Planning Your Website for Business

Sample Site MapAs a savvy business owner you’re thinking ahead as you plan your website.  Not only can it be used to bring customers to your door, there is the potential of creating another stream of income through your website as you grow to meet the needs and expectations of your visitor.  You can develop information products, teleseminars, and online classes as well as retail products.  The opportunity is limited only by your creativity.  That said, plan ahead for your online business to grow. 

Whether you are setting up your website yourself or outsourcing the development, develop a site diagram.  First time ever doing this?  Do your best.  It will greatly help you to see where you are going and what you expect from your website.  It will also provide a visual to hand to your site developer so you get what you want. 

Content and Organization

Your first concern is site content and organization.  Organize your site to capture your visitor’s attention and deliver the content that answers their question.  Here are some planning tips to guide you.

●  Put your most important information on your home page. You did the research and have a pretty good idea of the questions and problems your visitor wants to solve.  Make sure your content draws them in, whets their curiosity and gives them a taste of what you know. 

●  Plan for links off the home page in order to provide more information and details about yourself and the services you provide.  You will definitely want a link that goes to a page about you with a photo.  Planning a blog?  Map that into your plan.  Have some additional products in mind?  Put those into the site plan also.

●  Divide your site into sections and fill each of them with good, solid content.  No blathering around the subject.  Answer questions and over deliver on information.  This alone will recommend you highly to your potential client.

●  Will your clients be coming to a physical location?  Include either a map or a direct link to one of the map services, i.e. Google or Yahoo.

●  Develop a site navigation system that helps visitors find what they want quickly and easily.  You might want a left-side menu and/or a right-side content search.  Tabs at the top are easy to understand and use.  A well-organized site speaks well for you and suggests that you run a well-organized company.

 Appearance

A professional looking website is key to the success of your business.  Today’s visitors are more visual than ever and are drawn to a quality look and feel that reflects your company and brand.  Go for the emotional response you want and use it, along with your logo and look of your sales tools, to direct you to the best colors and layout.  Stay light, clean and understated.  Nothing heavy or busy, no all black backgrounds.  And, leave off special effects that slow the loading of your site.


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