Plan your website

Like any other marketing tool your website and online campaign need to be planned. You need to work out what your website should do to meet the needs of your customers.

You need to ask :

  • What information do my customers need?
  • What will turn people from casual browsers into clients?
  • How will people want to interact with me via the web?

The web is customer focussed

In the list above I’ve deliberately put everything in terms of your customers’ wants and needs. I can’t stress this enough. Your website should be about your customer, not you!

When people use the web they want it to meet their needs. They turn on their computer, tablet or phone because they want something. If you can’t provide what they want, there are a thousand and one other places just a couple of clicks away. Your end target may be to get them to contact you, sign up for your service or buy your product, but they won’t do that unless you fulfill their requirements.

Not getting what you want? Just click to somewhere else.

Your site must capture their attention and show them that you can meet their needs. When someone arrives at your website your menus, links and calls to action need to direct them to where they want to go.

Plan for your customers

You know your business. You know your clients. But have you consciously sat down to analyse exactly what needs and expectations they have when they come to you?

What type of people do you sell to? Can you identify 5 different customers profiles?

For each profile, what do they want to know? Why did they turn on their computer and click into your website? What options does your site need to provide to draw them in deeper? What questions are they going to have in their heads? What will make them choose you for their purchase?

To help with this process I’ve created a questionnaire that you can download here. It will take you through the whole process of identifying your customers, what you need to give them and what you want them to do.

By planning around customer intentions your site will become more engaging for a wider range of visitors.

Get them to come back

It can take a number of encounters to secure someone’s business. If you’ve run any print adverts you’ll know that you need a series for it to be effective. People will probably need to come into contact with your info at least 4 or 5 times before they will take action. This is often true on the web as well.

So how do you get people to come back to your site? Search engines can be hit and miss as search results vary greatly on even slight variations of search terms. You need a proactive approach where you pull people back. Great content, news feeds, newsletters, competitions, special offers, etc. will prompt people to come back.

Engage people and they will return to do business with you.

What is your target?

So your visitors are engaged, now what are you going to do with them?

  • Do you want their contact details so you can approach them offline?
  • Do you want them to buy directly from the site?
  • Do you want them to download a catalogue?
  • Do you want them to use your online service?

You need to make sure your visitors know where to head and how to get there.

How will you prompt them? How hard will you push them?

Planning is everything

A customer focused website will provide the best experience for your visitors. Know who is likely to come, what they want to see and how to give it to them. This will generate the business you’re after.

Next – Build

Programmer, SEO'er, e-commerce provider and all round IT adviser. I remove the technology barriers so we can make your website a success. My goal is to teach you enough about online marketing so you can make informed decisions and not get bamboozled by the endless stream of jargon and information.

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