The most important person that you need to please when you design your site is your potential customer. I can not stress that enough.
I have clients who have told me “I don't like this design or that one or I like these colours", etc. I want to please my customers so I try to create a design for them that they will be happy with, of course.
But my clients don't often think of their site visitors or their own potential customers when they ask me to design their site. Sadly most are thinking primarily of one thing - how to make money from their website. And because their focus is on making money rather than pleasing their customers, more often than not, the website won't sell. And as much as I try to advise them on how they can improve the quality of the site, they stick to their own ideas of what the site should look like. Then they email me later on and ask me what are they doing wrong. Oh brother!
If you want to have a successful website you must think of your visitors first. Before you hire a designer or design a site yourself, you must define:
- Your Target Audience
- The Purpose of Your Web Site
- Procedures ie. What Material or Content Will Be Used
- Your Goals
- Utilizing a Simple and Consistent Design
- Making Sure the Website Design is Compatible To Most Browsers, Especially Internet Explorer and Firefox
- Making Sure Your Website Loads Quickly
- Implementing Clear and Easy Navigation Systems
- Maintaining Your Site and Regularily Adding Fresh Content
Your main page should have a very strong sales message which includes a keyword rich heading and a short introductory paragragh telling your visitors what your site is about: products or services. Next in bullet form, describe the benefits of doing business with you. In other words, what makes your business stand out or what makes you so special?
You need to add credibility to your site so use verifiable testimonials. Offer bonuses or something free along with your product or service and then close the sale by calling for a clear action: Click here to order, sign up today, request a quote, etc.
Next, you need to create a mailing list. Have your designer install a mailing list script on your site so that your visitors can subscribe. Once your visitors start reading quality material in your newsletter, you begin to form a relationship with your subscribers and they begin to trust you. Trust leads to sales.
How Will They Find Your Site?
Once your site is complete, and I do mean complete, manually submit your site to the top search engines, such as Yahoo, Google, MSN and Alta Vista. Don't waste your time worrying too much about ranking yet, because you are not going to get a top ranking right away. No matter how much money you spend on Search Engine Optimization services, your website will not get in the top 5 position overnight.
Next, put your website URL and your email address on your business cards and pass them out at every opportunity. Make sure your business cards are a good quality stock and that they clearly define what your business is about. Most people are naturally curious and if they got a good impression from you and your business card, they will visit your site. Even if they don’t need your products or services, chances are they know someone who does.
Word of mouth is very powerful. It is how I get most of my clients. So if you have pleased one customer, that person will tell someone, who will tell someone else, and then your business will flourish.
Yours in Success,
About the Author
Karen Blundell is a web designer and internet consultant based in Welland, Ontario. Her focus is to assist home and small business owners succeed on the internet. You can find out more about her services at http://karenblundell.com