Getting More from Your Website

Last week, the Fire Enterprises, Inc. (FEI) tribe learned the importance of packaging design to a product’s brand and sales. This week, Marka explains how the tribe can design an effective business Website that will bolster FEI’s online presence and generate business. Remember, fire = print.

During a marketing meeting one morning, Zoot piped up with a controversial observation:

“Our O-site stinks!”

“I agree,” Lucy said. “It hasn’t been updated in months. Plus, the navigation is confusing, the layout is clunky and typos are everywhere. Note to whoever designed our original O-site: We’re selling FIRES, not FRIES!”

“A growing number of Olympians are using the O-web to find fire products and services, so it’s important that FEI’s O-site forms a favorable, accurate representation of our brand to these potential buyers,” Marka added. “Our outdated, confusing and poorly-designed O-site may give prospects the impression that we’re similarly sloppy in other areas of our business.”

“There are three keys to an effective business O-site,” Marka continued, as she began writing on the whiteboard.

1) Is it structured properly?

“Structure involves two things,” she explained. “Putting information in the right place and creating an easy way to navigate between each place. The first thing visitors notice about our O-site is our home page. Do we put our best foot forward there? Is there meaningful imagery and content?

“Ease of navigation is critical,” Marka continued. “People visit us for information on our fire and fire services, not to gaze at a pretty design. A good O-site should always value structure over flashiness.

“Custom landing pages for outbound promotional campaigns and ‘micro-sites’ should also be created as necessary,” she added, the morning sun illuminating her gorgeous straw colored hair.

2) Is it current?

“If it’s filled with current information on our products/services, our O-site can be a great selling tool,” Marka pointed out. “Conversely, outdated content conveys the impression that FEI is stuck in neutral, not moving forward. Our O-site should be updated frequently—ideally at least once a week, absolutely at least once a month.

T.J. Tedesco is a sales growth, business strategy, marketing and PR consultant operating at the intersection of clear vision, compelling content and effective outreach practices. For nearly two decades, T.J. has been an independent consultant and sales growth team leader. Previously, he sold commercial printing, graphic arts machinery and supplies, and finishing and bindery services. T.J. helps North American companies with content development, Web and print design leadership, nurture marketing programs, sales coaching, sales team alignment and business strategy. Since 1996, T.J. has worked with more than 100 clients on retainer, 80 percent in the graphic arts industry. T.J. is author of "Win Top-of-Mind Positioning," "Playbook for Selling Success in the Graphic Arts Industry," "Fire! How Marketing Got Hot," "Direct Mail Pal" and four more books published by PIA. He can be reached at (301) 404-2244 or
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