Monday, January 11, 2010

Checklist for Creating a Business Website

Creating your business website is just like any other major marketing effort - you've got to have a plan.

And just as you would create a plan for your business strategy, a plan for the creation of your website is essential in the success of your online business presence. What your website says about you can be the difference between gaining new customers or losing online sales.

Most importantly, you want a website that accurately reflects you and your business. The following is a list of some ideas to keep in mind as you plan your business website.

Website Purpose - What is the goal of your website? What are you hoping your website visitors will see or do at your website? Are you looking to sell products online or provide information about your services? Do you want to gather leads for sales follow-up?

Target Audience - What kind of visitors are you targeting? Who are you hoping to attract to your website? What is their age, gender, location? What are they looking for and how can your business help them fill their needs or solve their problems?

Site Navigation - Put together an outline of the kind of content you want included on your site and how you see that structured. What kinds of website structures do you prefer - menu across the top, menu on the side, etc. What other websites have you seen that you like, that you have found easy to navigate? What sites have you found difficult to use and why?

Look & Feel - What branding do you already have for your business that you want used on your site? Are there certain colors or fonts that you find more appealing? Check out other sites to see what you like and don't like about their colors, layout, graphical images.

Overall Image - What kind of online image are looking for? Serious, fun, professional, mystical..? What kind of online image would your target audience be expecting to see?

The more you have done your homework, the better experience you will have when working with your web designer and creating your business website. And don't forget to check out your competitors. See what others in your industry are doing online and what they are successfully offering to their visitors. You can never have too many ideas!

Here’s to Your Online Success!

Betty Walker, the Wise Web Lady
Cape Coral, FL Empowered Networking Chapter