Websites: the online foundation

The Webby Awards honoring online achievements

Source:http://www.webbyawards.com/index.php

Before companies can do any effective web marketing or social media efforts, they need to start with a really good business website.  The website will serve as a foundation for all their online activities.  Customers and consumers will need to be directed to the website for more information about the business, products and services.  Marketing efforts will help attract the customers attention but you need to drive them to a place that helps them get all the information they are looking for.  If your website is extremely effective, you may even be able to get them to behave in a desireable fashions such as clicking on a link (“like” on Facebook, “follow” on Twitter), signing up for newletters, making a purchase or order without any human interactions from the staff.  This is easy to say but not so easy to do.  You have to put a lot of time and effort to the planning, designing, creating and maintaining a website.

A good place to start is to keep it simple and make sure you provide all the answers that a customer might have about your company or product.  This starts with putting yourself in the customers shoes.  WikiHow, a crowd source website, provides 17 Tips on How to Make a website. Check out their website consideration section where it provides a list of things you should do and how to do it:

  1. Define your goals
  2. Know the audience or market you want to reach
  3. Narrow down your concept
  4. Do keyword research
  5. Advertise
  6. Provide quality content and service

bad website can quickly discredit your business because the website is essentially the face of your business through the world wide web where anyone can access you and see you 24/7.  In this world, we are constantly being judged and judging other people using our senses.  When looking at a website, the only sense we are using is our eyes (and maybe our ears if the website contains music or videos) so right off the bat, if the homepage or landing page doesn’t convey that your company is business savvy or professional then your customers may develop a negative perception about your business.

The best website designs, should provide customers with a great experience.  Effective websites offer value to customers.  Customers will continue to return to your website over and over again if you give them what they want and keep them wanting more.  Now with all the social media tools such as Twitter, Facebook and Blogs, you can post new information about your business activities more frequently.  Social media allows you to keep engaged with your customers and interact with them in a timely fashion.

I would recommend that you surf the net and look at some company websites and take note of what is working for them or what is working against them.  Use that knowledge to your advantage and apply it to your own website!

All the best,

Nina

Sources:

http://www.webbyawards.com/

http://www.thebestdesigns.com/

http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Website

http://www.webpagesthatsuck.com/worst-websites-of-2012-jan-to-march-contenders.html

http://anselme.homestead.com/AFPHAITI.html

http://www.wikihow.com/Get-Leads-for-Your-Website-%28without-Being-Accused-of-Spamming%29

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