How to build a website starts with: Decisions, many decisions…
This old saying still holds true, “People don’t plan to fail – they fail to plan!”
Here’s the right way:
Before you start a website discover and hone your UVP. That’s your Unique Value Proposition. It’s the single most critical, most overlooked, and most fundamental key to success. Learn more about optimizing your UVP at Marketing Experiments.
You see, your website is all about your Value to Visitors. It generate a quick and clear meeting of the minds – your visitor’s mind with their problem and your mind with your product or service that exactly solves their problem.
How can you be sure your product or service exactly matches your visitors wants and needs? That’s were good market research comes in.
Don’t get hung up on your website itself – it’s just a tool. Keep focused on the job, not the tool. The job is your Sales Process – the website is simply how you present that Sales Process online.
Find a website developer you can trust – then do trust them. Don’t spend money for professional advice and then insist on going with your own non-professional opinion. Remember that your website must be designed to lead your visitors through the sales process. It’s not necessarily all going to please you – that should not be its purpose. Avoid the attitude that destroys website success.
Most website owners already have a product or service before they build or upgrade their website. But it’s much easier to be successful online if you first find the market niche whose wants and needs you are already perfectly suited to address. Only then do you develop a product or service finely tuned to that market niche. With this kind of tight focus, many more visitors will think. “Aha! This is EXACTLY what I’m looking for.” Then your selling task is much easier.
When you try to market an existing product or service it can be harder to find the right market niche. And the best market niche you can find may not to be all that good. They may not be very motivated. They may not have much disposable income. There way not be enough of them. An ideal niche is something like 25,000 to 100,000 monthly searches on Google. Smaller than this and you may not get enough traffic that you can convert to customers.
A larger number of searchers means you’re not focusing narrowly enough. Don’t be afraid of lots of competing websites. The existence of many competitors indicates that there is money to be made in a niche.
Expect to Lose Money at First:
Online marketing is actually an ongoing experiment. You start out with your best guess on how to build an online marketing campaign. Then you constantly measure and optimize until you’re past break-even. And you never stop measuring, analyzing, testing and optimizing.
PPC or Low Cost?
Online marketing is never actually free, since you have to buy some marketing tools, website directory listings, ad space, etc. – maybe even paying an expert. And the low cost method takes several months – even a year or more to build up to a reliable business. This slow “trickle of traffic” method also makes it hard to optimize your efforts early on. There simply aren’t enough results to be statistically meaningful when you make what you hope are improvements. This leaves you guessing – which is never good.
Pay-Per-Click is very expensive. But it gets you instant traffic, so that you can start measuring, analyzing, testing and optimizing right away. Ideally you can lessen and then completely stop your dependence on paid traffic after you do enough optimization and word-of-mouth, social networking and other marketing processes take off.
Website Building Methods
These days almost every new website should be built using a CMS (Content Management System) tool. By far the most popular, flexible, extensible and well understood tool is the free WordPress system.
Advantages of WordPress versus older traditional methods include:
- Websites built in much less time
- Websites built for considerably less money
- Tremendous extensibility via thousands of WordPress Plugins, mostly free
- Some ability (less than advertised) for site owners to create and maintain their own content
- Easily upgrade or change a website’s “Look & Feel” by simply installing a new theme
Unhappily, the WordPress promise of letting website owners with no web technical experience produce their own content is only true if they don’t mind that content looking rather sloppy. For example, this document you’re reading is heavily modified with invisible CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) inline code, and some HTML code. I added those to improve layout and test formating. For comparison, I’m including an exact copy of this page, but with all the code stripped out. It uses only the code made by the standard WordPress editing tools.
Until next post….
To your online success!
Author: jim coe
How to build a website that sells by jimcoe