It is both exciting and potentially rewarding to launch a website. Well executed site planning can have positive effects on your business, increasing sales during a slow economy. It can be a very intimidating task to develop a website. The main reasons for this are the vast array of options and difficult to understand jargon. By following the steps in this paper you will be able to build a website fast and without frustration.
1. Set Your Goals
The primary and far too often ignored step you must take in creating your website is that you must create a clear plan of what your website should accomplish. This could be to generate sales leads, sell products, or anything else you can imagine. Create a single sentence that will summarize what you are doing. Your goals should be quantified. Will you receive many inquiries? How much turnover can be expected within the initial three years?
2. Establishing A Budget
Although big companies shell out millions of dollars in order to remain online, yet you can have a simple website or blog of your own free of cost these days. So how much should you spend? Just for an example, in case you are having a total turnover of 100,000 and you aspire to allocation of 8 percent share of that towards investment, that would result in an annual marketing budget of 8000. If you’re an online business you may choose to invest all of this on the web, if not then choose a suitable proportion.
In the movie “Field of Dreams” you may have heard the quote “If you build it, he will come”. New websites require lots of effort and marketing investments in order to be successful. No less than 50% of your web budget should be used on marketing once the website is established.
3. Requesting A Quotation
If you decide to go forward and use a professional to design your site, you will need to get some estimates for how expensive it will be. What you want the website to achieve, what it should do, which audience to target, a time frame for completion, should all be put in a written document. You may also include what you expect in terms of training, support, and hosting. The document is referred to as an RFP, or “request for proposal”.
When you submit your request for proposal to a web development company you should expect to receive back a list that includes the price, the services and other details. The more detailed your request for proposal is the more reliable your results will be.
4. Creating Content
There’s an old saying on the web that “content is king”. No matter how pretty the design, the quality and usefulness of the copy, images and other media are critical to the success of your website.
The services of a professional copywriter can greatly enhance your writing efforts, resulting in better skills. Choosing photos is trickier than it sounds, and is best left to a professional designer. It’s worth getting started on the website content as soon as possible so it’s ready to populate the website and make the whole project go as smoothly and as quickly as possible.
5. Going Live
Once your website is live and has been submitted to search engines, don’t expect overnight success as it can take months to appear in results pages.
Your web developer can install Google Analytics or a similar statistics package so you can track information about your visitors and how they are finding your website. Google Analytics has a tool called ‘goals’ with the help of which you can easily find out where the leads of sales or purchase are being generated. By using social networks like Facebook, you can optimize your search engine results in order to market your website.