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So You Want to Build Web Pages?

Aside from affiliate marketing, there are other ways to earn money on the Internet. One might decide to build websites or maybe specialize in search engine optimization for existing sites. These last two options will require you work directly with a client for which you’ll need to maintain a good line of communication. This can be done either via email or telephone. However, in either case a record and/or file – including date and time – should be kept of each communication as well as the resulting effect on the project since sometimes these changes can affect the timeline and cost.

ROI and Websites

Besides having the obvious skills necessary to build a webpage, you can clearly  put yourself  above the rest by knowing how to build a webpage that delivers the best ROI (Return on Investment).

Having this knowledge enables you to turn your client’s page browsers  into buyers  once you learn and understand the nuances of  the this ‘not-so-technical’ – but very necessary – side of building websites.

The best book we’ve found is   ‘web design for ROI’    by Loveday and Niehaus.   In this book not only will you learn about this relatively new concept but also get excellent design guidelines – along with examples showing the differences – on the following:

  • Landing pages
  • Home pages
  • Category pages
  • Detail pages
  • Forms
  • Checkout process

Getting Started

Once you understand ROI and are ready to move forward in your business, you’ll need the following  skills and services in order to set up and build your client’s new website.

  • Recommended Domain Registrar
  • Recommended Hosting Provider
  • Recommended Email Service
  • Knowledge of HTML, CGI, JAVA, etc.
  • Knowledge of using a cPanel or have a good FTP program
  • Knowledge of Graphics
  • Knowledge of  Search Engine Optimization
  • Rate Sheet for Services Offered (be very specific about what each service includes and the cost)

Client Presentation

Your ‘tools’  are in place and you’re ready to present your services. If you approach your first meeting or presentation with the notion that most people who want a website assume the process is much like sitting down to a typewriter and typing – when in fact it is not – you’ll be ahead of the game. Also, don’t overwhelm the client with the process of  how things are done – they really don’t care – all they’re looking for is a website that looks good, can be ‘found’ and delivers business.

One other consideration to take into account is whether or not there are any governmental or agency guidelines associated with the client’s website. For example, some insurance companies require their agents follow specific guidelines and get approval of the site before it ‘goes public’.  Don’t overlook asking this question as it could cause problems down the line.

Website Building Blocks

I

In almost every case the framework – or layout –  of the site is pretty much the same, it’s  just filled out differently using  the client’s own information relevant to their business.

Main Blocks of Information

General:

About Us – bit of history, how long in business, how many locations, etc.

Any Certifications, licensing, education associated with operating the business

Contact Us – telephone, cell phone, toll free number, email, mailing address, etc.

References or Testimonials – letters, notes, emails from past customers about their ‘positive’ experience

Awards – any awards they have received

Associations & Memberships – are they a member of the Chamber of Commerce, the BBB, etc.

Advertising   Information  and rates for any third party advertising they may want to do

Privacy Statement – do they or don’t they collect information from their visitors, is information shared, sold, traded, etc.

Search Function – makes it easy for visitors to find items or information

Site Maps   –  Standard & XHML

Forms – request for information, get a free quote, etc.

Email – traditional email contact, set up mass email  program for newsletters, etc.

Products/Service Specific

Products they provide – types, explanations, descriptions, cost, etc.

Services provided – is there any follow-up service after sale, are service calls available, etc.

Any limitations to service or sales area – do they only service a 100 mile radius, only ship to US, etc.

Maintenance offered – do they have any maintenance policy available after the purchase, is maintenance through a third-party provider, etc.

FAQ – are there any Frequently Asked Questions that can be answered before they are asked

Any ‘Do’s and Dont’s’   associated with the product/service

Free quotes  – if a service provider, do they offer free quotes/estimates

Policies

Terms of Use – what can the user expect from the website

Disclaimer – what does the business owner ‘disclaim’, what is he not responsible for

Return/Refund  Policy – for products

Service/Repair Guarantees  – any guarantee, ie., for 30 days, 1 year, or are you buying ‘at your own risk’

Copyright Information

Trademark Information   –  who owns the trademarks

Conclusion

Including  a list of  the information you’ll need to build the website  as part of the client’s  presentation package  is extremely helpful.  Not only does it give them an idea of  the type of information they’ll need to get together – but also it helps eliminate any confusion about what is to be included and what is not.

Your own business policies, services and rates should be available both online and ‘on request’ when making a presentation, removing any doubt about what can be  provided and how much it will cost.

As with any job, the client may request changes that increase the price.   Be very up front about any and all changes made with regard to cost and time … then follow up in writing   . . .  and then keep everything associated with the project in it’s own  file for future reference.


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