Are You Ready for Niche Domination?
If you have gone from the mindset of "my business needs a website" to "there's great potential for return on investment by dominating my company's niche on the internet" you are ready for something beyond putting your company's copy in a ready-made template website.
It is then time for a staged process of creating a web presence that will strategically place your business as the leader in its field on the web. Gaining this advantage in "internet mind share" is a great way to grow your market share for most businesses.
To make a very complex process as simple to understand as possible, here are the five main stages we use at Pensarc for website development:
The Pensarc model of five stages of developing a website
- Measure numbers for your current internet presence such as unique visitors and new customers gained per month to establish a baseline.
- Create clear-cut goals for significant gains from this baseline.
- Benchmark the competition's web presence.
- Build a converging circles model to migrate to and from web traffic, email marketing, social media, search engine traffic, blogging, sales system software, etc. This model should give prospects a staged pathway to becoming your customer.
- Research high traffic keywords related to your business.
- Define the hierarchy of good and services you sell (as perceived by the customer) to take into account for designing menus and navigation
- Establish the resource people within your company who will participate in copywriting and choosing imagery and define the roles the client company and web marketing company each play in producing the content to place on your site.
- Define the additional functions the web can serve, such as hiring and recruiting, lead management, and email campaign integration. Decide which ones the web should launch with, and which ones the web needs to be capable of incorporating someday.
- Learn about and map your typical customer's process of engaging your business (Buyer Approach Map or BAM).
- Create a prototype user experience map based on that Buyer Approach Map.
- Develop wireframes of basic web control layout based on the above.
- Brainstorm on the branding effect you want to create and utilize the information gained in decisions on key design elements.
- Create 2 distinct designs- show both to employees, customers, and consultants for feedback and choose one
- Define the aspects and sections of the website that should be editable by your company for fast and frequent changes and updates and we incorporate that into the content management system.
- The code should be written to make the web function well, which means fast and user friendly.
- The hosting environment is set up to ensure the server web lives on is capable of handling the potential traffic seamlessly.
- Backup systems should be setup to eliminate the risk of significant downtime or lost data.
- The web is built on a framework that indexes multiple pages for different search terms in order to cast the net wide for the multiple "long tail" searches related to your product or service.
- The web is tested, debugged, and revised as necessary to make it a seamless experience to the user.
- Populate the website with search-attractive, persuasive copy.
- Separate the content to be logically in order based on how your customer understands your business.
- Parse the copy so that different pages are each optimized for specific search phrases.
- Use combinations of imagery and copy with a balance suited for your type of business.
- Test, test, test with many different people on a passcode protected, temporary test location before going live.
- When the site is ready, take it live.
- Code maintenance needs to be overseen by a capable development company.
- Server maintenance should also be handled by skilled technicians.
- Ongoing revisions should be made regularly based on optimizing for traffic and conversions based on looking at analytics.
- Different combinations of social media, email marketing, and search marketing should be implemented on an ongoing basis to cast the net wide and catch a lot of fish.
This bullet-point summary is, of course, an over simplification. It is designed to be a guide for what to look for in a digital media company's web development process in order to position your company for market leadership position in your niche via the internet.
Of course, creating an optimized web is just the first step. To be successful in the long run, it important to have a process of continous improvement based on analytics and to market through various web and traditional media channels. Thusly, ongoing optimization and web marketing strategies will be focused on in future blog posts.
Pensarc is a one-stop internet integration business serving businesses in the Charleston, SC area.