There is a huge demand for clients wanting to re-evaluate their company branding efforts by starting with their websites. As we mentioned in Time Brings Diamonds and Rust, the internet stands still for no one and that usually means built-in obsolescence. Here is an evaluation process you can use to get started in the right direction.
1. WHO is your target market? Stay focused on this because it is too easy to get caught up with design issues and content generation including number of “hits” and “unique visits”, which may throw you off target. Make sure your content materials zero in on your chosen audience with laser-like precision. If your intended audience is only 1000 people, you can be realistically happy with 5-12 website visits per day, provided of course you include your other marketing activities in the mix to achieve positive results. Just remember that even though you may not be interested in general visitors, the ease with which the search engines find your well crafted content is what puts your information at the top of the search lists – never a bad thing in the eyes of a prospect!
2. WHAT website design factors or interactive elements should you include or trash given the technology changes or previous missteps in design? This relates to the target audience website experience – something that thrills them or just makes getting around the site a little easier. Think about visitor usability. This includes the size and class of the font you use, the background color and the placement and labeling of your navigation links. In spite of home pages with flash animations, Google’s homepage is still the ultimate model for speed, simplicity and usability.
3. WHERE should you position your company’s message? Should you participate in blogging, Podcasting or social bookmarking for more interactivity?  Follow up those answers with Dragnet-like clarity (“just the facts, m’am”), just to keep you grounded so you aren’t diluting your message or opening a Pandora’s Box of compliments and criticism. Internet transparency is a double-edged sword.
4. WHEN are you going to update your content and does your message convey a sense of timely and contemporary relevance to your target audience?
5. WHY do you have a company web presence? While the marketing benefits of having a presence someplace in the world 24/7 are obvious, the answer to this question will help you get focused on your company message and how you want your prospects to see you.
 


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