When should a new business set up a website?
In planning a new business, many entrepreneurs do not know the factors that determine when they should have a website up and running. Should it be launched on the day the business opens or earlier? Here is an email response I sent to a potential client who wanted to delay the development of his business website to coincide with the date his business opens. Hopefully, any new business owner will find this information of value:
Dear New Business Owner,
I understand the challenges you face in starting a new business and wish you much success! I like working with companies in the formative stages as it is the best time to develop a smart online strategy that will help your business to grow. The Internet is a vital way for new businesses and small business startups to generate new leads. Here is something to consider when deciding to create a website for your business:
New business websites, the earlier the better...
Unlike a physical store, that gets noticed from the first day it opens, a new website (with a new domain name) requires a lead time of six months or so before it starts to bring consistent qualified traffic to your business. This is because Google has a probation period for new websites (commonly called the Google Sandbox Effect) that lasts for about six months from inception. You will not see much search engine traffic (if any) for the keywords and search terms that your website is optimized for during that time. Your website will appear if you do a search for the exact name of your business in Google, but not for descriptive search terms people use to find your type of business. Google does this to discourage spam websites and other tricks used by unscrupulous website developers.
However, if your website is properly designed, and you are adding fresh relevant content to your blog during that time, you will come out of that probation period with Google's approval and a good ranking in their search engine. Once that happens, your website will start to consistently rank in search results for the keywords and search terms that people use to find your type of business or service.
This is why it is so important to have your website in place for six months or so before you want it to start working for your business. I build a lot of websites for new businesses, so I help my clients to build good content that helps the website to perform well after the Google Sandbox Effect expires. Also, by linking to your website from a website that Google already trusts (such as my portfolio) it can shorten the 'probation' period that Google imposes on new websites. I usually add a page to my portfolio (it has been well ranked in Google for over fifteen years) that links to my new client websites.
The Web can be a great source of business leads if the website is planned and setup properly. With the right guidance, the Web can be a profitable part of your business. It is the most cost-effective way to find new business. I want to help you to plan your website for the best possible results. You will find that our relationship will help you not only to have a great looking website but to know what must be done to help your website bring in business. -Don Peterson, Web Design Portfolio