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DYK (Did You Know?) – Part 2

Web site development can be categorized into two distinctive types: E-commerce and Informational.

We previously explored e-commerce website development. This month we will look at important considerations for informational websites.

A great informational website is the difference between a web surfer becoming your customer or going to your competitor’s site.

“Conversions” are an important metric for informational websites, just as they are for ecommerce websites. For an ecommerce site a conversion is more obvious – a conversion occurs every time a visitor makes a purchase. In the case of an informational website, a conversion means the visitor has been persuaded to do what you want them to do. It could be having them read your Blog, be educated by your opinion (through an advocacy or political site), join your on-line community, or subscribe to your newsletter. What does a “conversion” mean for your web site? It should reflect your website’s business objectives.

Informational sites can be broken down into a few main categories:

  1. Content sites: These are sites whose business is the creation and distribution of content. Generally speaking, the main objective of a content site is to increase the public’s awareness of or interest in your business and/or website, sell subscription services, or increase the number of readers.
  2. Self-service sites: These are sites that allow people to easily and independently serve themselves. Examples include blogs, research sites (such as Wikipedia), on line media sites, or advocacy sites.
  3. Directories: A company can register itself with a directory that is appropriate to its line of business in order to gain qualified leads.
  4. Other informational sites can include entertainment, forums, community building sites, photo sharing sites, and more.

Informational sites exist to inform users. When developing a great informational site, it is important to focus on the conversion factor, specifically keep in mind what the visitor (prospective customer) is wanting, and to fulfill that want/need. Becoming clear on what type of informational site you’re building will help you develop the proper elements to create conversions.