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to reduce time spent in customer service on the phone? You can promote
your website as your primary customer service centre, helping to redirect
queries that can be easily solved. An extensive FAQs (Frequently Asked
Questions) section could feature prominently. Need
to increase add-on sales? Your website could educate customers about using your products
or services together for greater value. A little time spent planning
a job description for your site will result in a website that works
harder for your money.
|In a nutshell website usability is the key to the success
of a website - how
easy it is to use.
Can visitors find what they are looking for? Are
the pages/categories easy to figure out - do they come from the point
of view of your site visitor looking for information or are they driven
by the site owner's personal interpretation of what looks good?
So how do you ensure your website is "usable" for
Your website is an employee which is working
for you 24 hours a day seven days a week - make sure you hire the
right one. If you clarify the job description of your web site before
you begin "hiring", you will be rewarded with a lucrative asset to
your business. What’s
most important? The list below will start you thinking:
What are they looking
for from your type of business? Your website will have to appeal to
them and speak to their needs. If your site clearly addresses your
visitors will spend more time there and will be more likely to become
paying customers. How can your website add value for them? If you need
ideas have a look at competitor websites and imagine you are their
customer. Identify what they have done well and capitalise on their
mistakes. Look at other websites that you like. How did they make such
a good impression?
Is it your high quality products? Your value for money? Your speedy
customer service? Your friendly staff? Whatever it is your website
should reflect those aspects of your business. They are what sets you
apart. If you’re not sure why people come back to you consider
undertaking a customer satisfaction survey to find out.
If not, develop a branding identity that will set you apart
from competitors, starting with a logo that communicates the character
of your business. The visual design of your website is an extension
of your brand identity. Be sure your website is dressed for success
and represents your business as nothing less than credible and professional.
Bear in mind the key to a successful web site is usability.
Your website text should be concise, focus on customer
needs, and use language that your customers understand. If writing
isn’t your thing, consider hiring a copywriter to massage your
copy or even write it for you. Make use of images and video where it
will be useful to customers. If you don’t have quality images
at hand, consider hiring a photographer or buying stock photography.
The impact of your content is critical to your website’s
success both for attracting customers and for search engines.
Keeping your website
fresh provides a reason for visitors to return to your website. If
you plan to make regular content updates, consider investing in a Content
Management System (all
Chilli Websites include a powerful CMS). It makes
more sense to pay your website developer for ongoing development rather
than simple changes to content that you can make yourself.
Think carefully about your budget. Does it seem reasonable
given your business goals? Think about the bottom line benefits in
terms of potential cost savings as well as revenue potential. You can
spend essentially any amount on your web site - from just $40 per month
for a DIY Chilli Websites template site up
to many thousands for a custom designed highly functional web site
us to discuss custom designed websites).
First and foremost, put your domain name
on everything! Letterhead, invoices, signs, sales tags, whatever you
can. It’s much easier to remember a website address than a phone
number. To attract new customers via the internet you’ll need
to harness the search engines. Search engine marketing involves optimising
your website so it’s visible to customers searching for your
type of business (read our article on Search
If you’re looking at search engines as a major source of new
customers you may also consider adding ‘pay-per-click’ advertising
to the mix (contact
us for more information).
After your site has been
live for several months, quantify the gains generated by your website
and identify the impact your investment has made on the business. Viewing
your web site statistics you can ascertain how many visitors are viewing
your site and whether that number is growing and/or how your marketing
efforts affect your web site traffic. Always ask enquiring customers
how they found your business. A website strategy is never really complete.
You can always improve on the status quo. Set a regular schedule for
review and don’t
forget to budget time and/or money for strategy changes and ongoing
We encourage you to contact
us with any questions or to get started on a web site
for your business!
-- or take
a FREE Trial of our self managed web sites!
Last updated on December 9, 2007.