How to Start an Online Business Part 5 – Web Design Strategy Plan
Are you looking for some inside information on website strategy? Here’s an up-to-date report from design expert Shelley Lowery who should know. Developing a professional website strategically designed to sell your products or services is one of the most important factors in determining your success. However, it is only the first step.
Before you begin the actual design process, you must first determine your overall strategy and create your new website accordingly.
Internet marketers have basically two choices:
1. Design a content website that includes not only your products and services, but also information and resources that will be of interest to your target market.
2. Design a mini-site that focuses on just one product or service, with no other content of any kind.
Which is Best?
Although both types of sites can be effective, your success will ultimately depend on your site design and marketing strategies — both will play a very important role.
Content oriented sites are sites that provide visitors with content such as articles, tutorials, free e-books and resources. This type of site attracts their target audience with incentives. Their products and services are mentioned on the main page with a link to further information.
Content sites usually profit by educating their visitors. For example, a content site selling pet supplies might provide a basic tutorial to assist their visitors in learning how to groom a dog. They provide this tutorial completely free; however, the main purpose for this tutorial is to educate their visitors.
And in turn, plug their products. When you provide your visitors with quality information that teaches and informs, you are not only gaining their trust in you by sharing your expertise, but you’re also building your credibility, which is very important on the Internet.
What Does Web Site Credibility Mean?
Once you’ve gained your visitors’ trust, they will be much more apt to purchase your products or services. However, above all else, you must never abuse their trust in you.
You must be completely honest with your visitors and have a sincere desire to assist them.
If your sole purpose in developing your own Internet business is for financial gain, your chance of success will be minimal.
The key to using this technique effectively is to provide content that targets your potential customer. This content is used to presell your visitors through education. Mini-sites are different from content sites, as they don’t provide any content.
They usually contain one or two pages and completely focus on one product or service. Basically, the site is just a sales letter for the product.
Code to Use
A mini-site should be neatly designed in standard HTML with no Flash or fancy plug-ins and very few graphics. There should be no banners or outside links of any kind — nothing that will distract your visitors’ attention. The sole purpose of a mini-site is to attract highly targeted traffic.
The more targeted the better.
For example, if you have a website that sells a number of products, a good mini-site would focus on one specific product instead of all of the products. You could create a mini-site for each product you offer.
No matter which type of site you design, keep in mind, your website is a direct reflection of you and your business. The appearance of your website is the most important factor in determining your website’s value.
If your site doesn’t look professional or pleasing to the eye at first glance, its perceived value will be low. The perceived value of your website will have a great impact on your success.
If you find yourself confused by what you’ve read to this point, don’t despair. Everything should be crystal clear by the time you finish.
Not only must your website have a professional appearance, but it must also be specifically designed to sell. Everything within your website should have one specific purpose — getting your visitors to take action.
Every part of your website must be strategically designed. From your overall design to your sales copy — each will play a very important role.
What You’ll Need to Succeed
Your website is the most important sales tool you have. A professional website should possess all of the following:
• Your Own Domain (www.yoursite.com)
• Quality, Dependable Web Host
• Customized Email Addresses:
• Target Your Potential Customers
• Professional Appearance
• Professional Looking Graphics
• Quality Products/Services
• Effective Sales Copy
• Easy Ordering Process
• Automated, Personalized Thank You Letters
• Customer Database
• Personalized Follow-up Letters
• Opt-in List
• Well Organized
• Easy to Navigate
• Load Quickly
• Search Engine Optimized
Take your time and do your homework prior to designing your website. Look at the entire picture and plan each step very carefully.
Your website is the storefront of your business. Make it shine!
Hopefully the sections above have contributed to your understanding of website strategy. Share your new understanding about developing your new website with others. They will thank you for it.
Filed under: Web Design