Have you got a terrific business idea for the web? Do you want to use the power of the internet to help promote your business products and services? Well before you go away and spend money with your local web designer, make sure you are prepared.
Building a website is much like building a house. There is a lot of planning that is required before work can even start on it. However the usefulness and value of the house you build depends a lot on the careful, thoughtful plans you make in the initial. Planning a web site which is useful and is an asset, not a liability, takes CAREFUL PLANNING. Read through the 12 different elements that are required to ensure your business website is built and designed from the ground up, with success in mind.
1. Be clear on your unique selling proposition (USP)
If you are are business entrepreneur, you no doubt will have a million and one terrific ideas that could one day translate into a popular website that makes you money while you sleep. However due to the sheer size of the internet, you must find a way to differentiate yourself. At time of writing, there were 4,285,199,774 web pages being indexed by Google. So develop your wonderful idea to it’s clear in your mind what you want to achieve. Then at the same time have a look at the competition and work on your Unique Selling Proposition.
2. Check out your competition
It would be rare for an entrepreneur to come across an industry with not many competitors on the web. I do agree that there are some largely untapped markets out there. However, by and large, most companies will have to deal with competition to some level. So how do you check out your competition? Go to the Major search engines (Google.com.au, Yahoo.com.au, NineMSN.com.au) and search using keywords one would use to find a business like yours.
Make a list of notes on findings you make by looking at your competitors website. Document things like their business name, their domain name, their website’s strengths, weaknesses in what they are offering, how they attract people to their website, how they keep the attention of their website visitors, what makes the website visually appealing, what makes their website useful or simple to use. As you do this, you will get a better idea on your unique selling point and most likely will see new possibilities that you would never have thought of. (Point: Write these down as they come to you!).
Just because you have a lot of competitors does not mean you can’t do well on the internet. However, you MUST find your niche market. Differentiate yourself, your business, your website and you can’t go wrong.
3. Define your business web site objectives
What do you want your website to accomplish? It is quite common for people to say that they don’t know why they have a website, except that their competitor has one. That is not good enough! Pull out a notepad now, and head the page “Website Objectives”. Then list down the objectives that you would like your website to accomplish:
– Generate sales prospects who can then contact you via the phone or email
– Promote a positive image for your business
– Sell products online directly over the internet
– Provide an online catalogue to save printing and distribution costs
– To start marketing your company nationally or internationally
After addressing what your objectives are, you no doubt will ask yourself, “Can I deliver on these objectives?” This is where your web designer or local web design company will come in handy. If you go with a professional web design company, they no doubt have experience with what works and what does not work on the internet.
4. Analyse your web demographics
Does your web demographics indicate that your targeted industry is worthwhile pursuing? Are there businesses out there doing something close to what you want to do? Are they successful? Is the market large enough to warrant a website? Can you differentiate yourself enough to attract enough customers? These are all questions that you must research before setting up a website. Again, it is best to go to your web design company, or better yet, a search engine optimisation and marketing company. They will have access to a list of keywords that people have been searching on that are related to what you want to do.
5. Select a domain name for your business
A good domain name is just as important as a good business name. At Evince, we encourage all our clients to think carefully on their domain name. Your business domain name must have most if not all of these elements:
– It must be short ie. thisistoolongadomainnametoremember.com.au
– Must be memorable – People may not always remember your exact domain name and they may spend hours typing in combinations only to give up. Make it memorable!
– Your domain name must be related to your company name or core business – always try to include keywords in your domain name. For example if you were a dentist, it is more useful for your domain name to have the word dentist in it as opposed to dental. More people search using the word dentist so it is imperative you get this in your domain name
– Hard to misspell – Internet companies and webmasters / web design companies all over the world earn thousands and even millions of dollars from people who mistakenly enter a wrong domain spelling into the browser address bar.
There are lots of successful web sites that use this idea to their benefit. For example, such misspelled domains like Yahhoo.com, Yaho.com (misspelled Yahoo.com), Anazon.com (misspelled Amazon) receive thousands of visitors everyday without investing in advertising. Don’t let this happen to you! You could be missing out by having a domain name that is easy to misspell.
Save yourself a lot of heartache – apply through your ISP, web designer or better still, an ethical search engine optimisation company. They can usually buy domains in bulk and pass the savings onto you.
6. Ask yourself the question, “Why should my target market come visit to my website?”
Your online business success will depend quite a lot on how well you can answer this question. Once you answer that question, ask yourself these questions “How am going to keep the attention of my website visitors so they dont leave?” “How am I going to get my prospects to contact me?” “How am I going to convert these sales leads into customers?”. It is all in the preparation! good content for your website
On the internet, content is king. With your website content, you must keep in mind these objectives when writing the contentYou have at least three objectives for the content you’ll have on your Web site:
– Attract people to your Web site
– You must convince your online audience that you are knowledgeable on your subject and that your competent enough to trust with their business
– Sell by educating
7. On the internet content is king
As mentioned before, on the internet content is king and it is this content that will make your website attractive to the search engines, generate traffic so you can qualify them and convert these prospects into customers.Web Designing india You sell by educating your prospects on what they need to do to get what THEY want. Then position your company as the one best equipped to handle their needs.
People will come to the internet for information, entertainment, or social interaction. If your website can fill those basic needs, you are well on your way to online success.
8. Be realistic when writing your business plan
If you’ve got a good offline business going already, you’ve got a leg up. Even still, you must have a carefully laid online online business plan. Also be conservative in the number of people that will be coming to your website. Do not plan on your website making money for the first few months. Obviously if you have a proper marketing company or you utilise an ethical search engine optimisation agency, this may not be the case. But the point I am trying to make is to be realistic and conservative. Plan for the worst case scenario – anything over and above would be a welcome surprise.
Many websites are built from the perspective of how much money it can make as opposed to filling a need and really helping people. People are always going to ask “What’s In It for ME!”. Address your Unique Selling point, find a need that is not being satisfied and provide a product or service that fulfills that need!
9. Decide on a Web Site Designer / Search Engine Optimisation Company
Cheap is not always better. Look for a company that has experience in not only developing websites that look pretty but websites that generate revenue either directly or indirectly. Your web design company must have experience, artistic flair and at the same time be focused on your online marketing needs. It is all to common to hear of websites that have been live for 2 years but have nothing to show for it. Your website must be an asset to your business – not a liability. It is for this reason you must look closely to see if your web design company has experience in search engine optimisation and marketing. This is what ensures that your website performs.
10. Select an Internet Service Provider (ISP)
You ISP may claim to be a one stop shop however it will usually be cost effective to get your internet connection from one company and your hosting from another. Depending upon your specific business needs, you can get adequate website hosting using your own domain name from between $20 and $60 per month. If you need a secure server (when you are selling things online), add another $30 or $40 per month. Cheaper is not always better and expensive is sometimes a rip-off. Look carefully at what you are getting. If you dont understand what your web host company is providing – your probably don’t need it. If you do need it, get your web host company to explain this to you in laymans terms!
11. Be clear on your marketing strategy
From the initial, you must focus on how your website is going to be marketed. Your marketing efforts will include:
– Registering with the major Web search engines and directories. (Your web designer / search engine optimisation company is best left with this job. Certain directories have strict rules on what can be submitted and when.)
– Submitting press releases in magazines, newspapers. Always ensure your website address is included in these press releases
– Place your domain name on all your ads, stationery, business cards, brochures, catalogues
– Purchasing banner ads or look into a pay per click search engine campaign
– Look into an ethical organic search engine optimisation campaign
You may probably be best to employ a website marketing consultant to do all this for you.
12. Set a target date
The internet is growing at a fast pace. By the time I have finished writing this article, a few more thousand websites would have gone live. Opportunities are out there but don’t let them pass by you. In marketing, there is a clear advantage in being the FIRST with a Unique Sales Proposition. Yes, do your planning, but don’t wait forever as the internet is not going to wait for you. Make sure you also receive proper advice from people and companies with enough experience to lead you in the right direction.
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