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Effective Websites - The 4 Key Steps

April 05, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 106

If your website is going to achieve all the things you want it to achieve, there are 4 steps you will need to go through.

1. Setting Your Objectives

The first thing you must do is to decide the objectives of your site. There are several things you might want it to achieve?

1. To generate leads - either direct sales enquiries or contact details.

2. To create sales - are you looking to generate sales off the page?

3. To communicate - to educate your visitors about your business and about your area of expertise.

4. To establish credibility - to inspire confidence in your visitors and so start the sales process.

2. Defining Your Traffic Strategy

Instead of being a brochure site, your website should be at the heart of your online marketing strategy. You will therefore need to consider driving traffic to your site in the following ways:

• Search Engine Optimisation - You must ensure that your website can be found by the search engines. SEO is a complex subject which you will need to work with an SEO expert on.

• Pay Per Click - PPC can rapidly drive relevant traffic to your landing pages.

• Online Directories - by subscribing to listings and links in high-traffic and high quality industry specific directories you can drive quality traffic to your website..

• Email Marketing - can be very effective at driving traffic.

• Offline Marketing - your online and offline marketing should work together for common objectives.

3. Designing The Structure of Your Website

The next step is to devise the structure of your website. This involves mapping out the pages that you will have on your site and the order in which they will appear.

Standard Pages - almost all websites include a Home page and a Contact Us page but that's about all the standard pages you need.

Landing Pages - the most important elements of your website structure are likely to be your landing pages.

You should have a separate landing page for each product or service that you wish to promote. This will ensure that your page is relevant to searchers.

Calls to Action - while every page should have a strong call to action, call to action pages will compel your visitors to take specific actions:

• Contact Us

• Free Reports

• Free Newsletter

• Order Online

Credibility Pages - credibility pages allow visitors to get a feeling for your business. These pages are normally:

• About Us

• History

• Case Studies

• Testimonials

Authority Pages - authority pages are especially useful in gaining authority with the search engines:

• Site Map

• Terms & Conditions

• Privacy Policy

Squeeze Pages - squeeze pages appear as one page websites as they do not offer the visitor any navigation options other than to complete an opt in form, or purchase online.

Squeeze pages are specially created selling pages which can significantly improve conversion rates:

• Newsletter Subscription

• Information Products (such as e-Books)

• Product Sales

Having created your list of pages all you have to do now is organise them in the order you want.

4. Creating Your Content

Many businesses get hung up on the design and the cosmetics of their site. While this is of course important, it is far more important to focus on creating relevant and compelling copy.

Home Page

Contrary to popular belief you may not want your site visitors landing on your Home Page for the reasons outlined above (you want them to land on the appropriate landing page). However, many visitors will.

Therefore, the primary purpose of your Home Page is to give visitors a taste of the business and to direct them to the page that has the specific information that they are looking. This will be done via:

• Navigation Links - many people scan your navigation links to see if the topic they are interested in is listed.

• Internal Link - linking to your key landing pages in your copy is an excellent way to direct searchers to your landing page.

• Banner Ad Link - creating a small graphic or ad promoting your landing pages is another good way to signpost visitors to the information they are searching for.

Landing Pages

Your landing pages are the most critical on your website and their design and performance will determine the effectiveness of your website..

A landing page is a topic specific page relevant to the searcher and these are the pages you want to direct visitors to. These are the pages which will determine whether your visitor does business with you or not.

If you follow these four steps and create powerful content backed up by an effective traffic generating strategy, your website should become a business generating goldmine for you.

Good luck with creating a successful website.

Mike Jennings runs Business Development Advisors - a marketing consultancy based near Guildford in England. BDA does companies' marketing for them in order to grow the business and win new customers. Please find more information at

Source: EzineArticles
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