Building a Website Foundation
PROCON’s solution set is stratified into five distinct stages:
The design phase of the project encompasses stages one and two; information gathering and strategic planning. During this phase, we review the essential components of a successful website (we base success not upon how much information or “cute” graphics we can jam into your website but upon meeting your strategic and tactical goals). Here are just some of the questions we review with clients during the information/strategic phases:
- What is the purpose of the website?
- Who is your target audience?
- Is everyone in the organization going to have input into the website and utilize it to improve business processes?
- How will the website integrate with your traditional communication vehicle and marketing plans?
- What is your budget and expected return on investment?
- Why would a prospect/customer/vendor visit your website?
- How will you capture information about visitors to your site? What will you do with that information?
- How and who will refresh material on your website? How often will this be done?
- Does your company have the operational processes in place to support the website demands?
- Does your company have the operational processes in place to support orders and requests for information generated by the website?
During the information gathering stage we listen carefully. We review your product(s), service(s), distribution channel(s), competition and existing promotional campaign(s). We discuss short and long term goals and objectives and how to measure progress in achieving those goals. We identify needs, budgets, resources and timelines. Upon completion of this stage, we initiate the strategic planning process. A target audience is defined. Content is analyzed and organized. Our team will select the technologies/solutions required to assemble a site that will meet the defined objectives in the most efficient manner. In addition, we take into account resources available within the organization to maintain and support the website on an ongoing basis.
The site production stage requires great care in developing a communication “platform” that takes into account the following:
- Development tools that could be maintained/utilized by our client; We feel it is extremely important that opportunity for transfer of knowledge be made available so that ongoing support/ maintenance of the site can be done by the client.
- Clear and concise text is more important then graphics. “We believe that words are worth a thousand pictures”.
- The layout of your page is easy to navigate.
- Appropriate use of graphics and white space; You can not get your message to the viewer if it is buried under too much text and/or graphics.
- The speed of page loading will have a direct impact on a viewer’s length of stay.
- The content of your page will have a direct impact on a viewer’s length of stay.
- Word type and usage will have a direct impact on your ranking in the various Internet search engines.
- The type of technology used to develop your site could have an impact on who can view your site.
The launch and promotion of your site is the most critical stage. You can have a wonderful website with no visitors!! In fact, most sites on the Internet today have less than a 100 visitors a day. Why? Because no one took into account how to position and market these web sites. By using our proven marketing methodology we get web sites noticed quickly and we work with our clients on an on-going basis to maintain a high level of exposure.
The last phase is maintenance and support of a website. Keeping a website updated with fresh/new content is an important component to ensure repeat visitors. Additionally, with technology changing everyday, your site must be tested to make sure it supports the newest technology while continuing to support older technologies that you have identified as being important to your overall strategy. We work closely with our clients to develop a complete plan including resource balancing.
We have developed a proprietary practice methodology to assure that all operational and business components are adequately addressed. For a copy of the methodology top-level worksheet (including sections on building the site, budgetary considerations, marketing the site, and maintenance and support of the site), please fill out the Contact Us form and enter “PROCON Workplan” in the category.
Our Internet consultants can help you plan, build and manage your eBusiness with our marketing, consulting and web services directed at strategic planning, tactical planning and internet related issues.
It pays to overbuild for traffic you don’t expect. Triple-digit growth is the norm in eBusiness and unpredictable spikes are common.
Get a feel for a powerful new trend in business communications – podcasting. Listen in as one of our top consultants discusses how she has helped our clients accomplish their business objectives. Click here to listen now or right click on the link and hit “Save Target as” to download this podcast and listen later on your own mp3 player