.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Better Websiting: Super Site Promotion

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Begin With a Plan

Now you know that companies must be innovative and savvy of the current trends on the internet. Where do you start, though? What's the first step toward breakthrough success?

While the Web is constantly evolving, the underlying foundation of online commerce is still the website. Before you go hire a designer and put your site address on all your business cards, though, you have to do some brainstorming. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Why do I need a website?
    What good will a site be to your potential customers? Will they use it to get information, communicate with you or other interested people, buy products and services online? Any of these goals are viable, but you need to decide what will help your customers and solve their problems. Think from the customer's standpoint, not that of the business.

  • What will be my unique selling point?
    Chances are that what you're doing has already been done on the Web. When your viewers can go to your competitor with a click of the mouse, you need a way to draw them to you and make them stay. What can you do better than anyone else? Give exceptional one-on-one service? Offer the greatest ease of use? Provide a previously-undiscovered solution to a pressing problem? Find your best advantage and emphasize it in your marketing efforts.

  • What is my niche?
    Since the Web is almost universal, it's going to be extremely difficult to build your company for large general categories like selling books or real estate. Instead, you have to find a subcategory -- rare books or oceanfront property in Rhode Island, for example -- and carve your niche. Even if you have fewer visitors overall, those who do come will be interested in exactly what you're offering. Done right, that translates into a big payoff.