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Fundamentals

"A website is much like our bodies. As time passes, they experience the same changes in personality, in their strengths and weaknesses."

As operating systems, programs, websites, and on-line trends continue to evolve, it is essential to maintain your website for the sake of your company. AltaMinds suggests the following recommendations to help maintain a healthy and up-to-date website:

Combat – If a competitor is stealing content or other elements from your website, searching key words related to your products and services will uncover this so that you can combat by requesting them to stop or changing your own site.

Compete – Check your competitors’ websites regularly to see what special promotions they may be running or what new products they are offering. To see what keywords they are using to optimize their search engine presence, use a paid program like KeywordSpy or iSpionage. Also, if they offer online newsletters, sign up for them to keep tabs on what they’re up to.

Function – To ensure that the links and systems on your page are working efficiently and effectively, visit Google Webmaster Tools or Sitereportcard.com. These programs will help ferret out the problems and offer solutions to fix them.

Investigate – Search the Web to see what customers or competitors are saying about your company. In the on-line world of blogs and discussion groups, everything is discussed. Sometimes it’s bad, sometimes it’s good. Whatever they are saying, it is worth your while to know, especially when potential customers may be perusing for the same information.

Optimize – Enter your name in search engines to see where on the list your company appears. If you find yourself far from the first page, update your site to optimize your company’s search-engine standing.

Many companies, once establishing a website, think their job is finished and the website will run itself. But is that true? Just like our bodies, a website requires careful and steady attention to ensure it is being run effectively and applied successfully.

 


Website Categories

There are a number of popular website types on the market today. Depending on how you want to market your organization, you want to select the right type to effectively communicate to your online community.

Altaminds Poster

 

Content Based Site – Content sites provide information on a specific topic or field (like SearchEngineLand.com), or on a wide variety of topics (like Wikipedia). By providing quality information these sites hope to build trust and a long term relationship with their readers. This relationship may then evolve into purchase of your product/service.

Community Building Site – Some websites exist to connect people who share similar interests or hobbies. These web communities provide people a way to share their thoughts, feelings and problems. Companies use these sites to communicate important FAQs, aid in customer service and as a way for customers to get help from other knowledgeable people.

Online Brochure – Perhaps one of the most simple types of sites is an online brochure website. They are used as an extension to the businesses outside marketing efforts, and may contain simple contact information, data, pictures, or descriptions of services.

Organizational Website – Organizations such as non-profits, charities, communities, clubs or groups may form a website to educate the public on their mission, values and goals. The main purpose of this type of site is to communicate the main message of the organization to the public, help gain recognition and foster goodwill.

Blog – Blogs are websites updated frequently with news, current events and pictures. Companies usually start blogs to assist in marketing, branding or public relations, because they are updated more frequently and seen more often by the search engines.

Relationship–Guided – Many websites attempt to forge and strengthen a relationship with the visitor through quality content and ongoing communication. They reward current customers, foster recommendations through above-average customer service, and continue to reinforce customer purchases throughout the customer life cycle.

Direct Response – A direct response website is designed to elicit a specific, predetermined response from your visitors. It may be to have them fill out a form for a free consultation, call you to set up an appointment, download a free report about your service, or sign up for your newsletter. Ultimately you want them to make a decision that will move them further down the buying cycle.

Lead Generation – A Lead Generation website is a website which entices viewers to inquire about your product or service through email, phone or by setting an appointment. A successful lead generating website focuses on the benefits of your product or service, contains a prominent call to action and can be easily found for specific keyword terms on popular search engines.

Database–Driven – Sites that use outside databases to keep their website current are known as Database Driven websites. The site grabs information from a database and inserts that information into the Web page each time it is loaded. When the information on the database is changed, it updates the Web page connected to that database, saving a great deal of time.

Interactive – Interactive websites are used to provide a unique experience that is both enriching and entertaining. The interaction between the user and the various media types make these websites more memorable and help with the marketing of a product or service.

E-commerce – An E-commerce site is designed to sell products and/or services online. It utilizes a merchant system for collecting online payment from customers, an administrative back end where you can track orders, add inventory, change prices and review sales history, add product images, and a system for communicating with customers.

Mobile–Compatibility Websites – Mobile websites are becoming more widespread as cell phone usage increases. A site that is optimized for a cell phone can drastically improve reach and help customers access you on the go, even when they don’t have access to a computer.

Hybrid Site – Most successful business websites are a combination of various types of sites. They may want to provide quality information, generate leads and sell some products online all from the same site. An understanding of the target market will help decide how to structure the site and determine what type of sites you should combine for maximum efficacy.

 


Determining Factors When Getting a Website

Each website offers different features and it is important to find which site will effectively market your product or service or communicate your message. One specific category may work in one industry and fail in another. Sometimes, it will require a blend of two or more website types.

When investing into a website, it is important to evaluate your resources and understand the criteria important to your organization. In our poster, we have highlighted five important factors that are important to review when developing a website:

Launch Speed – measures the time it takes to build a site. The higher the ranking, the less time it takes to create that website.

Control/Management – allows administrators to change, monitor, and update information on the website. Lower rankings mean higher restrictions on the customization of the site by the administrator.

Response Potential – draws the visitor towards an action – whether to buy, provide information, or to engage in an intended direction. High ratings signify greater visitor response from the site.

Maintenance – involves the amount of work required to sustain the retention of a website. High rankings indicate less maintenance, low rankings require more maintenance.

Cost – suggests the amount of money that a specific website type generally costs. Higher rankings means low cost while lower rankings are more expensive.

These factors depend on the company’s marketing plan and its goals. Note that ratings do not reflect a website type’s performance; rather, it provides information to aid in the decision-making process and allows a website owner to select the best type of site based on his/her constraints.

To get your free 2010 AltaMinds Categorical Poster today, click here.