With the increasing need for artistes and organizations to have a digital presence, many artistes refrain from getting into the process of designing a website due to technical and marketing complexities. While we agree with the initial fear, the evolution of technology has thankfully eased the process of mastering a website conception. By following these five essential steps, the website creation exercise can move from being excruciating to empowering.
1. What’s in a Name? – Domain Name Matters
The domain is your website URL, the address of your digital identity. The first step in this process is to give a suitable name that resonates with your art. Once you have crossed this bridge, it is easy to get the chosen name registered. Several websites offer domain registration services at an affordable yearly cost. Among the lot, GoDaddy is the most popular as it is easy to operate and integrates seamlessly with any server. Another quick option is to register with WordPress. Although WordPress is a blogging platform, they also offer website space for those who are pressed for time to deal with developers.
2. Presentation is the Key – Selecting a Layout for Maximum Impact
A website can be created using two different platforms – HTML & WordPress. Simply put, HTML requires a web developer to work out the backend while WordPress is an easy-to-use, hassle-free platform that lets you dive right in. One of the important criteria for considering either of the two platforms should be the budget. Although HTML is extremely independent regarding creativity, the cost might be on the higher side. WordPress, on the other hand, offers both paid and free themes or layouts that can be easily customised to your choice. WordPress websites might also require support from a web developer based on the features you are trying to incorporate.
3. The Search Engine Ocean – What’s this?
In today’s Internet world, content is the king. Hence, it is critical for the site to have all the vital information related to your art. For instance, artists can include information about their art, accolades, performance details, albums, videos etc. All this information summarise your artistic personality. Predominantly, Google picks up words that are present on the website against the jumble of words that are most commonly searched for. Assuming the user is looking for artists from Chennai, unless your website has the words ‘music’, ‘Chennai,’ and ‘artist,’ Google will not be able to find you from the ocean of websites floating the internet. It is imperative to understand the top key words that are searched for (specific to your art form and requirements) and ensure that they are included in your website content. This helps search engines crawl your website and track these keywords, and eventually help find your website and list them in the top few search results.
4. Review Website Using Google analytics – The Data Hub
Every website is a piece of work that requires constant attention. It is not enough if there is a website, it must continually be updated and monitored to understand the audience. Reviewing the website is also crucial for marketing activities – to understand where the users are coming from. To track this data, it is imperative to include Google Analytics to the website backend. It is a simple code that can be easily copy-pasted from Google’s page. With this code, a complete dashboard of the user activity is presented for quick navigation. This code, which is compatible with both HTML and WordPress sites, allows the owner of the site to grasp the visitor traffic and analyse the audience and make necessary modifications if required.
5. Creating the Stickiness – Call to Action
Now that the user has spent time browsing through the content nudge them for further interaction. A quick way to activate personal contact is with the help of Call-to-Action(CTA) options. This could be anything related to the website – following on social media, newsletter subscription options, book/DVD purchase links, enquiry forms and much more. Ideally, a web page can have up to 3 call-to-action buttons placed simultaneously. The scope of this button could be further assessed using analytics and changed upon review.
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