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web site designs, west virginia, hosting, websites, search engine submissions, web development, database solutions, custom programming West Virginia Website Design, Web Hosting, Search Engine Services, Custom Web Development West Virginia Website Design, Web Hosting, Search Engine Services, Custom Web Development
Overview of a Website
Did you know...
81% of small business owners plan to use the Internet to help their companies grow.
- Pepperdine University

Small businesses expect to earn $4 for every $1 they spend on their Web sites.
- AMI Partners
     To get a good understanding of how to plan for a website or to improve your existing one, there are five basic areas to consider as you start:
  1. SITE DESIGN
  2. PAGES AND SECTIONS
  3. HEADERS AND TEXT
  4. NAVIGATION
  5. MARKETING

Plus, if you provide a compelling experience for your visitor, chances are they'll return. We've provided a set of guidelines to help you develop a compelling customer experience: Click Here.




1)  Site Design: The design style that you select should reflect the image and personality of your business. Photographs or graphics, for example, can make each page more compelling. Because the Web is an interactive, graphic sales tool, you should use it to sell your business and set yourself apart from your competition!

     The design of your Web site gives you the opportunity to show visitors why your company is set apart from your competition. Your business is unique, and you should present that individuality on your Web site.

     You've probably invested a lot of time, money, and thought in developing your company's image through your business cards, brochures, and letterhead. Although you can use those themes, logos, and slogans on your Web site, the Web is an interactive medium that demands more from your collateral than traditional advertising.

     The best sites use a design that capitalizes on the uniqueness of the Web. Although eye-catching graphics make each page more appealing, avoid too much clutter on your site.


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2)  Pages and Sections: Selecting the pages and sections that best categorize and communicate your business is key to your online success. This section will help you make decisions that draw customers to your site and keep them coming back.

     There are as many types of pages on a Web site as there are products and services available on the Web! Some page types are essential for your Web site, while others are a waste of bandwidth. Always make your decisions based on the perspective of your visitors. What do they want to know? Once you've answered that question, provide them with the appropriate information.

     After you've walked through 8 Easy Steps to a Solid Customer Experience, you'll be closer to planning each page and section. Although your unique site may not require all of the following pages, you can use the list below to help you prioritize what is most important to your customers:

Splash Page: This page gives your company the opportunity to make a great first impression with your audience. The Splash Page should only be used, however, if your site contains enough pages and content to be impressive. A Splash Page generally contains very little text and plenty of graphics, with an arrow or message indicating Click Here to Enter.

Home Page: This is the first page (unless you use a Splash Page) that a visitor will come to when viewing your site. In most cases, this is the most important page on your site, and it can determine whether a visitor stays on your site. Make sure that you carefully plan this page and include the information that your audience wants to see and read most. This page should include your company logo, the description of your business, the target markets you serve, the benefits your customers will receive, and the types of products and services you offer.

About Us: This page provides support information to the Home Page, such as the purpose and goals of your business, and it helps to sell your business to potential customers. Include your mission statement, your company philosophy, specifics about your business operations, and the history of your company.

Management Team: Customers want to know who is taking care of their business. Include background information or credentials about key staff members.

What's New: This page informs visitors about what information has been added or changed throughout the site. It can include new product announcements, new pages or sections, new content, or information on upcoming events.

Pressroom: This page can include press releases from your company or excerpts about your business that have been written by industry journalists.

Customer Testimonials: Endorsements from existing customers are one of the best methods for demonstrating your credibility. This page can include statements from satisfied customers about your products or services. Include links so that a visitor can contact a representative at your company or make a purchase.

Resources: This page offers the opportunity for you to share vital information about your business with your visitors. Resource pages can include links to other sites that educate your visitors about your business or about other businesses that can benefit them. Be careful not to give away the store!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): What kinds of questions do your sales representatives get asked before they make a sale? This page lists questions that prospective or current customers might ask about your products or services. Answering their questions up front can help accelerate their decision-making and reduce the number of phone calls or e-mails to your staff.

Career Opportunities: This page explains why your company is a great place to work, and it lists the available employment opportunities to attract prospective candidates. Include information for contacting the appropriate person or department within your company and for submitting resumes.

Special Events: This page should list the dates and times of upcoming events that your company is holding, such as seminars, workshops, and trade shows.

Products and Services (overview): This page summarizes the products and services you offer and how visitors can work with your company to make a purchase. Depending on the nature of your business, an online product store or order page allows you to extend your market presence and expand your customer base. Eagle Web Development offers affordable E-Commerce Packages that include online ordering features. Be sure to include a clear description of products and services, features and benefits, prices, ordering information, credit card information, service policies, and delivery time.

Products and Services (pages): Whether you are allowing the customer to purchase online or you are just displaying photographs of each product as in a catalog, each product page should be free of clutter, and the products should be organized in a logical manner. Be mindful of the customer experience and include information on how the customer makes the purchase and contacts your staff.

For E-Commerce Solutions: There are a number of additional pages to consider. Most e-commerce packages offer standard pages such as How to Order, Credit Cards Accepted, and Shipping Information. Contact Eagle Web Development for more information on our E-Commerce Solutions.

Contact Us: This page explains how to contact your company for more information. Include your company address, contact names or departments, phone numbers, fax numbers, and e-mail addresses.

Distributors or Partners: You might sell your products and services through different channels. Because those distributors or partners are key customers, you will want pages that address their needs. These areas on your Web site can be password protected to maintain confidentiality.

Promotional Offer: Knowing your competition and offering special pricing or incentives for purchases of products or services will be a valuable tool for you on the Web. This page can be used as a landing page for online marketing activities, such as e-mail broadcasts. Change this page on a regular basis to keep customers coming back!

Marketing: You will need pages that capture leads from your promotions.


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3)  Headers and Text: Your content must be concise and valuable to the visitor who would most likely buy your product or service. We've prepared 8 Easy Steps to a Solid Customer Experience to help guide you as you develop your content.

No matter how flashy a Web site is or how many of the latest gimmicks it has, it is doomed if it has nothing to say.
  • What content will solve your customers' daily business challenges?
  • What are the top five actions you want a visitor to take while browsing your Web site?
  • What do customers need to know about your company to take action?
  • Does your site invite customers to contact you or make a purchase?
  • Does your site get responses from the right customers?
  • Is it easy for your customers to get to the information they need?



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4)  Navigation: Locating information on your site, such as details about purchasing your products or services, is critical to your online success. Imagine entering a grocery store and finding that there are no signs that describe the items that can be found in each aisle. Even though the store might be organized, you would still spend a lot of time wandering aimlessly, looking for what you need. The same would be true for a Web site. The navigation bar is the site's directory, a key element for making an efficient Web site.

        A navigation bar appears on every page, and it is usually located at the top or on the left side. The bar includes navigation buttons, which are hypertext graphics that move you (when you click on them) from the current page to another page on your Web site. These "directory" buttons should be available at all times so that a visitor can go from place to place on your site easily and quickly. The navigation allows a visitor to go back "home" at any time with little effort. Navigation titles should be short and clear about the information that you will find if you click on them. The titles should be broad scoped to describe the major sections on your site, and they should help your customers find the important information on your site-such as Products and Services, About Us, or Contact Us-at any given time and from any given page. Use the Pages and Sections planning guide to determine the pages and sections that you will use on your site, and then decide the navigation titles.


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5)  Marketing: You'll need to prepare promotions and decide which pages you want to develop. Now that you have established your business goals and objectives for your Web site and have considered what responses you want from customers or prospects while they are visiting your site, you need to make it happen! Your Home Page should display links to each of these action items. When you have a marketing plan and you are ready to purchase your site, Talk to an Eagle consultant to find out how many pages you'll need to promote your company and manage the responses from your customers. Here are a few marketing pages you might need to promote your products and services or capture leads from your marketing efforts:

Registration: A Registration page is typically one page, and it requires some customization based on the information you want from visitors. Remember to keep this page short and avoid asking for too many details. Most visitors don't want to provide sensitive information or spend a lot of time filling out the form. You'll get the best results if you focus on the basics.

Promotional Offer: A promotional offer printed on traditional marketing materials that promises information on a Web site is a popular way to generate leads. To lead customers to your site, include the URL for this page on your collateral and provide details about your promotion and giveaways. The Promotional Offer page should repeat the details of the offer and indicate why the visitors should respond now. The Promotional Offer is typically one page, and it requires some customization based on the response that you want from your customer and the steps that you will take for sending them a reward.

Get A Quote: Offering to quote online is a great example of how the Web is automating and enhancing the customer experience. The quote process is an effective way to move a customer toward a sale, but it may not be the right solution for every company. The number of pages for this process can vary.

Become a Member: A membership form could require one or more pages, depending on the type of membership and how much information is required. Typical membership programs could be as simple as signing up to receive a newsletter online or as complex as becoming an affiliate member. Affiliate partners typically have standardized text and forms and can tell you how many pages to expect.

Sign Up for an Event: This form is typically one page. You can include the URL for this page on your printed invitations or flyers. People like to sign up online rather than send information in the mail because they get immediate confirmation. It's easier and less expensive for you to communicate with them before the event if you can do so by e-mail. Depending on your event, you may want to link your customers to a unique page that includes details about the event.

Customers Only: It is a good idea to use this page if you want your customers to feel special. The Customers Only page can be password protected so that you only show your cards to your best customers. Post promotions and incentive programs that are specific to your customers.

Distributors or Partners Only: This page is password protected to maintain confidentiality. Post updates on recent developments, guidelines for relationships, or information on a sales representative incentive program.

Marketing Tip! Give something to get something from your customers and prospects. Offering something FREE or something valuable in exchange for contact information is the name of the game on the Internet.



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8 EASY STEPS TO A SOLID CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
  1. The most important step is to KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE! Provide content that will add value to their bottom line. What do they need to know to feel comfortable about making a purchase or taking action? Call your best customers and find out what services or features they want from you online.
  2. You need to KNOW YOUR COMPETITION! Knowing what your competitors are doing can make or break your success on the Web. Make sure that you know how your visitors perceive your competitors.
  3. DEFINE YOUR ONLINE GOALS AND OBJECTIVES. What does your business want from customers on the Internet? Sales? Referrals? Registration? Information? Before you do anything, outline your goals and define what you expect from your site. Then, determine how you will organize the pages that get customers to take action!
  4. CONSIDER YOUR CUSTOMERS' EXPERIENCE when they visit your new site. Can they easily link from page to page and be led to the most interesting information that relates to them? If you have a diverse set of customers with different needs, consider every type of customer who makes a difference to your bottom line. Make sure you include content and ways to lead them to a purchase.
  5. OFFER PAGES THAT ARE COMPELLING AND CONCISE. Make your points early. If you don't get your visitors' attention in the first few sentences, you will lose them to your competition. Deliver your content in the order of its importance. Don't fall into the trap of holding back on your message to keep customers "turning the pages." They won't. Summarize, and then link your visitors to text that is rich in content.
  6. SAY IT LIKE IT IS. Most people are seeking information on the Web, and they don't want to waste time interpreting cute or complex header and text styles. Make it as easy as possible to interpret what you do and how visitors can get what they need. Keep it simple.
  7. PROVIDE CLEAR INSTRUCTIONS to take action, find information, or navigate your site. Instructions should lead your visitors to take action according to your online business goals and objectives.
    click here

  8. CROSS-SELL AND UP-SELL key assets and resources to your visitors. You have spent time making each page valuable, so help them find information with a link that makes sense. The more interactive your site is, the more value you add to the experience. Link to other pages and sections whenever possible.
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