|The Birth of a Professional Web Site - Part Two:
Your Strategic Web Design Plan
There are millions of web sites on the Internet today with thousands more being added
each day. The competition is fierce and in order to be successful, you must stay one step
ahead of the game.
designing a professional web site is an important part of your strategic plan, it
is only the first step. Before you begin the actual design process, you must first
determine your overall strategy and design your web site accordingly.
Internet marketers have basically two choices:
-> Design a mini web site that focuses on just one product or service, with no other
content of any kind.
-> Design a content web site that includes not only your products and services, but
also information and resources that will be of interest to your target market.
Although both types of sites can be effective, your success ultimately depends on your
site design and marketing strategies. Both will play a very important role.
Content Web Sites
Content oriented sites are sites that provide visitors with content, such as articles,
tutorials, free ebooks and resources. This type of site attracts their target audience
with incentives. Their products and services are mentioned on the main page with a link to
Content sites usually profit by educating their visitors. For example, a content site
focusing on dog grooming might provide a basic tutorial to assist their visitors in
learning how to groom a dog. They provide this tutorial completely free; however, the main
purpose for this tutorial is to educate their visitors and promote their products.
When you provide your visitors with quality information that teaches and informs, you are
not only gaining their trust in you by sharing your expertise, but you're also building
your credibility, which is very important on the Internet.
The key to using this technique effectively is to provide content that targets your
Mini-sites are different from content sites, as they don't provide any content. They
usually contain one or two pages and completely focus on one product or service.
Basically, the site is just a sales letter for the product.
No matter which type of site you design, keep in mind, your web site is a direct
reflection of you and your business. The appearance of your web site is the most important
factor in determining your web site's value. If your site doesn't look professional or
pleasing to the eyes at first glance, it's perceived value will be low. The perceived
value of your web site will have a great impact on your success.
On the other hand, you may have a great web site, well designed and a quality product or
service, but if it takes too long to load, the value will still be perceived as low. Why?
Your potential customer will not wait -- ultimately costing you business.
If you're serious about your Internet business, designing a web site specifically designed
to sell your products is an essential part of your success. Everything within your web
site should have one specific purpose -- getting your visitors to take action.
Prior to designing your web site, you must decide on the type of response you're looking
for. For example, if you're selling a product, the response you're most-likely trying to
achieve is to make a sale. If you're developing a content site, your main goal for every
page of your site should be to lead your visitors to your sales page. You can accomplish
this in a number of ways, including:
1) Display a graphic image of your product on your main page with a short ad and a link
leading to your sales page.
2) Create a "Products" section within the navigational menu of each page with a
short description and link to each of your products.
3) Write articles that focus on the same topic as your product. At the end of the article,
within your bylines, provide your visitors with information about your product.
4) Write tutorials that target your potential customer. At the end of the tutorial,
provide information about your product.
5) Provide your visitors with a free
autoresponder course. Your course should identify a
problem, provide advice in regard to solving the problem and provide the solution with
your products or services. Keep in mind, your course should not be written like a sales
letter. It must provide quality information written to teach and inform.
No matter what type of response you're looking for, your site must be specifically
designed to achieve your goal.
Every part of your web site must be strategically designed. From your overall design to
your sales copy -- each will play a very important role.
Your web site is the most important sales tool you have. A professional web site should be
pleasing to the eyes, well organized, easy to navigate, load quickly and be optimized for
the Search Engines.
Above all else, you must specifically design your site for your potential customers.
Provide them with the information they desire, while continually mentioning the benefits
of your products, and you'll reap the rewards.
(Continued in part three)
(Back to part one)
Copyright © Shelley Lowery
About the Author:
Shelley Lowery is the author of the acclaimed web design course, Web Design Mastery.
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