Determining Your Website Objectives

Before you begin to design your website, you will first need to define what you want your website to accomplish for you. If you already have a website, but have never actually defined what your objectives are, take a few minutes and jot some down. Now look at your site. Is it accomplishing those objectives?

You should create two lists: one with "primary" objectives, and one with "secondary" objectives. Every element of your site should relate back to your objectives and any changes or updates should reflect your objectives.  

Some of the most common website objectives include:

Making it easy for customers to contact you: This is the most important objective, and also one of the most overlooked. One of the main reasons a customer goes to your website is to find out where you are and how to contact you. To make this as easy as possible, your visitor should never be more than one "click" away from important contact information such as: your phone number, your address, and your E-mail address.

Selling a Product or Service: Do you offer a product or service that can be sold from your website?  Or, do you need to take to the customer first?  If you can sell online, then you need a site that will do just that.  Tell people how your product/service will make their lives better, will save them money, will it make them happy, etc.  Focus on the emotion of the product as that is what sells.   Simply placing an order form on your site and expecting visitors to order your products is not good enough.

Creating and Establishing Your Companies Identity:  To accomplish this, your site will need a unique look including a memorable name and eye-catching logo. The graphics and colors of your site must coordinate with other promotional materials including print ads, brochures, flyers, etc.

Providing Product and Corporate Information: You may decide that your website will serve as an on-line brochure and be used to provide information about your company, products and services. Pages to include on your site are: Frequently Asked Questions, history of company, testimonials, contact information and detailed descriptions of the products or services you provide. These sites are a great way to generate new business and to cut down on the number of inquiry phone calls.  

Providing Customer Service and Product Support: Do you offer a product or service that often leads to questions by the customer after the sale? You may want to create a page that answers those questions.  This page provides continued support to your customers and helps to eliminate phone calls asking for help, leaving the phones open for new customers and more advanced questions. Example: Let’s say your company sells appliances. Your site may include a troubleshooting section, a list of who to call for service, or directions on how to set the clock on the VCR.

Generating Repeat Traffic: Attracting new and repeat traffic to your site is a key factor in establishing an on-line clientele and to increasing sales. In order to do this you must offer visitors a reasons to come to your site, OFTEN. Your content must be current, interesting and informative. You will also need a strategy for submitting to search engines, acquiring links from other sites, and developing a mailing list.

Increasing your Client Mailing List:  If your company produces an industry related newsletter you will want to gather email addresses to increase your readership. The increased readership will increase your potential clients and possibly increase revenue from selling ads in your newsletter.

September 1, 2000

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