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Web Marketing Checklist

  1. Integrating Your Marketing Strategy
    Know your company's overall business goals before developing a web marketing campaign to ensure an integrated message.
    1. What is the strategic purpose of my business?
    2. Who are my customers?
    3. Why do they buy from me?
    4. How will a web marketing campaign complement my overall business and marketing strategy?
    5. What is my purpose for marketing on the web?
    6. Who are my target customers/audience now and in the future?
    7. How will I reach my target customers/audience on the web?
    8. What are the advantages/disadvantages for marketing on the web?
    9. What will make customers/visitors want to come back to my site?
    10. What valuable information can I provide on my web site?
    11. How can I make my web site easy to use?
    12. How will I market my web site?
    13. How will I measure the success of my web marketing efforts?
    14. What are the pros and cons of supporting e-commerce capabilities now or in the future?
    15. What are my strengths/weaknesses for developing a successful on-line marketing campaign?
  2. Choosing a Web Site Developer
    Web developers can vary drastically in terms of focus, skill sets and pricing. Some may focus on the graphic design and content of your site while others may offer various programming-related functionalities. The goal is to know what it is you want your site to do and then select the web site developer who most closely serves this purpose. As with all business relationships, the terms of your agreement should be negotiated and documented. Here are some useful questions to raise when interviewing web site developers:
    1. How long have they been in business?
    2. What other web sites have they developed (i.e., industries, types of businesses, site features)?
    3. Do they support my competitor's web site?
    4. Can I communicate with company representatives productively?
    5. Can I contact three references?
    6. Relative to my needs, what types of web development services do they offer:
      1. Web marketing strategy development
      2. Content development
      3. Graphic design creation with fast loading file capabilities
      4. E-commerce capabilities
      5. Database services and access capabilities
      6. Online marketing services
      7. Security features
    7. What is their capacity to test their web site on various browsers, equipment platforms, operating systems, and communication protocols to ensure that my web site is compatible?
    8. Who will own what (software, content, graphics, logos, trademarks, etc.)?
    9. How will the site be maintained?
    10. Can I make routine content updates (new product data, pricing, etc.) to the web site myself?
    11. Can the developer offer additional web site functionality as my business grows?
    12. What will my web site cost (flat fees, hourly rates, per project pricing, etc.)?
    13. What benchmarks will be used to monitor development progress?
  3. Choosing an Internet Service Provider (ISP)
    There are over 4,500 ISP's in the US and the numbers keep growing. While some web development agencies work in conjunction with a specific ISP, it is still important to understand what it is you're getting in this relationship. In simple terms, all ISP's can be evaluated in terms of price, power and service offerings. Therefore, here are a few useful questions to ask to ensure that your website receives the right amount of attention:
    1. How long have they been in business?
    2. What are their long-term goals?
    3. What types of client sites do they support?
    4. Can I contact three references?
    5. How do they calculate pricing (flat fee, monthly fee, per-hour rates, packaged pricing, etc.)?
    6. How do they compare their pricing strategy to other ISP's?
    7. What services do they offer in addition to Internet access?
    8. What types of reports can they provide about my web site's performance?
    9. For smaller ISP's, whose backbone network do they connect to and how reliable is this relationship?
    10. What connection speeds (56K, ISDN, T1) do they support?
    11. What percentage of your available bandwidth are you using on a regular basis?
    12. Is local calling access available if I travel (regionally, nationally, globally)?
    13. What are their backup capabilities (power, servers, etc.)?
    14. Do they alert subscribers to expected downtimes?
    15. What types of security services do they offer?
    16. What is involved in setting up an account relationship?
    17. What is involved in terminating an account relationship?
    18. What is the server response time I can expect?
    19. How many users will be able to access my site simultaneously?
    20. How many web site "hits" can be supported per hour/per day?
    21. Do they offer a free trial period to "stress test" the system?
    22. What technical support is available; how many, how knowledgeable, how and when can I contact them?

As with any part of your business, "Think It ~ Learn It ~ Do It." Good luck!

By:    Deborah A. Osgood

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