The growth of the Internet
and wireless technology is providing businesses with
exciting and innovative ways to reach customers. Now
your target audience can do business with you from any
location including their car, a doctor’s office, even
A Website is no longer an “optional marketing tool.” It
is one of the most critical weapons in your marketing
Those businesses that use
the Internet grew 46% faster than those that didn’t. -
The US Department of Commerce
87% of the online users
depend on the Internet to access local information. -
52.7% of the online business
directory users visit a merchant because of what they
saw online. - Digitrends
What is a Website?
A Website is an extension of your business and a
barometer of your credibility. A Website allows your
business to deliver key purchasing information about
your products and/or services to your target demographic
24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to anyone with Internet
access. Your site should provide your customers with
everything they need to make a purchasing decision
(customer service, branding, product/service
information, support, etc.).
The idea of building something before it has been fully
defined, designed and planned would be considered
negligent in many other industries, yet it happens all
the time in Web development.
The Web Development Life Cycle … Building Blocks to
Development: The process of
analysis, design, coding and testing software or a
Plan & Strategize
Manage & Maintain
The planning phase of a Web Development project is the
most critical of the lifecycle. During planning you need
to put your business and your customers under a
microscope. Find out about your customers’ buying habits
and search behavior, favorite Websites, and whatever
other statistics are important to your business. This is
where Search Engine Optimization should start. When you
have a complete blueprint of your Website you are ready
to move on to the design phase.
Skills Required: Business, Marketing, Search Engine
Design - Digital Branding: The Look & Feel
The design phase is where the graphical representation
and creativity of your Website is born. The design
should be similar to a magazine cover and mirror your
current branding campaign while providing a clean,
informative and easy to navigate layout. A picture
conveys a thousand words and I cannot stress enough how
important professional photography is in the design of a
visually captivating Website. Studies show that you
have a mere five seconds to either pull the customer
further into your site or send them to the competition.
Skills Required: Graphic Design (Adobe),
View Website Designs
The development phase is where your graphic design
becomes a Website! During this phase the data collected
for the Search Engine Optimization is added to the
individual pages along with the content and photography.
Remember, each page should be given the same attention
as the home page because you never know where the user
will initially enter your site.
Skills Required: Programming (HTML, ASP, Java, VB)
Promote - Traditional & Digital Advertising
Incorporate a strategic pull and push advertising
campaign to fully promote your Website. By using both
traditional and digital advertising you have the
potential to reach a wide audience of customers.
Pull advertising targets customers actively seeking your
product or service. If someone conducts an Internet
Search for your type of business, you want to be found
on the FIRST page of results. Pull advertising includes search
engine optimization, online directory listings, local
portal listings, and pay-per-click campaigns.
54% of people have replaced the Yellow Pages with the
Internet. – Kelsey Group
BUYER BEWARE! Before spending money on Website
advertising, find out how many unique visitors and page
views a Website receives. Websites that advertise HITS
as a measure of traffic are misleading consumers. One
page can receive many hits making it an inaccurate
measure of traffic. For example, a Web page loaded with
pictures and graphic advertising banners will get a hit
for each graphic. You want to know how many people
(unique visitors) frequent the site and how many pages
(page views) they visit.
Push advertising markets your Website to an entire
group of potential customers. Your print ads should
drive the customer to your Website with a call to
action … print a coupon, request information, enter a
contest, download an article, or purchase a product
Remember to include your Web address everywhere you have
your company name!
Maintain & Update … Keep it Fresh
Keep your Website information up to date and fresh.
This can be done daily, weekly, or monthly depending on
your type of business.
The Internet is forever changing the way we conduct
business. Wireless technology is creating an entire set
of “pocket customers.” Imagine the potential in
designing marketing that goes wherever your customer
goes! It just doesn’t get any better than that!