Creating a website has become commonplace today, but beware, there are key steps to remember so that your site project does not fall into the meanders of the Internet.
Define a budget
As for the creation of a company, the creation of a website requires the setting up of a business plan.
Even a “small site” has a cost and it is better to anticipate it.
Identify the budget you want to allocate to your website, then you can break it down into:
– website creation costs (development) = a fixed cost
– hosting costs (monthly or annual costs) – maintenance costs and setting up to date (if you go through a web agency or SEO firm) = monthly costs – SEO costs (if you go through a web agency or SEO firm) = annual or monthly costs
– costs of promoting your website
Identifying its targets
You must identify the targets that you want to achieve with your website.
Is it a B2C website (do you address end consumers directly: individuals?) Or is it a B2B website (business to business, you address professionals only)?
You can also identify categories of target Internet users (age groups, professional categories, etc.).
Maybe your business is geolocated, it must also be taken into account (PACA region for example) or international (multilingual site).
Throughout the duration of creation and promotion from your website, do not forget who your targets are. Adapt the content of your website as well as your promotional actions to the needs of your targets.
Analyze your market on the Internet
Analyzing your market on the Internet is an important step.
– Analysis of the competition: is your market little or very competitive?
This analysis will allow you to know your competitors on the web who are sometimes different from your competitors in reality. Analyze their positioning, and their strategy (how are your competitors positioned and what do they do on the Internet?) Will help you set up yours.
– Traffic Analysis: you can also estimate the amount of search engine searches on keywords that match your business. You will be able to estimate the market share that you want to acquire on your activity over the first three years for example.
Find a domain name
Very important, the domain name: do not neglect this step because you can not / will not change anymore. If your site is a brand, then you can / should take the name of that brand if the domain is available.
Otherwise, the choice of your site name is essential. Choose a domain name that is:
– easy to remember for your users
– easily identifiable
– not too long. Ideally, a domain name should have a word or keywords that are representative of your business.
– easily referenceable (if the keyword can be included in the domain name it’s better!)
– a minimum marketable
Always remember to check that this domain name is available with the extensions you need and with other extensions if you want to make a site multi-lingual.
Also, it is better to avoid that an opportunist takes advantage of your notoriety at your expense by buying the .com for example if you have not done yet.
Choose the hosting mode of your website
Once your site is “finished”, you have to find a host so that your site is “online”.
You can internalize the hosting of your site if you have servers and a team able to intervene on them.
– no additional costs
– possibility to change the architecture with the needs of the site
– Requires teams available 24h / 24h in order to have a continuous service of quality and avoid cuts of your site.
You can also outsource the hosting of your website to a professional web host either on shared servers or on dedicated servers.
– the teams of the host intervene 24 / 24h on the machines and guarantee a continuous operation of your Internet site
– the servers are preconfigured which saves time
– in the case of shared servers, the cost is low
– on a shared server, you share the server with other clients so there is no way to guarantee server performance and availability.
– for the dedicated server, the cost is quite high.
If you choose to go through a web agency or SEO firm, they will offer a global hosting rate for the year. Remember to ask which host, the agency will host your site to verify the seriousness.
Achieving a set of specifications
A set of specifications aims to define exhaustively the “basic specifications” of your website to be realized. The specifications serve to formalize the needs and to explain them to the various actors to ensure that everyone agrees.
By realizing the specifications, you will be able to view all the pages and sub-pages of your website but also list all the features you will need on your site (eg internal search engine, payment module, back office (to modify yourself some contents of the site), subscription module to a newsletter, contact form etc)
The specifications will allow you to define and refine your project, do not neglect it.
But this specification is then used to select your service provider (in the case of a call for tenders) because you will submit your specifications to them so they can make quantified quotes.
If you do not have time to work on the specifications, you can ask your provider to write it for you, but take care to read it and understand it before validating it.
The specifications define the development time and the price that it will cost you. Once it is validated, it is very difficult or expensive to reverse.
To internalize the creation of the website is to integrate its development within your company with your team of internal collaborators. Attention, the skills for the creation of a website are various, you will need:
– a graphic designer
– an integrator HTML (in order to transform graphics in HTML)
– a web developer (focus on new technologies, PHP, java, or .net)
– a reference
Outsourcing the creation of your website is to entrust the realization of your project to professionals (web agency, SEO agency, software company etc)
Benefits of outsourcing:
– you entrust your project to professionals who have a very good expertise and significant experience feedback on the creation of an Internet site
– the risk of delay in completion is supported by the web agency
– the agency has within its teams, graphic designers, developers, references … all the skills necessary for the successful completion of your project
Think about referencing
The referencing of your Internet site is the key of success of this one!
An unreferenced site is an invisible site!
The traffic of an Internet site depends enormously on the quality of its reference, if it is badly referenced on the engines, it is certain that the Net surfers (potential customers) will not find it. The quality of the referencing of your site is thus translated by a good positioning in the pages of results of search engines (10 to 30 first results on a given keyword or group of keywords).
The referencing of a site starts as soon as it is created, it is an optimization work. This work, often done by professionals, will allow the site to be more visible in major search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
So think SEO when creating your site. If you choose to outsource the creation of your site, choose an agency that is also an expert in SEO and check their skills.
There are many charlatans in the field of SEO that may seem quite opaque for neophytes. Check the professionalism of your provider in terms of referencing techniques.
Set up a tracking tool
The value of a website comes from its visitors. And on the Internet, everything can be tracked/traced!
The setting up of a site must imperatively be accompanied by the implementation of tools called “web analytics” which will allow:
– to quantify your visitors (number of visits, number of page views, time spent on the site etc)
– analyze the behavior of your visitors once on the site (which pages are the most visited, number of forms filled, number of realized sales etc)
– to understand from where your visitors come (search engine, direct traffic, promotions actions etc)
– to quantify the actions carried out (the emailing)
The most recognized web analytics tool on the market is Google called Google Analytics. It is free is very complete. We recommend that you train yourself in this tool so that you can properly analyze the valuable data it will provide you, and make the relevant strategic and operational decisions associated with it.
All these analyzes will allow you to optimize your site so that it is effective (lead your users to an action that interests you: fill out a contact request, make a purchase).
But this analysis tool will also allow you to identify which promotional actions are the most profitable.