Plan Your Web Site Effectively for Max Success
Types of Websites
Explore the types of Web Site Business Models
Site Types 2
More information on the strategic types of sites
Strategy Planning is essential to Success
Make sure your strategy is up to snuff
Technical Strategic Planning an Outsourcing Contract Work
More on Outsourcing Contract Work
Deciding what will go on your business site and who will provide it
Determing a schedule for content management
Automation for Content Syndication
Keyword Planning Suggestions on preparing keyword research for your site.
Brainstorming and organizing the architecture of your website.
Information Architecture 2
More discussion on the lower tiers of site heirarchy
Technology Planning Scaleability considerations for large and growing sites.
Tech Planning 2Weighing the value of flash technology.
Creating a budget and using it effectively
What type of web host will you need?
Labor related expenses for site creation
Measuring financial success and ROI
Developing a Web Site
Design and Development
Establishing the importance of credibility in design.
Writing the Initial Code
Programming considerations for when you get down to programming.
Promoting a Web Site
Users enjoy sites that cater to their needs. Most people who have shopped online have visited Amazon.com at some point. This has established Amazon.com as the benchmark for success in e-commerce. Although small businesses do not have millions of dollars for research and development, they can develop many of the techniques derived from Amazon’s research to better serve their customers. Amazon has done extensive studying of user behavior to determine the best areas to place certain elements of a webpage. Users have come to look in these places first when they are trying to locate certain features. The Software Usability and Research Library at Wichita State University has studied user behavior as well and has ranked expected locations for common e-commerce elements according to where users most often expect them to be. (Bernard, 2002) The overall usability of a site and ultimately its’ credibility can be increased by placing elements according to this research. (See Appendix 2-8)
The Internet is used by a very diverse assortment of users. These users have many different skill levels, and it is important to create easy-to-use elements when designing the navigation of a website. Seth Godin does a nice job of explaining user psychology in simple terms in his book, “The Big Red Fez.” Seth claims basically that any website can be improved by making the creator’s intentions more obvious to the user. Successful sites use special tactics to inform users where the are on a site, where they have been, and where they are most likely to want to go next. User-friendly navigation techniques along with color choice will effect the user perception of how credible a site is.
A small business should strive to keep confusion to a minimum when creating
their website. If a user is frustrated or confused they will most likely not
return to a site or visit it for very long periods of time. In order to reduce
frustration it is best to keep the site easy to use and easy to navigate. One
way to accomplish better navigability is to employ a technique called “breadcrumbs”.
“Breadcrumbs” are “a schematic on every screen that lets you
know, a la Hansel and Gretel, where you are and where you've been. Any of the
"steps" can be clicked on and you'll be taken back to that particular
location, rather than having to back up page by page.” (Breadcrumbs definition,
consumerreports.org) Breadcrumbs help a user to understand where they are on
a site and how they got there. This navigational element is a very important
usability function for large sites that can sometimes make it easy to get lost
and hard to find specific information. Future visits can be made easier by relaying
to the user where they are on the site and enables them to find their information
with less searching.
(All in a single document) Appendix 1-1: Overture Search Term
Appendix 1-2: Wordtracker Search Query Research Tool
Appendix 1-3: Google Sets Website Theme Research Tool
Appendix 1-4: Reach/ Acquire/ Convert/ Retain
Chart Appendix 2-5: Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth Information Architecture Flowchart
Appendix 2-6: Search Engine Themes Pyramid Information Architecture Example
Appendix 2-7: Webpage Download Time by File Size Chart
Appendix 2-8: Expected Locations for Common E-commerce Elements
Appendix 2-9: Website Usability Checklist
Appendix 2-10: Text Vs.Code Ratio/ Content Near the Top of Souce Code Examples
Appendix 3-11: Overture Bid Price Tool
Appendix 3-12: Webalizer Website Visitor Tracking Tool
Appendix 3-13: AW STATS Website Visitor Tracking Tool Appendix
3-14: Clicktracks Website Statistics
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