PCOC - Spring 2010 - (Page 34)

Seven Keys to an Effective and Profitable Web Site By Peter Koeppel Gone are the days when having a Web presence was something only for multi-national companies with huge marketing and technology budgets. In today’s business environment, having a Web site is a must, no matter how large or small the company. In fact, not having a Web presence is like having a storefront in a busy shopping district, yet always having the “closed” sign displayed and the doors locked. So while people may have heard about you, they have no easy way to buy from you or to get more information about what you do. Even if you currently have a Web site for your company, have you analyzed it lately? Have you looked at it from today’s perspective of Web design? Have you thought about your Web site from the perspective of your current customers or clients? For many businesses, the answer is “no.” That is, they may have created a Web site several years ago, but they have made little to no changes to it since then. In order for your Web site to be a true asset to your company, you need to follow some Web site development guidelines. Following are the top seven tips to building a dynamic and profitable Web presence for your business. 1. Whether you’re designing a site from scratch or revising an existing site, you must fi rst have a thorough understanding of the business, product, or service your Web site is going to promote or sell. A good starting point is to research your competition and see what their sites look like. What about their sites do you like and dislike? While you don’t want to totally copy your competitor’s Web site, you can get pointers of what works and what doesn’t work based on their design. 2. Make sure your Web site is visually appealing for the target customer you have in mind. Realize that unless you’re targeting a very young demographic, cool graphics and flash animation typically turn off a lot of customers. Also, avoid having too much clutter. Doing so can overwhelm or confuse people. However, you don’t want too much empty space either. That may make you appear as if you don’t have anything meaningful to say. It’s a fine balancing act, but one worth mastering. 3. Give your Web site a consistent look throughout. If your home page is red and has a navigation bar across the top, then every other page must match that style. Designing every page differently confuses people. As they click from page to page, they may think they left your site. Other ways to ensure a consistent look include using the same font, graphic elements, color scheme, and layout. 4. Design your site so it’s easy to read. If you’re targeting seniors, make the font larger than if you were targeting teenagers. Use bullet points and lots of short paragraphs to break up the text. Additionally, keep the length of the text in your main message to one screen shot. Having a page that rambles on forever makes your site appear complicated. Keep your messages short and easy to understand. 5. Remember that usability is more important than aesthetics. If a Web site looks beautiful but doesn’t convert prospects into buyers, then it’s not an effective Web site. Blend your message and the technology used to deliver it seamlessly. Your site needs to engage the target consumers so they can interact with the site almost effortlessly. When that occurs, consumers will have a better feeling about your product, service, or brand, which will lead to a higher conversion rate. 6. Speaking of conversion rates, one of your site’s main goals needs to be converting prospect into sales. To make that happen, you need to give visitors to your site a satisfying experience. This means having the technology that makes the site secure so people feel comfortable shopping there and giving out their credit card. So while you want your site to be entertaining, you don’t want people to be too distracted from the PCOC / SPRING 2010

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of PCOC - Spring 2010

PCOC - Spring 2010
President’s Message
Martyn’s Corner
Tackling a Multi-Unit Housing Bed Bug Problem
State Capitol Report
Capitol Scope
Firm Profile
Ten Ways to Cut Fuel Costs
Africanized Honeybee Certification Renewal
Seven Keys to an Effective and Profi table Web site
Index to Advertisers

PCOC - Spring 2010