Ready for a website... but don’t know where do you begin?
Start by Realizing This is a Good Investment!So how do you figure out what is right for you and ensure that your money is not being wasted? First, be wary of template users and low budget marketing companies that promise to get a website up and running cheap and quickly. Keep in mind, the first impression many of your customers get is from your website. With the proper strategy, design, content, and marketing plan, your website is an investment into your business. Moreover, the purpose of this investment is to yield real results, which equate into income!
Designing A Good Website Takes TimeA successful website takes time; time to strategize, time to design, time to develop (both code and content), and most importantly, time to market. Spending the necessary time is essential for developing an effective website.
Keep your Customers in MindIt is paramount not to fall into the trap of forgetting your audience. Keeping your client (and your demographics) in mind will help make your website a success. Therefore, when you decide to build or redesign your website, stay focused on the chance to show everything you do or have done and reach millions of potential new clients.
Give Your Visitors a Reason to ReturnSadly, many websites look old and outdated. Remembering to keep your site looking crisp, clean, and up to date with a fresh look, will keep your visitor’s interested, and keep them coming back to your site. In addition, branding and utilizing repetitive concepts, helps imprint your message about your company. You must always strive to be creative and find new ways to encourage return visitors in an effort to reinforce your message.
Be PithyBe concise, be clear, and convey your message with brief and meaningful “copy” text. If your users become lost in the weeds, you may end up losing your audience.
WHAT? Websites Don’t Look the Same on Every Computer?Most clients are surprised to learn that websites do not look the same on every computer. Just like there are many choices of computer systems running different software and operating systems, there are also many options of web browsers. With all these different variables, it is practically impossible to develop a website that looks and operates exactly the same on every machine. This is where intelligent website development comes into play, making it possible to design with every browser in mind. Knowing what you can and cannot do and how to develop proper code takes years of experience along with time dedicated to testing and debugging.
The End is Just the Beginning!Your website is done, Now What? Celebrate, of course! But remember that all good successes come with time. With the right content and strategy, your website will take on a completely new life for your business. Be sure to include your website into all facets of your marketing campaign, because this is where one will go to get most of your business concept and overlapping your marketing always re-inforces your message. So keep getting your website out there, don’t always rely on SEO (search engine optimization), because your business may be one of many. Additionally, you should view your website as a living, breathing organism, which needs nurturing to grow. After your website has been deployed for some time, you might think of updating your site. By this time, you will know how your business has changed since your first design and you can improve and develop new content while following through with your original marketing plan and integrating new and viral strategies. Ok, so maybe there is a lot more to having a successful website than you originally thought, but don’t get discouraged. If you keep these things in mind, you will soon be reaping the benefits of having made a good investment.
Marketing your Business & your Website
- Print your best small ad on a postcard and mail it to prospects in your targeted market. People read postcards when the message is brief. A small ad on a postcard can drive a high volume of traffic to your web site and generate a flood of sales leads for a very small cost.
- No single marketing effort works all the time for every business, so rotate several marketing tactics and vary your approach. Your customers tune out after awhile if you toot only one note. Not only that, YOU get bored. Marketing can be fun, so take advantage of the thousands of opportunities available for communicating your value to customers. But don't be arbitrary about your selection of a variety of marketing ploys. Plan carefully. Get feedback from customers and adapt your efforts accordingly.
- Use buddy marketing to promote your business. For example, if you send out brochures, you could include a leaflet and/or business card of another business, which had agreed to do the same for you. This gives you the chance to reach a whole new pool of potential customers.
- Send A Second Offer To Your Customers Immediately After They've Purchased. Your customer just purchased a sweater from your clothing shop. Send a handwritten note to your customer thanking them for their business and informing them that upon their return with "this note" they may take advantage of a private offer, such as 20% off their next purchase. To create urgency, remember to include an expiration date.
- Newsletters. Did you know it costs six times more to make a sale to a new customer than to an existing one? You can use newsletters to focus your marketing on past customers. Keep costs down by sacrificing frequency and high production values. If printed newsletters are too expensive, consider an e-mail newsletter sent to people who subscribe at your Web site.
- Seminars / Open House. Hosting an event is a great way to gain face time with key customers and prospects as well as get your company name circulating. With the right programming, you'll be rewarded with a nice turnout and media coverage. If it's a seminar, limit the attendance and charge a fee. A fee gives the impression of value. Free often connotes, whether intended or not, that attendees will have to endure a sales pitch.
- Bartering. This is an excellent tool to promote your business and get others to use your product and services. You can trade your product for advertising space or for another company's product or service. This is especially helpful when two companies on limited budgets can exchange their services.
- Mail Outs. Enclose your brochure, ad, flyer etc. in all your outgoing mail. It doesn't cost any additional postage and you'll be surprised at who could use what you're offering.