Entrepreneurs are all about finding an opportunity and turning it into business. They were among the first to jump on the Internet when it became mainstream, and they fully understand the power of having an online domain for their business.
Your domain name, or IP address, is your territory online. It’s your piece of virtual real estate where customers can come to connect with your business. It’s the portal to your business from anywhere in the world.
Without question, every business today needs a domain. But all too often entrepreneurs rush into websites without laying down a solid foundation for security, growth and exposure.
Follow these five domain creation commandments and you’ll be set to expand your market online:
Set the Site Up for Maximum Security
A report from Ponemon Institute found that 43% of companies had some sort of data breach in 2014.
If you’ve ever had a website hacked before you understand what a hindrance this can be for your operation. Your website can be frozen or blocked, customers can be lost and data can be stolen.
Security has to start the moment you begin creating a domain. Securing virtual assets is a totally different beast than securing physical assets. Special cloud security is needed today to safeguard data and applications online. These plans protect your information in the cloud and other virtual environments where website activity occurs. Hackers are looking for vulnerabilities wherever they can find them.
From day one a plan needs to be put in place for protecting your data and a security policy should be created to guide initiatives as the site grows.
Limit Access to Your Accounts
The more employees that have access to login to your domain the greater risk you have for a security breach.
Experian’s 2015 Data Breach Industry Forecast found that 60% of the data breaches in 2014 were inside jobs by employees. Limit access to your website accounts to as a few essential employees as possible. Also, regularly update passwords and always do so the moment an employee with access leaves your company.
Get All Versions of the Domain Name
Businesses always go for .com, but there are way more extensions used today. Companies that get all available versions truly own the domain name across the Internet. But keep in mind new extensions are created regularly so you’ll need to stay on top of registering new domains. You’ll also want to consider the different variations of the domain name that customers might use and lock those down too.
Set It Up for Maximum SEO
Having your own domain and hosting is the first step to ranking at the top of search engines, but it also requires having a website that’s built for SEO.
There are a number of technical elements that can make it easier for search engine spiders to navigate through the pages and pick out the information you want them to see.
An easy way to ensure maximum SEO is to select a theme that’s already optimized. It needs to be built with clean code that uses the latest techniques. All of the links and features need to work properly, and it needs to load instantly. Before launching your website get all of the SEO kinks straightened out. You’ll also want to install a plugin for Google sitemap. For all the information you’ll ever need on SEO, visit Moz.com.
Create a Content Strategy
Too often companies start building out their website without a content strategy. Content is king online. Without it there’s no ranking and there’s no one visiting your domain. It’s also very closely related to your marketing efforts (think social media, webinars, landing pages, etc.).
Planning out your content strategy beforehand will help your developers get all the technical components in place and put together the most logical navigation structure. Creating a content strategy on the onset will help you get all of your pages ready for launch, and it will also get your team ready to hit the ground running with a supply of blog posts, social media posts and even PPC ad copy that is cohesive and fits your brand.
There are many other best practices for securing domain names and building out the websites that are connected to them. These five foundational commandments are the must-follow rules for any entrepreneur no matter what type of business you’re bringing online.
Laura Johnson is a part time blogger and full time adventurer. She enjoys writing about anything that sparks her interested. This especially includes her passion for business and branding!