WebRef Update: Featured Article: Getting Back to Basics | 2
Getting Back to Basics
Building Your Website
Don't be fooled, because here and right here the forked tongues come into play. They come in the guise of "those-in-the-know-people" suites. A good Web site should not cost you an arm and a leg. It should not get your husband or wife to leave you. The Web site is just part of the parcel deal, and if it costs you more than your advertising campaign, then you have to reconsider your options. Look around you and you will notice that there are a host of good smaller Internet organizations that want your business, not your soul.
The God principle. How will you get people to stay and then come back to your site? Well, always remember that a paltry 2% of all visitors actually do go back to any given Web site. Furthermore, this or that company often claims that they have this or that amount of subscribers. This isn't the most important number; rather, ask them how active and loyal these subscribers are. A service such as Hotmail for instance, most likely has inflated totals, given the number of people with multiple active and inactive accounts. Two key words when it comes to stickiness: "Value added." It is still the best way to get people to come back. Carmakers offer people the ability to order customized cars, so why can't you send customized Lava Lamps?
Now you have most of the loose ends tied down and you're ready. In your bank account you have put away a specific amount to advertise. You investigate and see that you can afford two rotations on one of the big search engines. Don't do it! This isn't the most effective way for you to use your money. The key word is PRINT. There is no bigger and better way to get your Web site visibility than to have its name and URL appear somewhere on a newspaper page. Even the local church pages are better visibility then 20 seconds on Mr. Funny Haircut's Web site. And much cheaper, for that matter. Why not contact local printers at the three universities and have them print fliers for your business (with the URL, of course)? Then get a couple of students to hand out these wonderful messages on the various campuses. Your return on advertising investment will almost surely be bigger than funding someone else's golden egg. Fliers give new meaning to stickiness and so does billboard advertising.
True, after you have sold your ten thousandth lava lamp, you'll probably want to expand your base of operations. But in the beginning, sell to those who you will be able to suss out. Don't worry about having the Masai warriors interested in your Website.... For now.
About the Author:
Erich Hugo is a South African who has worked in South Africa, Russia, North America and Europe on a variety of Internet-related jobs. Currently, he is the Content Manager for NordstrÃ¶m & Ãhman WCJ., subsidiary for Young and Rubicam (Sweden). You can contact Erich at email@example.com, or www.wcj.se and www.internext.co.za/scifi
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Revised: May 10, 2000