The Ultimate Payoff
Redefining your company's Web site can offer a solid return on investment.
Executing a successful Web site marketing strategy requires
careful planning, meticulous attention to detail, and an investment of company
resources. If done properly, the benefits far exceed the costs. Your company can
increase customer service and close deals more quickly by allowing clients to
access essential, updated information at any time. In addition, you can win new
business by communicating your company’s unique strengths, specializations, and
values to prospective clients. You also can maintain relationships and stay in
front of former clients by offering updated content relevant to their
interests. Finally, you’ll save time and increase your own productivity -- and
subsequently do more business with less effort.
Creating a Game Plan
To succeed at redefining your company’s Web marketing
strategy, you’ll probably want to hire a professional Web site developer to
assist you. But before making that move, you should ask yourself a few key
questions to clarify the direction you wish to take. Answering these
fundamental questions will help you define your target audience and develop an
Who do I want to attract to my company’s Web site?
Defining your target audience is paramount to your ultimate
success on the Web: you must determine what types of visitors you hope to
attract and tailor content accordingly. Your Web site should serve as a
resource for your current clients, allowing them to gain access to relevant
information about properties and projects. Additionally, your site should cater
to prospective clients with whom you have not yet established a relationship.
How can I quickly capture a visitor’s attention?
The average visitor spends literally seconds deciding
whether to surf a Web site or click elsewhere. Therefore, you must immediately
offer relevant content that encourages deeper exploration. Good home pages make
efficient use of space and aren’t overly cluttered. Avoid using animated
graphics or Macromedia Flash movies, which increase load time and seldom
impress anyone beyond your Web developer.
Once people find my Web site, what compels them to stay?
Content, content, content! Your Web site should articulate
your value proposition, core competencies, and business ethics. In addition to
showcasing professional profiles and available properties, you may also
consider offering market intelligence, case studies, news, resources, and other
information of interest to your target audience.
What makes my company truly unique?
Depending on your market, services offered, and experience,
this question may be difficult or easy to answer. Focus on your core strengths
and how you benefit your clients. Classic examples include reputation for
maintaining outstanding customer relationships, delivery of specialized
services, possession of insightful market knowledge, and establishment of
superior business processes.
What is the difference between static and dynamic content?
By updating your Web site’s content on an ongoing basis, you
attract repeat visits from clients. During the planning process, assign
responsibility for maintaining content to the appropriate persons. Your
company’s history, philosophy, and mission statement are relatively static
content items. Your services offered, case studies, and resources may change
periodically -- although probably not often. Dynamic content includes property
listings, press releases, market reports, and your client extranet.
What’s your Web site’s call to action?
Once you succeed at attracting visitors and capturing their
attention, what next? Your Web site should explicitly or implicitly encourage
visitors to take action. Some ideas to further action include scheduling a
meeting, establishing a relationship with an associate, listing or acquiring a
property, providing information about specific wants, or contacting the