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
Internet technologies offer the most measurable projects in business. Every aspect of a website and website marketing campaign can be measured and analyzed to ensure that maximum efficiency can be attained. This level of measure-ability allows businesses to create relationships with customers that previously would have been impossible. This new mountain of knowledge and information that is available to businesses gives them the opportunity to cater to customers more effectively on an individual level. The most important aspect of a successful website is that the business takes advantage of this information, and embraces it for constant company improvement.
There are four phases to of customer engagement according to Hurol Inan in his book, “Measuring the Success of Your Website”. These phases are 1. Reach, 2. Acquire, 3. Convert, and 4. Retain. The definition of each stage will be dependent on the purpose of the site that is doing the engagement, but each stage is important to any site in some way. Measuring the effectiveness of each step is necessary to improving how “customer-centric” a website is, and ultimately the website’s success.
For the purposes of this paper, the discussion of web analytics will be severely limited to basic generalizations, but measurement is essential to determining the successfulness of a website. There are many tools that are available for the measurement of various aspects of a website. When budgets are stretched thin, there are some amazing amounts of information that can be derived from free tools such as Webalizer (www.mrunix.net/webalizer See Appendix 3-12) or AW Stats (http://awstats.sourceforge.net See Appendix 3-13). These programs will tell a website administrator statistics such as how many unique visitors are visiting the site, the pages that account for the highest number of visitor entries and exits, or how many times the site has been accessed from certain search engine queries. This information can be very helpful in the planning of future development for a website.
When a company has a larger budget to dedicate to a website, there are some great tools that can be purchased for website analysis. One of the best programs for website analysis is called Clicktracks (www.clicktracks.com). Clicktracks offers several tiers of pricing for this very powerful software. ClickTracks “uses a radically different architecture that makes it easy for marketers to locate customer behavior data that is difficult or impossible to obtain using earlier methods of web analytics.” (clicktracks.com). This software allows website marketers the ability to create complex reports tailored to gather information on particular users. “Tags” can be created to track users that found the site through specific places or using specific key phrases. This can be very valuable information when evaluating the value of a given promotional campaign. (See appendix item on Clicktracks See Appendix 1-14).
Many software programs will have the ability to track and translate information
from “cookies” place on a visitor’s computer to gather important
information. A cookie is “information that a Web site puts on your hard
disk so that it can remember something about you at a later time. Cookies are
commonly used to rotate the ads that a site sends so that it doesn't keep sending
the same ad as it sends you a succession of requested pages.”
(SearchSecurity.com) Internet cookies have garnered a bad reputation from those who wish to protect privacy, but a cookie can be a valuable tool to both customers (by making purchasing and shopping more convenient) and marketers (by providing valuable information). It is important that a company evaluates and implements one type of software for promotional campaigns to ensure reliability and consistency. Marketers can use the information gathered from these tools to identify trends in the market and better serve customer needs.
(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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