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How To Build Your Own Website

My name is Justin Rule. I’ve launched over a thousand websites and my company Launch Kits is the highest rated web design company in the country. But I want to tell you how to start your own website. I want to give you the simple five steps to launch your own website and start a website from scratch so that you can be found online.

There are some claims that you can build a website in minutes online, and you can (sort of) if you can click a few buttons and launch a website. But you have to really think about the future of that website. Who’s going to update it, maintain it? Does Google even care about it? There’s over 250,000 websites launched today. Why would yours even matter if you do a launch in minutes?

5 Steps To Build Your Own Website:

  1. Plan your website: establish a goal, define your brand, target an audience and pick a domain.
  2. Design your website: Do It Yourself (DIY) or hire someone to Do If For You (DIFM)? Don’t forget hosting.
  3. Create great content: 5 core pages, write your content, pick images
  4. Get leads and begin marketing.
  5. Grow your website brand with SEO, backlinks, and consider paid traffic options.

Step #1: Plan your website

Begin with a plan. Are you building a website just to promote your brand so that if someone searches for you by name, they can find you? Or are you building a website so you can continue to add helpful content and educate people and become a trusted local resource?

Are you building a website so you can sell e-commerce and products? Think about your brand that you’re presenting online. Do you speak about your self as connect with us or contact us or grab a coffee with us? Or yo, let’s chat. What is your brand language? What’s your style? How are you going to present your brand? So think with the end in mind so that along the way when you get presented with a bunch of different options, you sort of already have a goal in mind that, hey, this is how I want to be found online. So you have to define your brand. Establish realistic goals for yourself. You know, I want to be able to search my name and come up first on Google. That’s a realistic goal. If you say, I want to be able to search a keyword like home construction company near me and be first on Google, that’s an unrealistic goal.

That’s not gonna happen in the first six months. If you build your own website, I can promise you that I’ve launched and supported a thousand of them, and that is a long-term marathon goal, which you can accomplish. But not in six months. The other part of your plan has to be your domain. How are people going to find you? Are they going to look you up? And you’ve got,,, I can give you our tips for finding a great domain. You can just get those free on our website. And you also wanna make sure that your desired name is available. So look at your local state, go to your LLC search or your small business registry search online and just make sure that you have a name that’s available. And also just make sure that the idea in your mind of this design you’re going after the kind of paint that picture in your mind.

 It’s almost like if you’re an artist and you’re painting a portrait, you know, it helps to have someone sitting there so you can say, oh, that’s the thing I wanna start from and paint. Begin to think and look at other design and inspirations to get some inspiration in front of you. So if you’re going to build a website from scratch first, begin with the end in mind. Get realistic goals, define your brand. Pick a smart domain name and think of other ideas that inspire you to get those flowing. That’s step one. Okay? If you need our help or you just want to ask us about smart domains, look, we’re always here to help. So we’re never going to say no. We’ll give you some of our great free tools.

Step #2: Design your website

Step two though, now you get to design your website. The second step in launching website after you’ve figured out what you wanna build is actually doing it.

And there’s really two options there. There’s a do-it-yourself option and there’s a design it for me option. Okay? The do-it-yourself option. There’s a lot of builders out there, wicks, Weebly, Squarespace, GoDaddy, that will allow you to click pick a template. They’ll spit out some pages. You modify the content on those pages and you can go live through their system. You keep the updates through their system. You can pick your own host, install WordPress, build it out with WordPress, connect all your dns your email, dkm settings, set all this stuff up yourself as well if you really wanna roll up your sleeves and launch that way. But there are some do it yourself options out there to consider. The second is do it for me and the do it for me. Options are things like hiring a local digital marketing agency in your space, your local area. Call your cousin who builds websites from his basement. He might do it for you. You can certainly call Launch Kitts and we can do it for you in five days. You can certainly go out and try and find a business partner to partner with and maybe their skillset is more in digital marketing and design and they do it so you kind of partner with someone to do it for

You. There’s a lot of do it for me. Options, there are pros and cons to those. When you do it yourself, you don’t spend money as much, but you spend a lot of time. If you hire someone to do it for you, you usually spend money and not as much of your time. The third piece in building and designing your website you want to consider is your hosting provider. If you listen to a lot of podcasts, if you go online, if you just search website hosting solutions, you will find a gazillion of them. Alright? They’re very popular ones that just do hosting. Site Ground is a popular one. Blue Host is a popular one. But you have to understand that if you are going to take on hosting, you also have to know a thing or two about updating records and that’s all on you.

That’s on you to make sure those things are staying secure, updated, and setting all additional records you need on your host. But there are solutions out there that make it fairly simple to connect to a host. A lot of people wonder, why do I have to pay hosting if I’m building a website? If you do a do-it-yourself option, like wic, weebley, Squarespace, GoDaddy, those typically have a hosting platform built into it. So you’re kind of building on their system. It’s the real estate that you rent from the internet to build your website house. That’s how you think of posting. They kind of include all that. If someone does it for you, you’ll usually have options that you can then, I mean, Kinta, flywheel blue Host, all of them, you kind of rent from them and you build your house over here and then you connect it to the real estate that they’re giving you.

So hosting is essential for wherever you build a website you are paying for hosting. The type of hosting, whether it’s dedicated, whether it’s shared whether it’s high speed or whether it’s not. All of those things are options you have to consider. You want to go for speed, you want to go for security, you want to go for a large bandwidth, you want to make sure that your hosting provider is not bottlenecking all the hard work you do on the design. Alright, so that’s number two. Okay? You gotta do it for me, do it yourself and find a host solution.

Step #3: Create Great Content

The third step to building a website is your content. So either way, you’ve gotta produce content about yourself, your services, your brand promise, your refund policies, your appointment expectations, all of these things that help communicate in written language, text or we call it copy.

If you’re in the web design space, all that copy has to go on your website, which communicates two things, one, to customers as they read it. They obviously better understand you, your services and your brand. But two, you have to make sure that copy and content also resonates with Google. So if you want to go after a term or a service and you don’t know what Google is calling that term or that service, well then you might write a lot of content that Google doesn’t actually see because it’s not connecting with what you are calling it and what it expects it to be called. So you’ve gotta make sure that typically you want to go with about, we’ll say five to eight core pages, okay? That’s usually a homepage that’s designed as a pathway to your other internal pages. The research shows most first time visitors to website, scroll the homepage and then click in from the homepage to a deeper page.

They don’t use the main navigation menu across the top. A first time visitor scrolls the homepage and goes to click. So homepage is really important. The second most important core page is your about page. What’s your mission? What’s your purpose? What’s your connection to community the world? Tell your story and tell it boldly. Tell it well and don’t shy away from it. You have to set yourself apart from your competition. There’s usually about two or three main service pages you want to build about particular services You offer, you know, 800 to 1200 words on each page to describe the service, the problems you solve, the process people go through to engage with you, maybe local proof and testimonials, and then how will they get in touch with you? That’s a local service page. So you want that to be part of your core pages that you build.

And then you also want contact or quote pages. So there’s kind of the home, the about the service kind of vertical pages, the contact or quote pages, and then the fifth page as a core Pages testimonials the project gallery, something that proves on your website that you can do what you say you do. Make sure you have those kind of five core pages. You can also write your own content. The big thing right now is, hey, can I use AI generators to generate the content for my service pages? And I will tell you the answer a hundred percent. No, you can’t simply use an AI generator to write about plumbing services near me or deck remodeling or home remodeling or painting services. And the reason is that is a generated answer based on all the other content that’s out there. It may or may not accurately reflect you.

So if you want to use an AI generator to get you started is almost like your prompt or your inspiration. And then go through that and make sure it aligns and resonates and edit it and make sure it accurately reflects what you do. That’s a good way to do it both ways. It’s almost like asking an expert or somebody else what they would do and then taking notes and then writing it yourself. Although AI generation is not the expert, it’s just a conglomerate of all other information. So make sure you’re careful if you’re considering using that type of tool in your content. So you’ve got core pages, you’ve gotta write your content, you’ve got images that you have to put on your website. And here’s the big problem. A lot of entrepreneurs go to Google Images, they search their thing and they’ll save images.

You can’t do that. You have to use what are called free licenses or common license images. And so I can point you in the direction. There’s a tool called Unsplash. It’s a website that you could go through. You can download tools, credit the author and use their images. There’s a tool called Pexels, p e x e l That’s a great tool. Generally you don’t have to credit the authors for their images and so you can just download them, but there’s a third tool to put in your toolbox. I mean, okay, you can obviously use iStock and pay for images and do it that way. I’m talking like, Hey, you’re a diy, you’re an entrepreneur, you’re trying to get a website. You can use a tool called buri bir r m We’ll put a link here. Buri can take those images you download, compress them to be web friendly in the size and it actually changes the title of the images as well for like seo.

So for example, if I download a stock image that’s on Pexels of someone building a website, I can go to Burk and compress it and call it launch Kits website, design demo photo. And then that whole tag, that whole title there is indexed with Google when I put that on my website. So you wanna be smart about the way you collect images. If you get spam or a contact message on your form that says, Hey, you have all my images, you owe me this dollars, ask your web developer to double check that cuz that’s a common spam thing. It’s not always legitimate. Sometimes it is you inadvertently use an author’s image and you didn’t correctly credit it and you’ll need to take care of that. But we can help you out. Your web dev friends can help you out on images.

And the third thing there in terms of amazing content is you want to think about this the opportunity to, you do all that work or you hire someone to do all that work. There are providers of great copy online like SEO Content Hero niche Copy Works is a great source that does very affordable and great work. We can put a link for Jake King and his content there to create content for your website. Again, you can search and pick a local person that you might feel knows your industry better or your audience better to write your content. So that’s the third piece. You got all this content you have to put together for your website. The fourth part of building and starting a website online is now get leads from your website. Okay, so you’ve got this website, you’ve launched it.

Step #4: Get Leads

Now you’ve gotta think about how do you get leads. There are really three main ways to get leads. One main way is what we call organic. Organic leads are things because people are searching for you because they heard about you, they know about you or they’re looking for your services online. The way you get organic leads is by creating a lot of organic content, YouTube videos, helpful blog articles, content on social media, engaging in discussion groups or forums online answering questions so that then people see you as a trusted source. That’s all organic. You’re not paying per click on that. So there’s the organic way to grow leads. There’s a paid way to grow leads paid is you boost sponsor, promote posts on social media. You pay somebody to run a local service ads Google campaign for you that if someone search for a realtor near me, you pop up on a Google guaranteed, you know, top of that page or you pay for a sponsored ad when you search for painter near me and you see on the top of Google there’s a sponsored or a paid ad there that’s all called pay per click.

And so you can find a resource to help you generate leads that way. Okay? The third way to generate leads is some of these lead generation things like, you know, hows or Thumbtack or some of these other service-based businesses that people ask for quotes. And then if you are an approved contractor or you set your bid, it’s a little offsite, a different way of generating leads for your business. But you’ve gotta again, think at the very beginning with the end in mind that hey, how are we going to actually build this website? My personal suggestion is that you start with your own boots on the ground. The first three to six months you’ve gotta like survey knock on doors, kind of do a little of the hustle to understand what people are saying. What do they looking for? What do they actually value? If you’re purely looking for a national audience, then you can run some tools online to see what are people asking.

You can use a tool like answer the, which is free, and you can go and see what are people asking about my industry and better target the content you either organically make how you talk about yourself to pay things or you can experiment on a kind of a third party lead generating platform where you pay per lead instead of paying per click. So those are the three ways generally to build an audience and brand and generate leads. And obviously if you’ve built your website, you want to have a clean homepage that they land on or a landing page for that specific ad they clicked on. That’s a big error a lot of people make. They run paid ads to their homepage. That doesn’t work. If you clicked on an ad that said summer special, $50 off your service, it should go to a page that says, so glad you clicked on our summer special for $50 off your service.

Let me tell you about it. Okay? So make sure that you’re connecting the dots and not making that potential customer think too hard, okay? They want a really simple, easy pathway. If it gets too complicated, they’ll give up and they will leave every time. Just like you do when you’re trying to do something and it gets too hard, whether the transaction’s too much or it declines your card or you missed to think like you just give up the last part, okay?

Step #5: Grow your website brand

You’ve done all the four steps needed to build your own website and now you’re at the last part and that’s growing your website. Okay? You did all this work, you built something, you got the membership to the website, Jim, well now you gotta keep hitting the gym. Now you have to keep going. Now you have to make sure that what you’re doing to grow your website is going to bear fruit because nothing launched today shows up tomorrow instantly.

Okay? There’s a lot of instant gratification things in the world. Building and growing your website is not one of them, okay? You can show up from not live to live tomorrow, but now growing your brand takes some work. So to grow your website, first tip a cup of coffee with your website every week, that is my guaranteed never fails. 20 minutes a week with your website will change your business. It will change your life. Cuz when your business changes, your life changes. You have to spend 20 minutes with your website every week, at least you yourself. Here’s why a in 20 minutes you can write a great little article for your website answering questions. You can record a little video answering questions and hit upload to you YouTube. You can check your data, you can see what pages are working, where people are coming from.

You can just research what’s the latest things happening in my field. You can ask for 10 reviews or 20 reviews from last week. Like you can do so much with 20 minutes with your website every week. You have to spend 20 minutes with your website. The alternative is to pay someone else a lot of money to do all that for you. But in the first season of your business, I think you should know your numbers. You’re the one looking at the data. You’re the one that should get familiar. Even if you are somebody and you feel like this is all too complicated, I promise you spending 20 minutes with your website will get you familiar enough to know the next conversation you have with a so-called professional, do they actually know you? Understand you are they thrown around big words, you’ll just be that much smarter.

So that’s called like s e o that stands for search engine optimization. You add helpful search friendly content to your website. So growing your website 20 minutes a week, drink a cup of coffee with your website. That’s what I mean. You literally get a cup of coffee phone off unless you’re using that to create your content. And then you start working on it, looking at your numbers, I can send you a free little rhythm to follow. In fact, I’ll post it here below in the video and I’ll make sure it’s in our blog here. The suggested rhythm on how to do 20 minutes with your website every week. The second part of growing your website is what are called back links to your website. So back links are links from other websites to your content that grow Google’s trust in your brand. So you might say, I’m the best painter in Tuscaloosa.

All right, well, if you’re the only thing that says you’re the best painter in Tuscaloosa, that’s great, but Google’s not gonna really believe you. But if you know a trusted industry resource, whether it’s a local magazine, whether it’s a local news source, whether it’s the free local advertiser, merchandiser, paper online version that links back to you and says, man, there were great websites painted in Tuscaloosa by so-and-so. Here’s a link to their website that builds trust. That’s somebody else saying you do what you do. That’s one way to get back links. The other way to get back links is have other platforms that Google Trust link to you and say, Hey, this is a painter in Tuscaloosa, or this is a business in such and such town. There are ways to do that really easily. If you set up a Facebook profile and link the website thing back to your website, make sure the right name, address, phone number and website URL is yours, link it back, set up a LinkedIn profile, set up a social media profile that I’ll link back.

So when Google says, man, does this person do what they say they do, it can say, Hmm, let me go. And this is what happens. It goes to other highly trusted Yellow Pages, superpages, highly trusted domain websites to say, wait, is this person on there? Oh yeah, there they are. Oh, same website address, phone number and u url. Cool. Yep, same name, same business. They must be legit. Okay? That’s a huge way to get back links to your website. The more back links, the more trust. So the other way, again, the the beginning, the other way is write articles or promote yourself out so you get back links from other big sources. The other way to grow your website traffic again, is pour money in a can. All right? Sometimes it goes right out the bottom of the can, but you can pay to promote yourself on different channels on YouTube just to drive traffic to your website.

The more traffic to your website, the more data you have as the entrepreneur about what’s working, what’s not, where are people going? What do they care about? It’s all about learning and growing. So we think the perfect website is one that continues to change, but it follows those rules of being fast, you know, easy to say, easy to remember, clean pathways, making sure there’s fresh, helpful content always on your website that makes it perfect as in changing every day to meet the needs of your customers and the interests of your potential customers. So if you wanna start and build your own website, just to recap, okay, start with a plan. Plan your website. Get good goals to find your brand. You know, make sure that you got a smart domain and that obviously this name and this business you’re building is legit. That’s step one.

Step two is decide how you’re gonna design it. Pick a DIY solution or hire someone to do it for you and make sure that you understand the cost and time associated with both those. Number three, now you’re making content, all right? You’re either outsourcing and hiring out that content, or you’re writing smart, copying content, finding great images and optimizing them for your brand. Okay? Number four, make sure that you’re thinking about how are you going to get leads with this website, organic paper per click or pay per lead. Make sure you think about the way you’re gonna strategize that and give yourself time to see how that’s working. You know, three to six months is kind of the minimum that you would wanna invest in any of those to be consistent to see if it’s actually working. And then lastly, think about how you’re gonna grow your website.

Get a plan together for a cup of coffee with your website every week. Make sure that you are building back links or understanding the power of back links to your website. And that if you want to throw money at paid channels to drive traffic to your website. But here’s the reality, you can tell from all this already that it’s a 40 to 60 hour task at least, and that’s like kind of a small, small business website. We would just encourage you not to fall for a hype message that hey, just in a few minutes, you can build a website. You can be live in a few minutes, I guess, right? You can set up a free account, click this, go live. But if you want meaningful impact, if you wanna be found first for your name, if you wanna be able to grow your brand online, you can either do it yourself, all right? Go through the process, understand what all goes into this or you can have someone do it for you that’s been doing it their whole life. So on your journey, best wishes to you from the team at launch, Kitts a hope. Your journey on building and starting your own website is successful. Have a great day.

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