#144: Building a website and getting found online with Adam Grim from Sparrow Websites

Show notes from Episode #144 of the Sweaty Startup Podcast.

In business and in life, small habits build success, and one of the most important habits is time management. Beyond being efficient in your work, the most successful people invest their time in activities that deliver value over time. The four quadrants of time management, a framework made popular by The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, can help you determine how to invest your time to help you grow your business and your life.

Adam Grim of Sparrow Websites spends his days helping service-based businesses grow and polish their web presence. Sparrow has also begun to offer launch kits that not only get your website up and running, but set you up with some powerful tools around presentation, SEO, speed, and data analytics. This episode is all about the essential tool rundown that Adam recommends for somebody looking to build a website as an extension to their business online.

Domains, Names, and Hosting

Name generation and your domain choice should go hand in hand. When you have loose ideas for your business name, start to search for related domain options and don’t be afraid to deviate from your plan.

  • Google domains is a simple, free tool to find available domains.
    • Synonyms.com and namemesh can be great resources for ideation.
    • Localize the domain to your city or region if possible
  • Bluehost and WordPress are the recommended tools for hosting and building the foundation of your site.
    • Elementor is a no-code page builder for WordPress that Adam recommends for its clean code and fast-loading webpages, offering both a basic free version and a pro version for around $200 per year.

Logos

  • Sites like Fiverr, while affordable, can be hit or miss. 
  • If you can spend $250-300, 99designs will give you dozens of options from different designers and allow you to work with the designer to make small tweaks to fit your preference. 
  • There are plenty of good local branding firms, but they can be expensive out of the gate.

Content Generation 

What you write on your website will determine if people read your content, trust your business, and how you rank on Google. 

  • Sparrow follows the StoryBrand framework from Donald Miller, which walks you through a series of questions that are especially valuable for service-based businesses. 
    • One key principle is that your language should convey that the customer is the hero on your website. 
      • Talk less about how great your business is, and more about how mowing lawns is a hassle and you can provide your customer a trusted, professional service that allows them to spend more time with their family. 
  • When you take a couple of days to go through the StoryBrand framework, you’ll have everything you need to build your site. 

Speed and SEO

  • Speed is critical and affects how your website ranks on Google.
    • If your website takes over 5 seconds to load, you begin to lose a material portion of users quickly.
  • WP Rocket is a WordPress tool that for around $250 will clean up your code and optimize site loading. Similarly, Imagify will compress the images on your site to minimize memory demands while still showing high quality media to users.
  • Geotag your photo locations to boost local SEO.

G Suite

  • G Suite lets you host an email on your domain, rather than @gmail.com, which looks much more professional.
  • Google Voice allows you to set away times outside of business hours, forward calls, and change your voicemail based on the time and the day of the week.
  • Google My Business is vital for SEO and getting customers.
    • Create a page, verify it, have your contact information, website, and hours, and emphasize getting customer reviews with pictures.

Extras

  • Getting an SSL certificate is cheap, easy, and will securely encrypt your website.
  • Jobber and Gravity Forms are a powerful combination for lead generation and email automation.
  • Google Analytics is free to use and keeps track of data on how many people come to your site, where they came form, and trends over time.
  • AH Refs is an SEO-service that will help you make sure you’re aligning the keywords on your site with what users are searching.
  • Depending on your business you can utilize plugins for events, podcasts, or videos. 

Domains, names, and hosting [1:00]

Content generation [8:05]

Speed and SEO [11:15]

G Suite [18:25]

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About Me

I started the Sweaty Startup in December of 2018 because I believe the Shark Tank and Tech Crunch culture is ruining the real spirit of low-risk entrepreneurship. 

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