Formula for Website Success
Success online isn't achieved by mediocrity, wishful thinking or luck. Its simply a case of following a specific Formula, that once applied generates whatever you choose, whenever you choose to implement it.
A formula that consistently delivers is built on education, experience, hard graft and real results and until you've been in the web trenches, internalised this key education and experience and got the stripes, only then will you know the Formula.
With the majority of websites online struggling to turn a profit due to poor traffic and even worse poor conversion rates, its easy to see where the problem lies. Inept or Inexperienced research, number forecasting, strategy, design or execution. And most don't hone the 3 qualities required: Focus, Consistency and Patience. Read on if you'd like a fast track to web success to help you achieve your web goals and dreams.
Direct Web Media will help you apply this Formula from start up to exit and everything in between. Our Formula is built on a solid a 2 Step Philosophy of Innovation & Marketing
Innovation - 3F Philosophy
Fast gives your website maximum speed and usability. All areas and components of your website must load and perform with speed from the overal site layout to images, text and content. Watch your customers click away without hesitation if this isn't applied.
Functional assures that your visitors and potential customers stay and use your sites key features and maximise their browsing experience and ultimately take your desired action.
Familiar gives confidence, trust and ultimately familiarity by way of optimum usability of your website. The best websites follow a certain structure simply because it works.
Innovation - Site Blueprint
Strategy is simply knowing what you want for your business/website, why you want it and how to get it. Its a flexible plan or road map from startup to exit with your desired goals and projections integrated. The 2 foundational elements of strategy are Research & Numbers. If you don't put the required time and energy into these you could start out with failure as the strategy. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
Number Projections and Research covers your Competitors, Keywords/Keyphrases, Market, Product & Pricing. Essentially were asking is the website business viable, are profits possible and what is the potential.
Positioning is simply having the ability to focus your website look, feel and features to match your customers wants and needs that are in alignment with your maret and niche. Are you answering their questions and giving them what they want or need. With only 8 seconds maxium to grab their attention and get them to begin navigating your website this has to be optimum. For example a pink website with a cute font for a mens weight lifting equipment website just won't work.
Design is giving your site key elements such as alignment, balance and clarity using key colours, font styles, images, text and layout specifics that are clean and look just right as expected by your visitor for your specific market or niche. This is tied into positioning above.
Traffic is vital for making money online. Traffic is simply visitors or potential customers to your website and without these you simply will not generate enquiries, orders or opt-in subscriptions.
Usability is the ability for your website users to easily, effortlessly and efficiently navigate around your website without confusion or resistance. How many websites have you used and you don't have a clue what to look at, what to click or "why they do that" as it just doesn't make sense. You'll get a seamless website that takes the user from entrance to exit and get them to take your desired action in the process without even a second thought.
Conversion is key along with traffic in the process of making money online. Once your visitor is on your website what do you want them to do; contact you, order, optin to your newsletter? This must be defined with absolute crystal clear clarity. The average conversion rate online is 0.5% thats 1 in every 200 visitors takes your desired action. I recommend anyone with a converison rate below 1% to increase their on-site conversions prior to investing in marketing. Why send traffic to a site that doesn't convert?
1000's upon 1000's of ecommerce websites make buying hard, they make you jump through a myriad of hoops before you can give your credit card details to them. This simply adds to the sad statistic that the average website shopping basket abandonment rate online is over 85%. Only 15 out of 100 people safely and seamlessly get through the complete checkout process.
Add to the fact that 97% of ecommerce websites fail to make a profit in their first 3 years online and you can see the need for a formula that works.
Surveys can help you define the converison process as they give you the chance to actually ask your customers what they want, so all you have to then do is give it to them. Simple.
Analytics or Metrics is all about refinement. Refining the above essential website components through actual and specific data taken from your website and research that is applicable to your market or niche. Actual and specific data is all you need to establish what your website visitors like about your site or dislike. You can measure pages they enter into your website, pages they exit from, why they leave your site without buying, top selling products, products they view but don't buy, plus many more reports. Key data for optimum refinement.
Communication is the process of reaching or speaking on a regular basis with your potential site users, buyers or existing site users or customers. You can do this via newsletters, RSS feeds, videos social sites and ensures you get maximum exposure and are bsically in front of your audience often. Maybe a customer has purchased a mobile phone from you and you wish to offer them a case or software. This is called a backend offer or sale and you are more likely to get this sale as they are already a customer who trusts and respects your company.
Innovation - 7 Design Principles
Alignment creates a sharper, more unified design.
Balance provides stability and structure to your design. Using the right sizes and shapes matching your natural vision patterns and process means an easy to use website.
Colours set the mood for an emotional response from your visitor. Be it an enquiry, sale or subscription.
Contrast is the most effective way to emphasise and generate impact with a design.
Hierarchy creates a solid structure, organisation and direction. A good site will have a funnel or path (your desired action or sale) that takes the visitor buy the hand from entrance to exit in as few a steps, with the least resistance as possible.
Repitition unifies and strengthens a design by tying together otherwise separate parts.
Typography or Font is key and must give clarity, emphasise areas and actions and must match the site design, business model and market type.
SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is the ability to use specific on-site and off-site attributes and dynamics that enable the major search engines (Google, Microsoft Live Search and Yahoo) to rank and position your website and its pages in the top 10 of the search results pages when a searcher searches for your target keyword or keyphrase. Lower than top 10 postions and your chances of getting traffic and conversions reduce by up to 90% +. This method of marketing is solid as 80% of all searches online use the search engines with Google taking the majority of these searches. So essentially we need to be at the top of Google.
Link Building is a fundamental strategy in your Off-Site SEO artillery. However links are not created equal and its absolutely imperative to build in the right frequency and source the right links in quality, quantity and with the right elements. As your site grows over time if your product or service is newsworthy then you'll experience the phenomenon that is Organic Momentum and this is when people start to link to your site homepage or site inner pages with nothing required in return. They do this simply to give value to their own site visitors by recommending your site, product or information.
Content is vital for Traffic and Conversion on your website and must not only captivate, educate, inspire but must also look clean and balanced, read well and use your target keywords and keyphrases in the right density or amount.
PPC or Pay Per Click Online Marketing is a great way to get your website instant traffic by using Googles advertising model (Adwords). By targeting specific keywords and keyphrases you can get immediate exposure based on a specific daily budget. You pay Google for every click when visitors enter your site through your Adwords advert. Its important to start small, hone your skills in your particular market or niche and then roll out more adverts once your click to conversion ratio is profitable.
Social Media Online Marketing is the lastest and exciting medium of online marketing and taps into the viral or word of mouth marketing model. Social Media sites are now frequented by millions of daily users and love them or hate them you have at your disposal a massive target market.
Video Online marketing is a key way of transferring hungry and ready to buy visitors to your website by way of displaying your website address (URL) in the video, product placement again in the video or automatic transfer when the video ends. Add to this that video sites such as YouTube allow you to assign key SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) attributes to your vdeos means that your videos can score in the major search engines SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) or just results for short in rapid time and in the top 10.
Disclaimer: White Hat versus Black Hat Techniques
Direct Web Media only employ White Hat Online Marketing strategies and techniques. White Hat simply means they are ethical, natural and will in no way affect nor jeapordise your virtual relationship with Google and the other search engines.
Black Hat techniques are unethical, unnatural and Google and the other search engines will penalise you if found to be utilised and in many cases will ban you. 1 example of this is camouflaging text. Just to confirm Direct Web Media DO NOT use Black Hat techniques.