stats you can track with Announcer Pro.

How to View Your Email Marketing Results

  1. Sign in to your EarthLink Web Hosting Control Panel at control.earthlink.net.
  2. Click on the Email tab and then the icon for Announcer Pro.
  3. On the Main Menu screen, you’ll see some results in the Activity section as well as the Latest Email Statistics section.
  4. Click on the View Results tab at the top of the page to go to the Delivery Results page.

Your Delivery Results Page

The Announcer Pro delivery results page is an easy-to-read overview of your marketing email. Here’s what you’ll see on the main part of the page:

  • A large pie chart showing the percentage of opened, unopened and bounced emails
  • Percentage of your emails that were successfully sent
  • Click rate percentage for your emails
  • Percentage of recipients that unsubscribed
  • Percentage of emails that were flagged as spam
  • Twitter click percentage
  • Facebook click percentage

In the left-side column, you’ll see an Email Summary with the email name, subject line, reply-to-email address, and date sent. You’ll also get links that allow you to dig deeper into the results of your email.

Click, for example, on Clicks: 40% (that was my click-rate on my last email test; so this number will vary by campaign) and you’ll see the URL or URLs that were clicked on in your email, and a list of names and email addresses of the recipients who clicked on your email.

At the bottom of the left column, you’ll have the option to download a detailed report as an HTML, CSV, or PDF file.

Good luck with your email marketing efforts. Let us know how you’re doing in the comments section below.

Mobile Websites: Do I Really Need One?

If you’ve got a business of any size (even if it’s just you at home), I probably don’t have to convince you that you need to build a business website at your own domain name.

Your customers expect you to have a website to consider you a legitimate business.

That’s why we started offering our web hosting services way back in 1995. But a lot has changed in those 18 years. Just having a website isn’t enough for many businesses.

Most businesses also need a mobile website.

If you’re wondering why, remember the immortal (if apocryphal) words of the notorious bank robber Willie Sutton. When asked why he robbed banks, Sutton is said to have responded, “Because that’s where the money is.”

That’s a pretty concise summary of why you need mobile site for your business. More and more, mobile is where your customers are. And if that’s where your customers are, that’s where your money is.

Our Mobile Planet - study of smartphone usage and need for mobile websitesConsider these stats from a 2012, Google-sponsored study of smartphone usage called Our Mobile Planet (PDF):

  • 96% of smartphone users have researched a product or service on their device
  • 94% of smartphone users look for local information on their phone
  • 90% purchase, contact the business or take another action after local research
  • 66% access the Internet every day on their smartphone
  • 57% search on their smartphones every day
  • 37% have researched on their smartphone and then purchased on a computer
  • 35% have made a purchase on their phone
  • 32% have researched on their smartphone and then purchased the product offline

That’s a lot of money to leave on the table.

Also consider that smartphone penetration is still growing and 31% of smartphone users expect to make even more mobile purchases in the future.

That’s why most of our web hosting plans and all of our ecommerce hosting plans include a mobile website with click-to-map and click-to-call functionality. Because we don’t want you to miss out on the ever-growing mobile market of smartphone and tablet users.

These are the EarthLink Web Hosting plans that include a mobile-optimized website:

 

 

SEO Basics: How to Use EasySiteOptimizer for SEO

A couple of weeks ago we posted SEO Basics: How to Use Keywords for Website SEO to you get started with SEO.

This week’s web hosting post is a follow-up to show our web hosting and ecommerce hosting customers how to use EasySiteOptimizer Pro (free for EarthLink customers) to implement the keyword suggestions we offered.

Here’s how easy it is to get started with SEO:

  1. Sign into your Web Hosting Control Center at with your EarthLink Web Hosting domain name, username, and password.
  2. On the Build tab, click the EasySiteOptimizer button (shown above); a new window will open.
  3. Click the Manage Keywords link.
  4. Click the arrow next to the page you want to add keyword keywords to; it’s best to start at the homepage, which will often be listed under Choose pages as index.html or index.htm. Then click the Continue to Keyword Selection button.
  5. If you don’t yet have any keywords yet, an alert message will pop up to let you know that. Simply click OK.
  6. SEO basics - how to SEO your website with EasySiteOptimizerEnter the Title you want for this webpage (remember, anything over 70 characters won’t be displayed in search results). See our previous SEO Basics post about Title tags for additional guidance.
  7. Enter the Description you want for this webpage. The description isn’t used for SEO rankings, but it is important. It’s the text that is typically shown in Google search results for your site (keep it under 155 characters, including spaces).
  8. Under Active Keywords List, click the + Add Keyword link.
  9. Add keywords one at a time for your webpage. When you’ve finished, click the Apply button to save your Title, Description, and Keyword changes to your website.
  10.  If you are just working on one page of your website, that’s all you need to do. If you want to optimize other pages, simply repeat the process, selecting a different page as you did above in step 4.

Remember to check our SEO Basics post about keywords if you need help choosing the best keywords for your website.