What Makes A Website Work

Website planning should address the three ‘Cs’ of concept, content and consumer to give your business presence in cyberspace every chance of success.

Concept is by far the most important because it dictates everything – from how much business should invest in the website, to its content and how the site appeals to the consumer. It also points to the importance of reliability and how a website should be hosted for it to meet its business objective.

There’s an adage which says, ‘having lost sight of our objective, we re-doubled our efforts’ and no where is this truer than when planning marketing, of which the website has become a pivotal tool in the Internet age.

So first up, what is the objective of a website?

At its simplest it can be an electronic brochure, designed to explain a company and its products or services. But setting such a modest objective may underestimate the role of a corporate presence in cyberspace.

At the other end of the spectrum the website is a means by which to sell products, with or without a physical shop front – from books to broccoli or bus tickets to banking.

Between these two extremes a website can solicit product or service enquiries from people or other businesses. It can facilitate marketing in which one business earns commissions through helping an affiliate to sell its services. Alternatively it may help deliver savings in staff costs and time by applying information technology to what were previously manual tasks.

Let’s say the business objective of a website is to sell a product or service, then the content – both words and pictures – must strike a balance between meeting that objective and helping secure the website a high search engine ranking. This simply means having your website listed higher than your competition in response to a search enquiry which seeks to find a certain type of business, product or service in cyberspace.

The objective also dictates the importance of ensuring a reliable hosting service, a subject I will address in future.

The final “C” is for the consumer at your website. Make it easy for them to find their way around and do what you want them to do – buy, sign up for a newsletter, email an enquiry or find out about your business. And, finally, reap the benefits of presenting a uniform corporate image, whether in cyberspace or the real world, by using the same graphical images and styles.



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