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Who is your site for? You or your customers?

By Jon Wilson
Posted Thursday, November 25, 2004

If your web site is to be successful, it needs to be published for your customers, not for you.

If you are going to establish a Web site that will be useful to your business, you will need to set clear goals and aims. Even if your aim is to establish a small foothold for later expansion, this can still be an acknowledged goal for the project.

You will need to remember that with any Internet project there will be two distinct groups with a valid stake in these goals: your customers, and your business.

Balancing the needs of both interested parties during the project will help to make your Web site successful, useful, and a valuable business asset rather than just another expense.

Target Activities

If you are to attract visitors and turn them into customers, you need to have a Web site that meets their needs. This means you will need a good idea of what you want your visitors to be able to do there.

Amongst other tasks, you may want your customers to use your site to:

Register their interest as prospective customers for existing or future products and services.

Feel part of a community with similar goals or needs to their own.

Buy products or services directly, through some form of e-commerce.

Be encouraged to contact you by phone or mail to make a purchase of goods or services.

Find information on your location so that they can seek you out to make purchases or order services in person.

Find current information and price lists for products they wish to distribute as resellers or stockists.

Find current information and price lists for products they wish to purchase (either directly or indirectly).

Feel a strong corporate or brand identity.

Locate information that is relevant to them as a prospective or existing customer or reseller.

Some of the tasks may be specific to the Web site; other tasks will complement existing services that you already offer by telephone or by fax. Either way, if you know what you expect your visitors to do when they get to your Web site, you have more chance of making their visit useful to them... and profitable to you.

About the Author
Jon Wilson is an independent writer, consultant and developer, bringing high quality internet services within reach of small businesses in a time effective, cost effective manner.


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