Every minute of every day 571 new websites are created, they add to the over 600 million websites on the web.  What goes in to the making of a website and what makes one website successful while another is a complete ghost on the net?

The answer is preparation and knowledge.

It seems that everyone can build a website, no matter what skill set they possess.  It may seem that way but it’s a false impression.  This impression comes from nonstop ads and promises from the Free website builder sites and hosting companies that promise users a professionally looking site that, if you can click a button, you can be the proud owner of.

Yes, the internet has led us to believe that we are; able to diagnose and treat our own illnesses, create and serve a top chef meal worthy of pinterest or iron chef competitions and create a website that is functional, optimized and ready to start raking in our next fortunes.

It begs the question about the difference between the web programmers skill set and the skill set of the person that spends enough time online that building a website seems a no brainer.

There are times in life that doing it yourself can be a great thing.  Then there’s building a business that will create an empire or one that just sits out there in cyberspace doing nothing but frustrating the owner.

If you are dead set to do it yourself then you need as much help as possible.  There is a life cycle of a properly built website.  This article is going to take you from the conception to completion of your website.

Conception of a website – Websites come in all shapes and sizes and are built for a number of difference reasons.  Some are simple blog sites and others are massive sites that hold thousands of pages.  One may be for sharing thoughts and pictures while others are product driven.  It all begins with a need.

Grab a ream of paper and a good pen and really start listing your website goals.  Be clear and focused on needs and expectations.  This information is important to know before you even turn on your computer.

Vision – Once you have a clear idea of what your website is going to do for you or those people that visit, it’s to have a mental picture of how it will flow.  Everyone that clicks on a link is taken to the Home page, but then what?

  • What will the home page tell your visitors?
  • Where do you want them to go next?
  • What do you want them to do?
  • Where can they find additional information or have questions asked?
  • How many pages will you allot for the various pages and how will those pages be found?
  • What information will be in your menu?
  • Will you have a banner?
  • Will your banner be rotating with several images or just one image?
  • Will that image be tied to a link?
  • What information will be in that image banner?
  • When a visitor purchases your product or information, who will be processing your payments?
  • Do you have a Thank You page for information after the sale?
  • Will you be providing downloadable files or products?
  • What is your plan for where those files will be stored on your site?

Website Life

If you plan to sell anything, what will the receipt tell your customers? – If your product is “Wholesale shoes for less”, but the charge shows up as “Brian Smith” on your customer’s statement, you may find that charge backs become a standard part of your business.  Not because your product is bad but because people don’t remember ever buying anything from Brian Smith.  It also gives the wrong impression about your business.  You lose trust and trust is critical for a successful online business.

Layout – Now you should know how many pages you’ll need and what information will be presented on these pages, it’s time to create your layout.  It may be easier for you to use the good old fashion paper to put your layout down in ink.  This will allow you move the pages around and make sure that links on your pages take your visitors to the next stage in a natural way.

Creation – Okay so far so good, you’ve got it all laid out and you’ve taken the time to make sure your service or product will be presented in the right ways to turn a visitor into a customer.  What platform will you build your site with? Have you thought 5 years into the future?  Will you ever need additional features? This becomes a hard choice to make for those that are not clear on the pros and cons of the platforms that are available.  You may want to get some professional help on this stage.  You could call a design company and ask what they think.  If you can get educated for free then you will save yourself time, frustration and money in the long haul.

Identify your market – No I don’t mean Safeway or Vons, I mean who are your customers?  Where do they hang out? What types of jobs do they hold?  What words do they use to search for your products?
You need to understand who you’re talking to before you write the content for your pages.  Rule of thumb is; create your site and content for your customers first, then make sure the search engines can find it and understand it.

Keyword research – No, you still are not ready to really write your content.  There is some heavy duty research that needs to be done first.  Great content that brings your customers to your site starts with using the right keywords.  Each page needs to focus on 1 keyword.  Yep, you heard me. 

Each page on your website is a new link that the search engines can index.  If you do this part correctly then you will build your links and your authority level with Google.  This factor will be the life or death of websites over the coming months.  The search engines are getting better at understanding the true desire of the user doing the search query.  There are only 10 organic search results on the first page of Google; if you want to show up on that first page then you will need to focus on your content.

Content – Wow, how fun is this?  You finally get to start creating your content.  You’ve identified your buyers and understand the keywords that they will be using to find the product or service you offer and now it’s time to give your site a great deal of content.  But where do you use those keywords?  How many times should your keyword show up on a page before you appear to be spammy?  Are you using original content or did you cut corners and snag existing articles?  Duplicate content is a big no no when it comes to the search engine ranking.   Make your pages engaging and educational.  This is how you will gain new customers and retain existing customers.  When you boil down everything about a website, you’re left with content.  Don’t skip the time needed on this step.

Launching your site – Okay, your site is ready.  You’ve checked all your links and menu tabs, they seem to all work and nothing is broken.  Time to go live.  Now the fun begins.  How do the search engines know your site is out there among the other 600 million sites?  They crawl.  This is where your site map comes into play.  Google and Bing are good about letting you submit a site map to them.  Yahoo……… well Yahoo is an interesting creature.  
You’ll want to refresh your site map each time new content is created.  Some platforms will have modules that will do this task for you.

Submit your site to the directories, create your social networking sites and start getting fans and followers.

In closing I want to stress that Google loves fresh content.  Your goal should be to give them what they want.  Try to add new articles or blogs frequently that are created around your customers keywords. 

Building a successful website is not a 15 minute task.  Expect to get out of your site what you’ve put into it. 

Complete Web Solutions is here for you.  Your time is valuable.  Allow our team to do what we do best and we will get your site up and running so you can do what you do best.  Call us today 719 302-5029.  See for yourself the difference we can make.