By Carla Reis
This is the last part of a three part series dealing with guidelines in how to plan, present and develop your company’s website. In part one we explored the importance of having a professional website to represent your company online. In part two, we identified the quality approach of planning your company’s website.
Now in our last part of these series we will take a quick look into the website design, development & marketing aspects and your company’s image.
First step when looking into website design, development and marketing is concentrating in your company's logo. Your company logo should be the focus point of your website – remember: it is all about your company. Your marketing material should all look similar – business cards, printing materials, online PDF’s – all should deliver the same message and have the same connection.
The mainly objective of your website design, development and marketing is to connect prospective clients with your company. They are all alone there, without any sales person to guide them and explain how the company works so make sure it can stands on its own merit. Your website must present your company well as there will be no human factor once a visitor comes around.
Search Engine and User Friendly
A website is not a brochure! When concentrating in your company's website design, development and marketing, all materials should be created accordingly with online marketing. The copyright for a website is not the same as used on your printing materials, images have a special format and size, colors should be wisely used, and navigation should be easy with absolutely no dead ends.
Building a search engine friendly website is not a task that every website design and development company can manage, so make sure you do your home work before hiring a web site design, development and marketing expert. To create a website that is search engine friendly, the team of professionals working on your website need to have the knowledge and expertise on search engines; how they work and index websites. If a website is not built taking into consideration how search engines work and the criteria used to index sites in their database, it will probably be invisible to search engines robots. They will not be able to index your site properly or maybe not to index it at all.
Another common mistake is to hire a website design and development company that has not enough knowledge on search engine algorithms and might put your website in a great risk using spamming techniques. With the incredible growth of websites being indexed -- about 11.5 billion websites indexed with search engines -- you want to make sure the company working on your website has the expertise to build it to be seen.
Search Engine Optimization [SEO] & Search Engine Marketing [SEM]
If you offer products or services that Internet users are searching for, you certainly should look into having your web site indexed with search engines. Building a search engine friendly website is just the beginning; you need to make the website will be found by potential users searching for the products and services you offer.
Potential customers are more and more using the Internet and search engines to look for products and services they need and want and having a website that no potential customer can find is a waste of time and money. Use your website as a marketing and online sales tool.
Over the past few years of the web’s evolution as a key business tool, shows that an effective website mines prospects that other vehicles do not reach, shortens the sales cycle – in many cases dramatically so – and delivers early and consistent ROI.
Monitoring and Measurement of the Product
The capability of being able to evaluate, validate and verify if the effectiveness of your SEO campaign is critical. Reputable Search Engine Optimization [SEO] & Search Engine Marketing [SEM] companies will provide you monthly reports showing your current status and suggestions for areas to that need improvement (number of visitor per page, time spent, referrals, exit pages, high traffic pages, keywords being used, etc).
Use the information above as guidelines and always use common sense. Your website should be an extension of your company’s image online and present the same standards of quality and customer appreciation.
Now that you are ready to start, don’t forget that creating a website has lots of work involved but also lots of excitement. In the process of building your website, you are also expanding your company and giving it new form and shape.
You must be full of enthusiasm to start or redesign your website now.
Quest Quality Solutions
This article was posted on March 24, 2006