Making your Web site work for you - guidelines for success and happiness
For a Web site to be an effective investment for your business it must be publicised, and contain sufficient content to keep visitors coming back.
It may seem obvious, but for your Web site to be successful, you must achieve three key objectives:
i. get people to your Web site
ii. keep them there
iii. get them to buy
Many Web sites fail on one or both of these tasks - it could be the most beautiful, elegant, usable and interesting Web site out there, but unless you can promote it, it will take a long, long time for your web presence to be of any real value. Similarly, no matter how hard you plug, promote and advertise your Web site, unless there's something there for people when they do browse to it, it's all a wasted effort when they see what they've heard about or looked for, and say "Is that it?!"
There are ten or so guidelines that are almost universally agreed upon to make a good starting point to a successful Web site. Here is my version of the guidelines.
First and foremost, get your audience interested - the ones who are passing through your site on their way through a list of alternatives, the ones who are looking specifically for your company because they came directly, the ones who have arrived by lucky accident because they picked your name from a directory or search engine.
You need to get them hooked by what you can offer to do for them. You need to tell them clearly and succinctly in terms that they understand, and in terms that relate to them.
Customers don't want to know how wonderful you are, and how well you are doing - they want to know how wonderful you can be to them and how well they will do by choosing you to receive their business. As opposed to the casual visitor, the prospective customer always wants to know "What's in it for me?"