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Website and SEO Setup For a Non-Programmer (Day 18)

One Startup. 30 Days. No Secrets. Start at the beginning.

Website / E-Commerce

I admit it, I just wasted a ton of time - do not sign up for a website and immediately fill all the pages with unplanned content!

Let me take a step back.  We need a quick, cheap and easy website / e-commerce solution to fit our crunched timeline, minuscule budget and the fact that neither of us have ANY programming experience. Thankfully, we are not alone. It turns out there are plenty of simple website and online shop builders, including these which have been referred the most from friends: ShopifyTictailStore Envy and Squarespace. Searching the magical Google for some help on selecting our perfect webshop builder led me to Website Builder Expert, which offers objective comparisons and information that make it easy to decide on the best service.  

In truth, all four of the services we considered offer plenty of features and certainly cover our basic needs. Although Website Builder Expert recommends Squarespace as the best fit for our single product website and e-commerce shop, we have decided to move forward with Shopify based largely on the fact that a number of my friends use or have used Shopify to run their online businesses. In a crunch, I can most easily ask for help if we are on a platform that is more familiar to my network. We chose their $29/month plan, which includes a 14 day free trial, and will certainly cover our needs for the time being.

My website setup crash course includes:

  • Linking our www.mixedmade.com domain - this was simple and quick with the instructions provided
  • Choosing our theme, or the layout and structure of our site - we only considered the free themes offered in the Shopify Theme Store and selected the "Kickstand" theme because it seems best suited for a single-product website that will be fairly simple and transactional.  Also, it apparently looks great when viewed on a mobile device, which is important these days
  • Customizing the theme and content - it took me a few hours to get the hang of customizing the pages and content. After messing with the layout and entering content I realize I will probably need to repeat much of the process a). for best SEO and b). when we finalize our branding 

SEO

Unfortunately my overexcitement got the best of me when setting up our Shopify site and filling initial content, as I just started typing whatever came to my head for every page title, meta description and general copy without knowing the purpose. However, after some vital learning, I had to duplicate my efforts and adjust most of the copy throughout the site. A few hours wasted, but a lot learned!

SEO really intimidates me. It seems like there is SO MUCH information, both strategic and tactical, that I am supposed to learn and apply. Since I know very little on the topic I have been found solace in a number of resources, the first being Beginners Guide to SEO from Moz, an analytics service. In addition, I found that Shopify offers a lot of great advice and SEO information intended to help provide our shop with the best SEO performance. Those quick reads resulted in some changes to my fancy wordsmith'ing like going from

TO

Action: Comment to let us know what about starting a business intimidates you most. 

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