Copyright 2005 Empower Business Solutions
Google tells us there are 4 billion websites- almost one for everyone on planet. And today you have decided to make it 4 billion and 1. So, do you think- “If I build it, they will come?” seriously? It ain’t going to happen, unless you stand out. So do you think your 10 year old nephew who can code html (which I believe they now learn in pre-school, just after they have done alphabet) is going to make your site next eBay? Let me give you a few questions to ask yourself before you double his pocket money.
1. What is purpose of your website? In business, there are three main types of websites: •the brochure site •the lead generator site •the online shop
The brochure site is an online support to your offline marketing. You will refer to it in your ads, because you pay for ads by square inch, and acres are cheap on internet. You will refer to it in your Yellow Pages ads, your business cards and your brochures. An online presence will give you a credibility that your competitors without a website (getting fewer every day) don’t have. But in end it is just an online version of a tri-fold a printer might do for you. There is nothing wrong with a brochure site, if this is all you want in your marketing plan.
The next step up is a lead generator site. Unlike a brochure site, you want it to generate business on its own. You want people to find your site while browsing on internet, and having seen your site, feel compelled to call or email you. After that contact is made, hopefully a sale will follow.
The last option is that your website is a storefront where visitors to your site can actually purchase products and services. In other words, after finding your site, and viewing your content, they are compelled to “click here” to make a purchase.
There is a fourth type of website- vanity site. But financial rewards are rarely connected to this type of site.
Of course a website may be a mixture of these three (or four) types, but unless you have defined your business model, purpose of your site, it will be a waste of electrons.
2. How will people find your site? You already know there are 4 billion sites, so likelihood that a buyer will find it by chance are somewhat remote. And if you calculated cost per lead on that basis, you would never build such a site. Your business website exists only for one purpose, to make you money- irrespective of business model. It must pay its way. So if no-one visited your site, why would you pay for it to exist?
Therefore, you must have a strategy to ensure people know your site exists and that there is a reason they should visit it. How can you do that? There are two basic strategies, offline and online.
An offline strategy is based on all your offline marketing- ie advertising, public relations, networking and cold calling. In every case you would refer leads to your website where they can find out more about what you can do for them, and why they should choose you. Your website would build on your offline promotions giving further details of your service, educating your customer and creating credibility for your business.
An online strategy will be built around visibility. The key elements of this are: •Search Engine Optimisation •A strategy to get links to your website •Online advertising
3. What are you going to do to make visitors linger at your site? The average website visit is 68 seconds. How many widgets do you expect to sell in that time? You must have a strategy to make people linger at your site, get to know you and see value you can give them.
The three secrets for making people linger are CONTENT, CONTENT, CONTENT.