The first step towards creating an online business is building a website. Now, that isn’t as complicated as it sounds. When I built my first website, I thought Java was a type of coffee and HTML the name of a robot in Star Wars. That’s why I didn’t do it. I paid someone else to do it for me. It cost me just a few hundred bucks, but I earned it back soon enough. This chapter discusses how to begin the process of creating your first website, and where you can find someone to build your site if you don’t want to do it yourself.
Making Your Website Attractive, Interesting, Engaging and Interactive
To succeed at your online business (whether you are selling your own product/service or are selling for other merchants as an affiliate), you need a website created just for that - a simple, focused site. Your website should be easy to build, maintenance-free, low cost, credible, and a powerful traffic-builder and customer-converter. Having the right tool and the right product alone won’t ensure the success of your website. There are many factors to be considered while designing a site. Unfortunately, most of these are often ignored by Internet business owners.
Build It for Speed
Target your Market
Know who your market is and make certain that your site caters to their needs. It is critical that your site reflect the values of your potential customers. Is your market mostly business professionals? If so, the site must be clean and professional. Is your product aimed mostly a teenagers and young adults? Then your site could be more informal and relaxed. The key here is to know your market and build the site to their preferences.
Focus the Site
Make certain your website is focused on a primary goal: selling your product or service. A site offering many unrelated products is not necessarily unfocused, but this is often the case. If your business does offer many products, dedicate a unique page for each instead of trying to sell them all from one page.
Credibility Is Crucial
The most professionally designed website won't sell if your customers don't believe in you. A clear privacy statement is one way to build your credibility. Provide a prominent link to your privacy statement from every page on the site as well as from any location that you are asking your visitors for personal information. Provide legitimate contact information online.
Navigation should be simple
Make site navigation easy and intuitive. Simple and smooth navigation adds to the convenience of the visitors. Add powerful search and catalog features. Visitors usually don’t have the patience to navigate through the whole website to find what they are looking for.
Consistency is the key
Make sure the site is consistent in look, feel and design. Nothing is more jarring and disturbing to a customer than feeling as if they have just gone to another site. Keep colors and themes constant throughout your website.
Make your website interactive and personalized
Add feedback forms as well as email forms that allow your prospective customers to ask you any questions they might have pertaining to a product. Personalization of your
website is another key element that can build your visitor’s trust and increase your sales. Personalization technology provides you the analytic tools to facilitate cross-selling and up-selling when the customer is buying online. It would give you an idea of what products to cross-sell and up-sell. For xample, when a person buys a CD player, a disc cleaner can also be offered.
Content is King - Good content sells a product. Ask yourself the following questions. Does your copy convey the message you wish to get across to your visitors? Is it compelling? Does it lead your visitor through the sales process? Have others review, critique and edit your copy to insure it is delivering the intended message. Always double check your spelling and grammar.