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Making Your Website Effective

Submitted on Fri, Feb 1st, 2008 2:34 am

Everyone always asks me how they can make their website more effective. Here are some key points that you should remember in order to be more successful onwith your website.

1. Find A Role For Your Website

The single most important tip is to decide on what role of your website should play in your marketing program before you order it.Do you want to educate the market about your products? Provide a 24-hour information resource for current customers? Showcase your products? Generate requests for literature and leads? If you set objectives and stick to them, your website will be a success.

2. Get Right To The Point

People are not patient. Studies have proven that people will read long ads and marketing materials, but only if it's clear there's "something in it" for them. Be concise. Be quick. Be interesting. Don't beat around the bush with long introductions or unrelated information. Tell your customer what they want to know and they'll stick around for more!

3. Focus On Your Audience

Remember, your website should appeal to the interests of your audience, no one else matters! Focus on your target audience and put yourself in their shoes. If they're interested in your product because it saves them time, then focus on convenience, don't start your pitch with a laundry list of less-important features. Focus on the key benefits of your product and leave the details for later.

4. Market Your Website

Would you open a sales office in a distant city and then not tell your clients in the area that it had opened? Of course not. Think of your website as an automated sales or service office on the Internet and let your "universe" of potential buyers know that it's available to them. Put your web address on your stationery, business cards, ads, brochures, and other sales materials, use a rubber stamp if necessary.Be creative! For example, send out an "birth" announcement on a postcard. You should also remember to keep your domain name easy to remember. There shouldnt be any dashes or numbers if it isnt necessary. The general rule of thumb is the name should either be the company name or something that will be so easy to remember that if you gave your business card to someone and they lost it, they should still be able to find the website.

5. Make Your Website Useful

Make sure the information your prospects or customers want is available. For example, websites are ideal ways to disseminate the latest information about your product. You can include specifications, case studies, success stories, white papers, or testimonials. And don't forget to include important contact information like your toll-free ordering line, customer service number, or how to get technical support. Make people want to come back to your website, make it sticky. It should be updated continuously, with events and news. Your site should also give them the incentive of coming back (e-mailed newsletter, product specials, contests, etc.).

Get your site visitors to volunteer their name so that you can inform them of specials, product upgrades, events, and new products via e-mail or regular mail. How do you get them to volunteer their name? Offer them something! A free catalog, a free quote, a free analysis, a free reprint of an editorial article -- anything your buyers might find of value. Other methods might include weekly drawings for free gifts (T-shirts, free product, etc.), or other promotional giveaways. An RSS feed can also be set up on your website that allows visitors to subscribe to get instant notofications about your business/organization via their RSS reader. More and more people are electing to receive pre-selected news and information via RSS technology because it allows them to control the content they want to receive and when they want to receive it. For more information about RSS technology and how it can benefit your business, please visit: http://www.whatisrss.com.

6. Make It Easy For Viewers To Respond

You'd think this was obvious, but it's overlooked far too often. You absolutely must make it easy for a reader to express their interest in your website. Plaster your 1-800 number across it, make sure there's a link to your e-mail system, and treat visitors with the care you show any other prospective buyer. I have seen sales-oriented websites that never once listed a phone number or a "click to send e-mail" button.

If you keep these tips in mind when designing or redesigning your website will put you well on your way to having and internet presence with IMPACT.

About the Author

Deidre Ali
Deidre Ali Creative Services

Deidre Ali is the owner of Deidre Ali Creative Services, a professional design firm located in  Birmingham, AL.  With over 12 years of experience meeting the creative design needs of a variety of U.S based clients,  Deidre Ali wide range of services can help enhance your next advertising, marketing or public relations campaign. More information: www.deidreali.com

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