• Marketing and sales

Leader Spotlight with Jill Schoolenberg of GoDaddy: Tips for Building & Improving Your Website

Lauren Marinigh | June 16, 2016

Jill Schoolenberg - GoDaddy Canada

As a small business owner, starting a website can be critical to get your business noticed, but many entrepreneurs fear the high costs and hours of work this can take. We chatted with Jill Schoolenberg, Vice President of GoDaddy Canada to find out her tips for building and improving your website as a small business owner, and what sort of services GoDaddy offers that can help send entrepreneurs on the right track.

Tell me a bit about yourself and your role at GoDaddy Canada.

I’m the Vice President and Country Manager for GoDaddy in Canada. In this role, I’m leveraging my experience and expertise to help small businesses — the largest business segment in Canada — grow their companies, attract new customers and sell their products and services online in a cost-effective way.

What do you feel is one of the biggest challenges entrepreneurs face when building their online presence?

Small business owners don’t have a lot of time or money and many are under the impression that building a website is difficult and time consuming. The reality is that, while it does take some time, you can get your initial site up in about 30 minutes for less than $2/month using GoDaddy’s Website Builder.

Why do you feel it’s critical for small businesses to have an online presence?

While small businesses are the largest business segment in Canada, they often can’t afford to invest in broad reach marketing or salespeople across the country. The web helps level the playing field for small businesses versus larger organizations. Specifically, with many prospective customers using the web for research, small businesses can use a website to reach their target audience to both help drive brand awareness and educate customers on their products and services without requiring a big marketing or sales budget.

When starting a business, it can be overwhelming to start a website, especially when you’re short on money, what are your three biggest tips to help in this department?

First, get started. Once you get over the fear and just try it, you will find you can create an elegant website a lot more easily than you thought.

Second, keep your site content fresh. Spend ten minutes a day updating your website with new offerings, relevant information, and timely content.

Third, if you just don’t have the time or inclination to build a website yourself, ask for your help. Chances are that someone in your family or circle of friends can help you — or don’t hesitate to call GoDaddy customer support for free which is available 24/7.

Search engine optimization (SEO) can be confusing—where do you suggest people start to get the basics covered?

For businesses who want to sell online, search engine optimization (SEO) is critical as it ensures that a site is accessible to, and discoverable by, internet search engines. If a business is not discoverable online, its visibility is limited to those who already know it, word of mouth, or through expensive offline advertising. The ultimate goal of executing a SEO program is to obtain a higher ranking placement in key search engines like Google which drives internet user awareness and more clicks to your site.

As SEO is an every changing science, you may want to consider investing in a service provider, to help consistently achieve your goals.

What sort of services does GoDaddy offer that help small business owners?

We offer our customers a seamless way to build their online presence. We believe there shouldn’t be a barrier to being a successful business because you’re not tech savvy. GoDaddy has a full suite of robust, yet simple-to-use, solutions that help small businesses get online. GoDaddy’s core products and solutions include domain names, websites, email, hosting and marketing tools specifically designed for small business including email marketing and search engine visibility.

Any words of advice for new entrepreneurs?

Start with a plan. It’s hard to achieve your goals when you don’t know where you are going and how you will get there. Do your research, know your customers’ needs and wants, and ensure you have a distinctive offering to beat what’s already out there. Pick a target audience and focus all your efforts on that group. Trying to reach everybody will mean you reach no one effectively. Believe in yourself and refine, refine, refine until you get it right.

To learn more about GoDaddy, visit their website here.