Define Your Website

Date Monday, 24 November 2008  Posted in Category Domain Name & Web Hosting, Web Applications  Tags ,   Comment No Comments »

Build a Website Step by Step Part 1 of 6

Ask youself a question- There’s millions of website on the Internet, for what reason people want to visit yours?

Determine What Prospects Need to Know

Here I assume you are selling products or services on your website. “Information your prospects need to know in order to buy from you” is the product information a serious potential buyer is likely to ask for. This “need to know” stuff includes:

  • An overview of your products or services.
  • Pages on individual products and services.
  • Additional product information – specs, features, options, accessories, models, ratings, upgrades and a comparision if possible.
  • Customers – who buys from you?
  • Projects – what are some of the major projects your business has handled?
  • Applications – what applications is your product used for? What industries do you serve?
  • Testimonials – are customers satisfied? What do they say about you?
  • FAQ – frequently asked questions. The FAQ lists the most common questions visitors ask, along with the answers.

Determine What You Want Prospects to Know

Your website should not only contain everything the prospect wants to know about you – but also everything you want to tell them. These are items that establish credibility and expertise.

For example, posting useful information such as white papers or How-To articles (knowledge-base) – is another more subtle way of convincing potential customers that you are the qualified source. After all, if they read and are impressed with your article, they’re more likely to buy from you than another seller. Beside that, you may also consider to put up your awards or road shows photos that makes your customer feel you are agreesive one and serious in the business.

So spend some time thinking about ways you can effectively communicate key points about your business – traditional (product information) and not-so-traditional (anything else that establishes your credibility and expertise). Once you’ve done this, it’s time to review the complete list of steps to follow to define your Web site in its entirety.

Eight Steps to Defining Your Web Site

  1. Write down your marketing objective. Is it to generate leads? Build a database of names with e-mail addresses? Give your business a storefront on the Web? Put your product catalog online to eliminate the time and expense of mailing print catalogs?
  2. Now quantify your objectives. Do you think having a presence on the Web can increase your sales 10% to 15%? Are you looking to attract a million visitors a month? If you don’t know what these numbers should be, make your best guess.
  3. Make sure your Web site has the information your visitors need to make a decision and take the action you want them to take. If you are selling a product, the prospect won’t buy unless there’s a clear description of each product along with its features and benefits. If you are selling a service, the prospect must be able to get a price on the site or at least be given the contact – e-mail to enquire or phone number to call for an estimate.
  4. The prospect must be able to get all his questions answered while on your site. The easiest way to do this is with an FAQ, or “Frequently Asked Questions” page. The FAQ lists the most common questions visitors ask, along with the answers. A number of software products now allow visitors to interact with a customer service rep while viewing sites either via e-mail or on the telephone.
  5. Create your content inventory. Organize the content for your site and define the basis for your site’s structure. Start out simply – creating basic pages and define the relationships between each. For example, organize all your company background, executive profiles and press releases into an About Us section. Sketch out your site structure to keep you organised and focused when you begin building your pages.
  6. Add strategic hyperlinks and site maps to guide visitors to where they want to go and also to where you want them to go. For instance, if you sell mixers and have an articles library on mixing, you might put links on the articles about particular applications to the description of the particular model mixer that handles each application best. Don’t be afraid to aggressively lead the visitor toward the solution you want to sell, not just the nice free stuff you give away.
  7. Study competitive sites carefully. Creatively plagiarize site features and Web techniques they are using to sell products similar to yours. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. This is particularly useful for structure and content suggestions.
  8. Take a tip from the Yellow Pages. When people open the Yellow Pages, they have an immediate need and are looking for a solution. So the ads are heavy on content, light on fancy design or marketing fluff. Your site visitor may not have as immediate a need as the Yellow Pages user, but he/she still has some interest or wouldn’t have come to your website. So while prize-winning Web design is fine, copy and content that sell are even more important.

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