Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Importance of Planning a Website When It Comes to Winning New Business

Getting a website up and running is one thing; making it a success is quite another. If you are only concerned about launching a website that looks good then you are missing a trick. A good company website should be an effective sales and marketing tool that is used to win you more customers, and planning a website properly is the secret to achieving this.

The Two-Click Rule

Before you have even written your first page of content, the first stage of planning a website involves deciding how it is going to function. The overall aim of a website is to create a good user experience. If people land on your website and are immediately confused and don't know where to go then no amount of design is going to help you.

The two-click rule is a basic rule that visitors should be able to find what they are looking for in two clicks. This is not always possible, but it is a good goal to aim for. If visitors arrive on the website and find a maze of confusing links with no clear sense of order then they will simply click away to the next site.

Planning the navigation is essential, and you can start doing this by yourself with just a pen and paper. You are looking for simplicity here. Even if you are determined to have a designer create an original and unique design, essentially the structure should be simple, including a clear and intuitive route to each of the pages which a visitor might want to visit. This will help people to get to exactly where they want in no time at all and keep them on your website for longer.

Build and They Will Come?

There is a rather naive idea that if you build a really good website then the job is done and you can sit back and enjoy the traffic roll in. But this is simply not the case. To have any real chance of success you will need to market it, and planning a website should take this into consideration.

Start up a blog to post interesting and relevant content to your website to attract regular visitors and win traffic through the search engines.
Launch a presence on social media platforms and build up a group of followers who you can direct to your website for details of special offers and new products.
Write guest posts on industry blogs to boost your SEO and drive more direct traffic to your site.
Set up a PPC campaign to appear in the first pages of Google and attract high-quality prospects.

These are all potential marketing methods, and there are many more you could focus on. The key is to start planning your marketing strategy before you have even launched your website.

Which method will work best for you? Who will be responsible for it? Do you have time? How much will it cost? Can you manage to do it as a regular commitment? Will you focus on more than one marketing technique?

These are all questions to ask yourself as soon as you start planning a website so that when it is launched you can start to market it from the word go and start directing more valuable traffic to your site to boost business.

Plan Your Website Properly

Planning a website properly is crucial to its success. Even if you are keen to see it up and running, don't rush the process. Go through the stages above, plan how your website will look and function, focus on the user experience and decide on the strategies you will use to market it. Then as soon as it is set up you will have an effective sales tool to which you can start driving quality traffic, leading to more conversions and more business.

Marcus Miller has over ten years experience of setting-up websites, online marketing, SEO and social media initiatives. He has proven results of driving business to websites. His expertise revolves around getting people to your site and keeping their interest when they get there; turning interest in sales.

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