22 July 2010
Web Design Tip of the Week
by, Lesa Seibert, President, Xstreme Media
Last week we looked at where to find your target customer/client online. As we noted, tt takes some research, but once that is done you will know where your target market lives online and will be able to interact with them where they are, with the goal being to drive them to you and your website.
So, now you have found your client and directed them to your website. What is their objective once they get there? Will they buy something, learn more about your business, email you for more information, request a quote, etc.
It is quite obvious, hopefully, to businesses in 2010 as to why they need a website. For some companies it is more about wanting to keep up with the Jones' than about what type of message they are sending with their site. They don't want people to think they can't do something that their competitor can. What a plan. If this is your reasoning for having a website or adding e-commerce, then you need to step back and look at that a website could offer to your current or potential customers that is of true value and not how "flashy" it is.
Your online presence should compliment or enhance your offline presence. We have had several clients come to us over the years and want a website just because everyone else has one. They had not plan as to what they wanted it to do, convey, do - they just knew they had to have one. They did not realize that yes, they would fall behind without one, but without a planned one, they could do more harm than not having one at all.
One of the basic reasons for having an online presence is it serves as a tool for communicating with your current and potential customers in a convenient, cost-effective manner. Cost-effective in the sense that the Internet has allowed, small, budget strapped companies the opportunity to look bigger than they really are - opening the door to an expanded marketplace. A small business is no longer restricted by their location to go after new customers. With an online presence that provides targeted information to your visitors, you can connect with current and potential customers in a way that would have been very cost-prohibitive using traditional marketing tools.
Your website should remain customer-focused. It should give the visitor access to information about your company that would help them to make an educated decision about whether they want to do business with you. It also serves as a tool for you to capture information about those visitors to build customer profiles in an effort to offer more targeted information.
So now you have them there, what should they expect? In our next installment, we will look at what a visitor should expect from your website once you get them there.