Website Success 10-Steps
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10-Steps to Website &
Internet Business Success

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Between the 1990's and today, one truth can be said about the Internet. It is an ever-changing, constantly evolving, labyrinth of opportunities and pitfalls. One step toward the right and success could be at your doorstep. One step to the left and you could be faced with challenge, frustration, expense, rework, and ultimately failure. As an industry leader, NetCentric has developed a standard 10-step process designed to help ensure your online business' success.

1) Know your industry & market
The single most important thing you can do to help ensure your success is to know your industry and marketplace. Is there a need for your product or service and at what cost? What companies are currently addressing this need? How well are these companies addressing the market? Are these companies online and what are they doing right and wrong? How are your customers finding information about your product or service?

If you can't answer all of these questions with a resounding, confident answer then chances are, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. NetCentric offers Strategic Research & Marketing services that takes the guesswork out of knowing your market.

2) Develop a realistic budget
One of the most common mistakes novice Internet business owners make is failing to budget for the long-run. Chances are, if you find the cost of a new or newly re-designed website too expensive, you really haven't given full thought to the costs associated with managing, maintaining, and promoting your website. The fact is, within the first two-years of your website's life, you will easily surpass the cost of developing your website. Over a 5-year span, your ongoing expenses will be in multiples of 10 or even 100 of your website development costs.

Don't fool yourself. Without a realistic budget and a plan for ongoing operating expenses (including promotion), your website will go unnoticed among the Internet masses and you will have wasted perhaps hundred or thousands of dollars. Why not just save your money and take a trip to Jamaica instead! Our Strategic Planning services will give you realistic expectations for appropriate budgeting.

3) Aggressively screen potential web services and web service providers
One of the harshest realities about Internet business today is "you get what you pay for." Be very wary of the "website in a box" or scams that claim to "create a website in 30 minutes". Run fast from anything that looks like a student, hobbiest, or off-shore provider. While the low entry cost of these options may be appealing, you can't even begin to imagine the problems you are opening yourself up to.

Do you really want your customer's credit card numbers finding their way to Pakistan or some Russian Federation state you can't even pronounce? Will your student or hobbiest friend be there for you when your website fails to generate traffic and interest? Can your "website in a box" solution answer your questions about why Google has banned your website from being listed? Will you really want to spend another thousand dollars to get your website "right" the 2nd time around?

To avoid these pitfalls, aggressively screen web service providers. A professional service provider will save you in the long-run by getting things right the 1st time. These providers are not always easy to find. First, try to find a local provider - one that has been doing Internet business for at least 3 years. Second, if you must go out of town, be sure your provider has experience with all of the following; online marketing research, project planning, web design and functional development, Internet communications, search engine optimization, web hosting, domain name research, web maintenance, online promotion, and results tracking & reporting. A legitimate provider will justify their existence and costs within a relatively short amount of time. Third, identify professional providers that have a range of clients across many industries representing small, mid-size, and large organizations. Speak to their clients before signing on the dotted line. And lastly, insist on a contract that protects your interests with measurable milestones and an escape clause for failure to meet those milestons. Any deviations from the screening process above should signal your scepticism.

Sound like a tall order? It is - no doubt. But if you avoid these tips, plan on frustration, delays, re-work, poor performance, and an experience you will be glad to forget. NetCentric's staff is experienced in all phases of research, planning, design, development, online communications, marketing and promotion.

4) Know how your customers are finding your products or services
Know the keywords, key phrases, and the key word/key phrase deviations your customers use when searching for your product or service. A professional service provider will be able to tell you exactly what your customers are searching for and how many are doing such searches. Your provider will also know just how to mix these words into your website architecture (notice we didn't say META tags) to appeal to the search engines and achieve the best possible page ranking. If your provider doesn't understand this, or if your provider is using gimmicks, keyword META tag spamming, cloaking, or any other underhanded trickery, you should beware and seriously consider doing business elsewhere. NetCentric utilizes only proven and ethical techniques for keyword research and search engine optimization.

5) Plan your strategy around your users AND search engines
Your website could be a prime example of human usability and still fail to get indexed and ranked highly by the search engines. Why? Because there is complexity in designing both for the human visitor and the automated search engine spider or robot. To do a good job at addressing both types of visitors you must have a solid strategy (see Items #1 & #4 above) for who you want to address, how you want to address them, and via what search engines and other promotion mediums. With this information in hand, you can then begin the design phase of your website but not a second before. NetCentric ensures search engine optimization is an integral part of a design or redesign project.

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