Friday, June 6, 2008

11 steps to create a successful website

You may think this goes against common sense, but the essence of your Web site isn’t really about you. What? It’s true. Sure, it presents your business face to the world and you’ll carefully make choices later on to put that together.
But your Web site is a specialized tool, one that enables you to reach countless new customers and, if it’s a retail site, sell to them and process their purchases.
Here, your primary purpose is to know your customers so well that you answer any questions they might have before they ask, then make it easy for them to buy what you’re selling. This bedrock principle applies whether you’re creating a one- or two-page site that simply tells who you are and where you can be reached by e-mail, snail mail and phone; or a fully functioning retail site with hundreds, even thousands, of pages and a “shopping cart” that let’s your buyers collect products and pay for them, comfortable that their financial and other personal data are secure.
Exactly who are they and what do you know about them, what they want, what they need, what they don’t know they need, what gives them the willies on the Web?