Most business owners know that they need a website. It is now considered one of the bare minimum requirements for a business to be considered professional and competitive. The steps that follow aren’t always as straight-forward. As one of the many ways you communicate with your target market, the function of your website should go beyond establishing an address for your business in cyberspace.

What is the purpose of your website?

  • Will it provide a platform to provide information about your non-profit organization, inviting donations and participation?
  • Will it show your client your full array of products and provide them with a way to make purchases online?
  • Will it provide valuable information about your industry and establish you as an expert in your field in order to attract clients?

These are just a few of the most common purposes of a website. Your website should be customized for your business with special consideration for the way your audience shows interest in what you offer.

What is the next step?

Once you’ve established what role a website will play in your overall marketing plan, you should consider what specific responses you want from the site such as:

  • Request for more information
  • Call
  • Email
  • Make a purchase
  • Make a donation
  • Subscribe
  • Download
  • Share
  • Evaluate

Depending on your sales cycle, you may expect different things from a first-time visitor than you would from returning visitors. It is important to map out the range of possibilities before you begin development. The layout and content of every single web page should serve a specific purpose in execution of your marketing strategy.

Which web site elements work best?

Within the design process, there are many possible options that can be implemented in order to drive your message home. For example:

  • Banners
  • Side bars
  • Call to action buttons
  • Animation
  • Live chat
  • Pop-up messages
  • Audio
  • Video
  • Downloadable documents
  • Contact form
  • Subscription request
  • Social media sharing
  • Connecting via social media
  • Shopping cart

As you can see, there are too many options to make sense of without guidance. You really need the help of an experienced web designer to guide you to the elements that will best accomplish your goals. If you include too many bells and whistles, you may end up pushing your visitors away; too few and they may pass you by.

What makes content effective?

Another important part of your website is the content. Ineffective content simply states the facts. This reveals the assumption that because this product or service is so good, just knowing about it will compel visitors to take the next step. This may have worked at some time in the past but, because the internet opens up the marketplace to the entire world, competition is fierce. You must include a sense of urgency through a message that asserts that what you offer will directly benefit the buyer, solving one of their prickly problems. That is the most effective type of marketing.

Don’t worry. You now have access to a firm of experienced web designers and content developers who can help you map out your road to success.