Brown Blog

Brown Blog
26 Jun

Staging a Successful Website Launch

Finally, your fabulous new corporate website is complete. How do you launch the new site successfully, with as few glitches as possible, and ensure that the right people see it?

A professional web designer can assist in the process, but keep in mind a few helpful hints:

Create a unique website. Hire a professional web design boutique that will customize a site specific to your company’s needs and goals, while setting you apart from your competition.

Select a proven hosting company. If your site is being hosted externally, choose a host with a proven track record of dependability and customer service. If you require a lot of bandwidth, consider using a dedicated server.

Test, test and retest. Prior to going live, upload the site to a testing area which allows your web team to interact with the site on its destination server. View your site in multiple browsers and on all pertinent platforms. Consider your audience’s usage of hand-held devices, laptops, etc. in the design process.

Consider a “soft launch.” Try an initial launch to a small, selective audience that can provide personal feedback. Use this opportunity to enhance your site before opening it to a more comprehensive user audience.

Stage a phased approach. It is not necessary to launch a large-scale website on your first attempt. Begin with critical or time-sensitive material that solves your immediate need, and phase in additional content as it develops over time.

Promote your launch. Publicize your new website launch with an integrated marketing and public relations campaign. At a minimum, send your clients an email announcement that directly links to your new site.

Keep important contact numbers at hand. During the launch and a few days following, keep your designer/developer and hosting contact numbers handy in case of unforeseen trouble.

26 Jun

What Makes an Effective Business Website

Follow these guidelines to make your corporate website more effective:

Identify your brand. Clearly present what the company offers, your corporate philosophy, key employees and what makes your business stand out.

Know your audience. Who is visiting your site? What are they looking for? Communicate how your product or service can benefit them or offer them value.

Engage with content. Work with professional writers to develop text that reflects your company’s style. If your business is more casual, your site should echo that culture.

Keep text concise. Most users do not have hours to spend on your website. Make it simple for them to identify the key components that support your positioning. Using bulleted text and downloadable PDF files will help to keep text simple.

Make it easy to navigate. Make site navigation easy to find, and keep it consistent. Name the main level buttons clearly so they are easily spotted on each page.

Be interactive. Give users a place to comment on your site. This will help you improve and customize it specifically for them.

Respond quickly. Users want swift results. Automate replies which tell the visitor when someone will respond personally to their question or need. Better yet, respond immediately.

Collect data. Ask users how they heard of the company, what their specific needs are and if they would like a follow up call or mailing. Link their email address to your database for future marketing.

Be proud. Allot a budget worthy of your company’s needs. A good web boutique will help you decide how best to allocate your dollars to meet your goals.

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