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If your website is falling through the cracks, the chances are that the site has no message, no central core to build traffic or a core readership. Websites that try to do everything usually fail.
We begin every web site evaluation by helping you define your web site goals. You can do this yourself. Knowing what your site is supposed to accomplish should be the first step in your design process. Your website success starts with understanding your site's purpose and goals.
Start by grabbing a notepad and pencil and begin brainstorming your website's purpose. Write down everything that comes to mind. Some common goals include:
Now ask yourself what is most important? Prioritize your web site goals so you can prioritize your web site's needs. Sometimes your list will not be linear, it may look more like a bubble chart or be structured more clearly. Your priorities should be reflected in the site organization. Do you lead with you top priorities or are they shyly hidden within your site map?
It's time to get real. Once you understand your goals go to your site and see how close you are to achieving them.
Your website content should reflect your site's purpose and nothing else. Start a blog if you want to offer your poetry, opinion or family photos. Don't try to sell widgets and cats on the same site. Focus your attention and you'll grab the attention of the search engines and your target audience alike. A web site evaluation that doesn't begin with these basic question is doomed to be useless.
Don't waste your time fixing anything on your site until you know what it is supposed to do!
JoMarie Thomson of Crucible Designs has been designing websites since 1997. She offers website success strategies on JoMaries Dot Com for do-it-yourself website makeovers.
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