The Web & Social Media

Make the ‘web’ and social media work for your business.

It can’t be clearer than this – EVERY NEW BUSINESS SHOULD BE ON THE WEB!
If you aren’t, your competitors certainly will be, as will your potential customers. The real challenge though is to make sure that they can find you when they are looking.

If you are in a Town Centre consider this is your second shop window, surely you can’t afford not to have too many windows to sell to customers?

Why should you have a website? 

If you’re serious about promoting your business, then a good website is your virtual shop window, enticing potential customers, instilling confidence in you and the goods and services you offer. So if you cut corners and don’t have a website, you could be doing your business more harm than good! 

Your website may be as simple as letting people know your phone number and opening hours – a digital business card or as complex as a fully automated booking system or an eCommerce store that runs even when you are asleep.

Do I need to spend money on a site if a friend or relative can help? 

Can they really design a site that will put you above your competitors? Will they be around to support the site if errors appear? It can seem like a saving but it could have serious consequences to your business. 

These are your options 

  • Do it yourself 
  • Purpose built 
  • Website builders – Wix (, Weebly (, Squarespace (, WordPress (.com or .org) 
  • ‘Stores’ – Shopify (, Etsy (, eBay/Amazon 

What do you really need? 

A website should be useful and add value to your business, give the right impression and make potential customers want to contact you. The content should always be current and as your business grows your website grows with it. You need your site to be easily found by potential customers, simple to use and navigate and clear in content and contact information. 

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) 

This means encouraging search engines, like Google to move you up the search engine results page rankings. The practice is commonly known as Search Engine Optimisation or SEO. Your website content is crawled by search engine robots, or crawlers, to collate the data and index it in search engine archives. Then, when a relevant search term is used, Google will return your site as a result. The ranking determines how relevant your site is to a user’s search term, so effective SEO is essential if you want to generate more business online. 

  • SEO is not a ‘quick fix’.
  • The search engines are constantly updating their algorithm and looking for the best match for any given search term. 
  • Do not believe all of the claims of SEO experts who will offer to get you to the top of the rankings quickly. 
  • It is estimated that Google’s algorithm has about 200 ranking factors. 
  • Which can you do something about? 

Domain names 

A domain name is the name of your website or your website address. It’s the place where users will find you on the Internet and it’s unique to you or your business. Each domain name is made up of two parts. For example, our own domain name is, the first part is the name we chose ‘syob’ (the initials of ‘Start Your Own Business’ and the second part is the extension ‘.net’. 

  • Make it memorable & simple to type 
  • Keep it short & straight to the point 
  • Describe your business or the services you offer 
  • Think about your market, if it’s a local, maybe add your town name 
  • Don’t add symbols or punctuation 
  • Choose an appropriate extension ( or .com) 


Web hosts are companies that rent out space on a web server (big computer!) to host (give ‘webspace’ to) websites on the internet. Once the hosting company hosts your website, users can access it by typing in your web address (domain name) in their web browser. When they do this, their computer connects to the server and shows it on their screen. 

Social Media 

Social media is the social interaction among people in which they create, share or exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks. In simple English, it is lots of different sites that allow you to spread the word online. 

Do you know that by just having a Social Media account, and if possible a website too, a physical street based business will have a positive pond ripple effect on their town for attracting more footfall? By using Social Media to promote your services and products, you are inviting customers to come and visit. After they visit you they may pop in next door to see them too, and then their neighbours, maybe have some lunch in an independent coffee shop, use public transport…

What are the benefits? 

  • You can get active with local events and offers
  • Google loves social media 
  • It is a free way of raising brand awareness 
  • You can spy on your competition! 
  • You can communicate with your market
  • You can encourage footfall to your physical shop with offers, events
  • You can keep up to date with trends 
  • You can encourage people to visit your website 

There are now hundreds of social media ‘channels’ but which ones are the most important? Here are the estimated number of monthly visitors for some of the top sites:
Facebook – 2.2 billion, YouTube – 1.8 billion, Twitter – 645 million, Instagram – 300 million and LinkedIn – 200 million

The first step is to sign up to: 

There may be other relevant sites depending upon business type and location but these are arguably the best five to focus on at the beginning. At the very least, this will allow you to add a link from each of these back to your own site – this is a great pointer for Google!