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    your homework

What are the Next Practical Steps ?

To take a brief that can be used to start site construction, we would need information that only you can provide. This means some preparation work from your side as follows.....

    •   Define a Strategy and Site Objectives
    •   Identify a Broad MWR and any USPs
    •   Detail the Visitor Demographics
    •   Link MWRs by Visitor Demographic Groups
    •   Investigate Competitor Sites
    •   Draw up a Simple Site Map
    •   Do Preliminary Keyword Research
    •   Assemble the Graphic Material
    •   Assemble the Text Content
    •   Consider your Email Requirements

Define a Strategy and Site Objectives

This subject is discussed in some detail at the start of the previous page, Request a Quote. You may want to review that....

Identify a Broad MWR and any USPs

MWR - Most Wanted Respose
For visitors in general, there would be a general Most Wanted Response. For this site, for example, we would want the visitors to complete the Contact Us form so that we can take the early relationship to the next step. There might be different MWRs for a potential hosting client (as opposed to a web design client) and yet a different MWR for a web designer client looking for high level hosting services.

USP - Unique Selling Proposition If the site is selling products or services, then there should be one or maybe two clear advantages that the service or product has over it's competition. It's what would make a customer choose this product over a competitor's product. By identifying the USPs they can be emphasised in the content.

Detail the Visitor Demographics

This is a way of working out who you are selling to.
Potential customers are the obvious group, but they may fall into different groups. These may be determined by geographic location (province, country or region), language, cultural grouping, religion or by the type of product they buy. Perhaps some are price sensitive and some are not.

Then there may be existing customers who would visit the site for reasons different to simply knowing who you are and what you provide. Perhaps they need after-care service or product maintenance knowledge. Then you need to consider suppliers, distributors, import agents, staff, etc.

Don't go overboard on this list - typically there may be only one visitor demographic and rarely more than four or five.

Link MWRs by Visitor Demographic Groups

For each Visitor Demographic Group, what is the primary (and maybe a secondary) Most Wanted Response for the visitor.

Perhaps it seems simple that you simply want a potential customer to contact you to initiate a transaction or at least enable you to start a sales dialogue. But what about the potential supplier who arrives at the site and who will need to realise that you require his product. The Most Wanted Response (MWR) for the supplier would be for him to easily find a page that clearly explains that you would be a potential buyer of his product and for him to complete a form for mailing to yourself.

Investigate Competitor Sites

By searching on keywords you should be able to turn up websites with objectives and purpose similar to your own. This is an extremely valuable source of ideas and suggestions for your own site. Those who have gone this route before you will have had great ideas and applications, and by studying several you should be able to select the better aspects for your use.

And don't only look at competitors you know. Hit the search engines and see what the ones you don't know about are offering and doing. And then also look internationally. Google with the country names to checkout the US, British and Australasian trends. Also checkout Yahoo.co.uk and Anzwers.com.

Draw up a Simple Site Map

This can be a simple text file as follows:

- Home
-   - About Us
- Products
-   - Manual Sludge Pump
-   -   - Technical Specifications
-   -   - Spare Parts Order Form
-   - Automatic Sludge Pump
-   -   - Technical Specifications
-   -   - Spare Parts Order Form
-   - Swamp Donkey Pump
-   -   - Donkey Feed Suppliers
- Contact Us
-   - Customer Enquiry Contact Form
-   - Suppliers Contact Form

Do Preliminary Keyword Research

Developing the keyword list and site description is one of the more important decisions that a website owner makes at this time. When someone on the other side of the world types a keyword or phrase into a search engine then it's primarily a function of how well you have anticipated that keyword that will determine if we have a chance of getting the visitor to your site.

If the keyword was anticipated and we submitted successfully to that search engine, then your website will be presented somewhere on the results listing dependant on the structure of your site relative to that word. If the site is listed high enough, and the description catches the attention of the person making the search, then you have closed the loop and have the possibility of an additional visitor to your site.

This subject is of such importance to the entire process that we have a dedicated page at : Keyword Selection which you should read and understand.

Assemble the Graphic Material

Start collecting, in digital format, the logo files, letterheads and brochures that have been used for printing and email signatures and branding. If any material needs to be scanned in this process, the set the scanner to full color and use a DPI of at leat 360 dots (or pixels) per inch.

Assemble the Text Content

Get together the word processing files, PDFs and Powerpoints that contain suitable text for different areas on the website. A document should be prepared linking the site map items to the content material items.

Consider your Email Requirements

If a domain name is being purchased for the purpose of hosting the website, then you need to decide if you will be transporting email on that domain name. This may be necessary for branding purposes but it is a complex subject with multiple options and will need further discussion.  
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