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  1. Launching an online store can be as easy as choosing your website provider, uploading cool images for your products, setting a price, and selling them or advertising them in a marketplace. However, planning your online store launch thoroughly can help you manage expectations for your business and achieve long term success. To start, some experts recommend: Fully fleshing out your business idea, including researching your business name, target market, and their motivations for purchasing your products. Writing a comprehensive business plan that includes an exit strategy. Creating a budget and researching additional funding sources, like loans or business grants. Following government regulations and guidelines for registering your business as a legal entity. Building your team and creating your branding. Because businesses are varied and have different needs, there really isn’t a blueprint you can follow wholesale. Everyone’s timeline is different! Just check out what these startup founders told The Muse on how they fared when they started their businesses. What do you wish you’d known before launching your online store? Tell us all about it in the comments below.
  2. Real community engagement is a long term game, according to the writers at The Social Shakeup. This especially true of social media, as holding the attention of your audience and having them contribute positively to your community takes time, effort, and showing up with interesting and useful content daily. Clicks and shares are important, but more and more social media algorithms are prioritizing interactions and saved posts in order to surface the most relevant content for audiences. So, how can you engage your community and promote your brand at the same time? Here are some tips from The Social Shakeup: Get to know your community and interact with them on their preferred platforms Ask questions and ask for feedback Promote user generated content Host contests Connect with them emotionally Tailor your content to your audience’s interests How do you engage with your community? We’d love to hear your stories! Share them in the comments.
  3. Starting your own business is an exciting and momentous endeavor that should be celebrated every chance you get. We invite you to introduce your business to the community and find out what others are up to in the comments below! Feel free to include interesting business origin stories, noteworthy milestones, or anything else you’d like to share. We’d love to hear it!
  4. Designing your site header is an important step as it plays such a big role in how visitors navigate and interact with your content. It looks the same throughout your site and typically includes your navigation and title or logo display. It can also include social or shopping cart icons, or even a call-to-action button! With style options like Gradient, the ability to use a custom color for the background, adding borders and drop shadows, you can create a unique design that fits your brand and makes your website stand out. You can read more about styling options in our Building a site header guide. How did you choose your header’s design? Have you played around with the new options? Share the results and your experiences in the comments below!
  5. SEO is all about doing what you can to ensure your content is a top result in searches for relevant keywords. Solid SEO copy helps your intended audience find your site in the first place, pulling in those most likely to engage with your content and convert from visitors into customers. Working on your SEO copywriting is a great way to ensure your site ends up in front of the people who need or want it the most. Ultimately, you want to create content that is useful to your customers. An easy way to get started is by researching what customers are asking you specifically (via your customer service or socials) or what people are asking Google about your keywords. You can do this by searching a related keyword and looking at the ‘People also ask’ box. Once you know what information would be most useful, take the time to outline your content. This will help you keep your writing focused and avoid losing your readers through superfluous tangents. Consider using questions as headers where you can, to enforce the idea that you are providing answers. What have you found most impactful when tackling SEO copywriting? Share your favorite tips in the comments below!
  6. Squarespace Scheduling lets your clients book appointments or classes using the scheduling block or through a separate scheduling page on your site. Scheduling is a versatile tool if your business is appointment based (like a nail salon, tutoring, or fitness class), as it gives more autonomy to your clients when it comes to setting appointments with you, deciding which service to purchase, or seeing if their favorite professional is available. How have you used Scheduling? Are you using it in a non-traditional way? We’d love to hear your stories! Let us know in the comments! If you are interested in learning more about Scheduling, register for a free Squarespace Scheduling 101 webinar or watch it on demand.
  7. When it comes to putting your brand in front of your audience, it’s easy to rely on the tried and true methods for marketing –a website, an ad campaign, maybe an email campaign and some social media posts. However, these methods are not enough in 2022, as most consumers have adopted new communication and social media channels, such as TikTok, affiliate marketing, influencers, and paid social media, among others. Here’s where multi-channel marketing comes in. Reaching your customers in the different channels they tend to gravitate towards helps you build a cohesive brand experience, interact with your customers, and find new leads. According to Business2Community, matching your customer’s journey and across multiple channels will go a long way towards realizing your sales goals. Some strategies you can try are: Combining email campaigns with social media efforts Content marketing Partnership marketing (influencers or other brands) Social media activations The site Fool.com also has a great blueprint on how to diversify your marketing channels. How have you used multi-channel marketing to boost your business? Share your tips and experiences with the community below!
  8. Anchor links or page jumps are a vital component to any website, but specifically important for those websites that are text-heavy or have a lot of content on a single page. In essence, an anchor link is a special URL that takes you to a specific place on a page. They’re useful for letting your visitors skip to the parts of your content that interest them, and they’re a great organizational device that aids readability. As an added bonus, they help with SEO too. In Squarespace, there are two types of anchor links you can use, depending on the version of our platform you’re using. For example, if your site is on the Squarespace 7.0 platform, you can create anchor links on Index Pages using the steps in the guide Adding index page anchor links. If your site is on the 7.1 version, you can add a small custom code snippet and create an anchor link on Layout Pages. Check out our guide Creating anchor links. Before stuffing your Main Navigation with anchor links, there are some considerations you need to take into account. For example, too many items in your navigation can be aesthetically overwhelming and become a hindrance to readers. Links that are too close together can be a problem on mobile, specifically for visitors with limited hand mobility. How do you use anchor links on your website? Do you have any special practices or tricks? Let us know in the comments below!
  9. The “About Us” page can be an important part in turning a visitor into a customer. It’s your moment to tell them your story and emphasize why your product or service is the right choice for them! For personal sites, we find that focusing on your personal statement, achievements and a way to get in touch is most helpful. For storefront businesses, sharing a brief "how we came to be" history, impactful testimonials, and your hours and location are best. What is your strategy for your “About Us” page? Do you pack it with info or keep it minimal? Tell us all about it in the comments below!
  10. Late last year, Squarespace launched Member Areas, allowing you to add gated areas within your site. These Member Areas give you the opportunity to increase brand loyalty, get to know your customers, as well as create a new revenue stream. With virtually endless options on how to use it, how have you incorporated gated content and what kind of impact has it made on your brand/business? Share in the comments below!
  11. Why exactly are logos so important? Logos help set the tone for your business, as they are often your brand’s first impression on potential customers. As we know, our brains can process images more quickly than text, so having a logo helps users identify and remember your brand. Think of it as your company’s ID in your customers’ minds, it’s how you stand out among your competitors. How did you decide on your logo? What do you like most about it? What core message or feeling did you want your logo to convey? Tell us all about your logo in the comments below! P.S. If you’re looking to create a business logo, check out Squarespace’s Free Logo Maker to get started. You can also learn more about logos with our Help Guide: Creating a great logo.
  12. Keywords are essential for generating traffic from search engines. But which keywords should you use? And how do you brainstorm your ideas? Let’s go through some ways to generate ideas and different types of keywords you can use. To get started, there are tons of organizational note apps that lend themself to a personal brainstorm, so play around and see what works for you! I personally use Google’s JamBoard as my virtual sticky note go-to. This way I can visualize the contents of my site and see what keywords make sense for which pages. For my example photography business, I decided to break it up into the different types of photography I’m involved in and some potential keywords that would relate: Some questions to ask yourself when brainstorming: Who is your target audience? What sets you apart from your competitors? What synonyms can you utilize? For example: New York photographer and NYC photography are two different keywords. And what other words does Google autofill? Type the words you've come up with in Google and see what else pops up! When determining types of keywords, there’s “Head” and “Long-tail”, and there are benefits to using both types. Head keywords are short, usually one-word keywords that catch a wide audience like ceramics, tapestry, and shoes. Long-tail keywords are Multi-word phrases that are more specific, such as engagement photography, NYC shoe designer, and LA dog cafe. Head keywords can catch a more general audience who might not be specifically looking for you, whereas long-tail keywords cater to those who search with the intent of finding a specific product or service. How did you brainstorm your keywords? Any tools or tricks that aided you in the process? Share your thoughts and tips in the comments below!
  13. Launching a website is an ongoing process and it’s important to celebrate the victories, no matter how big or small! We want to know what milestones you’ve hit. Did you: Write your first blog post? Update your custom logo? Land on the perfect color palette? Increase your social media following? Sell your first product? Send out your first email campaign? Something else? Let us know what milestone(s) you’re proud of! And looking ahead, what milestones do you hope to hit in the near future?
  14. Successful SEO strategies depend on many factors and are usually the product of a lot of time spent on market research, competitor analysis, and social trends. Once this work is done, search engine algorithms will still need to crawl your site and determine its rankings. It’s a long, steady process that requires trial and error, and lots of patience. What happens if your main strategy doesn’t work how you expect? In this case, do what the pros do: experiment! According to the SEO and marketing blog, Search Metrics, SEO experiments will help you answer the question, “will this tactic work for my business?” Here’s a few of their recommendations on experiments you can try: A/B Tests Font, color, and CTA (call to action) changes Tweaking your website copy and metadata Targeting search keywords with low search volume The site Semrush also has some innovative SEO experiments you can check out. How did you get your SEO strategy in shape? Share your insights and experiments in the comments below!
  15. Choosing images for your website can be a fun, yet daunting, task. You need to decide how you want to present your brand to potential customers. You can choose to keep your website imagery focused solely on your actual product, or open it up to some more varied imagery. Showing people and faces in your images can be a powerful tool. They can serve as visual cues so that your visitors will ‘look where they look’, guiding visitors through your website’s information. This kind of image can provide context for your products, or even lend more authenticity to your About or Testimonial pages. Others can find the inclusion of people and faces distracting, particularly if the images are very obviously staged stock photos. Where do you land on using people in pictures? Have you noticed their impact or lack thereof? Share your learnings in the comments below!
  16. Choosing a domain name (the address/URL of your site) is a momentous occasion in your journey as a website owner. A domain is your brand’s first impression and coming up with a unique and memorable name is something that often requires some thought. Common best practices include: Use keywords (about what your business is or where you are located) so your audience can find you easily Keep the name short and simple for easy typing and memorization Keep pronunciation in mind to favor word-of mouth Register mistyped domains, so no matter what your audience types, they'll always be directed to your site. If you already have a business name, then you’ve got your starting point. Either way, a decision also needs to be made about what TLD/domain extension (part of a URL that follows the last period) to pick. While .com is the most familiar and easiest to remember, you could consider other common choices such as .net, .org, or even location (.uk, .ca, .au) or business/niche (.yoga, .community) based extensions as an alternative. No matter what, ideally your decision would be a long lasting one. While it’s always possible to change your domain later on, some caution is required to avoid hurting search rankings. How did you come up with your own domain name? What are your top tips on choosing the right one? Share in the comments below!
  17. Accordion or collapsible menus are considered one of the workhorses of web design for good reason. They’re a versatile tool for text heavy pages on a website, like those showcasing a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), and they also help keep your pages short and reduce scrolling fatigue for your readers. They can solve potential design problems, like too much content or too little real estate on the page, and they can provide an intuitive direction for users to explore the information that they need and collapse the information that they don’t. In Squarespace, if you’d like to add an accordion menu to your site you would need to use an Accordion Block. Accordion Blocks have their own styling options that you can customize to get the look and feel you want for your site. If the available customizations don't cover your needs, our community member Tuanphan created a handy list of useful code for the Accordion Block. Are you planning on using the Accordion Block? Do you already use one on your site? What are your best practices for the effective use of an accordion menu? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
  18. An important part of growing your business successfully is taking the time to understand your customers and their journey. Knowing their motivations for buying your product offerings, how they found your business, which communication channels they prefer, and what your competitors are doing to lure them, is key to being able to retain your customers and develop products that they need and want. Additionally, market research will help you better understand where your resources and marketing budget should be directed in order to get a better return of investment. Best practices include: Defining your buyer persona Checking out how customers behave in stores that offer similar products Individual interviews and/or focus groups Processing the data into actionable steps Learning how to ask the right questions can be tricky, and there are resources like Hubspot and Hotjar that provide information that can guide you along the way. What are your tips for conducting market research? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
  19. Starting a new business can be an exciting, yet scary, process –from coming up with the idea for your products to drawing up a business plan that works for you, creating your brand, and finally bringing your business to life. There’s no one size fits all method to starting a business, but there are certain steps you can take to prepare yourself to launch your big idea. Forbes recommends considering these questions: Does your business idea solve a problem for you or someone else? Have you researched your potential market? Do you have a defined audience? Have you validated your idea? As an example, Squarespace customers Ergo Chic and Soul Cap considered their own needs and the needs of people around them to create businesses that solved existing gaps in the market. What was the first step you took to make your business idea a reality? What recommendations do you have for emerging entrepreneurs? Share your experiences and learnings in the comments below!
  20. Site URL: https://generatevalley.com/ Hi, I hope you are all doing great. I have developed a website. It was running smoothly and slowly as it is a newbie. It was showing 400, 500 plus impressions and some clicks as well. But in last 12 to 15 days, I feel Google Analytics and Google Search Console is not working properly. Google Analytics shows that there are some user on website but on next day when I check on Google Search Console, it shows no traffic only 7,8 impressions. Before this I was uploading content regularly. I assume my content is fine as I am writing it myself brainstorm the related keywords and using the properly. I don't know why I am facing this issue. Can someone please guide me what is this main issue? Thank you.
  21. Not linked pages are live pages of your website that don’t show in your site’s navigation menus. Your visitors can still view them through a variety of ways including text links, buttons, and linked images. These handy pages can be used for all sorts of purposes. You can use a Not linked page to host a price sheet to send to prospective clients, your freebie or giveaway event, or even a form for client intakes. Possibilities are endless! How do you like to use Not linked pages on your site? Do you have any great examples or learnings? Share in the comments below!
  22. There are a variety of details to consider when setting up your online store, all in service of the ultimate goal: helping your customers find what they’re looking for and complete checkout smoothly. Get a head start by brainstorming tags, categories, and subcategories so customers can quickly find what they are looking for and browse related items. Think early on about which shipping options and potential discount codes might serve you best. These kinds of decisions can have a direct impact on performance. How do you make sure your online store is set up for success? Share in the comments below!
  23. It can be scary for small businesses to invest in paid social media as the results of each campaign can vary and are not guaranteed. However, according to Sprout Social, paid social can support your organic social media in the long run, guarantee that you reach the target audience you’re marketing to, and put your brand or product in front of the right customers. A well crafted social media campaign using paid posts can have some immediate results leading to increased brand awareness, more traffic for your web presence and even lead generation. When is a good time to use paid social media? There’s no clear cut answer to this, but Sprout Social recommends you do so when you have an established following and understand the idiosyncrasies of the social media channel you’re targeting. They also recommend creating a budget and tying your ad campaigns to big picture business goals. How did you get started using paid social? What have the results been? We’d love to hear your stories! Share in the comments below.
  24. Video Studio is an iOS app, owned by Squarespace, for making professional quality videos that match your website’s design and branding. Video Studio can be used to make compelling behind the scenes footage, exciting product videos, and so much more! While the type of videos you create will depend on your goals, audience, and marketing strategy, there are some general best practices. When planning your videos we recommend keeping it simple and on topic. Focus on authenticity by knowing your material and expressing yourself in a way that feels natural to you. How have you used Video Studio so far? Share your learnings and favorite creations in the comments below! Haven’t tried it yet? Check out our guide Getting Started with Video Studio to learn more about it.
  25. Whether you’re prepping for Black Friday and Cyber Monday or getting ready for Boxing Day sales, the holiday season has arrived. There are so many ways to prepare your website and business for the holidays: give your website a holiday themed makeover, have special sales, update your product offerings, etc. How are you preparing your website for the holiday season? What is your go-to strategy? Share in the comments below!
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