The next several blog posts will cover the introduction and sections for our multi-part series, ”Website Basics: An Introduction to Important Terms and Concepts.” In this series, we will explain some of the fundamentals in having a website and what is needed to purchase and maintain one. While these articles primarily are aimed at persons who do not have a website and want to learn more about the basics, we hope that if you are familiar with websites that you will learn something new as well. At the end of later posts, there will be a website glossary of terms and website related definitions and link section that everyone may find helpful.
WEBSITE BASICS: AN INTRODUCTION TO IMPORTANT TERMS AND CONCEPTS
Websites are a valuable component in modern marketing and branding strategies of today’s businesses and organizations and have become an important part of a business’ or organization’s credentials. They can help your business to be found in this highly mobile society where more and more people who relocate turn to the Internet to help them move and find places, news and information. Local residents are doing the same to get more out of their communities. Websites provide many different types of services to both the business/organization and both potential and existing clients. It is important to understand what websites can do, how they work and what is necessary to have them and keep them going and maximize the benefits to both your business/organization and your website visitors.
Websites can have many purposes and fulfill many functions depending on the business/organization and its needs, its clients’ needs and its leadership and management style. These have been grouped into three general categories of purpose and intent:
1. Introduce Your Business or Organization or Ideas to Potential New Clients/Customers and Readers
- Explain features, products and services of your business or organization
- Explain ideas, thoughts, concepts and approaches
- Entertain to increase name recognition and create a positive fun image
- Educate potential clients, customers, consumers and followers
- Help your business be found and connect you to your new clients and customers
- Meet public expectations when researching your company or organization
For example, a list of your company’s or organization’s products and services can be displayed to make them easily found and understood by persons who come to your website. You can help keep your customers returning with new content, games, promotions, social media and more. The website should reflect not just who or what your business or organization is at this snapshot of time but meet expectations of the Internet user when they arrive. If your company produces precision made parts, your website should reflect this in its design, images and texts. If your organization focuses on creative elements such as art for children, your website should reflect that and be enticing not just to the parents but to the children. Press kits and brochures can be made easily available to the media and others.
2. Communicate with and Provide Functions to Existing Clients
- Report company or organizational news
- Report global or local news of interest to clients
- Educate clients on more details of your business
- Reward clients with special promotions and services
- Easy access and logins for specialized information, updating accounts and checking results
There are many specific examples for this. Doctors’ offices can provide links to companies that can post test results securely online. Movie theaters can have special membership pages with coupons, discounts and other specials. Financial services can provide access to portfolios and have near real-time access to changes in the stock market. Businesses and organizations can provide their own abstracts and news services on popular, useful and current events. News archives can be kept of important events specific to the company or organization, including articles in the press.
3. Help Your Team Work More Effectively
- Educate your staff with staff only sections
- Post schedules and schedule requests in staff only sections
- Lessen the work load and time demands of your staff and yourself by posting forms, FAQs and other information online
- Share resources and collaborate on projects
For example, doctors’ offices can post HIPAA privacy notices, intake and other forms for easy download by the patient. This easy availability allows the patient to fill out the forms in the comfort of their own home, saving valuable office staff time and minimizing the patient waits in the doctor’s office. Restaurants can post their menus online so that the customer can review them before coming to eat or to facilitate speedy ordering for take out.
Websites are composed of three main parts which require action:
We will explore each of these in our upcoming posts. Our next topic is domain names and will cover choices for domain names, domain registrars, ICANN and more.
Please return later or read on for the continuation of this series and other new website blog posts. Thank you for your visit.
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