Step 1: Register a business name and an ABN
You can’t register a .com.au without an ABN and Business Name
In Australia, if you want a .com.au website domain then you will need an ABN with your business name listed on it. If you haven’t registered a business name almost exactly the same words as your domain name then you will have to go to ASIC and do so. It will cost you $38 a year (or more for multi-year registrations) and you should receive an email with your business name registration to print and display within two weeks.
If you have added your ABN then your Business Name will appear on it. Domain registration rules for .com.au are strict so it is important that you do Step 1 before Step 2. Some of my clients get their accountants to register their Business name. It only takes 20-30 minutes to complete.
To apply for an ABN
To apply for an Australian Business Name
For .com website domains there are no such restrictions however it is good to make sure you’re not starting a business with a business name someone else owns.
Step 2: Register your domain name
Domain Name Registration is a way to purchase a domain name eg. rightclickwebsites.com.au or yahoo.com.au
I use crazydomains.com.au as they are cheap and reliable.
In Australia, if you want yourbusiness.com.au then your business name must be Your Business or similar.
Any Australian business, company, organisation or association can register .COM.AU Australian domain names.
.AU domain names are governed by auDA and policies and requirements apply to each .COM.AU 2LD (Second Level Domain).
- .COM.AU – For commercial purposes including commercial entities registered and trading in Australia.
- .NET.AU – For commercial purposes including commercial entities registered and trading in Australia.
- .ORG.AU – For non-commercial organisations such as associations, political parties, trade unions, clubs, charities or other non-profit organisations.
- .ASN.AU – For non-commercial organisations such as associations, political parties, trade unions, clubs, charities or other non-profit organisations.
- .ID.AU – For Australian individuals, citizens and residents.
When registering your com.au Domain Name you will be asked for the respective details during the order process.
Currently their prices are .com.au $11.99 AUD / yr (minimum 2 years), .com $4.99 AUD , .org $16 AUD and .org.au $14.95 AUD .
They often have specials so subscribe to their newsletter to be made aware of them.
To see whether your domain name is taken visit crazydomains.com.au then fill out the form and click search to see your results.
Make sure you pay the $7 a year for private registration or you will receive unwanted emails, phone calls, and letters.
Step 3: Register for Hosting
Hosting for your website
For your website to be online it needs both a domain name eg. rightclickwebsites.com.au AND a hosting account where the files, images, videos etc are stored and the database as well.
You need to decide whether you want to have your account on a shared server (lots of websites all on the one computer server) or dedicated hosting (especially if your website is to be resource hungry and needs a lot of hard drive space). I use Name Cheap and have a reseller hosting account. If you would rather rent server space on your own, I recommend the Stellar package
- Unmetered SSD-Accelerated Disk Space
- Unmetered bandwidth
- Unlimited websites
- Website Builder
- US or UK Datacenter
Most websites need 2-3GB of storage space and at least one database plus emails. Don’t be fooled by CrazyDomains and other website hosting companies that you need to pay for email hosting separately to website hosting as once you have registered for a hosting account and have access to the control panel (cPanel) you can create as many emails and email forwarders as you please. So many of my clients were paying more for email hosting than I charge for a website, database and email hosting combined.
If you are paying over $100 a year for hosting then you are probably paying too much.
Step 4: Content Management Systems
Content Management Systems are the engine of your website
I prefer WordPress. It’s free to download and it has an astounding number of plugins, most of them are free. Download it at http://www.wordpress.org and make sure to stay up to date. You can also install a WordPress site using Softaculous if it is in your Hosting account’s cPanel. Enter in the name of your site, a username and password and the database is generated for you. Make sure you note down database name for later.
Step 5: Choose a Theme
Themes style your website
There are thousands of WordPress themes out there. The best are found at Themeforest – a gallery of themes. Make sure to click on WordPress before searching so you can find WordPress compatible themes. Make sure that if you are using WordPress that you filter themes that are created with WordPress. If you want an eStore made with the free eCommerce software for WordPress then you should also filter for Woocommerce as well. View the live demos and find which theme fits your brand, company or organisation the most. If you’re a wedding planner then put ‘wedding planner’ into the search.
To view a live demo move your mouse to the icon for the theme you want to test out and the words ‘Live Preview” will be shown which you can then click on. View the demonstration version of the theme and imagine what it would like with your content there. Look over at least 5 themes before purchasing and then once you have made your decision then click the buy button. You will then create an account and put in your contact details and credit card details to purchase. When there are updates you will be able to sign in again and go to the Downloads section where you can re-download your files. It is best to download the files to your computer and then either install them into the website or have a website developer do this stage. In that case, you will need to send them the files or give them access to your Themeforest account to download the files. Try not to use a password you use elsewhere.
Step 6: Customise the theme and add content
Replacing sample images and text with content specific
The theme will usually include Demo Content on installation which needs to be replaced with customised content. This may include the logo, images and text. Depending on the theme this could take the most amount of time as you are replacing demonstration content with unique content for your business or organisation. It is a good idea to already have content ready so that there is a short time between installation and completion of the site. I recommend the use of Google Drive using Google Docs to create a folder called Content and then create Documents and type in your text content. You can then copy and paste into the website later or give access to the folder to your website developer for them to do it. You may need a copywriter to edit your content before adding it to the website if copywriting is not your strength.
Step 7: SEO
SEO helps Search Engines find your website content
Add Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) information to each page, post and product. If you have a WordPress site there are many plugins to do this. Make sure that any photos you upload have a Title and an Alt Description for good SEO. The more contextual the better and use focus keywords from your SEO plugin in the image description where possible. Eg. a photo of a bottle of Ylang Ylang should have the Title and Alt description ‘Ylang Ylang Essential Oil’
We provide Search Engine Optimisation at $50 an hour.
Step 8: Add your website to Search Engines
Add your site to Search Engines
It is important that you submit your site to the search engines so that they can be found
ie. Google, Bing
For Google go to https://www.google.com/webmasters/ and create an account. You can then submit your website to be added to Google Search plus access other tools for website owners such as Search Appearance, Search Traffic, Google Index, Crawl, Security Issues and Web Tools. If you don’t feel comfortable with this you can ask a Webmaster to do this stage.
Bing has its own version at https://www.bing.com/toolbox/webmas… and you will need to create a Windows account if you don’t already have one.
Step 9: Create a Google My Business and Bing Places listing
Google My Business adds your business to Google Maps
It’s free and very effective at driving leads to your website. Just go to http://business.google.com/ and create your listing for your business to show up in Google Maps and in Google Search with your Business or Organisation Name, Address, Hours of operation, Phone Number, Photos, Google+ posts for your business, and more. SImilar to Google My Business is Bing Places https://www.bingplaces.com/
Step 10: Create backlinks
Backlinks are links from other sites to your website
It’s important to provide links to your website to increase your search engine rankings. This could include a Google +, Facebook pages with a link to your website or working with bloggers to promote your site. Ask your friends to link to your website from their social media and any websites they might have. Free local directories are another source of backlinks. In Australia TrueLocal, Yellow Pages, etc are free and quick to create. There are services such as Alexa which create backlinks but you need to be careful of the quality of the backlinks or Google and Bing can give you a negative result for such actions.
Step 11: Social Media Marketing
Marketing your products and services on Social Media
Social Media is a free way to raise awareness of your business, product or service
Create social media accounts with the big 5 and post to them regularly:
Post to Facebook often and copy the content over to Google+ which will help with your Google ranking. When you create an Instagram post there is the option to share it to Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr with the click of a button in the app. You can then open the Pinterest App and add a pin from your Instagram URL to your Pinterest board.
Social Media plugins for your website are essential. You should have Social Media share icons for people to share your page on Social Media, PLUS have icon or links to your own social media accounts for people to follow you.
If you don’t have the time to manage your social media accounts then hire someone who specialises in that field. The more frequently they post on your behalf the more expensive it can become.
Step 12: Google Webmaster Tools
Visit Google Webmaster Tools to create a listing for your website. Then you can Crawl your website using the Fetch as Google feature which will allow Google to add all your public website content to Google Search.