Web Site Design Basics - From A Marketers Standpoint
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Web Site Design Basics - From A Marketers Standpoint
If you are thinking, well, web site design is my IT department's job, I'll just pass it to my IT manager.
You would have made the first and Biggest Mistake towards your online business.
The truth is, web site design is far beyond IT department or graphic designers' job. 10% goes to IT dept, 30% designer, and the rest 60% has to be taken care of by Marketing Department. Not any marketing staff, but an online marketing specialist who understands online marketing inside out.
IT engineers will build you a database-driven web site, which cannot be well indexed by search engines at all - unless they know how to do it right; graphic designers will give you a big flash file, which your potential buyers will not wait for it to download. Wither way, you won't have enough visitors...and sales.
Is this what they propose to you;-)? Think twice before you approve.
I'm not here to offend engineers or designers. There're many of them who are also experienced online marketers and able to design excellent business web sites. What I mean is that, you have to think like an online marketer while designing your web site - right from start.
You build a site to improve your bottom line instead of showcasing fancy graphics, don't you?
Then you, or whoever is responsible for site design, have to know these basics for building a successful from online marketers' perspective.
1) Clearly Defined Purpose
Always ask this question before start designing: What do you want your web site to achieve?
You'll save a lot of time and money by being honest with yourself right here at the beginning. Just why are you doing this? What do you hope to achieve? What is your purpose?
Every business is meant to make money. That's for sure. But that may not be the primary purpose of your web site. You may not want to make sales directly from your business web site.
For instance, you may want potential customers to learn about your business, and gain a favorable impression of you. The most obvious example is the official web sites of popular movies. In this case, the producer just cannot make any direct sale from web site. However, millions of fans get hooked by the product online and are actually pre-sold - once the show is in town, they rush to cinemas.
You may want to develop a qualified list of prospects for your products and services. Then make a deal through following up and further communication. Take this site as an example, if you're interested in our professional web site promotion service or web site design service, we have to discuss the details via email, phone call, or even meeting face to face (if you're in Singapore as well;-).
You may want to develop a customer support site providing downloads, plug-ins, product manuals, technical FAQs, etc.
You can sell products directly from your web site, like what we do at Working-At-Home-Business.
Different purpose requires different strategy. Focus on what you want visitors to do. Everything you do should help lead visitors to the "most-wanted-result".
2) Content, Content, and Content
You have to give to get. Surfers are looking for information, most likely free information. Your need to develop content to answer their questions or solve their problems to some degree. Only when they feel you are here to help and trust your professional qualification, you have a chance to sell your products or services.
Develop unique content if possible. Your site can't be like everyone else's, it can't just be a couple of images you downloaded from free clipart sites and call it my online business. It has to be unique and provide interesting content that you can't find anywhere else.
Always focus on visitors' needs. Provide what they want to know instead of what you want to showoff. Don't talk about your company too much. Nobody really cares except yourself. Introduce yourself or your company only when it's necessary to build trust and credibility.
3) Search Engine Friendly
The big guys may not need to put much effort in this. They have enough budget to blast ads everywhere and create a brand name overnight. As a small or medium sized business operator, you just cannot ignore search engines.
Keep optimizing your web sites until it gets listed in the top 20 in major search engines, especially Google, for your targeted keywords. This is the most powerful way to drive traffic and potential customers to your cyber business.
I'm amazed at the number of business web sites that apparently don't know anything about search engine optimization. It looks great, but if you do a search for their main products, or even their business name, the web site is nowhere in the result.
4) Solid Promotion Strategy
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in your publication or web site.
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