Are you considering building a business web site or re-designing the one you already have? Here are some of the fundamental things you need to brainstorm to get the internet marketing power your business needs.
Focus On The End At The Beginning
A business website can not be all things to all people. In fact, you'll soon find that it should not be. The expense in time and traffic costs can be better used with qualified prospects and existing customers. For starters, ask yourself:
What are the basic goals of my internet marketing efforts (eg, branding, lead generation, customer service, direct sales, corporate communication)?
Now narrow your basic goals down to specifics. What types of web visitors do you want to attract? What are your goals for each type of visitor?
Try to refine your goals so precisely that they can be expressed in one sentence. If you have more than one goal, prioritize them.
Establishing a profitable web presence is a process– not a thing. So this is a good time to begin to layout your schedule requirements too. Think about a reasonable timeline and a way to identify milestones.
From Bricks to Clicks
You already know your sales process requirements in the brick and mortar realm. You'll need to map those same business principals to your internet marketing efforts. You'll probably find it helpful to make a checklist of every element you'll need in place to get whatever transaction you want – whether it's an actual sale or qualified lead, or something else alike.
Sales Information Is The Foundation
Insufficient sales information is the key factor responsible for the poor internet marketing results that business websites commonly experience. This deficiency can most often be traced back to an original web design that stressed graphic appeal over sales and marketing requirements.
Roger Parker in his 'Guide to Web Content and Design', says business web content should consist of two components:
- Information Your Prospects Need To Know In Order To Buy From You You know the marketing messages that attracted your current customers. This is the conversation that must predominate on your website. With the inherent internet speed and conversion testing tools that are available, you can select, test, and refine the sales and marketing messages that will attract the types of customers and qualified prospects you desire.
- Information You Know That Will Convince Prospects To Buy From You Having fielded numerous questions over the life of your business, you know that out of a hundred questions prospects and customers ask, the major of them tend to be variations of a much smaller subset. The same holds true for objections. When objections and questions are addressed in advance, a shortened sales cycle, increased conversions, and savings in time / money are the results.
The Internet Marketing Golden Rule
A business web site has to be rooted in sound business logic and evaluated like all of your other business investments. Business investments are not condemned on beauty– the ultimate criterion is the ROI.
Beginning your web development with strict attention to basic sales elements will be the difference between ever having a moneymaking internet business presence or an asset-wasting website.
The path to internet marketing power begins with a clearly defined sales process and only later moves to graphic and functional design. If there's one offline business truth that the internet has not changed it's that "poor salesmen (still!) Have skinny kids." That one may be etched in stone.