you have read the books and taken the words of experts
like Nielsen to heart, so you think you are ready to
create and market a web site.
what is the purpose of your website? The simple answer
is that it is a service to give the customer what they
want quickly, whether that is finding information or
purchasing socks on-line.
thinking of people that use websites as users but more
as customer, if we all start referring to them as customer
then we will be in the correct mindset to give them
what they want. The key word is service you will be
providing a service so you need to think of what type
of customer your site will have.
thinking about the type of person visiting your website
the first question that information architects ask is
what are they looking for and can we get them to it
within three clicks and that is the basis for the site,
giving the customer what the customer wants fast and
effectively. We need to think of websites like bricks
and mortar shops but in a cyber high street.
of the home page as the shop window this needs to be
informative uncluttered and display the best of what
is on offer. The navigation should be thought of as
the shop doors. Shop doorways are always in the same
place, so navigation should follow know patterns we
know this, so why do many site have drop down, pop up
window or collapsible menus, we must think of how our
navigation will direct the customer.
know that once the customer has decided to click on
the navigation they have made their decision so why
do we then present them with drop down menus, if you
went to walk in to M & S and as you went to opened the
door and a huge drop down sign blocked your way what
would you do?
need to entice the customer in to the website, lead
them to the information or service they require as well
as keep them interested in the site. How do we do this?
Design but hold on tightly to your designer as the have
a habit of trying to show off what they can do this
is the nature of a good designer.
is a very important part of website creation and with
all things that are created there is the chance of mutation
and there are a few mutant websites on line at the moment.
Designers will try to wow you, give them strict instructions
on how you want the site look and feel and make sure
that they stick to what has been agreed, but remain
open to their input as the do know what the are talking
about. Remember that a site must be functional and quick
loading so compromises have to be made. Think about
what your site what can they live without or what it
your site is for a business market there are a few things
that your site can do without one of which is flash
animation, this is because the customers to your site
will be accessing information from work, and as most
companies don't feel that flash viewing soft ware is
needed in the office environment. If the site purpose
is to appeal to the generation X market then let the
designers create very visually stunning sites give them
the freedom to be expressive, their talent flare will
work well for the market the customers that is aimed
for any site should be wrote for the customer, not for
the company supplying the site. All content is marketing
opportunities poor content equals poor marketing. Direct
your content to the customer write it as you are talking
to them, do not over complicate information with technical
details. But remember to give the customer what the
customer wants if they want technical data give it to
them, but make this into a service with either a link
in the navigation to technical information or a text
link in the content.
we need an on line community on the site? A lot of experts
refer to communities but what are they in short? They
are service that a website provides to it customers
such as newsletters chat rooms and bulletin boards just
like shops that have restaurants or notices boards.
So do we need them the simple answer is no, but we want
them, as we want to provide a good service to our customers
and get them to return to the site.
the site is built and is now line how do you get your
customer to the site this is the job of the SEO's the
unsung heroes of website marketing if they are any good,
your site will get a good ranking on the search engines.
But it does not stop their website marketing has many
tools at hand, Affiliate and affinity marketing, e-mail
marketing, TV ads and word of mouth.
of mouth can be a power full tool but how do get someone
to talk about a website? That is not such a hard question
if the site is dynamic and easy to use and give the
customer what they want or has some thing new customers
will automatically without thinking mention the site
in conversations, but you can entice the customer to
tell someone else about your site by simple providing
a email service from the site the simplest form of this
is email this article or sent a e-card.
should now have people coming to the site but what is
making them stay the simplest answer is the hard work
that you have put in to make your customer happy. The
marketing for the site started when you say yes I will
build a site for you, from that moment on you need to
concentrate on the sites potential customers needs not
your client expectations.
that you are the experts in your field you by now should
know what clients, customers needs and wants are. Your
clients need to understand that if they want the site
to work properly then they will have to trust you. You
will also need to listen to your clients needs and hopes
for the site and be realistic in their expectations.
You and them must understand that this is a three way
partnership you, the client and the customer. One of
the biggest mistakes that we make is that we can forget
that we are part of a team.
is a good use of the word team as an acronym: -
is for triangle, as they're three sides to this story
E is for evaluate your customers needs.
A is for activate their interest,
M is for marketing.
Mark Marshall 2001
the author Mark Marshall works for www.sumitmedia.co.uk
in the Marketing and Business
Strategy department. Summit media provides a comprehensive
service to all types of business wanting a presence on
the internet. this includes business strategy, Marketing,
Domain name registration, Web site Hosting and design,
Internet flash animation, e-commerce solutions and web
site maintenance for more information email: info@s...
Mark Marshall Marketing and Business Strategy -Summit
Media Rye Hill Media Centre tel. +44 (0) 1788 523307 fax.
+44 (0) 1788 523306