Ten Point Checklist

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Ten Point Checklist to Website Success

This Ten Point Checklist outlines the necessary steps for implementing a successful website.  These points are provided on our website as free advice for your consideration.  Please review the steps in the checklist, and consider which point or points may be lacking in your current approach to your website. 

Then, if you wish to consider us for assistance in implementing improvements to website, or if you simply wish to learn more, please contact us for a free consultation.

Step 1: 
Examine what are you trying to sell with a basic SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats). Research your basic web sales strategy.

Important points to consider include:
>  Is your product or service in sufficient demand from potential customers?
>  Is it priced appropriately?
>  Is it suitable for on line sales?
>  What level of competition exists, both brick and mortar and on line?
>  What is the key USP (Unique Selling Point) for your product or service?
>  How is the same product or service being sold on line by competitors?
>  How do or would potential customers find your web site or search for such a product or service via the search engines?
>  What keywords do people most frequently input to a search engine in their search of this product or service?

Step 2: 
Develop a web site design concept using the conclusions from step 1.

Important principles to consider in the development of of a successful website include:
> The site should be simple and straightforward for the potential customer to understand and navigate.
> The site should load quickly and easily. The majority of users still access the Internet via fairly slow modem connections, and most people are very intolerant of pages that are slow to load.
> A visual design concept that is moderately high class, and yet widely supported by the average userís browser is best. The latest highly sophisticated state-of-the-art techniques for flashy visual gimmicks should usually be avoided, as they are often very troublesome to potential customers who often lack the latest required revision required to view the page.  
> To speed page load times, minimize the use of graphic files and the size of the graphics files that are needed.
> The site should illustrate the need for the product or service, and how the product or service satisfies the need.
> The site should provide easy access for the potential customer to either purchase your product on line, or provide the customer with the means to contact you via email, phone or fax to arrange a purchase.
The information content of the site must also be structured and optimized to follow certain guidelines that the major search engines follow in their process of spidering web sites to update their search database of web site content.

Step 3: 
Implement the actual design of the web site per the design concept developed in step 2.

Step 4: 
Get a domain name (www.your business.com). 
Get an Internet Service Provider (ISP) to host your website . 
Get your site on the web.

>  Ideally, the domain name should reflect the image of the business and be easy to remember.
>  When considering the selection of an ISP, the reliability of service and support, and the responsiveness and speed of the ISP servers are vital considerations.

Step 5: 
Promote your site via the search engines.

In promoting your site on the web, a number of important points must be considered:
> Which search engines are best?
> Which search engines are related?
> Submission to both directories and webpage indexes
> Use of automatic submittals versus hand submittals
> Free submittals versus pay-for-inclusion submittals
> Pay-per-click search submittals, inclusion and bid status

Step 6: 
Consider additional promotion techniques:

> Reciprocal links and strategic relationships
> Email discussion groups
> Promotion via newsgroups
> Press releases
> Banner ads
> Print Media
> Bulk email (Spam??)

Step 7: 
Monitor your progress

The status of your website needs to be periodically monitored, including:
>  Website traffic analysis
>  Search engine inclusion
>  Search engine ranking
>  Pay-per-click bid status and ranking 

Step 8: 
Refine your approach and reiterate the process based upon observed results.

Step 9:
Periodically update your site to maintain timeliness of information and to maintain customer interest in returning to your site.

Step 10:
Continually monitor your total environment, including changes in your customer's needs and your business's response to those needs, and changes in available Internet technology for business websites to maintain a competetive strategy.

In summary, the implementation of a successful business website strategy requires thorough top-down analysis, solid execution and continual refinement.

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