When an SME starts its presence on the internet, the first step is usually the publication of its corporate website . As with the rest of the actions that we can carry out on the network (social networks, blogs, advertising, etc.), the creation and publication of the website requires prior work to propose what we want to achieve with our website .
Before starting the process of creating the web, it is necessary to establish what functions or objectives it must fulfill . These will depend a lot on our business model.
For example, if we have an online store, our website probably has the objective of selling through it, and all this will determine what type of website we will create.
In the case that we are a dental clinic, on the other hand, what we want is for our website to be very corporate and report on the services and particularities of our business, and generate contacts and appointments.
DOMAIN: THE BEGINNING OF IT ALL
Once the objectives to be met through the web have been determined, we can start the creation process. The first and very important step will be choosing a domain for the page .
Depending on the business model, we may want the domain to correspond to the name of the company in order to reinforce branding .
In other projects, we will look for domains designed for the positioning of keywords related to our products.
The objectives and the type of company will guide us towards the type of domain that interests us the most.
Another key factor in domain selection is its extension.
If it is possible and they are available, it is advisable to buy domains with several main extensions (.com and .es. Above all) in order to protect it from possible new purchases of companies with the same name or projects, even if we finally only use one of them.
If we want to focus our business only in Spain, for example, it is preferable that the territorial extension such as .is for brand and positioning aspects.
In the event that we want to be a global brand that reaches an international audience, it will be advisable to select a generic domain extension such as .com that will allow us a broader positioning and a more generic domain for other non-national audiences.
In addition to the first-level extensions, in recent years new types of domain such as .flights, .restaurant or .club have begun to be marketed, which could be interesting for specific activities.
Another aspect to take into account when we select a domain are the legal aspects, since we will not be able to use registered trademarks as a domain or that may pose a problem to us.
Finally, it is advisable to use a trusted and guaranteed domain registrar, and make sure that the domain is registered in our name, and some registrars do so in the name of third parties and this can lead to serious problems in the future.
DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT
The start-up of a web project can be divided into two sections, which, although they are very different, must be developed jointly for the project to come to fruition.
Our corporate website must adapt its design to the objectives set . Therefore, the joint work of the company with the web designer will be very important and will allow us to capture our image, philosophy and objectives for future users of it.
Regarding the technical part, we can choose a custom development, programmed specifically for our needs, or base it on an existing CMS ( Content Management System ) among the many available on the market .
This second option is highly recommended, since it not only allows us significant cost savings compared to a development from scratch, but it will also give us much more flexibility in the future.
WordPress is the most widespread worldwide, which allows us all kinds of variants and currently already represents 25% of all internet websites and 40% of CMS-based web pages.
CMS used in content pages globally
TYPE OF PAGE
We can choose a website that is specified in a single presentation page, our contact information and little more information; On the other hand, we can go to more complex pages, with several internal navigation pages that explain more broadly aspects of the company or its products and services; As a third option, although there are many more, there would be pages in which sales are promoted (ecommerce) and there is a catalog of products with prices, an option to sell online, etc. In most cases, our business model will determine what type of page we want, but it is important to make the right decision.
STYLE of web deign
We refer to everything that encompasses the visual appearance of the page, with key elements such as tones and colors, font, size or images. Here, the style of the page should perfectly reflect the discourse of the company, the type of product and service or the audience to whom it is directed.
WHAT HOSTING DO I NEED?
We must hire a hosting or hosting service for the website design according to our needs. On many occasions, the minimum needs will be set by the developer with whom we have had to start the project, but we must bear in mind that throughout the life of our website, the hosting needs may change.
If we only intend to publish a website design with a single presentation page and contact information, and we do not expect a large influx of traffic, our hosting will not need a great capacity for power, speed or storage.
In the event that we have a website with many products, images and pages to navigate, elements such as loading speed and the overall performance of the page in all processes will be very important for the user to have a good usability experience , in other aspects.
Based on the information we have on the web or the level of security and exclusivity that we want, we will also have to think about whether we use hosting on a shared server with other projects or companies or whether we want a dedicated server where only the information from our website.
We have many options in the market to choose our hosting, but we must go to the most appropriate to our needs. Here it is very important to have good advice from a professional or a specialized company.
With all the previous steps carried out and the online web, we still will not have a guarantee of almost anything. The success of our website design and the achievement of the objectives set will depend, to a large extent, on the marketing plan and digital plan .
We refer to all the strategic actions that we will mark for our activity on the network, in this case, those related to the website design. In our online marketing plan we must take into account points such as the positioning itself, the monitoring of everything we do and the search for improvements, the publication of web content on social networks or the advertising campaigns that we will carry out in Google AdWords, Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads and other ways to promote our page and business.
Any marketing plan must be based on a continuous click of analysis and decision making based on the results:
- To analyze the situation
- Decide on the objectives
- Plan actions
- Measure results
One of the main advantages of online marketing compared to more traditional means is the ability to measure any action. At a very basic level we can distinguish three levels of action in online marketing:
Search engines such as Google or Bing have become the way to access the internet for the vast majority of users. Very few type the address directly into the browser or use bookmarks or favorites.
Therefore, if we want to reach these users, appearing in the search results (SERP) of said users will greatly facilitate our work.
The potential of the network allows us to search for market niches with a potential audience that we can position in the top positions of search engines.
There are many factors that will influence the performance of our website design in search results ( SERPS ), but generally they can be grouped into two categories:
- Factors on site : related to our site
- Off site factors : related to the rest of the network
In the first section of on site factors you could find things such as the loading speed of the site, the quality and quantity of the content, the structure of the web page or the quality of the technical development.
In the second section of off-site factors , aspects such as the number and quality of links from other web pages or mentions on social networks are included, and in general they have more to do with reputational aspects.
After the publication of the web, we will have a long way to go to improve the positioning (publication of content on the web and blog, shared on social networks, inbound links from other pages, etc.), but without a good technical basis on which we have created to the web, the potential to improve SEO will be less.
If positioning requires a very important prior planning and a medium and long-term investment, advertising is a way to achieve results in shorter terms, but it will also require good planning and changes in the more flexible and agile strategy. .
Nowadays there are countless channels on the internet through which to advertise our project and before executing a campaign it is very important to establish which will be the best to reach our target audience.
An example of this would be the two most important social networks: Facebook and Snapchat, with very different user profiles, since while the first is used mostly by older users and with a lower rate of technological adoption, the second is mostly made up of profiles. younger and more adapted to new technologies.
To achieve good results in advertising campaigns on the Internet, it is essential to make a good measurement of all the indicators, and be able to reach the maximum size to calculate the ROI of each investment, and adapt the strategy and budgets of the campaigns to the formats and channels that work best.
Social networks have become a key channel for promoting our website design, and should be part of practically any marketing plan.
They are channels that are gaining more and more importance and if in previous generations, as we mentioned in the positioning section, the gateway to the Internet for most users was search engines, more and more users consume content directly through social networks.
One of the most important advantages of social networks is the bidirectionality and transparency of the message and communication with our clients, which will allow us a very close relationship with our users, although without good planning, this closeness and transparency can turn against our.