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Your website is the first impression people gain about your business. Effective web design is not just about the pretty face you present to the world, but whether your website can attract visitors, encourage them to stay, and convince them to engage in a relationship with your company rather than your competitors.
Whether you already have a website, or want to build a new website it is important that your website has a purpose, complements your offline marketing strategies, and adds value to client interaction, else why would you have it?
Research undertaken by Forrester Research shows 71% of B2B marketers view their site as one of their most important marketing tools, yet only 31% said their site is effective at generating leads.
Outsource your web design or do it yourself?
It’s often difficult to decide whether to outsource your web design and development or do it yourself. Most SME businesses need to keep their costs down and may think that going the DIY route will be more cost effective. This may be true in that the actual web template is cheaper, but the cost in time, effort and “lack of knowledge” could end up costing you far more than the ACTUAL price of the website. So think very carefully and do your homework first.
FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN IMPLEMENTING A WEBSITE PROJECT
There are a number of factors that will influence the effectiveness of your website. Consider these when making your decision as to whether you have the in-house expertise in all, or some of the areas, and then outsource for skills where you need them.
Top 5 main criteria that you need to consider
Design, Aesthetic appeal & First impressions . . . when landing on your site will visitors want to stay?
Layout and Navigation . . . once on your site is it easy to find critical information and move around?
Marketing & Information . . . branding, key messages, content, graphics, interaction, marketing intelligence?
Sales Persuasion & Conversion . . . convert visitors to prospects, hooks, calls to action, clear pathway to purchase?
SEO & site performance . . . site technical performance, search engine indexing, visitor popularity, links?
Questions to ask yourself
Q1 – where does your website fits in your overall marketing mix?
Q2 – do you have marketing AND technical knowledge to develop site structure and aesthetics
Q3 – do you have a clear brand identity that can flow into website design and differentiate you from your competitors?
Q4 – do you have sales funnel and a clear sales conversion pathway that can be measure visitor and client interaction?
Q5 – can you manage and update your site content yourself through a CMS (content management system)?
Q6 – do you understand how to choose a customised website or a template based website for your business?
Q7 – do you know how to prepare a brief and roadmap for your website structure and design?
Q8 – can you “phase build” your website should you have budget restraints?
Q9 – are you aware of hidden costs and “scope creep” risks?
Q10- do your terms and conditions protect both you and your clients?
DON’T choose an Outsource company that . . .
only focuses on technical performance and back end technology
is creative for the sake of being creative . . . instead of relevance
has creative ability but lacks marketing knowledge or the technology knowledge to apply it
tries to convince you that ONLY a customised website is your best option
doesn’t care about attention to detail and client engagement performance
doesn’t have transparent terms and conditions
can’t show examples of other websites they have built