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research

competition

Once you have determined your goals for your website, it's time to check out your competition. The internet is all about competition, even once you've crossed the line and have gone on-line. The first thing you will want to do is look up the competition you know. you might be surprised with what you find. You will be even more surprised when you use the search engines to find out about competition that you don't know. You might search in Yahoo for the key words that a customer might use while looking for you, and find that a business almost exactly like yours is operating out of Laos, and maintaining a beautiful site. That site is drawing business that could have been yours.

While you are finding the sites your competition has, you need to take notes. Maybe you are good at cutting and pasting onto word processing documents, which is ideal, but if you're not, take out a piece of paper, and write down the essentials

  • The company name
  • The exact address (example - http://theotherguys.com or http://someisp.net/~users/thecompetition/main.html)
  • What important points do they get across?
  • What are the deficiencies of their site (or even their company)
  • What elements of their site do you have to have on your site?

Send all that stuff to us via email, and we'll check everything out. We'll even go further than that and look for even more of your competition, since we're especially good at doing research online.

examples

The next thing you need to do is find the websites that you like in general, whether. they are related to your business or not. What we need to do together is establish what your site will look like. If you've been online for awhile, you probably already have favorite sites, and you need to let us now what elements of those sites you'd like to have on your site. Say, for instance, you really like the buttons at Dorna.com, and you think the way information is clearly presented is just great at lonelyplanet.com. Perhaps you like going to site that has excellent animated graphics, or some interactive elements that you really like.

Some sites look very conservative, and if you pick them apart, you'll see that perhaps they have achieved a very staid, Ivy-League look by sticking with classic fonts, and a simple two or three color theme. Other sites are very techno/rock and roll looking, like Glassdog, which uses a lot of black backgrounds, ghostly white images, and step it all up further by being readable only with the new fourth generation browsers. You've been around - start looking at websites as if you were shopping, not just looking.

Let us know what parts of each site appeal to you, and we'll incorporate these elements into your site. Also, you should let us know if there are parts of websites that you hate, so we can make sure that you don't end up having them on your site. For instance, a lot of people don't like blinking text, and a lot of people don't like frames.

Again, email it to us - the names and exact addresses of sites which you like and dislike with quick explanations of why.

Then we can get started with making your website.

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