Sunday, 18 December 2011

Six Simple Steps: *S*S*S*: How to make a successful online business website

How to make a successful business website? is a question most people wants answer for. When planning a online presence for your business you want to develop a website for audience with a simple and yet most fabulous design, with great navigation, with the best information and content you can provide to your visitors and your objective is to whether to sell something through your webpage literally or sell your visitors on an idea or concept.

I have written this six part tutorial to explain all the steps involve in setting up an online business website and provide tips on planning and creating a successful and winning web presence. There are six steps to start an online business venture and it obviously starts with a planning.

Proper planning and thoroughly examining every aspect of the project is always a crucial factor in the success of a business website. Whether you want to do it yourself and hire a team of professionals to develop a website for you, it is always good to be part of every step. This seven parts tutorial explains the key steps involve in starting an online business venture and how to make that a successful website.

1- How to make a Business Plan: Planning a successful website project, Making key decisions and Taking control over the project.

Sometimes developer and project managers ignore the fact that how important is the plan phase of a business website, Planning is the essential part of the development process of a successful online businesses.
Like every other business venture or organization planning is consider to be the first and most important step. Webmasters often got themselves trapped in things like what design to go with, what programming language they should use to maintain the database (asp, php etc.) and other operational demands. They forget the planning part which is as important as any thing else in the initial steps of the business.

Starting a website without a proper plan is like constructing a house with out a map or a blue print. You will not get the desired results and in the end it will be a big mess. For a webmaster or a project manager the planning process of a site starts from setting goals and choosing a web site topic.

Planning Your Website and Setting goals:
Setting goals is always an important part of planning process of any business. Most online ventures fail because of lack of planning and decision making. The process starts with asking yourself what is the reason for your website, whether it will be the face of your new business or it is just a way to share pictures with your friends and family.

When you are planning to start a website from scratch, starts with setting goals and timelines. It is always good to know what to do and who will do it from the very beginning. Planning process starts with sitting down with all the persons involve in the project and assigning tasks to participants according to their expertise.

There are three key factors for the initial plan phase of the website.

a - Defining users:

All your efforts and planning is to attract and impress the people to your website. Your main goal is to understand:
  • Your audience.
  • Men or women and what age group they belong.
  • They Education level.
  • They profession.
  • How often they use internet. Etc.
The customer defining criteria mentioned above might be different for every website. Some websites might put more emphasis on educational background of the users or some sites might go with the usability level of the customer, but it is always good to achieve understanding of your customers before starting your project, because you can easily guide your customer and answer their questions regarding your product or service.

b - Choosing topic and buying domain

Getting a right domain for your business website is a step toward your online success. Planning process starts with defining your customers and topic for your website. When you plan all these things, it is time to buy a domain name. During this process it is always good to do a little bit research and understand all the necessary components of choosing a domain. It represents your business and your name on World Wide Web, So must be chosen carefully. It is good to have your product or service name included in the domain. For example: It has the business name and also explains the service you provide.
c - Setting a Budget:
Setting a budget for your website project is important. It helps you to go through all the future expenses in advance and helps you spend your project money more effectively. Setting budget for an online website is not as hard as one might think but it is still the largest restriction you can put on a website. Sometime it stops you to put all the bells and whistles on your webpage. When you are setting budget for your online business you should work out everything, from hosting and domain fee to paying the working staff.

Planning your website is the most important step, so take deep breath, clear your thoughts and do some brain storming. It will help you to choose a website topic according to your customer’s choice and help you to buy the domain which represents you business accurately. Set your website budget and start with the next step of online website development.

2 - Content is King, Creating unique and original content for the website.

Common mistake made by developers and project managers is that they under estimate the power of content. Fresh, unique and original website content can attract and keep the audience more than a beautifully design layout. Web content should be search engine friendly with sufficient amount of targeted keywords, target your customers and describe your product or service in the best way possible.
Web is full of information now a day, so peoples wants quick, unique, interesting, easy to read and relevant content. Website material must be full of interesting facts and related details to keep the user on your page. Best way to write content is to put your self in your audience shoe and see if your content is convincing enough for your self to buy the service or product offered. There are lots of things you should consider while writing content for your website, few of these are as follow:

Keeping it Simple

Always keep your content simple. Use good grammar and avoid any spelling mistakes. Instead of using fancy and five syllable words try writing the material which is understandable to any one. Make it attractive with bullets, numbering and subtitles and always keep in mind people like lists. Short 400 - 500 words in tight and coherent information without any grammar or spelling mistake is best.


Titles must be catchy and informative and attract people to click on them. Instead of writing misleading words, use clear and to the point approaches. A best title should have multiple and descriptive keywords, and able to tell the audience what is the nature of your product or service.

Write Interesting Material that’s easy to scan

People never read a webpage word by word, they prefers to scan the information given on the pages. Creating a visual hierarchy by using bullets, numbering, colors and sizes with an appropriate font can really make it easy on the eyes. Always avoid hyped sales pitch instead try to be more appealing by using interesting facts and a little bit of humor. Be careful with the humor because sometime people might not get your sense of humor and get offended.

Avoid Plagiarism

The most important thing to consider while writing content for your web page is to avoid any plagiarism. Search engines never likes duplicated material so if you try to copy someone else's content there is a big chance that they will ban your website from the SERPs. Coping others web content is stealing someone hard work and it is an unethical practice, must be avoided at all cost.

Creating content is a process of writing interesting, unique, grammatically correct material without any spelling mistakes to attract audience to sell your product or a service. Sometimes it becomes difficult for project managers and developers to write contents, so it’s always good to hire a professional content writer or uses the services of the Freelance content writer. Writing web content is as same as writing in a newspaper, magazine or a book. It must have:

  • Good Title with descriptive Keywords
  • Correct use of grammar and no spelling mistakes
  • Interesting and amazing facts
  • Small paragraphs and lists with bullets and numbering to make it scan able
  • And always end it with a good summary.

3a - Project Development: Do it your self.

Project development phase starts with designing and creating a website architect. Some people like to do it themselves because they have resources, ability and required education for the task. Some prefer to go with the pro. DIY website design is a term used when a webmaster or the project development team starts creating their website on their own. Usually when a team of professional starts an online business venture they make sure they have a person who knows about the designing and the development of website. This versatility sometime help them with the budget and save lots of money and time, But it is only effective when you are qualified enough to do it yourself.

Website Builders:

It is good to decide it in the planning phase of a website project that whether you going to do it your self or you will be hiring a Pro. Sometime people go with Do it yourself website builder, which is available with lots of hosting services now days. These softwares are the next best thing when it comes to designing the basic website. They make it easier for person to get your website up and running with just few clicks, replacing some text and images with your own. Most of the time, these online builders are free to use or have a free trail and given as a bonus feature with a hosting service. The best thing about the website builders are the design libraries. They have template libraries with hundreds of pre made home page designs. You can use any design and include any feature from their library and save lots of time.

Content management system:

Content management system or we call them CMS is another example of a do it yourself or diy website designing. These are the softwares either available with your hosting service or you can just upload them to your website with the help of ftp. Content management system allows you to make changes to your website, add new features and create database without having to learn HTML, asp, php or any other programming language. They are easy to use and full featured systems which can be install and use with a very little technical skill. They improve site navigation and reduce the website maintenance cost and even if you don't have a budget to hire a pro you can still build a website with all the features and good design.

When you are setting up an online business sometime it is good to go with do it yourself website builders or CMS. It definitely saves you time and money and if you have the right qualification and knowledge about the website you can do the updates and changes in the future. Website is crucial for the success of an online business because they are the only way your potential customers will be able to reach you. A bad website with no architect, navigation and horrible design can drive customers away. So choosing a good website builder or content management system can really help you create a user friendly website and with right promotion your website will be a success.

3b - Project Development: How to hire a web professional for quality custom web design.

For a good quality custom website designing you always want to hire a pro. Professional web development for you online business can be a decision that put your website on the right track. When you are trying to do it yourself web designing you still need website design tutorials to know what you are doing and where you are going with it. Sometime learning a little bit about websites and trying to make a webpage can be very overwhelming, so it is time to go with the pro. Hiring professional web development staff can help you launch a beautiful design web page with a lot of features to attract audience toward your website.

When you need a website for your online business and have no idea what to do then hiring a pro will be the answer for you. Professional web designer can provide you with the beautiful and professional interface, search engine friendly site map and easy to navigate pages, in short a pro can create for you a user friendly website which you can promote successfully.

Professional web development process helps with cost management of the project and also provides some custom features which are difficult to get when using content management system or a website builder.  Usually cms have default features and you have to know the programming language to make any change and customize it according to your requirement. Pro web designer can handle this problem for you and change any current feature in the cms or add new ones to make your website user friendly and have all the bells and whistles.  

Although for some peoples it is hard to not able to have all the control over the things but at the same time when you hire a pro it take loads of your shoulders. You don’t have to draw diagrams and spend time in figuring out the layout and design of your home page, you just explain a pro what you want and when the project is completed you will get a quality website with a beautiful design.

A website is the most important thing for the online business. You are going to create an online brand with your website, so when you are choosing a website designer for your project keep these points in mind:

-         Web design experience
-         Professional Approach
-         Familiar with all the latest trends
-         You can contact the pro any time with your queries regarding the project
-         What programming language and what design and development tools they will be using because one, you want all the latest development tools to be used for your website. Second the page design must be according to latest trends. And third they must be able to write the code instead of using WYSIWYG software like front page and dreamweaver.
-         Programming language (asp, php) they use must be supported by your hosting service.
-         They have some good reviews from their previous clients.
-         Able to provide you with the working sample before starting the project.

Project Development is an important phase in the process of creating an online business. So if you want to hire a pro you have to take your time choosing the best designer for the job. A good professional will be able to design a user friendly interface and a website with all the features you need.