THE ESSENTIAL STEPS TO CREATE AN EFFECTIVE WEBSITE FOR YOUR MUSEUM!

Search engines have become a must to search and find information about a company. And nowadays, more and more consumers are checking out the web before buying a product or service. Not being present on the web would therefore cut you off from a large part of your (future) visitors!

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Having a website is therefore no longer an option, but a must to reach out to your various audiences.

But concretely, what are the advantages of creating a website?

  • be visible 24/7;
  • develop the notoriety of your museum and gain visibility;
  • increase the number of visits to your museum and thus your turnover ;
  • sell online the products of your shop, on an e-commerce site;
  • know and better understand your audience in order to adapt your communication and service offer;
  • offer better customer service, by adapting your content to your different audiences (fans, future visitors, youth, education, sponsorship…) and in several languages.

How to proceed?

From its architecture to its design and the choice of a domain name, the creation of a website must follow a few essential steps so that it is effective and meets your expectations and those of your target.

BE ACCOMPANIED TO CREATE YOUR WEBSITE

If you don’t have the computer skills to create a website for your museum, there are two options:

  • Call in a freelancer or a specialized agency. They will deliver a turnkey website tailored to your requirements and needs. For this type of service, count between one thousand and several thousand euros.
  • Use a website creation platform. You choose a pre-customized template that you can set up yourself. This is a cheaper method than the previous one but requires more personal investment.

CHOOSE A RELEVANT DOMAIN NAME

For your website to be found, you need it to be linked to an internet address. It’s called a domain name. It is an integral part of your identity, as it allows your future visitors to immediately identify your establishment.

We advise you to have your own domain name and not an address with the name of a platform. This will give you more credibility and seriousness.

To optimize SEO and be more visible to your audiences, choose a short and punchy name. Avoid as much as possible putting several dashes and numbers, which are not appreciated by search engines.

OPT FOR A .MUSEUM INTERNET EXTENSION

In addition to the choice of your domain name, you have the opportunity to tell more about your business by choosing a relevant extension. In particular, this will save you from making your domain name more cumbersome by adding a keyword related to your activity.

For your museum activity, we recommend an internet address in .museum. This extension, using a punchy, unequivocal and globally understood term, allows you to be easily identifiable by your visitors. This way you send information and make a promise to the Internet user before he has even visited your website.

TAKE CARE OF THE CONTENT OF YOUR WEBSITE

To present your activity on your website, a few rules must be respected.

For example, for a museum, your site should have at least the following pages: a home page, a page presenting your institution or a page presenting the services offered.

Interactive elements such as videos will also make the difference, a nice video on the homepage of your website can immediately make your potential visitors want to visit it. To create a video adapted to your website, contact 87seconds, which is a renowned video agency and already has a beautiful portfolio to its credit.

It is also crucial to display your full contact information so that visitors can come and see you or contact you. Display your postal address, telephone number and email address visibly. A map to locate you and easily find your route is also useful.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are also welcome so that users can find answers to their questions on their own, even when you are closed.

Above all, don’t forget that navigation on your website must be simple and intuitive.

To do this, remember to apply the 3-click rule. This principle of ergonomics must allow the user to access the targeted page by following, at most, only three links.

THINK DESIGN AND ERGONOMICS

Your website must display a careful and quality design, in order to best reflect the personality of your establishment or project.

The graphics must be clean and the presence of visual elements is strongly recommended as this is what will catch the eye of the Internet user. If the graphic style is pleasant, he will want to continue his visit to find out more. The choice of a graphic charter is therefore a step not to be neglected. Be careful, however, to optimize the weight of the images used. A too long loading time can push the Internet user to pass his way, which would be a pity!

Finally, make sure your website fits properly on tablet and smartphone screens. This principle, called responsive design, allows you to make your website accessible on any screen size.

WRITE YOUR LEGAL INFORMATION

In addition to being mandatory from a legal point of view, displaying legal notices on your website (usually at the bottom of the page) allows you to indicate your identity to visitors.

A personal data protection charter should also be displayed to inform visitors of the collection and use of their information (cookies, email address).

In addition, general terms and conditions of use (GTCU) are useful to signify your rights and duties, those of users, ownership of content and conduct in the use of the website.

If you sell products or services on your website, you must display the general terms and conditions of sale (GTC). The customer will have to accept them before any transaction to signify his agreement to the sale (terms of payment and delivery, right of withdrawal, etc.). This will serve as a contract between you.

ANALYZE YOUR WEBSITE TRAFFIC

Observing the activity and data of your website is essential to measure its performance.

To collect statistics on your audience, many solutions exist: Matomo (ex Piwik), Heap, Clicky, Google Analytics, etc.

These tools provide you with various visitor data: visitor profiles, click rates, page views, viewing time, etc. This allows you to better understand your audience and what interests them most, to measure your return on investment and to decide on the next steps to take. You invest your time… and your money smarter!

KNOW EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE PROMOTING YOUR MUSEUM ON SOCIAL NETWORKS

Your website is the basis of your online presence, it is your museum’s showcase on the web. To multiply its effectiveness and create proximity with your various audiences, social networks are valuable tools at your disposal. When used well as a complement to your website, they will allow you to have a complete and dynamic online presence. You don’t know where to start? The tips below should allow you to get started with peace of mind!

Find inspiration in others

Start by getting ideas by looking at what others are doing! Make a list of museums, which you can expand to include, for example, concert halls or cultural institutions, and see how they communicate on social networks. On which social networks are they present? What types of content do they publish and how often? How big is their community? Do they respond directly to users who request them via social networks? You will thus have an overview of their practices and will even be able to identify the most efficient ones.

Set realistic goals and choose the right platforms

Think about your goals and prioritize your expectations by being realistic. Indeed, social networks take time and it is better to start modestly on one or two platforms rather than spread out over all the networks without having the time to publish regularly and do a good follow-up.

You can build your approach based on simple questions: which audience(s) do you want to target in priority? What content(s) do you plan to share (videos, news, blog posts, offers, etc.)? What budget do you want to allocate?

Your answers will enable you to select the platforms best suited to your ambition since each platform has its own specificity. While LinkedIn may not be the best choice for addressing the general public, it will be useful for reaching some patrons. Twitter will be relevant if you plan to share news, while Instagram will allow you to focus on photos if you want to showcase your collections for example.

Set up a publication schedule and publish at the right time

Publishing frequently is key to success on social networks! A poorly updated Facebook page will give the impression of being abandoned and could harm your museum’s image. Set up a publication schedule adapted to your objectives by identifying in advance the content you will share. You’ll save time and have the assurance to publish regularly.

Also, choose the right days and time slots to publish in order to engage your community as much as possible. Depending on the platforms chosen, find out about their audience peaks so you can schedule your publications in advance.

Test and measure the effectiveness of your actions

Rather than planning your publications for the next 6 months and devoting your entire budget to one or two actions, we advise you to test and adapt your strategy based on the results. For example, test certain types of content and see which ones have the best results. Sponsor some of the posts and see how much traffic it brings to your museum’s website. Social networks make it easy to track results and manage even a small budget.

Watch what they say about you…

Internet users regularly express themselves on social networks to give their opinion, sometimes directly on your page, but not always. A simple search will allow you to find publications where your institution is cited. It’s a good barometer to track your community’s satisfaction. For example, an Internet user can express his satisfaction after visiting your exhibition and recommend it to a friend. Another was disappointed or found the queue time too long and let it be known. Our advice is to never neglect the comment of an Internet user, whether the comment is positive or negative.

Take the time to respond to comments, questions and opinions, you will create closeness and trust and show your community that you care!