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Website Design, Content Management and E-Commerce Solutions since 1997
Productivity Increases for your Website

By: Beth Garst      Email the Editor

A successful website is one that helps you meet your business goals!

Creating a successful website is not a simple process. You cannot simply create a graphic design, write some copy, put it all online and expect success. Creating a successful website is a process that continues even after the initial website design is completed.  This process requires a critical view of business and marketing processes and a design approach based on giving your website the features, functionality and content necessary to allow it to be successful.

Our five requirements for web site design is based on the basic principals of continuous improvement and provides the basis for a successful, effective business website.

Alignment: Alignment is the process of insuring that all processes in your business (including your web site) are aligned with your business goals. Simply put, you must make sure that each section of your web site works toward meeting at least one of your business goals. This is the basis for every section of your site and everything drives from it. Without alignment, it’s impossible to have an effective web site. Even if it works great, it’s not going to be much help to your business.

Clear Purpose: Once you have alignment, each section of the web site must have a purpose that is clearly understood by the site visitor. Purpose is the foundation of each site section. Purpose defines the look and feel (graphic design) and the content of the section. Having a clear purpose helps you create this content and it helps the site visitor understand what your site is about. Make sure your web site clearly defines its purpose. Don’t let your customers try to figure it out for themselves. They will probably get it wrong.

It is impossible to increase the effectiveness of your web site design unless the site visitor initiates action. Create Action: Every web designer will agree that navigation is one of the most important aspects of good web design. However, most designers view navigation as only the links and buttons that allow people to find information they are looking for. The true importance of navigation is insuring that the site visitor knows what is expected… what action is required. This is NOT the traditional “direct marketing” call to action. Rather, it is insuring that the “purpose” of the site section is clear and that the correct action (the action you want them to take) is clearly defined. In other words, if you want the customer to contact you, make it obvious and simple. The vast majority of site visitors appreciate knowing what is expected. They enjoy having a path to follow. Even those who consider themselves free thinkers and prefer finding their own way appreciate it when the information they are trying to locate is clearly defined. You cannot increase the effectiveness of your web site if the visitor does nothing.

Relationship Focused Content: A relationship is required for any transaction to occur. In the physical world this relationship is taken for granted. Someone walks into your business, talks to a sales person, experiences the environment and makes a purchase. In the virtual world there is no person to help create a relationship. In fact, the virtual world is the home of non-relationship where a user can wander anonymously around your site, purposefully avoiding the creation of any relationship. This makes it absolutely necessary to focus your content on creating and enhancing a relationship… a connection between the site and the user.

Relationships are based on two criteria… trust and emotional context. A person must trust your business and they must feel good about doing business with you (positive emotional context). While their perceived level of need for your products/services has an effect on the emotional context, your content must work to build on that need by providing positive emotional support for that need. Providing them with the benefits of your products/services is only one of many ways to build on that need.

If you cannot measure the effectiveness of your web page design how do you know it is effective? Measurement: Without measurement you cannot methodically improve your site. Without measurement you cannot know whether any change to your site improved or hurt the effectiveness of your site. How do you know you’re getting better if you don’t keep score? Effective measurement tells you if your web site is helping you meet your business goals.

Start creating an effective website today. 540-334-1707


Web Transitions, Inc. | 109 Main Street | P.O. Box 638 | Boones Mill, Virginia | 24065 | sales@webtransitions.com | 540-334-1707