Continued from page 1
Who – this is generated from list you developed in step 1. Each row in your table should be started with one of audience types you identified above. What – For each audience type you need to identify what they are actually looking for on your site. How – How are they going to find your site? Is this type of person someone who relies on referrals from friends, search engines, advertising or a notice at local mall? Why – This is an evaluation process that these type of people will go through. What about your product/service will be important to them? Price, geographic location, your reputation, or that you have a payment plan? When – This is not a date or time, this has more to do with ‘under what circumstances will they buy’. You need to establish what will actually move them to make purchase. Wake – After sale (in wake of sale) how will you keep this type of person in touch with you?
Here’s an example: Who: Home business owner. What: They need something cheap, practical and easy. How: Referral and Local community bulletin boards. Why: Price. When: When they have confidence that money they will spend will do job. Wake: Monthly Newsletter
Having completed this exercise you will now have a roadmap to follow when building content for your site and how it should be structured by looking for commonality in your table. If you find that you have a common ‘how’ or ‘why’ then you should probably target parts of your navigation to address this.
Remember six key elements that I stated at beginning of this article? Here they are again: 1. Your website is an electronic brochure 2. Can’t be found in Google 3. Was last updated when it was created 4. Is organised how you want it organised 5. Is missing what your audience wants 6. Is home grown, and looks like it!
Refining is all about identifying how you measure change in your website’s performance. Having made many changes you want to make sure that it has not all been in vein, or more importantly you may still have issues to be addressed if you are not seeing performance you might expect.
Your site should now be anything but an electronic brochure. It should have rich captivating information that people actually want to read, and be targeted towards particular audiences that you know will visit your site.
You should be able to visit googlerankings.com to see whether you appear in Google. Remember that one of key elements Google uses to identify a good website is depth and breadth of content. If you have valuable information in right quantities then getting into Google should happen automatically. If you still can’t be found using keywords you want then I would suggest you visit American Marketing Association’s website (marketingpower.com) and invest some time in their pre-recorded webcasts, they’re free!
You need to keep your site up to date; a week should not go by without some sort of modification to content or structure. This is another measure search engines use to evaluate ranking your site gets in search results.
Finally I would suggest you need to make sure your site looks professional, and one of best ways you can do this is by asking your customers for their honest opinion. There are thousands of designers just waiting for opportunity to give you a great looking site, however you can also get some exceptional designs from template sites (like templatemonster.com) for a reasonable fee.
Remember that there is no mystery to making a great website. All you need is quality information that people are looking for and that is easy to find.
Jay McCormack has had years of experience in the web and software industry. Most recently he launched http://www.cheaperit.com where he reviews and recommends the best software found on the web.