Before You Fork Out Money for a Site, You Need to Have A Plan
One of the biggest mistakes businesses of all types make is forgetting to look before they leak. Another is having no clue as to the purpose of advertising.
Claude Hopkins Said It Best: "Advertising is salesmanship in print."
This includes radio, television, web sites, and web videos. The point is to accomplish a specific goal, to sell something, and to sell it to someone specifically. It could have an idea, it could be a product. The principles are the same.
You must define your goals so that you know whether or not you meet them. Here are four questions to consider when preparing for search engine optimization.
- What are you promoting?
- Who are you promoting it to?
- Is your site structured for success?
Let's take them one at a time.
1. What Are You Promoting?
Is it a product or a service? Are you doing ecommerce or lead generation? Is this an exercise in list building? Link building? What is being sold? As you think about this, remember to focus on the main benefit to your prospects, not how you actually provide the benefit.
Lead with the benefits. Follow with proof.
2. Who Are You Promoting To?
You must not try to sell to everyone. If everyone is your customer, then no one is your customer. You can not be everything to everyone. [Insert any extra cliche desire, the point stands.]
You must always sell to someone . You need to figure out who your ideal client is, and what makes him or her tick. What is your ideal client's hot button? If there's more than one hot button, you might want to consider a separate site for each one. This is to avoid diluting your message for any particular hot button you are selling to.
3. Is Your Site Structured for Success?
You need to know exactly what your business is going to be. Once you get going, changing direction becomes progressively harder. Imagine trying to re-optimize a site with 500 pages. This is why market research, including keyword research is so crucial.
Aside from the technical aspects of research, such as keywords and choosing a content management system, you also need to have your USP worked out. What sets your product or service apart? What do you have that the competition has not? Why should a prospect let you sell to them?
Until you answer these questions, it's probably better that you do not fork out much money for a web site. Once you've got your answers down pat, a website will quickly become one of your highest ROI investments.