Make Your Website Succeed

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A no jargon guide to making your website succeed!


1.urbanmedia A Jargon free guide to why some websites sell and others dont. 2. ForewardContentsMake your website succeed hits the spot that others simplydo not dare to touch. From the first page to the end, this Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1guide keeps in mind the number one requirement of almost The four stages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2every business website on the internet; make profit! That maynot be new, but the direct way in which Elton approaches theBe seen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3subject certainly is.Be worth it . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4Nick Rees, WTTLBefriend . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5Become regular . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6This short book is a must read for anyone involved with abusiness website. Eltons observations are simple and oftenA clear strategy and focused objective . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7obvious, but they will throw light on problems faced by manypeople trying to make a profit from their website. Key phrase (search term) research . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8Barry Shadbolt, Blue Arrow Competitor analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Your first milestone . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Ethical search engine optimisation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11Elton has always had a way of demystifying the internet andmaking the subject available to all. This guide has been a Link strategy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12long time coming. Now everyone can start to understandwhat is quite a simple subject when presented the right way. Pay Per Click . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13John Williams, InterpakUsability allowing users to score your goals . . . . . . . . . . . .14 Accesibility allowing all users to score your goals . . . . . . . .15Eltons no nonsense attitude to the Internet has the effect of Visitor conversion tracking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16saving companies thousands of pounds. This guide providesan excellent starting point for anyone considering a new Email marketing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17website project or confused as to why their existing site isnot turning out as they planned. Elton can be very direct andMeasuring return on investment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18sometimes abrupt! This is part of his unique style and itcomes across in the make your website succeed guide. Lifetime Customer Value (LCV) and the snowball effect . . . . .19Stick with it, this guide will save you making costly mistakes Choosing an Internet marketing partner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20and show you the way to increased website revenue. Where do you go from here? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21Paul Frost, Best Cruise Deal Worksheets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 Elton would like to say thank you to all the clients that have worked withMake it tangible . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23 Urban Media to build successful websites. Also to those that have Run the numbers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24 participated in the many training sessions run both in house and at various seminars. Your feedback and experiences shape our thinking as we push Choose a partner checklist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25 the boundaries of internet marketing. Your success is every bit deserved. Thank you.Glossary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26/27 3. 12 Introduction The four stages Hi, and thank you for picking up this no jargon guide to creating aI believe that there are four stages to a successful website. These four successful website. Whether you are new to internet marketing or a stages lead to a long and mutually beneficial relationship. Since I think the seasoned pro, you probably realise the significance of the internet and themost important thing in business is our client (and supplier) relationships, value it can bring to your business. You may also be aware of the effect itI have used the relationship scenario below. Imagine for a minute, 2 single is having on your business. This may be good or bad. The problem is, ifpeople looking for their very own, long lasting relationship (stay with me on you dont understand internet marketing, it can be quite daunting. Morethis!) if you were one of these individuals, you must go through four stages. worryingly, you could be about to spend a lot of your valuable marketing First, you must be seen. When your perfect partner is out there looking for budget on what could be a huge gamble. Keep reading! I aim to make someone just like you, there is no use hiding. your decision less of a gamble and more of an educated choice.Second, if you are seen, and you are looking for a long term relationship, Regardless of where you are in terms of the internet, your business hasyou are going to need a date. To get your dream date, you need to be been, is being and will continue to be affected by the web. For some, youworth it. This is where all those first impressions come in. will have been an early adopter. You will (I hope) have gained a wealth ofThird, if you manage to get the date, you will need to spend time experience and by now, you will be making extra profit as you eat up thebefriending, showing your date that you have some common ground, a online sales that your not-so-savvy competitors are missing. For others,connection that might just benefit you both. you will be the not so savvy competitor. You may not have seen it in this way before, but the sales enquiries that have gone away have not actuallyFinally, given that your date was a real success, you need to become gone away. They have moved and now come through the internet. For theregular to that person, your new relationship. If the relationship is to majority, you will be somewhere in the middle. Wherever you are, thisprosper, you have to maintain communication. guide is for you. It will either be a book of enlightenment or simply back Over time, you will both profit (benefit) from your relationship. to basics.Throughout my 11 years in website development, I have received regular feedback on how I have simplified the internet for my clients. During thisBE SEEN period, I have only lost one job due to my lack of techie talk. Its worth noting that we went on to recover that job after their techies failed BE WORTH IT miserably. You see, designers talk about how great the site will look, techies talk about what it will do and the third more recent group, the BEFRIEND search engine guys talk about getting to page one of Google. Is it just meBECOME REGULAR or are they all missing the point? Surely your websites main aim is to generate more business.Take a minute to think about what this could mean for your business. That is why I decided to write this guide. I wanted to help strip away the hype, the jargon, the smoke and mirrors and frankly the confusion. Its time Next, we will explore the four stages. These are common to all successful to put some common sense back into the internet. websites. 4. 34 Be seenBe worth itFirst, you must be seen. When your perfect partner is out thereSecondly, if you are seen, and you are looking for a long termlooking for someone just like you, it is no use hiding.relationship, you are going to need a date. To get your dream date, you need to be worth it. This is where all those first impressions The first thing we need to do is establish where your potential clients are come in. looking. As the internet continues to grow, so do the variety of ways in which you can promote your business online. This is a great sign of howJust as in the physical world you can not underestimate the importance of the internet is growing. However, if we are building a successful websitea first impression, so is the same with your website. The first impression we need to be careful where we spend our marketing budget to get the a visitor to your website should experience is one that provides them with best return. confidence and a desire to continue their journey into finding out moreabout you. Think back to our example on the previous page. There are many places where a single person might find a partner; through friends, at the gym, inQuite often people interpret this to mean the visual look of the site. Whilst church, on a dating website, down the pub etc. Each one of these could the graphic design is important, the interface design is what provides the provide a lead, but I would suggest that one would outperform the others necessary experience. So what is the interface design? It simply refers to every time; the dating website. Its simple, this is a place where people go where and how things are placed. Are things obvious or awkward? to find a date and be found for a date.Consistent or random? Etc. Put yourself in your visitors shoes for a minute.If a page looks fantastic, but you cant find what you need, how will your Our options as a business are equally as wide. We could use webvisitor feel? If the site lacks the polished look, but everything is obvious to directories, banner ads, natural search listings, Pay Per Click etc. Theseuse, how will they feel? can all bring leads, but we need return on our marketing spend. Which one do you think would bring more people to your site? Hands downIf you actually placed yourself in their shoes, chances are you drew upon almost every time, a top of first page listing in Google will outperform any your own experiences in those situations to understand how a visitor may other method of delivering visitors to your site. Despite this, many feel. Which site would you prefer to use? You have just experienced one otherwise intelligent marketers waste money in many wrong areas of of the keys to a successful website. I want to clarify my position at this internet spending. My advice is as always very simple. Put your efforts into point. I believe that it is possible and indeed important for a site to look being seen where your potential customer will be looking.great and work great. My observation above simply shows whichrequirement should always take priority. Over 87% of all online transactions start with a user searching for a specific product/service. In the UK, over 80% of searches are carried out in Google.Remember, you need to look at each page individually. If a visitor landed on Less than a third of users go beyond the first page of results (they simplythat page as the first time they had ever come across you, does it tell them enter a different search term). Putting it into context, 90% of your internetall they need to continue the journey? They are looking for a specific marketing efforts should be put into securing a first page listing in Google.product/service, not your company name/history. What do they currently see? Cutting corners here will cost you in the long run. Be strict on yourself. 5. 5 6 Befriend Become regularThirdly, if you manage to get the date, you will need to spend thisFinally, given that your date was a real success, you need totime befriending, Showing your date that you have some commonbecome regular to that person, your new relationship. If theground, a connection that might just benefit you both. relationship is to prosper, you have to maintain communication.Stage three is when a visitor has found your site, clicked on to it andIt is common knowledge that selling to existing customers is far less decided to stay and see what you have to offer. You have a date with yourexpensive than finding new customers to sell to. The internet makes it easy potential client. You have started the relationship. It is now vital that youfor us to maintain customer relationships with lots of customers. make the connection. To do this you need to understand what yourSurprisingly, this is the point where the majority of companies fail. They put customer wants. This is not necessarily what you currently sell. It may bein all the hard work and achieve that all important first sale. Not only did that what you sell can solve the problem or requirement that your potentialthe potential customer find them, they considered them worth a click (visit). customer has, but look at the emphasis. At all times, view your websiteOnce on the site they were so pleased that they stuck around and made from the visitor perspective. Let me give an example.a purchase as a sign of their commitment to the relationship. Then, sadly, Think of an accountant. Why do we use them? Personally, I want 2 things. you decided not to stay in touch. The usual reasons are time, cost and not I want peace of mind and I want to keep more of the profits. knowing how. Hopefully, this guide will help to show why staying in touchis worth the time, money and the finding out how. If an accountant tries to tell me about P11Ds and corporation tax, I will go blank. These are the services they offer, but they are not my wants. If you can add ongoing value to your customers, why wouldnt you? Arentthese customer relationships really important to you? In the same way, Urban Media offer various programming languages, design, search engine optimisation and a myriad of other things. What added value content could you provide free of charge on a regular Fortunately I realise that these are not things that our clients care about. basis? This is often the most difficult activity to justify until you have started Our clients want to generate more business through their receive regular repeat business from it. However, that can work to your Effectively, they want more sales. They also want to feel informed. This isadvantage. If your competitors cant justify it and choose to ignore the why we avoid the tech talk. It is one of the languages that we understandpotential profits of providing regular free added value content to existing and use in the right environment, but not with our clients.clients, you will stand out even more. Since you have already created thecontent, why not let the potential client who is stood on the edge, still Take some time to think about what your clients really get from you.considering their buying choices, have a copy too. It might just sway them. Remember, no one ever wants a 12mm drill bit; they want a 12mm hole.The best format to provide this regular content is through an email Once you have a list, think about how you could offer this to a new visitornewsletter. Note the title, newsletter, not sales letter. By helping our clients to your site. Be their friend, add value to your new relationship, sales willto understand more about internet marketing, they are in a better position come. If you force visitors to read about your wonderful products/services,to make the correct buying decisions. They make the decision on their without addressing their needs, you will fail to establish profitable customer terms, not ours. In this way, we both win which leads to many ongoing relationships. sales without the need for selling. 6. 78 Clear strategy and focusedKey phrase research objectivesYour online success could swing either way based simply on your choice of key phrases. It is vital that you carry out key phrase research. This is So far we have discussed the four stages of a successful website. Now I research into what key phrases your potential clients will use. would like to take a step back before proceeding into the next sections. Think of this from your users perspective. Lets imagine that our user is Think of someone you know (could be you) that has failed to achieve looking for a leaking tap to be fixed. On the other end is our extremely success from their website. Now focus on what they failed to achieve. professional, national property maintenance company. Finally, what did they write down as their stated objectives when they began? The user may try key phrases (search terms) such as plumber, local plumber, handyman, fix leaking tap, etc. Although there are web developers that can take a good plan and destroy its chances of success (we will discuss this later), it is more common forOur property maintenance company are the perfect company to help. To website owners to have such vague plans that it is impossible to succeed. show just how professional they are, they have optimised their pages for terms such as reliable property maintenance, all areas covered, reliable Make sales is not a focussed objective. How many sales constitute friendly staff, etc. success? How will you get the sales? What will it cost? Now that I have written it down, its obvious. Think about how frustrating it In my mind, a clear strategy involves research and a very specific plan is though when you cant find what you need easily. with measurable targets. It includes knowing what your site will cost, what a sale is worth to you in gross profit and a clear understanding of how Take a minute to look at your own site. Read the text with this new many sales you will need to break even and move into profit. You will needperspective. The words that keep cropping up, are they really the terms a motivation to keep moving the project forward in the initial stages. What that your potential client would use to find you? is it? Take a minute to create a picture of what your success will bring you. Thankfully there are tools to see which phrases are more popular. Again, Remember, if you have no idea of how many sales you need, you cant dont cut corners here. Carry out key phrase research. Ask clients what measure success. If you cant measure your success, how will know when youthey would have used to find you. Ask non clients the same question. Then have achieved it and how will you increase your target when you reach it. use the tools to find out the actual popularity of the list of search terms. The software tools will also show similar terms that you may not have If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Take time out to write down your plan. discovered. Use the worksheets at the back of this guide. Run them past your web developer. They will know whether you have unrealistic expectations, but ultimately it is your time and money that is at stake. Take realistic advice, dont allow yourself to believe that something will happen just because you would like it to. Your web developer should help by challenging your plans in order to strengthen them. 7. 910 Competitor analysis Your first milestone Armed with your key phrase research, you should check out yourWell done for staying with me! You have now reached your first milestone. competition. Your online competition are often different to your off line We have learnt that all successful websites have four distinct stages. We competitors. The good news is that they are easier to find and compareknow that we must have a clear strategy and focused objectives. To yourself against. support our ideas, we have researched both our key phrases (what clients will use to find us) and our online competitors (those that clients will To find your competition, simply enter your key phrases into Google and compare us to). write a list of all the sites that come up in the top 3 pages. I suggest Google as it has the majority of the market share. You need to be on the front page of Google. The top three pages change over time and any of theS Sit down results from the first 3 pages are close enough to be competing with you for the first page listing. This doesnt even take into account the people whoT Test the are currently trying to get to the top and dont yet appear in the first 3 pages of results. Using all 3 pages of results will give you a wider O Opportunity before comparison. What are your competitors doing? Who are they? Can you match/beatP Proceeding their offer/attractiveness? What makes you different? To get this far, we have essentially carried out a feasibility study. If you It would be a good idea to get some outside feedback on this. Write out cant genuinely offer a better product or service, profitably, than is already the various offers. Print out the various website screens. Create a few easily found online, your chances of success are limited. This is very direct, direct questions and ask independent people who they would buy from but I am in the business of generating internet success stories, not failures. and why? The answers should be enlightening. You may have been aboutThis guide has been created to help you, not flatter you. to create a website offering something that was great in unimportant areasIf you do believe that after your research, you can take on the competition, and lacking in more crucial areas. This research can be used in a wider you are probably in a good position to do so. The following pages will help context than just your website. to explain the route you will need to take to success. We will explore the This all sounds obvious and not a mistake you would have made. Good individual components of the four stages and more. news! Your research will confirm your existing belief. Given the number ofEach page simply skims the surface of a specific area. It will be enough companies that get it wrong, I would still advise that you do not miss this to help you to gain a basic understanding of what will be required to create exercise. Even large companies like Coca Cola get it wrong when they fail your web success. I have tried to keep it simple at the same time without to carry out enough research. Think back to new recipe Coca Cola. It wasdiscussing too much unnecessary detail at this stage. a disaster and had to be retracted after a very expensive roll out. 8. 1112Ethical search engine optimisation Link strategyBy far the most profitable way to promote your website will be through the We have already discovered that the search engine creates its results bynatural (organic) search engine listings. As previously mentioned, Googleanalysing your pages via a large algorithm. However a quite often overlookedhas a huge market share and although you should appear across allarea is the off page score given to your pages. This is called the Pagesearch engines, Google will account for the majority of your visitors. Rank. A very complex part of the search engine algorithm assesses theThe natural listings receive a lot more clicks than the paid listings (Pay pages that link to you. Each of these pages has their own value (Page Rank).Per Click, Adwords). You will typically pay an internet marketer for their Based on this rank, you receive a vote from each page that links to one ofwork (expect to pay around 400/month) and there are no per clickyour pages. The higher the score of the page that links to you, the higher thecharges as with Pay Per Click. At the same time, the number of clicks that vote you receive. The more pages that link to you, the more votes youyou can receive is unlimited.receive. This adds up to make your own score. I have simplified theSearch engines are basically software programs that use large algorithms explanation somewhat, but the basic message is that gaining links from otherto decide the order of millions of pages in relation to a search term enteredhigh page rank pages is vital to boosting your own Page a search engine user. An internet marketer should know what criteriaThere are 3 areas to look at.the search engines are using for their algorithm and therefore be able to The Yahoo and DMOZ directories have a huge impact on your listings.make your pages fit the bill from a mathematical viewpoint. This in turn willprovide you with the first page listing that you desire. Because they are manually edited, not automatic, they can be very difficult to get into. Do not let this put you off. You may benefit from using anLook out for cheating in this area. Due to the value of a first page listing, internet marketer who is also an editor for either of these is tempting to cheat the system. This method is quick, but short lived. DMOZ editors have a unique insight into how the listings work from behindThe danger is that should a search engine pick up on the method, it is the scenes.likely to blacklist your site and exclude it totally from their listingspermanently. You should insist on ethical search engine optimisation. TheThe bulk of the link strategy works by searching out relevant directories orterms white hat and black hat are used to describe ethical or non ethicalsites and requesting links from them. This sometimes means offering asearch optimisation back. It is far more effective however if a reciprocal link is not required.It is not particularly useful to know all of the details of page optimisation, but There is no direct benefit to your own search listings by adding links toyou should look for changes made to the pages that you can see. Your key other sites on your pages. Link strategy work is purely about getting highphrases need to be prominent and at least 4% of the total words should bevalue relevant links from others to your site.your key terms. When your mouse (cursor) moves over images on the page, Another very effective way of building first page listings through externalyour key phrases should appear in a text box (alt tag). When you look at thetop of the browser window (the blue band on Internet Explorer) you shouldmeans is social networking. There are various sites where you can buildalso see your key phrases. You should only use 2 related key phrases per social networking profiles. These profiles become web pages that arepage, you will gain spin offs from these phrases but you cannot expect toindexed and rank well in the search engine listings. Not only do they bringappear for two completely different subjects with 1 page.their own string of visitors to your main site, they have a huge effect on your own natural listings. The main sites that are used for this activity areAsk your web developer/internet marketer to show you examplesites/references and ask them how they intend to optimise your site. The Stumble Upon, Squidoo, Facebook, Ecademy etc.key words to look out for are H1 tags, bold tags, alt tags, key word density Whichever methods you use, obviously, the more you can commit to, theand frequency, key word prominence and on page optimisation. This is a better. Link Strategy has a very important role to play in gaining first pagevery specialist area and we are scratching the surface, but you have listings for your website.enough to evaluate whether an internet marketer knows their stuff. 9. 1314Pay Per ClickUsability allowing users to scorePay Per Click is the quickest way to gain clicks (visitors) to your website. your goalsAll of the search engines carry paid for listings alongside the unpaid(natural) listings that dominate their pages. From the moment a site is live,Once you have got visitors to your site, whether through a lot of hard workyou can build an advertising campaign for paid listings and make the in the natural listings or through spending heavily on Pay Per Click, youcampaign live. This means that you can effectively get high volumes of need to make the most of it. The fact that a user has searched for you, tellsvisitors to your site within hours of the site being launched. you that they want to find what you have and buy your product/service. Allow your users to score your goals.As with all of the other areas, there is a lot to learn about Pay Per Click toreally maximise your expenditure. There are some basics to understandThink back to the last time you went to a store to buy something that youand these are the things I would like to discuss here.There are 3 main expected them to sell. Try as you might, you couldnt find the item andthings to look at with any Pay Per Click campaign. either left to find it somewhere else or gave up and asked an assistant. OnHow much are you willing to pay to receive 1 new visitor to your site? Thisyour website, you will rarely get the second option. It is so easy for a userisnt too difficult. If you need 100 visitors before you make 1 sale of 200 to go elsewhere. Think about what your visitor may be looking for and giveat 50% GP (leaving 100 profit), you break even at 1.00 per click. Pay anyit to them.less and you make, any more and you lose! There are scenarios whereThere is only one simple rule for this area of website may choose to lose on the first sale. This is discussed later in LifetimeCustomer Value. Keep it simple whilst making it obvious. How much can you afford to pay each month? This figure can keepThis means for your visitor, not you. You know your company, productsincreasing whilst you are making profit and able to deliver your and services like the back of your hand. You therefore have very littleproduct/service effectively. To begin though, how much will your monthly chance of being a suitable critic. It is important to view each page andbudget be? If you set a daily limit of 500 and pay 1.00 per click, you willconsider the following;get 500 clicks before your campaign is paused automatically until you have Is your logo prominent?more budget. The budget is spread out across the month. If you set 500 Do you have a prominent tag line that clearly states what you doand your adverts are not seen after lunchtime, chances are by doubling for your clients?your budget, you will be live until the evening. Is your menu easy to understand?When and where do you want to be seen? You can set specific timesDo the words speak of what your user will gain or what you do?and/or regions to show your adverts. For example if you are not exporting, (This should not be the latter by the way!)you can choose simply England or United Kingdom. If you know that youHave you pointed out clearly what your visitor should do next?get a higher conversion later in the day, you can target these times. AIf something looks clickable, can you click it?courier company is far more likely to convert a sale during 4.30pm If you want something clicked, does it look clickable?9.00pm than through the early part of the day. This is because therequirement is a far more urgent one rather than a general enquiry toThe specific placement of items such as special offers etc. can also greatlytender for a future account. improve your effectiveness. This should be done over time and the results monitored. To start though, ensure that the list above is all taken care of.There are lots of benefits to Pay Per Click, but remember that you are If you have an ecommerce site, there are some really basic but fantasticallypaying for every click in an auction against your competition. If they bid effective methods to use to increase sales. If you would like moremore, they will show up higher. Therefore the cost can only ever go higher information, email more businesses choose this option. 10. 15 16Accesibility allowing all users toEmail marketingscore your goalsThere is a lot of misunderstanding about email marketing and differentA less well known fact about running a website is the legal requirement ofpeople hold very different views. It doesnt have to be difficult. Once again,the Disability Discrimination Act. This is a piece of English Law that states bring it back to basics.that you should make reasonable steps to ensure that your site can beIf you have a specific product/service for young new dads lets say, howused equally by all.effective would the following be;If you have narration on your website, you should have text to accompanythe narration etc. This is a rare scenario, but one that is common to all sites A blanket mailshot to any household demonstrating your offeris how your pages appear to the visually impaired. This includes your blind A mailshot to households that have recently bought fromvisitors. A blind visitor will be viewing your website through a text to speech Mothercare, demonstrating your offerdevice. This device will read the content of your site to the visitor.A specific message to your existing customers to help them withDepending on your viewpoint and the priority you place on socialyour products and in doing so demonstrate other products thatresponsibility, this could seem like a good thing to do or it may seem likeunnecessary effort and expense. Because of the range of views, I will you could offer.approach this from a position that everyone can understand. Websites that It is fairly obvious which one will generate more response or a betterare DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) compliant are typically W3C conversion rate. It is the same online. You could buy email addresses verycompliant (think ISO 9001 for the web). Sites that are W3C compliant arecheaply (per name) and send out a mass mailing. Even if you send enoughalso better optimised for the search engines. Sites that do well in thethat statistically you reach a large number of recipients that could use you,search engines get more visitors and obviously sites that get more visitorsyour mailing will have only limited success.tend to sell more and make greater profits.It wouldnt take me long to explain the very convincing argument that saysIf you mailed a specific target audience, you could tie something in towebsites that fulfil the social and legal responsibility of the Disabilitymake a connection and you would improve your results. However, you willDiscrimination Act have more chance of generating long term profits. This still receive a far lower response than a news letter that aims to helpis whilst at the same time, not risking the fines that could come as a result existing customers. They will not only find a benefit and feel that yourof not complying. So, what do you need to do? relationship is strengthened but they will also potentially pass it on to otherThe easy ones are items such as your text should be capable of changing suitable recipients.size. From your browser, if you do not have a text size function on yourWhatever you do, ensure that any email that you send is permissionpages, the browser will have a function to change the text betweenbased. This is not only the law, sending unsolicited email is not good forsmallest, small, normal, large, extra large. If you change the view, doesyour reputation.your text size change? Including your buttons? When you move yourmouse (cursor) over an image, does a small box of text appear with aI would always suggest sticking to the news, not sales letter approach.description of the image? How about colours? Subtle colour changes areRemember this communication is about adding value. The added valueharder to distinguish between for the visually impaired. The lack of contrast will in turn influence your clients perception of you and their eagerness tocan make your site difficult for these users to read. repeat buy and refer others to you.Each site has different challenges, but you can be sure that a site haspassed the test when you see the A, AA, or AAA rated logo. 2 thingsto remember; the law states that you should make reasonable steps andtaking these steps will help to increase your profits. 11. 17 18Visitor conversion tracking Measuring return on investmentThe internet offers a unique and powerful way to track, analyse and As you have seen, there is a lot to think about and do in order to create aimprove your visitor conversions. Unlike any other form of marketing andtruly successful website. It wouldnt make sense to put in this effort oradvertising spend; you can see how your prospects are interacting withexpense without a way to measure what your return is. Your website shouldyour site.bring profits to your business. It should be an investment, not an expense.It is possible to see which key phrases are bringing the sales and whichNow it is fair to say that these profits will not be instant and you need toare not. It is also possible to see which traffic generation methods (bannerconsider the payback, natural listings, paid listings etc.) are bringing the actual sales. There To understand your return on investment, you need to add all of the costsare many website statistic programs. Google Analytics is one of these. It in producing the site and running the site over a given period. Since we areis free and is a fantastic tool if setup and understood properly. This analysis used to 3 year plans, I will use that timeframe. After all, a good websitesoftware will allow you to monitor every aspect of your website and findshould not need to be totally rebuilt in less time than 3 years. Rememberareas to improve or concentrate on. to add the initial build costs to the cost of maintenance for the whole 3Your web developer will be able to setup conversion goals. These mayyear period. Then add the cost of promoting the site. This includes Pay Persimply be actions such as downloading a technical spec sheet or going toClick, internet marketer costs and any management time you will have tothe contacts page. A more powerful use would be on an ecommerce site. put in. Depending on how good your internet marketing partners are, thisVarious goals can be set. This allows you to see where visitors are turned could be minimal or extensive. The figure may well be staggering, but it isoff the purchase.your real cost. Imagine the scenario where a goal is placed on the view category page,Next, work out what your average gross profit is in percentage terms. Letsthe view item page, the add to basket page, the checkout page and the say your total costs were going to be 80,000 and your gross profit is 50%.thank you page. You will see detailed information as to where your buyers This means that to simply break even you must sell 160,000 over 3 yearsleave the sale. This will help you to identify problems such as or 4,445 per month. You now have a number to work with that meansincorrect/insufficient product range, pricing issues, problems with the something. Taking this a step further, if you know that your average salecheckout i.e. payment options, delivery charges 450, you need to sell 10 items per month.By reviewing the data, it is easy to alter strategies to fix any problem areasHowever you monitor your return on investment, make sure that you do.and get your site selling.Websites have a way of soaking up budget if you dont. If your webProbably the simplest but potentially most critical statistic will be yourdeveloper is more interested in the design or the technical aspects, alarmbounce rate. Bounce rate tells us how many times a visitor lands on one bells should ring. Your (and their) main priority should always be getting aof your pages and leaves without venturing further into your website. Inreturn from your expenditure.conjunction with another piece of data for the keywords used to find your If you do not sell in the traditional sense, you should still set performancesite, you will know that either your site is optimised for the wrong keywords targets. This may relate to time saving such as what is the value of a useror that you are getting quality (correct) leads into the site, but failing to downloading your service guide rather than calling tech support forshow them that you are relevant. Either way, again, you are armed with theexample. This can then be tracked and you can see whether your websiteinformation you need to make saving you money. 12. 19 20Lifetime Customer Value (LCV)Choosing an Internetand the snowball effectmarketing partnerYou should never forget the value of your ongoing relationship with a client.This part is crucial. It is very rare for a successful website to be run inThis can seriously affect the view of your website profitability. This ishouse. It is a lot to get right and therefore outsourced help is usually thetermed Lifetime Customer Value.way that this goal is achieved. This presents a problem. Who to choose? This is another simple equation to work out. If we know that our average Firstly, and the most obvious one, you have to get on with the team youproduct is 450 and that the gross profit is 50%, then the sale value is choose. It may be worth asking to see the person who will actually carry out the work before commissioning a team. You need to get on with the225. It may take a lot of these to break even. What if though, you sell to developer and the internet marketer, not just the account manager. Thisthe same customer monthly and you keep the customer for three years. In team should consist of a separate developer and internet marketer. Theprofit terms, the customer is worth 36 of the 225s. This is 8,100 just in roles are very different and it is impossible to be at the top of both. Oneprofit. There are other knock-on benefits. How many people does he tellside will suffer if this is the same person. You need a company thatabout you and how many of those also spend regularly with you over a specialises in providing website/internet services.prolonged period and tell others etc. A good track record is naturally a big key to your success. If the team haveIt is immediately apparent how looking at the lifetime customer value candone it before, they should be able to do it again. If they havent, you aresignificantly improve your return on investment figures. Is this a realistic their test case. If you offer to be that test case for a reduced fee, they dontway of looking at return on investment though? I think that it is. If you arehave the budget to do the work properly and everyone may business for the long term, you will generate the profits that you have Testimonials are a very quick way to find out whether their existing clientspredicted through lifetime customer value. would use them again. Phone their clients if necessary. In the early days of our customer relationships, we take it as a given factVisit them. Not in a hotel lobby or meeting room facility; at their office. Get a feelthat we will make little profit. This is a massive incentive for us to do afor their environment. Working in a pleasant environment makes a difference togood job in order to be recommended and also to keep each account long the work and attitude of the team. How long have they been going? The webenough to move into the more profitable ongoing relationship part. Since has changed and continues to change at a fast pace. Companies that have been around longer will have a wealth of experience and a more balancedour client makes more profit later into the relationship, we are both sharing outlook. This will help you to avoid fads whilst seizing genuine opportunities.the pain and benefiting from the long term relationship. What training or help do they provide free of charge? If they are good, thisAlthough it is encouraging to think of the referral business that a web is a tell tale sign. Providing free training means that potential clients canenquiry will eventually provide, I suggest that you only include the repeat see them in action before making a decision. Visit their training from the individual customer. The rest is just a knock-on benefit.They will typically have existing clients there. Talk to them.Of course if you are including lifetime customer value into your equations, You will find it difficult to tick all of the boxes with all of the web developersyou need to consider the timescale. Can your business afford the outlayyou meet. The most important consideration is that they have currentahead of the return? This is the difference between a cash flow forecast satisfied clients who are generating profits from the efforts of the sameand a Profit and Loss where the website would be an asset and the cost individuals that you will work with.shown over the full 36 months. Finally, dont jump at the first web team you see. Unless you are absolutely convinced by the first team or have gone on recommendation, I recommend getting a comparison. Also, dont go overboard. It will make your decision making harder and you will never move forward. See only 2-4 suppliers. 13. 21 22Where do you go from here?Make it tangibleSo, you are ready to begin using your website to increase business orWhat does your business sell?keen to see how much more your website can do. You need to speak tosomeone. If you speak to an internet marketer, you have made acommitment. You now have turned your desire into something concrete.Before you get to this point, it will be very easy to let the project drift.This is not enough on its own. You have a lot of thinking and planning to What do your customers buy from you?do. It doesnt have to be onerous or take up lots of time, but you do haveto work out the offline bits such as profitability. Work out what you can putaside in terms of budget. Know what your break even points are. Knowwhat cash you need to generate in what time frame.Your web development/internet marketing team should work with you onthis. Look for a web company that publish their prices. This means if you How well is your website currently performing (circle below using 1-10)do share your budget with them, they wont simply alter their costing to fit1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10your budget. An ethical company should be always looking at how they canmaximise your budget, not their profits. Expect this to mean as much beingNot delivering business Bringing regular businessspent on the ongoing marketing as on the initial build unless your site hasto be particularly complex. What are the consequences to you of not having a successful website?Naturally, Urban Media would love to speak to you regarding anynew/existing website project you have. But, this doesnt mean you shouldonly look at us. You should at least gain 2 viewpoints as a minimum.Whatever you choose and whoever you want to speak to, my final wordwould be to do something! While you delay, your competitor is taking theWhat would it mean to you if your site delivered regular leads/sales?advantage. Its time to get things back in your favour.Thank you for reading this guide. I really hope it has helped to stir somethoughts and improved your understanding of what it takes to make awebsite successful. Of course there have been many details missing. Itwas never the idea to get stuck into the detail. You are very welcome toIn 12 months, where would you like to see your website?attend our monthly training sessions for a more detailed insight.Brochure site, not really used for new businessNew site design representing the company professionallyI wish you all the best with your internet marketing and I would be reallypleased to have my team help you out along the way. Sales being generated through the siteCustomers using the site to find information, saving time for them and usElton BoocockManaging Director moved into e-commerce and selling certain standard items onlineUrban Media (GB) Ltdgrowing subscriber base to our well received monthly email news letterP.S. Call Urban Media on 01494 538441 to get the ball rolling.I dont know, but want to find out. I know it can do more!We would love to hear from you. 14. 2324Run the numbers Choose a partnerUsing the last full 6 months as your timescale, fill in the following:checklistATotal Sales Value Did you speak to the Web Developer?BNumber of SalesCould you work with them?CAverage Sale Value (A B)Did you speak to the Internet Marketer? DTotal Gross ProfitCould you work with them? EGross Profit Margin ((D B) x 100) %Are they both Specialists? Do they have relevant examples?FEach sale is worth on average (C x E) Does their website display named testimonials? GHow many times do your clients spend per year? Can you speak to their existing clients? Did they understand your requirement?HHow many years do you keep each clientDid they challenge your ideas?JYour Lifetime Customer Value is (F x G x H)Did they add anything new to your ideas? Did they speak in plain English?*At this point you may not know the following. In the future, it will drivethe success of your website.Do the team work in a positive environment? KNumber of visits to your website Do they provide free training? How long have they been established?LNumber of sales/enquiriesWas the price agreeable?MWebsite conversion rate ((L K) x 100)Did you get a good gut feel? Nnumber of enquiries per 1 sale Which Partner do you prefer? *Remember, the price relates to what kind of success the partner can bring you. It hasOValue of a website visitor (J x M x N)been deliberately placed low down the list. Work with your partner to bring about the bestsolution within your budget. 15. 2526Database Driven (see CMS) Link Strategy Search Engine Result PagesGlossaryDisibility Discrimination ActThe process of finding high Page(SERPs)Accessibility Rank links for your site. ThisThe search engine page that(DDA 1995)process involves finding sites to displays results based on theThe art of ensuring that, to as large UK law governing a guideline ofan extent as possible, facilities are link to you, not necessarily from users key phrases.rules to ensure However, it is sometimesavailable to people whether or notSearch Term (see Key phrase)they have impairments of one sort DMOZnecessary to offer a reciprocal link.Social Networkingor another. The human edited web directoryNatural Search Resultsbelonging to Google. Once a site(Listings)Creating profiles on variousAdwords is listed in DMOZ, its ranking websites that are set up as virtualGoogles Pay Per Click system The natural listings that a searchacross various search engines willengine returns based on its (internet) networks.(see Pay Per Click).be greatly improved.algorithm and in order of its UsabilityAnalytics Email Marketing estimated relevance.The ease in which a site visitor isGoogles Web stats programme. ItBulk messages sent via email with able to navigate your site and findruns on Google Servers andOrganic Search Results (seethe intention of marketing. DoneNatural Search Results) what they need.requires small peices of code to be professionally, data will be recordedinserted on your individual relation to number of emails Page Rank W3C (World Wide Webopened and links followed. There areA score given to an individual webConsortium)Bounce Rate A non-profit organisation setup toThe rate at which visitors arrive onstrict laws governing the sending ofpage, by a search engine, basedmail to unsolicited addresses.on the links that link to that page.improve standards across the web.a page of your site and leave They are responsible for settingwithout going further into the site.Flash Pay Per Click (PPC) standards for usability andCascading Style Sheet (CSS) A platform that supports theVarious paid advertising systemsaccessibility.A file used to format layout and text authoring and display of multimedia that display paid for listingscontent (e.g., graphics, audio, and/oralongside natural search results. Web Conversion Rateof pages to improve the quality and The ratio between the numbers ofefficiency of the website.streaming media). Flash content can These are ordered based on theappear in a web page or be stored maximum amount an advertiser is visitors that you receive comparedClickthroughin file. Playing Flash content within a willing to bid in an auction to with those that carry out yourWhen a user moves from one site browser is typically done through a secure the top another. The term is mostBrowser Plug-in that includes the Web Directorycommonly used when referring to Flash player. The Flash player is Reciprocal LinkTwo websites that link to one Directories of businesses,a user moving from a search pre-installed in several web browsers websites, groups or other.engine to your website. and on different operating systems. another.Directories work different to searchClickthrough RatioInternet MarketingReturn on Investmentengines in that you enter yourThe ratio at which usersThe title given to marketingThe amount of cash received indetails into categories and usersclickthrough from a site compared activities that specifically relate toreturn for the cash by the total number of users whothe internetSearch Engine Marketing (SEM) Web Stats (Web Statistics)could have clicked through. Marketing, both paid for andKey phraseStatistical programme that runs inContent Management System A phrase used by a search enginenon-paid for, that is based purelythe background of a website(CMS) user. This term is entered into the on search engine result pages.gathering information about visitorA web application that allows search box and the search engineSearch Engine Optimisationactivity. This information can thenwebsite business owners to edit uses this term to find relevant pages.(SEO) be used to report various activitiestheir own website to a greater or The process of optimising a webKeyword in order for the website owner tolesser degree without any web page to ensure that it is wellprogramming. It is usuallyA word used by a search enginemake improvements to theiruser. The word is entered into thereceived by the search engines andwebsite.achieved through a database.ranks highly. This is achieved bysearch box and the search engineCost per Clickuses this word to find relevant understanding how the searchThe cost per single clickthrough from pages.engine algorithm works anda Pay Per Click advert to your site.adjusting the page structure to suit. 16. Notes Notes 17. If you have been inspired to take action as a result of this guide, we would like to help. Go to to view further assistance and for a unique special offer to get you started on the road to improved web success. 2008 Urban Media (GB) Ltd, Park House Business Centre, Desborough Park Road, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire HP12 3DJ T 01494 538 441 W