Sally Poole is the owner of Poole Communications, with offices in Hannibal, Marshall and Poplar Bluff, Missouri. She is very ...
Sally Poole is the owner of Poole Communications, with offices in Hannibal, Marshall and Poplar Bluff, Missouri. She is very involved in Hannibal and Quincy, IL., with memberships in the Chamber of Commerce, Hannibal Arts Council, Affordable Community Education, Lions Club and Rotary. She has helped in the fund-raising campaign to build a Hannibal campus for Moberly Area Community College. Currently she is helping to start the Hannibal Chamber Business Development Committee.
Having a web site is great, but without a strong strategy your web site might not ever be seen except by friends and relatives. Here are some tips to get your website recognized and your business and services noticed.
Choose A Memorable Name
The name of the site is catchy and easy to remember. Have some fun. Brainstorm a name that will further define what people will find on you site. Domain names used to be expensive - not any longer. If you are spending more than $15 per year on each domain name, you are spending too much.
Know Your Purpose
Is your web site selling product, services or is it simply informational? Why do you want people to visit your site? At one time having a web site was simply a cool thing to have - now it is essential. You can save money and time by sending clients to your web site to get information rather than printing and sending them glossy brochures. People can get your information faster and make sales decisions faster. Know the reason you are wanting a web site and gear everything toward that goal. Once objectives are stated, your web site will be much easier to plan and organize.
Know Your Demographics
Who is your target audience? Who is your average customer? Tailor your site to that customer and make sure you are doing everything you can to give that customer what they want. Giving away free tips and white sheets (information) helps make the sale, and positions you as a leader in your industry.
Budget & Timeline
Have some idea of how much you want to spend on your site, and when you need to have it finished. Timeline will depend on the size of your site. If you need shopping carts, plan on that taking additional time depending on how much product you want to sell online. Your web developer can help you with both budgeting and timelines. You will need to buy hosting for your site. Hosting is approximately $100 per year depending on how much space you need. Hosting with shopping capabilities will be higher. Web design really varies in cost. Sure you can have your fourth grader build your site, but you want to put your best foot forward. Find a graphic designer, or design firm to help you. Make sure the company you choose is stable. We have taken over plenty of web sites from companies that went out of business, leaving customers hanging - or loosing their site, and domain name completely.
Build A Site Map
One of the most important parts to a strong web site is an overall plan or map. We outline each page, how it connects to other pages and how everything fits together. You don't want to miss critical information, and this is a great way to make sure you have everything you need.
Simple Navigation is Crucial
Keep your navigation buttons consistent from page to page. Use drop down menus if you have multiple pages - organize by category. Label your buttons clearly with short easy to understand names. Don't go too wild with effects. It is important that people can click and find what they want quickly. Too many FLASH® files and large photos slow people down and cause them to lose interest fast! Remember FLASH doesn't show up on the new smart phones at all - and more people are browsing the web on their phones.
Emotional Content of Web Sites
Your home page must tell what you do in a language that benefits customers. Recognize that you may have a variety of visitors. Speak to them. Don't try to be all things to all people. Limit content to the customer you have targeted. Provide content that relates to them. Be empathetic and understanding. Keep everything clear and easy to read. You are building your company's recognition, and a relationship. You want your customer to feel engaged. Draw them into the site - give them the feeling they can relate to you and you to them. Sometimes stories help people connect. You CAN build a relationship online.
So get out there and get started. Make a plan and work it. If you need help, don't hesitate to contact Poole Advertising. We have been in business for over 20 years and fully understand marketing your company and promoting your business.