WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR BUSINESS WEB SITE"
(1) Does the site reflect your online goals?
Web sites may have many different purposes -- information, sales,
branding, lead gathering, etc. Each purpose(s) reflects a goal you
have for the site. Look closely at your site.
Each goal requires different design elements. One size definitely
does NOT fit all purposes!
(2) Is the site designed to satisfy your
Targeted customers' buying motives?
The two most dangerous assumptions of most Internet marketers make
are . . .
(a) "If I built it, they will come." And
(b) "Everyone is my customer."
They won't come unless you have a strong online and offline marketing
program -- one that promises them something they want. And once they
show up in your virtual store,' they must see at once that you
really do have what they want.
People want different things, even when buying the same product.
Teenage girls want something different in jeans than seniors do. If
you tried to sell girls by using the same pitch you successfully used
for seniors, it wouldn't work.
So why would you think your Web site will do any better with a
"one size fits all" approach?
Marketing Psychology shows you the right way.
1) Determine who you want as customers. Describe them in detail.
2) Analyze their motivations for buying your product or service. They
don't want your product! They want to buy the physical and
psychological benefits it can create for them! For example, a
Corvette is not just a means of transportation. It is a way to go
fast and look cool.)
3) Determine the features of your product that promise them what they
want, e.g. "Sleek styling," "0 to 60 is 6 seconds."
4) Design your Web site, and especially your home page, to stimulate
those buying motives, then promise to satisfy them.
Remember, "Buying begins in the customer's Mind."
That's where you should begin, too.
(3) Is the site easy to find by its name and
through a search engine?
You know your site should be easy to find, but that's easier said
than done. Most people look for a company they know by typing
www.companyname.com. If your URL is different than your company name,
you will miss quite a few searchers. If it must be different, try to
make it easy to remember. Avoid numbers or meaningless "license
plate" abbreviations, like www.1nyrhrt.com (First In Your Heart company).
Don't rely on search engines to save you, but be sure you register
regularly. Get professional help in selecting the best key words,
descriptions, and other codes that will put you as high as possible
in the listings. The service we use is www.1-website-promotion.com.
Most people never look past the first ten entries, so don't forget
about other types of online and offline marketing.
(4) Does the site greet visitors in a friendly
way and make them feel welcome?
Many online merchants think of Web site visitors like a television
audience -- after all, there are millions of people out there who
could drop by. But your visitors don't think of themselves as a
They see your site as a small boutique. They've just walked in the
door -- and they're the only customer in the house. They expect
How would you help them in that situation? Personalized service? You
bet. The more you can make them feel special, the more they will like
you, and want to buy from you. If you treat them like a number,
they'll treat you the same way.
Remember: When products and services are bought like commodities, the
way to get an advantage is through good customer service.
(5) Does the homepage and site seem to reflect
the type of audience it seeks to attract?
Your site must do more than promise to satisfy the buying motives of
your visitors. It must also present that message in a way that
reinforces the proper image of your company.
K-Mart can promise cool' clothing all day long, but its image
as a cheap discounter works against that promise. The same can be
true of your site.
Your site's colors, graphics, language, fonts, sounds, and a dozen
other factors all influence your visitors' impression. The closer
that impression is to the one they want and expect to see, the better
your image -- and the better chance they will buy.
How do you decide what to use? Age is a big factor. But there are
other factors to consider: education, sex, socioeconomic level, where
they live, even race make a difference.
That's why the more you know about your target customers, the more
likely you will design a Web site they respond to. Remember, one size
has never fit all, no matter what the ad says!
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