Preparing a Strategy for Success
So you have a small business and now you want to join the twenty-first century and create a website? That’s great, but a successful website doesn’t appear out of thin air, and it doesn’t have to cost you tens of thousands of dollars. Those businesses which have created notable websites are the ones that have dedicated the proper resources to their online ventures. In today’s online world it’s all about preparedness and planning. Use our guide on what to do BEFORE you create a website and you will be on the path to having a successful website all your own!
1. Identify Your Target Audience
If you’re looking to start a website, chances are you have a product or service to sell, but that doesn’t mean that everyone is a potential customer. In order to best reach your target audience you must first identify them. Who is your ideal client? If you could choose anyone in the world to sell your product to, who would it be? For example, if you sell health supplements, your target audience may include exercise fanatics and health specialty stores. It isn’t enough to simply state “I want to sell to adults,” when your product only applies to a particular segment of adult consumers. This may seem a bit trivial, but don’t underestimate the importance of this crucial step. Once you’ve identified your target audience, you can start to formulate a plan that is geared toward that audience.
2. Research Your Target Audience
Put yourself in your client/customers shoes. If you were a potential customer, how would you go about finding your own product or service? What keywords would you search for on Google to try to find your business? Not sure where to start? Try visiting chat rooms or blogs that are written by or geared towards your audience. What questions are they asking? Are there certain words or key phrases that keep popping up? If these steps don’t conjure any inspiration, try consulting a web design company that offers copywriting and search engine optimization services. This is well worth your investment since having the right keywords it crucial to being found online.
3. Spy on Your Competition
Love spy movies or detective novels? Here’s your chance to test your own investigative skills. Visit your competitor’s sites and see how they present their products or services. What are they doing that you know you can do better? If you don’t know who your competition is, how can you compete effectively? While you spy on your competition keep in mind these three questions: What are they offering? How are they offering it? What are their costs? Once you’ve gathered this information ask yourself what separates you from the pack? You MUST define what is unique about you.
4. Know Your Target Market
Now that you’ve identified your target audience, researched your ideal customers and have an idea of appropriate keywords for your site, and investigated your competition you should have a good handle on really knowing your target market. At this point your goal is to offer a solution to your customers’ needs and make it known as soon as someone lands on your home page. This will prove to your audience that you know them inside and out and you have exactly what they are looking for.
5. Market Your Website, Build Your Website
Now you should be ready to begin the process of building your website. This is where most people fail because they get so wrapped up in the design of the site, they forget about their audience and the importance of online marketing. Without the proper combination of intelligent website design and internet web marketing, your business could be losing out on a lot of potential customers. Internet marketing can mean the difference between your business thriving or diving. Ten years ago it was enough to just have a website, but today it’s nearly impossible to survive without the proper online marketing strategy. Your final task is to find a company that specializes in internet marketing. You may be tempted to put marketing costs on the back burner while you focus your funds on your actual website, but successful online businesses know the true value of internet web marketing is priceless.