If the year 2020 has shown us anything, it’s that Australian businesses are tough ventures that can rise to the challenge. It’s also shown us that having the right online setup is a game-changer for businesses when it comes to surviving a time of social and economic upheaval like COVID-19.
The future is definitely online in a way that it never has been in the past. – Suzanne Mitchell
Suzanne Mitchell, Marketing Director at GoDaddy Australia, knows a thing or two about getting set up for digital success. Talking to Mark Bouris recently on The Mentor podcast, she explained what it takes to succeed online.
Australians are absolutely resilient, says Suzanne.
We did some research of Australians in lockdown and found that 30% of people were either starting up a business online or were sharpening their current business.”
With almost 9.5 million Australians now shopping online, it’s more important than ever to keep your online operations open — even when your brick-and-mortar store is closed.
Here is Suzanne’s four-step process towards winning in the online environment:
1. Register your domain name
In GoDaddy’s recent nationwide study of 400 business owners, 72% said that registering their domain was one of their happiest moments because it made their new idea feel real.
Suzanne offers some tips for searching and choosing your domain name:
- Keep it short (no dashes or numerals please)
- Make it memorable
- Check for common misspellings (you might want to register these too)
- Make sure it’s easy easy to spell for your customers
You can find more pro tips on choosing a terrific domain name for your business here.
Think it through
It’s also important to think about the long term. While many have ambitions to go global and want to get a .com domain, it’s also important for Australians to know you are a local business.
Now more than ever, Australians want to support local businesses. Using .com.au for your web address lets them know you’re local.
You can even go ‘hyper local’ with your digital naming approach by registering a .sydney or .melbourne address. Business owners with locations in these cities can use these to compliment their .com and .com.au domains, making their businesses even more relevant to customers.
2. Professional email
Create a good first impression with your customers and build brand awareness at the same time by setting up your professional email account. This means having a business email address that has your business domain name right in it, rather than simply firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anyone can get a free email account — even spammers — and Aussies know it.
Trust is critical, especially for small businesses, and according to Suzanne, customers are nine times more likely to trust your business if your email address matches your business domain name/web address.
A professional email also opens the door to email marketing once you have a database of customers. Email is one of the most cost-effective ways to reach your audience and stay top of mind with customers.
3. Building your website
Once you’ve registered your domain name and set up your professional email, it’s time to take the plunge and build your website — and GoDaddy’s Websites + Marketing can help you do just that.
It’s free to use and get started at a basic level, with the option to add tools as you grow your business.
Just choose one of hundreds of gorgeous templates, add your information and photos and you can have a professional-looking website up and live in no time. And again, this professionalism builds trust with your customers.
As your business grows, you can plug in the key marketing channels as you need them, such as:
- eCommerce to sell from your website
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
Websites + Marketing also comes with an exclusive tool called GoDaddy Insights that serves up a custom action plan to help you achieve your business goals faster.
This smart learning system sifts through thousands of websites on the GoDaddy platform to provide practical suggestions on what to do next with yours.
4. Hosting and security
The last step in the process has two parts:
- Web hosting
- Website security
Hosting is what makes your website visible on the internet. Without it, you are the only one who would ever be able see it.
With good hosting, your website:
- Loads quickly and without hiccups
- Gives people a fast experience while they’re on your site
- Doesn’t crash or drop off when a lot of people are using it
A slow load time is annoying and frustrating for customers and undermines trust in your business.
These days, security is a deal-breaker
Security is the other important thing. An SSL certificate protects your customers’ private data — names, addresses and banking details — from eavesdropping and theft.
It also means when customers search online for your business, your website will appear in search results, rather than being labeled “not secure” by search providers like Google.
This gives you visibility in search engine results and gives potential customers the confidence to click on your listing.
Editor’s note: Both web hosting and an SSL Certificate are included with GoDaddy Websites + Marketing.
Fast, friendly help from the GoDaddy Guides
If you hit a roadblock or have a question, you can talk to someone and get immediate help by calling the GoDaddy Guides at 02 8042 8920.
GoDaddy’s customer team is available round the clock and they are amazingly helpful in guiding people with few tech skills through the process of putting their venture online.
If you have an idea and want to put it online but you’re not sure of the tech side of things, having a chat with the GoDaddy Guides is an excellent place to start.
Check out the 20+ GoDaddy Guides courses here to learn everything from how to get a domain name to setting up email and building a website.
Take the first step
With COVID looking like it might be here for a while, businesses simply must have an online home to reach their customers. But getting your business or new idea online doesn’t have to be a daunting process.
- Take that first, low-cost step and register your domain to get started
- Set up your professional email account to look legit
- Scroll through the beautiful templates available through Websites + Marketing
GoDaddy really is that one-stop shop for businesses and entrepreneurs to get online and to put their flag in the ground.
A professional, beautifully-designed website with secure, always-on hosting is closer than you think! And remember, the GoDaddy Guides are there to help guide you forward. With many Australians still cautious about venturing out, there’s never been a better time to get your business online.