Posted by: Mark Tayar | July 1, 2009

Purposeful Websites

Everyone needs a website right? What for? There are a lot of websites out there which are just electronic brochures. For some businesses this works out fine, but if you want your website to be a powerful lead generation tool, follow these steps.

  1. Define your website’s purpose – what is the end-goal of your website? Is it to make the sale or is it to get someone’s permission to contact them?
  2. Understand your audience – what types of information does your audience want? What could you say to develop credibility with this audience?
  3. Prepare something to give away – a white paper, checklist, template, free trial, article, value calculator or anything else your audience wants badly enough to give you permission to contact them.
  4. Engage a marketer – DO NOT get a web designer to manage the development of your website. This is a commercial venture and your website is just one of media which must portray a consistent message about your business and your products or services. Creatives must not run this process!
  5. Brief your team well – share your website’s purpose, your research about your audience and your broader communications plan with everyone involved in the project. This may include your designers, web developers, search engine optimisers, copy writers, web advertising managers and of course, your internal team. For most websites, you won’t need a team this large but you will still need to make sure everyone involved knows where to focus their efforts.
  6. Add Google Analytics – it takes most web-savvy people under ten minutes to install this system which will help you track your traffic and understand what content most effectively generates leads.
  7. Test, Test and Test again – free automated tools such as Google Webmaster Central can help you test but you should also get a few pedants to check grammar, spelling, punctuation and formatting. You should then get members of your target audience to check your site usability and the relevance of your content to their needs.
  8. Launch and then relaunch weekly- a good content management system (CMS) will make it easier to refresh your web content. This site is made with WordPress which is very easy-to-use and it’s free, as is Joomla. If you can never find time to refresh your website you can do what I do and set aside a block each month. WordPress and most other CMS will also let you schedule a pre-prepared post to be published at a set time and date.
  9. Promote the site – tell the world about your site via any media channel followed by your audience: Google AdWords, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, direct mail, email, blogs, telephone, Skype, advertising, press, events, etc.
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