Planning Successful Websites



Website planning is the most important and time consuming step. This is the foundation on which your success is built. Ben Franklin said "Failing to prepare is preparing to fail".

The first and most important decision to make, is to be sure you have chosen the right niche for you. It should be something you love and are passionate about and something you know a lot about. This will keep your enthusiasm up and keep you creative juices flowing. In addition, you should consider how competitive your niche is. If your niche is very broad, narrow it down to a more specific niche where the competition is not so intense.

In order to have a quality website that meets your business objectives you must define your websites' main purpose, what message do you want to convey, who is your audience, what are your online expectations, and what are your long term business goals.

If you have a website which is not performing well, consider how much you know about your website product or service and how much you convey to your visitors. When you convey enthusiasm and knowledge to your visitors through your content, their interest is spiked. From your knowledge they develop a confidence in you and your credibility is established. You may have heard the phrase "Content is King" and it is true. Not only do visitors become repeat visitors, but search engines love quality content. You should have a minimum of 5 pages.

Some websites provide claims about their products or services but give their visitors no information to validate the claims. Even testimonials may not be creditable. They shout "Trust me and buy" at their visitors. This approach causes visitors to be reluctant to purchase something they have no confidence in. Never make wild claims which are not backed up by totally accurate information on your website.

Your plan for your website should answer two questions for your visitor. The first is "What can you give me no one else can?" and the second is "Why should I believe you?". Through your knowledge, displayed in your content, both questions can be answered. Providing this information gives your potential customers what they need to feel that they can make a positive decision about your product or service and feel a confidence in you. This creates a WIN situation for both you and your visitor.

When you begin to organize your content, first make a list of your major topics. Put yourself in the position of your site visitor and provide the information that would give you the confidence to buy. Then break each topic into subtopics. Repeat the process as necessary. Be sure that what you are providing is what they are looking for and that it is presented in such a way as to keep them interested. For example, if you have a gardening website and sell Bearded Iris, you might plan a website structure like this example home page . On the home page you would provide introductory statements which assure the user that they have come to the right place to find what they are looking for. By the information you supply in your content on detail pages, visitors not only gain information of interest that they need to be successful, but they develop a feeling of confidence in you and your product based on your knowledge. They feel you really know your stuff! These visitors are open to purchasing your Iris and with a quality product, occasional specials and new content information you keep them coming back.

It's not too early to mention key words (words and phrases potential customers might use to find your website). As you plan and develop your content, make an initial key word list. This list will continue to be developed through the whole process.


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