In yesterday's Daily Golden Nugget I explained how your time and budget will affect your website goals. I also outlined four potential goals that I'm going to expand upon today.
I've listed the four goals below with what you should consider to achieve each one. These are my own ideas and another website consultant could potentially have completely different ideas for you.
Goal Number 1: Do you want to sell online or just use the website as an online business brochure?
Selling online will be your most ambitious goal. Most jewelers don't understand the pitfalls of attempting to sell online before they set out to do it. Setting up the e-commerce website technology is easy enough, but populating the website with the right mix of information is hard. Plan to spend 9 months of your time between programming and content creation. Listen, if this is seriously your goal then you need to have $20,000 set aside for website setup and another $50,000 for payroll.
If your budget cannot afford $70,000 over the first year, then you need to skip the e-commerce idea for now.
A brochure website is the opposite end of the spectrum of expense. You could use inexpensive website creation software to build a website in a weekend. You would have to supply all the photographs and write the copy, but as a brochure you are only expecting to create a simple website so people can more easily find you online.
Goal Number 2: Do you want to use your website to build your list of potential in-store customers, or just have people join your email list?
This goal proposes two more ideas that are at different ends of website difficulty. In order to build a list of potential in-store customers you need to think of a few ways to capture full customer information as well as someone's tastes and interests. Using this information you can specifically target them for in-store promotions and specific products. This then falls into the topic of customer segmentation that I mentioned last month.
On the other hand, the easy way to accomplish customer list building is simply to put a generic email signup on your website. Just make sure to send emails once people start signing up!
Goal Number 3: Do you want to want to mention your website in your offline ads, like newspaper, radio, and TV?
This might seem like a simple goal, and of course the answer to this is yes. What you probably don't realize is that all your advertising should be connected. What you briefly mention in your offline ads should be explained in great detail using special landing pages on your website. The creative photos and images you use offline should be similar online. Similar, not exactly repeated. Your online photography should be from a different angle to show additional detail that could not be seen in the offline ad.
Landing page creation is very important if you expect to correctly tie those offline ads to your website. This is a creative process that requires in-depth understanding of websites, usability, and continual testing. Trust me; don't try this at home by yourself. Hire a professional for landing page optimization.
Goal Number 4: Do you want to use online advertising that brings new business?
Of the 4 goals I've mentioned here this might actually be the easiest to set up. Bing and Google both have online advertising systems where you can create marketing campaigns and advertise directly to people throughout the internet. Facebook advertising is also very easy to set up.
You can pay for online advertising and attract new people to your website in droves. Of course the big question is whether or not those people will like your website enough to buy anything from you. You should have someone review the appearance and usability of your website before spending too much money with online advertising.
You could try setting up online advertising without hiring a professional, but I caution against spending more than $500. If you spend $500 without making a single sale then it's time to hire a professional to help you.
So many tools are available that make building your website easy, but tuning your website for specific goals is much harder. Hopefully this brief explanation gave you realistic insight for your potential needs.