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What's really going on with your web site?

With any good business plan, the defining of a primary goaland primary audience goes hand in hand with deciding ... or service you will market. However, with the floodof ... to the I

With any good business plan, the defining of a primary goal
and primary audience goes hand in hand with deciding what
product or service you will market. However, with the flood
of entrepreneurs to the Internet, I have watched an interesting
reverse trend occur.

That trend goes something like this. Pick a product or service,
get a domain name, build a web site and then figure out who
will buy it.

I love the Internet and the ability it affords to even the
playing field between the big corporation and the home
entrepreneur, but the fact remains that sound business
practices such as defining the primary goal and audience works
the same on the Internet as they do off-line.

For this reason, it is a necessity to do your research before
one line of code is written, a domain name is chosen or a
single graphic is created. It's what I call "Defining before
designing."

Why do I emphasize this in a series of articles about web
design?

Simply because every aspect of designing your web site will
flow out of the definition of your primary goal and primary
audience. If you have not done your homework in this area,
you can be sure your online venture will be like a ship with
no engine or sails, merely tossed about by the whims of the
ocean.

Now onto the business of defining. Right up front I'll tell
you that "making money" is a lousy primary goal. Making money
is a result of setting and sticking to a good primary goal
and properly defining a primary audience.

Here are three elements to consider in your definitions.

1. A PRIMARY GOAL IS SINGULAR - It is just that, a primary
goal, not goals. I'm not saying that you can't have secondary
goals, but the key is picking a singular primary goal because
that's your beacon, your cornerstone in the design, without
it, the site crumbles.

Many new entrepreneurs approach the web with a "one-stop"
approach. I'm going to sell everything I've ever been
interested in to all people everywhere.

It's understandable how this happens. In offline marketing,
you are limited to space, be it a 15 second television spot
or a two sided brochure. The bottom line is that you have
limited space to sell yourself and by necessity, this
narrows the focus.

The Internet brings the new element of limitless space
to advertise. You really have more space than you will
ever need, so the tendency is to say something like, "In
addition to this marketing pamphlett, I think I'll sell
memberships to this timeshare vacation program, an affiliate
hosting program and maybe even this VCR since I just got a
DVD player. Keep in mind that your web site is not a garage
sale.

It feels good to dream you can sell everything to everyone,
but the truth is you'll be more succesful selling one thing
very well to a specific group of people.

2. A PRIMARY GOAL IS SPECIFIC - I could define my primary
goal as "Selling books on the Internet" but does that
really help me make and decisions about what should be on
my web site?

I could define it as "Selling books using real-time processing
on the Internet". It's getting better, at least I now know
that I will need to get a merchant account, digital
certificate, SSL and a shopping cart on my site to make
"real-time" a reality.

I could define it as "Selling fishing books using real-time
processing on the Internet". Hey now we are getting somewhere,
or are we?

I could define it as "Selling fly-fishing books using real-time
processing on the Internet."

This could go on and it should. The more specific you can be,
the better.

3. A PRIMARY GOAL IS INSEPARABLE FROM THE PRIMARY AUDIENCE

The primary goal examples listed so far are missing at
least one element. The audience. A primary goal and
primary audience are inseparable. Let's add a primary audience
to the definition we have so far.

"Selling fly-fishing books to fishermen using real-time
processing on the Internet."

So we added our audience, 'fishermen'. Of course this is
still a vague and poor definition for a specific goal.

To cut to the chase, let me just finish this with what
I believe would be a good final definition for the primary
goal and audience for our fly-fishing book salesman.

"To sell fly-fishing books authored by Randall Kaufmann
to fly-fishing hobbyists who have subscribed to at least
one fly-fishing magazine within the past year. These books
will be sold solely over the Internet using real-time
processing and an automated fulfillment center."

Yes, it is quite okay to be this specific, you can always
approach wider audiences at a later date after you have
been successful with smaller ones.

I trust that you can see how this will assist you as you
begin to design a web site. Instead of approaching your
web site as a blank canvas that you have to creatively
fill, you have a very specific course of action.

>From the definition above, I can see several things that
will be a must for this web site.

1. A bio for Randall Kaufmann, who he is and why his books
are the best on fly-fishing. A picture of Randall Kaufmann.

2. A collage of the major fly-fishing magazines with a caption
that reads something like "If you enjoyed your subscription
to these, wait until you get your hands on this fly fishing
book".

3. Lots of keyword content full of fly-fishing, Randall
Kaufmann book titles and the fishing magazine names.

4. A graphical layout that captures the beauty and peace
of a running riverFree Web Content, the fly-fisherman's paradise.

The defining of a primary goal and audience sets the tone
for your entire web site design. Give your web site design
and your business the preparation it demands and it will
demand much less from you in the future.

Article Tags: Primary Goal, Could Define, Books Using, Using Real-timeprocessing, Fly-fishing Books

Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Ralph Hilliard's WordNet University is turning beginners
into web designing fools! Download the sample video FREE.
http://www.wordnetuniversity.com/getresponse/
You learn visually. No Books, No Programming. Watch and
Hear as a site is developed before your very eyes.



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