The Birth of a
Successful Internet Business
Part five of ten -- Planning Your Website Strategy
By Shelley Lowery
Developing a professional
website strategically designed to sell your products or services is one
of the most important factors in determining your success. However, it
is only the first step.
Before you begin the actual design process, you must first determine
your overall strategy and design your website accordingly.
Internet marketers have basically two choices:
=> Design a content website that includes not only your products and
services, but also information and resources that will be of interest to
your target market.
=> Design a mini website that focuses on just one product or service,
with no other content of any kind.
Although both types of sites can be effective, your success will
ultimately depend on your site design and marketing strategies -- both
will play a very important role.
Content oriented sites are sites that provide visitors with content such
as articles, tutorials, free ebooks and resources. This type of site
attracts their target audience with incentives. Their products and
services are mentioned on the main page with a link to further
Content sites usually profit by educating their visitors. For example, a
content site selling pet supplies might provide a basic tutorial to
assist their visitors in learning how to groom a dog. They provide this
tutorial completely free; however, the main purpose for this tutorial is
to educate their visitors. And in turn, plug their products.
When you provide your visitors with quality information that teaches and
informs, you are not only gaining their trust in you by sharing your
expertise, but you're also building your credibility, which is very
important on the Internet.
Once you've gained your visitors' trust, they will be much more apt to
purchase your products or services. However, above all else, you must
never abuse their trust in you. You must be completely honest with your
visitors and have a sincere desire to assist them. If your sole purpose
in developing your own Internet business is for financial gain, your
chance of success will be minimal.
The key to using this technique effectively is to provide content that
targets your potential customer. This content is used to presell your
visitors through education.
Mini-sites are different from content sites, as they don't provide any
content. They usually contain one or two pages and completely focus on
one product or service. Basically, the site is just a sales letter for
A mini-site should be neatly designed in standard HTML with no Flash or
fancy plug-ins and very few graphics. There should be no banners or
outside links of any kind -- nothing that will distract your visitors'
The sole purpose of a mini-site is to attract highly targeted traffic.
The more targeted the better. For example, if you have a website that
sells a number of products, a good mini-site would focus on one specific
product instead of all of the products. You could create a mini-site for
each product you offer.
No matter which type of site you design, keep in mind, your website is a
direct reflection of you and your business. The appearance of your
website is the most important factor in determining your website's
value. If your site doesn't look professional or pleasing to the eyes at
first glance, its perceived value will be low. The perceived value of
your website will have a great impact on your success.
Not only must your website have a professional appearance, but it must
also be specifically designed to sell. Everything within your website
should have one specific purpose -- getting your visitors to take
Every part of your website must be strategically designed. From your
overall design to your sales copy -- each will play a very important
Your website is the most important sales tool you have. A professional
website should possess all of the following:
• Your Own Domain (www.yoursite.com)
• Quality, Dependable Web Host
• Customized Email Addresses:
• Target Your Potential Customers
• Professional Appearance
• Professional Looking Graphics
• Quality Products/Services
• Effective Sales Copy
• Easy Ordering Process
• Automated, Personalized Thank You Letters
• Customer Database
• Personalized Follow-up Letters
• Opt-in List
• Well Organized
• Easy to Navigate
• Load Quickly
• Search Engine Optimized
Take your time and do your homework prior to designing your website.
Look at the entire picture and plan each step very carefully. Your
website is the storefront of your business. Make it shine.
Copyright © Shelley Lowery
About the Author:
Shelley Lowery is the author of the acclaimed web design course, Web
http://www.webdesignmastery.com And, Ebook Starter - Give Your
Ebooks the look and feel of a REAL book.
http://www.ebookstarter.com Visit Web-Source.net to sign up for a
complimentary subscription to Etips and receive a copy of the acclaimed
ebook, "Killer Internet Marketing Strategies."
You have permission to publish this article electronically, in print,
in your ebook or on your web site, free of charge, as long as the author
bylines are included.
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