15 November 2011

How to Make the Most of Your Website | Part 3

Would you ever hire an employee for your business whose sole job would be to mess around just so you can say you have an employee? If you said no, then why would you pay to have a website built just to say you have a website? If you have a website and don’t have any clear objectives for it then you are wasting money and losing business! Furthermore no matter where you’re at right now your website can always be improved on and the return on your investment into your website can always be increased. This is why we’ve written this article. This is part one of two for our article on how to make the most of your website. In this part of the article we’re going to examine 3 major factors of having a successful website: your website’s audience, your website’s promotion, and your website’s goals. So without wasting any time let’s jump right in!

Develop real & tangible goals for your website

So far you’ve promoted your website and have people coming to your website and you know exactly who those people are, what their goals are, and you should have an idea of how to help them meet their goals. Now it’s time to talk about your goals. A website should be an extension of your business; it should be a powerful marketing tool & an asset  – not just a pretty picture hanging on the vast wall we call the internet.

In order to develop goals for your website you need to first understand the purpose of your website in your business right now. Ask yourself, “Why do I want my website, what do I want to get out of it?” Most websites have multiple goals of generating leads, selling, providing support, or otherwise providing information to your audience(s). Just looking at what you want your website to do for your business you can turn around and ask yourself another simple yet fundamental question: “How do I make my website do that?”

Aside from what you want to obtain you need to know how your website fits into your business plan. Is your website an essential part of your business or marketing plan or is it just an added luxury right now? What roles does your website play in your business right now, and what roles do you think it should play in the future as your business grows? A website can be a tool & an asset for almost every part of your company’s operations. It can generate sales, provide resources for customer support, provide marketing information to resellers, and be a virtual public-relations medium for your business. Your imagination is the limit of the tasks your website can help perform.

Now that you understand what you want from you want from your website and what roles your website plays in your business you need to develop goals. Look at your target audience again and compare your user’s needs & wants with the things you’re trying to achieve. Look for common grounds and begin developing some specific goals for your business. For example if one of your goals is to generate sales leads, and one of your customer’s goals is “to find a place to buy home remodeling supplies from”, then that goal can be addressed just by satisfying your customers. Other goals may need to be considered more carefully. For example maybe you have a marketing survey on your site you want to get new customers to fill out. If your customers are going to your website to find home remodeling supplies to buy then filling out a survey probably isn’t on their to-do list, so you’ll need to provide some extra incentive to get people to fill it out. Instead of just saying “Please fill out this survey so we can learn to better serve you”, maybe you should try the approach “Fill out this quick survey and get 10% off your next order of $100 or more.” Write down your goals and for every goal you come up with ask yourself “How am I going to fulfill this goal?” Most of the time creating a quality goal-oriented website is that simple.

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