To plan effectively for your web site and to decide what you want to accomplish with it, spend some time reviewing the following items.  Make notes for your own use, and keep the information in mind as you continue with your planning session:
Describe your business: mission, goals, etc.
Describe your product line/service line.
Know your target market: identify your customers and the geographic boundaries of your market.
Know your competitors and how your products excel.  Think about how you can best promote your products and services through your web site.
Know the overall image and message you want to convey to your customers when they visit your web site.

Plan the primary objective(s) of your web site.  Do you want to:
Sell products/services directly to customers?
Advertise products/services?
Direct the customer where to buy products/services?
Educate viewers regarding products/services?
Provide customer support/service?
Reinforce brand image?
Are there other objectives applicable to your business?  (List).

With the above objective(s) in mind, what action(s) do you want to solicit from visitors to your web site?
Browse the web site;
Order product on-line;
Provide feedback to you;
Buy elsewhere from you or from your affiliates;
Other (describe).

Now plan the secondary objective(s) of your web site:
Make search engine friendly;
Incorporate methods to generate traffic from your target market;
Insert loyalty-building programs to encourage development of extended customers and positive word-to-mouth exposure.
Make it easy for customers to order products or contact you.
Are there other objectives you would like to add?  (List).

Editing tips for reviewing the content of your web page(s):
Is the overall content organized and uncluttered.  Is the wording quick and succinct?  Make sure textual content is brief, easy to read and easy to comprehend.  Ask yourself: Will viewers get the message instantly?

Editing tips:
Keep layout consistent: Coordinate use of company logo, corporate colors, marketing material associated with your company, etc.  Provide these items to the web designers.
Is your contact information (address, phone/fax, email) readily available in a prominent location? Do you want to add a contact name?
Accentuate the main action you want a visitor to take first when they access the site.
Security info: Let your customers know when transactions or exchange of information is secure.
Privacy Policy: Tell people how their personal information (name, address, phone, email etc.) will and will not be used if you are collecting information about your customers in a form on your web site.

Here are some tips that you can implement to encourage repeat visits to your web site.
One tried and true way is to incorporate a What’s New page/tab/section by adding one or more of the following:

Summarize the most recent features added to your business and/or added to your web site.
Cite what’s new in your industry that would be of likely interest to your target market.
List new items in your product line aimed at your target market.
Promote a freebies giveaway: Provide coupons and discounts to your customers via email or post on your web site at weekly or monthly intervals (or at any other interval you determine to encourage customers to revisit your web site).  Freebies can be your products or free utilities like screen-saver with your company name and logo.
Reduce the price of your products and put on a sale during special occasions – like holiday seasons, new store openings, etc.
Add tips of the day/week/month.  You select the tips that you want to put on your site and let your designer do the update for you.  You’ll find this in the Add-on’s page of our Website as part of the site maintenance option.
Elect a site-of-the-day, -week, -month.  This is a good way to promote your alliance partners, see if they will do something for you on their web site.

Other suggestions you may want to add to draw traffic to your site.  If you make your site interesting, it will promote repeat visits:
Provide links to complementary web sites that the viewer can visit after they have reviewed your products/ services/ information.  It’s a good practice try to get the complementary web site to put a link to your web site on their site.  This will improve your ranking with Search Engines.
Encourage the viewer to bookmark your site (or a special item on your site) by adding a button that says “BOOKMARK ME” or “ADD TO FAVORITES”.
Add cartoons or jokes if your target market appreciates them.
Send e-cards to your customers at holidays or to inform them about promotions, new items, etc.  It is important to ask your viewer’s permission to use their email for this purpose prior to sending such promotional email.
You may also want to consider a marketing campaign to your customer list using a specially designed webpage-style html email.  nvite them to respond to your offer, or to visit your web site for news or a new promotion.

One last tip for your off-line business:

After your web site has been launched, be sure to include your web address on all your business promotional materials.
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