Stage six in our “Starting your own coaching business” is to get yourself a website. No business can be taken seriously these days without a website to showcase the business, and it can be a fantastic source of business for a coach as well.
We have already spent some time in previous articles discussing how to conduct your keyword research with Google to identify the keywords that you are going to use in your website title and on your website to attract clients. You will now have taken the first steps in officially naming your business and registering it with the appropriate authorities. The next thing to do as quickly as possible is to purchase your website domain name, you can then go about setting up your website.
The way that the internet works is that you create a domain on the World Wide Web and that domain is allocated a specific address, called the web address. Your web address will be unique to you, so that anyone anywhere in the world can view your web pages if they have the correct web address.
Once you have created a website this will consist of various files, including the pages of the website, your pictures, videos, enquiry forms and so on. These files are just like the files that you store on the hard drive of your computer, but we cannot store them on your computer otherwise nobody other than you would be able to access them, so we need to find someone to store the files for you who will enable the files to be visible to the world, this person or organisation is called your “Web host.”
There are lots of web hosting companies out there, so many with so many different options that it can be confusing. Unless you are looking to run training courses, chat rooms, forums, social networking functions or something similar on your websites then you just need a basic package from your web host. There are several web hosts offering free hosting services nowadays, but a basic paid service is probably going to be more reliable. It shouldn’t cost you more than £5 per month. The thing to look for is where the web hosts servers are located.
One of the things that search engine robots look for when they are compiling search results for someone is where a website is hosted. Imagine that you have a website that is offering Coaching services in London, but your web hosts servers are in California, the search engine robot is going to think that Coaching services London is based in California, I can’t imagine many people in California searching for “Coaching in London” so I wouldn’t imagine that your website would show up in many search results. What is worse is that the people that are in London and searching for “Coaching in London” will probably not get your website in their search results as Google etc think that you are based in California!
So you need to choose a web host who’s servers are in your country.
To make it easier for you it is a good idea to buy your domain name from the company who are going to host your website, so research web hosting services first to establish where the website would be hosted and then you can buy your domain name.
Choose a web address that is local to you
As part of your consideration for your website domain name you will need to decide on the .com or .co.uk or .mob or .za or .au or .uk.com etc. For websites that are not offering services internationally I would recommend going for your local version. In the UK that would be .co.uk, Australia it would be .com.au If you are offering services or products internationally, or if you are based in the US, then go for .com.
There are some people who believe that 95% of internet searches will be carried out on mobile devices in five years time, in that case a .mob address would possibly be beneficial, although you may choose to wait for a few years until you opt for that. The theory here is that search engines will deliver .mob websites higher up the search results for people searching on mobile devices.
.Com addresses will set you back about £20 for two years, .co.uk addresses will be about £5 for two years. You may choose to buy both just in case you go global in future years!
Ok, so you’ve bought a website address and you have someone to host your website. Now all you need is to actually get some web pages to tell everyone what you do. Easy right? Well yes, it is actually nearly as easy as creating a brochure in Word nowadays once you have a programme to translate what you write and see in your desktop publisher into web language or html as it is called and we shall discuss this in our next article.
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