The days are over where creating a website was all a big puzzle and where you had to have extensive knowledge in the programming and web design field to try creating something original. Today, anyone can create a website from an online platform or content management system like WordPress. This democratization of website creation has really put the web to everyone’s pocket, allowing anyone to create their own website and contribute to the sharing of information.
We are therefore witnessing an explosion of websites created every day, increasing the difficulty for a new site to attract traffic and thus fulfill the original objectives: to promote, sell, inform or entertain. We’ll see three things to consider when creating a website to avoid making common mistakes that prevent you from achieving your goals.
1. Choosing the right creative website platform
I put myself in your place and googled “web site creation platform” since it is the title of this subsection. I saw the traditional advertising (including the one of My Little Big Web) for a total of 570,000 results (we will not analyze all results, I assure you):
Honestly, I understand why many people get confused and end up asking a friend of a friend to create their website. Everyone promises (including us) you’ll get the most awesome site of all the time if you go through such an agency or another website creation platform, so how can you sort through all the promises?
I’ll answer this question by giving my expert opinion in creating websites: Choose the most flexible platform, I suggest WordPress! You probably already know it, and if this is not the case, I invite you to read our other article “website creation: presentation of WordPress.” I can tell you about Wix, Prestashop or Shopify (for online shops), Joomla, Drupal or another platform created by a lambda business but in the end I will redirect you to WordPress (unless you want to start an online store with over 2,000 products, in this case, I’ll direct you to Magento).
Why do I insist on WordPress?
Simply because it is the CMS (Content Management System) that is the most used in the world; it’s free, and it allows you to do everything you might want to do with your website.
Do not be tempted by a platform with a subscription system because although it will satisfy you when getting started, you will soon feel the limits when it comes time to upgrade your website. For those who have heard that WordPress isn’t safe, I want to tell you that’s like saying that a PC is not secure; it all depends on what you put in place to protect it. Moreover, in terms of proportions of sites running on WordPress VS other CMS, WordPress is the least hacked CMS.
However, you should take some basic precautions to secure your site such as avoid taking a theme that is not regularly updated (same things for modules), make adjustments to the minimum security level (again, a simple Google search “How secure is my WordPress site,” will give you the necessary information) and choose suitable accommodation. Forget the $5/month shared hosting which already hosts 200 sites like yours and opt for a slightly more powerful server.
In order not to spend the rest of the article talking to you about WordPress, I’ll just finish this subsection by insisting that your website should be scalable according to your knowledge in website creation area (and tests you will want to put in place) but also open enough to allow someone (web agency, freelancer, friend, programmer) to return and work on it at a deeper level. If only a few people know the web platform site design you choose, it will be more difficult to ask for help and you may have to start all over on a known platform. Ok, let’s move on!
2. Attracting traffic to your website
Your website is online and you have established your Google Analytics code (what’s Google Analytics?), you just need to wait for people to stumble upon your site when they perform their searches on Google. OR, you can choose to give a boost to your website and think about a traffic generation strategy to improve your visits!
Once you’ve decided this, several options are available to you. You can start to bid on keywords from Google’s advertising platform (Google Adwords), communicate on social networks, do e-mailing or work on your SEO. In all cases, you must think about your strategy before you run to your keyboard, as a good traffic generation strategy is not improvised. The ideal is even to think about your strategy BEFORE creating your website.
In workshops and conferences that we host, we often get someone who asks us what is the ideal traffic generation strategy that can be implemented. The short answer is, of course, “it depends”: on your site, your goals, your time and especially your budget. In fact, since we are talking about “ideal” traffic generation strategy, you should not have to choose between SEO, paid search or social networks: you must do everything! Again, it’s all about time and budget.
If you have the budget, you can be more aggressive on Google Adwords and pay for the services of an SEO expert that will save you a lot of time, as it will go further than on-site optimization based on endless keyword stuffing. However, if you do not really have a budget, you need to target your audience and not advance step by step.
Start by making a list of keywords that you want to use and analyze their search volume. You can do this using the free tool to help your keywords research on Google Adwords or pass for a more professional tool like Moz (which will give you a good idea of competition on selected keywords and which offers a 30 day free trial). Us, internally, we like Moz but other tools also work very well.
Again, it makes sense to do this work before launching your website because you will realize that this represents for your budget and you will take this all into account when you ask your website design specifications. Indeed, it can be frustrating to discover how much you need to invest on Google to drive traffic to your website when you have already spent all your budget creating the site (unfortunately, it happens to many people).
3. Measuring the traffic to your website
Once you have deployed the traffic generation strategy of your website, you need to analyze this traffic to make sure it is real (= non generated by robots or yourself) and that it is quality traffic. For this, I recommend the “simple” and free Google Analytics, the Google data analysis tool. It really is the “Excel” of data analysis to the extent that opportunities are very important if you take time to tame the software. Powerful without being perfect, you may need to pair it with other analytical tools to compare data and make your deductions (but then we talk about high traffic sites with a web analytics level so advanced that we ourselves are not there yet).
As explained above, be sure to locate your Google Analytics code when you create your website to immediately begin to monitor your traffic. This requires that you ask your programmers insert the codes and make the testing to make sure everything works properly.
Keep in mind that updating a website means doing tests, analyzing results, and updating the site content to make it dynamic while also keeping an eye on the competition. It is therefore important when you learn to create your website that you follow the tips listed in this article.
Did you like this article? If so, you’ll probably like our article that explains how the websites we create are successful. Happy reading!