DETERMINE YOUR SITE TYPE
To determine what type of website you want consider the following questions and answers:
1. What value do you want to deliver to your customers?
A. This will help determine what type of content you want on your site. For example is the purpose of your site to distribute information, or is it to sell actual products.
2. Have you seen any other websites that represent what you want to do?
A. Take a look at what’s out there. Pretend you are the customer, Use Google or Yahoo and do a search for your business. You’ll find your strong on-line competitors this way and be able to understand what they are offering – how will you differentiate form them?
3. Do you have an existing web site?
A. What do you want to do with your existing Web Site, continue to use it and expand the content, start from fresh with a new site? Do you understand what is working and what is not?
4. Do you want to change or update the website content – Weekly, Monthly, Never?
A. Websites that change often, get more attention from search engines, i.e. it will help your ranking in searches. The more relevant content you supply periodically, the higher up you will appear in search. Of course you don’t want to pay a web developer for every change so you’ll need a choose a web developer that supports active content.
5. Do you wish to sell products or service on your site?
A. You’ll need a site that supports a shopping cart. A shopping cart allows the customers to click products on your website and store them in a list until they are ready to Purchase.
6. Do you want to support credit card payments for purchases?
A. If so there are two clear paths. Using PayPal is by far the simplest method. It means your customers need a PayPal account, and PayPal takes a percentage of your sales. Or use a credit card processing service. These link your customers purchase to your bank. To do this your site will have to be validated by a third party and issued an electronic certificate that you are a valid business.
7. Do you wish your customers to interact with your site, i.e through discussion forums or blogs?
A. One of the great things about the web today is that you can build on-line communities. Your customers can review your products and share stories or ideas with each other. If your site delivers ever increasing value to your customers, then they will come back!
8. Do you wish to market the site yourself, of use a paid marketing service? (Remember, having a website doesn’t mean customers will come – it takes work to be listed on Google and Yahoo!)
A. You must market your website. People will not stumble upon it. It is a business – it requires marketing. If you don’t want to self market then there are many businesses out there that will help you. They often go under the title SEO – Search Engine Optimization.
Search engines classify pages in terms of the pages content theme, then links that theme to specific search queries. Imagine you are your potential customer, what words or phrase would you use if you where searching for your products or services? Then strategically place them in your web pages – this video explains the science behind page optimization.
Google Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide is a great basic reference on setting up your “findable” site.
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WHY DO I NEED A WEBSITE?
WHY YOU NEED A GOOD WEBSITE
- Consumers are no longer passive, they use the internet regularly to evaluate products and services…and, then tell others.
- Online Shopping is quick and Easy. Few had a budget for online ads in 1994, now almost everyone does.
- Customers and interested 3rd parties collaborate and can shape a company’s brand
- Company employees can without regard to time zone or location work together online.
- A web site can drive sales and/or increase traffic to a retail store or service.
- Web 3.0 technology allows for interaction while making borders and bounderies less relevant
- The same reasons you would do any marketing or advertising…to tell your story and create credibility. Today, nothing has more credibility than a good web site.
- Search Engines and Social Media represent the most powerful referral marketing program in the history of advertising.
- By having regular visitors to your web site, the perception of your company is enhanced
- The world is watching…
WHO SHOULD BUILD MY WEBSITE?
Marketing & Communications Consultant?
Web Master with Web 2.0 skills?
SEO Expert (Search Engine Optimization)?
- A Graphic Designer may have the skill to make your site look nice… but, may not have the skill to get your website found on the internet, create a social networking interface, an e-commerce interface or build a site that you can easily change.
- A Marketing and Communications Consultant may tell your story effectively… but, may not have the skill to design, get your website found on the internet, create a social networking interface, an e-commerce interface or build a site that you can easily change.
- A Web Master with Web 2.0 skills can create your social media networking… but, may not have the skill to design, tell your story, get your website found on the internet, an e-commerce interface or build a site that you can easily change.
An SEO Expert can get you found on the web…but, may not have the skill to design, tell your story, create a social networking interface, an e-commerce interface or build a site that you can easily change.
- Some businesses try to build their own on free sites, thinking they will save money. But these free sites are virtually impossible to add Search Engine Optimization to (they are canned and unflexable). In the long run, they save no money or have no benefit.
- You need a firm who does it all…call webistree.com 707-433-0336
An effective web site is strategically designed to reflect the owner’s business profile while meeting marketing objectives. In doing so it should allow for a maximum amount of time to work on one’s business and a minimum amount of time to work on web related activities while allowing for owner control of web content. To achieve positive search engine results web sites need to be effectively optimized providing the business with a good ROI for dollars spent.
10 things a business owner should know…
- Your site needs to be visually appealing and interesting to look at, inviting the reader to explore
- It is beneficial if your site is easy to read, easy to navigate and designed to keep downstream expenses low
- To effectively market your company’s products and services your web site must reflect the site owner’s work and business profile
- In order to enhance search engine ranking, your site must be set up for social media (Twitter, Face Book, etc.)
- For Search Engine Optimization, key words and title meta-tags entered in the site must match the 250 words on the
- Other meta-tags that need to be inserted are the Google Registration and the Google Analytics Registration. Google Registration indexes your site for Google searches and Google Analytics measures the effectiveness of your site and provides reports
- Google Ad Words allow for paid advertising words to send readers to your site. This is accomplished according to your specified key words, how many clicks you may need and how much money you want to spend.
- Landing Pages are similar to Home Pages (key words, title, 250 words) but is specific subject oriented and can be found somewhere in your site. This allows search engines to have more ways to find your web site and can also be used for your key word specific ad word advertising
- Site Map/XML Site Map allows Google and other search engines to know what is on your site and helps with your ranking as well
- Your web site should be built cell phone ready so that your business can be accessed quickly by cell phone users