Launching a website is both exciting and potentially rewarding. A well planned site can have a positive effect on your business, with online sales bucking the trend in an otherwise downbeat economy. Making a website can seem daunting, since there are so many options to decide from and so much esoteric language to peruse. The primary focus of this article is to simplify the planning of your website.
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. There are countless reasons, though the most popular include the desire to make a sale or at least generate a prospect list. Create a single sentence that will summarize what you are doing. Quantifying the goals is also important. You want to receive how many enquiries? What will the turnover be in each of the first three years?
2. Establishing A Budget
You can build a simple website or blog for free these days, meanwhile large companies pump millions into their online presence. How much money are you looking to 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. You may choose the whole or a suitable part of it to invest in your online business.
“If you build it, he will come” is a quote from the movie “Field of Dreams”. This may be true for baseball, but not for new websites which require significant effort and investment in marketing after launch to be successful. Once it is alive, consider allocating up to 50% of your website budget on marketing and not on the website itself.
3. Requesting A Quotation
Assuming that you want to hire a professionals to create your website, the next step is to obtain some quotes. Create a statement of purpose for your site, describe its function, as well as which users you want to attract, and map out a realistic time line that runs to its launch date. It is a good idea in your request for proposal to state what you need in teaching, technical issues and hosting. This document is known as a ‘request for proposal’ or RFP.
When you send your proposal document to web development companies, they should send you a proposal with extensive details and cost. 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. The task of photograph selection might sound easy, but it can be very time consuming and confusing; consulting with a professional designer would be a good idea. A website project often goes smoothly if you get started early on website content to populate your site.
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.
You can get your web developer to include a statistics package like Google Analytics to track statistical information about 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. You will also need to market your new website, perhaps using social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter, search engine optimisation (SEO), pay-per-click adverts, or email marketing.