Purposeful Web Site Planning - Dont Get Started Without Goals


It seems like everyone has a web site these days. And those who don't have one are probably thinking about one. If you're in the thinking stage, congratulations! Having a web site is a fantastic way to grow your business by making you more visible to the world. But before you jump on the web site bandwagon, ask yourself this question: "WHY do I want a web site?" The answer is NOT, "Because everyone else has one."

When I first developed my web site four years ago, I just knew I wanted a web presence. But I didn't put much thought into why I wanted one. So I created some web pages that seemed to make sense, sat back, and enjoyed my (smallish) hit counts. But after a couple of years, I knew something was missing... my web site wasn't meeting my needs, because it wasn't created with intention! So I went back to the drawing board and starting writing down goals. Now that my business is three- fold (organizing, coaching, and selling products), my goals had to reflect those new revenue streams. So my primary web site goals became:

? To generate organizing client leads

? To sell my products on-line

? To get people to sign up for my e-zines

My secondary goals were:

? To establish credibility as a top/veteran professional organizer and marketing specialist

? To provide helpful information and resources

Goals in hand, I roughed out my new site. With the help of my web designer, we created a home page that led to easy navigation within the site, which guides visitors to the different sections depending upon their needs. So far, judging by hit counts, sales, inquiries, and sign-ups, my goals are being met quite well!

As you plan for a web site (or think about a redesign of your current site), make sure you take plenty of time to map out what you want the site to do for you. Some ideas are listed below.

? To provide information about your company and its philosophies

? To highlight your company's "in the news" status

? To enhance the credibility of your business by having an online presence

? To highlight your products and/or sell products on-line

? To provide detailed information about your services

? To attract new clients and customers

? To keep existing clients informed

? To build an e-mail list

? To educate visitors

? To answer questions

? To jump ahead of the competition

? To provide links to other organizations

? To show your expertise through testimonials, photos, etc.

Do any of those goals sound like yours? Can you think of a few others that will make your site both fun and functional? Take the first step to a well-planned web site by taking pen to paper as your very first step to a new -- or improved -- web site.

2005 Time to Organize

Sara Pedersen, author of the FREE e-zine "The Marketing Fairy's Guide to Simple Self Promotion," is a professional organizer and marketing specialist. She helps small business owners make their marketing dreams come true. Sign up today at http://www.time2organize.net to receive your FREE monthly subscription.

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