By Deborah Schultz

If you have a website that isn’t as effective as you want it to be, there are simple changes that you can make that will help your site do what you want it to. Poor traffic and no sales can be easily fixed by reviewing your site with these quick questions. If you’re working with a webmaster, be sure that they have covered all of these areas.

Why are you putting up a website?

This is not a “duh” question. There are many uses for a website, and how you want to use it will determine what kind of site it will be. If you are trying to sell items through a site, you need a catalog and selling features. If you are trying to increase your email list, you need a page that captures customer information. If you have a restaurant, you will want your menu. If you are promoting a special or a sale, that is a different site too. There is no one size fits all website, and trying to use one will defeat your purpose.

Many website designers today say, content is king. That means the information must not only be interesting, but worded in the right way. Using the right words to get your website a good page ranking is called search engine optimization or SEO. This involves finding those key words that people are using to search the Internet in your niche or market and using those words to post beneficial information on your website. It’s not really difficult, it just means making sure that what you post has merit, instead of just trying to sell your product or service.

Who is your target market?

Again, the purpose of a website is not to just to be there and hope people drop by and read, it is to offer relevant information to your customers. Specifically thinking of their needs will help you target your marketing to those who are most interested in buying from you. When you have good information on your site it will help you build trust and establish expertise in your field.

What does your customer expect from your website?

Think about all the reasons that someone might go to your site. Then turn those reasons into features, written up in an interesting way. Saving customers time is as important as saving them money. Offering time saving features on your site, will not only promote your business by being helpful, but keep customers returning to the site again and again. Timely and relevant information will make them return again and again, just to look through your source. When the time comes to buy, that is where they will automatically head.

What happens as your customer leaves your site?

Were you able to answer all of their questions? Do you have a way for them to leave questions? Are they completely clear about your services and what kind of help they can get from you? Thinking in terms of customer satisfaction is the best way to make sure that your website meets the need of your customers and leaves them with a satisfactory experience. Then they will share their sites with others who may have similar needs. You not only establish a good relationship with your customers. They will pass the site onto their friends.

Designing an effective website takes time and thought, but the rewards for doing so are lasting. If it has the right information, you will find that your website will work long hours for you, bringing you new business and increasing the satisfaction of old customers and new customers..

About the Author

Deborah Schultz is a marketing consultant, specializing in helping small businesses use their websites to attract new businesses and build their customer base. Find out how you can improve your small business marketing at

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