Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The five C's

At the SOHO business show yesterday, I attended a presentation entitled "How To Turn Your Website Into A Dynamic Search Engine Magnet." Unfortunately, the presentation was really a vendor touting his services, complete with a live testimonial. So my notes are sparse from it, but do include information on the five C's that I thought was worth sharing.

According to the CEO of Cazbah Total Internet Marketing Solution, the five C's are key to being successful on the Internet. If true, that means that all web sites -- not just business sites -- should pay attention to them. The five C's are:
  • Content -- We all know that a web site needs content. Keep in mind that visitors to your site will make decisions about the content in the first 3 - 8 seconds at the site. Often that decision is made based on how fast the site loads or what is on the homepage. Make sure you site works well (optimized/efficient code) and that when they do see the homepage that they will understand what the content is.

  • Community -- Web sites are built for specific communities of people. Do you know what that community is? Can you define that community and interact on some level with it? When members of that community get to your site, can they tell that the site is for them? Of course, we might also talk about how you market to that community as well as how you keep them loyal...

  • Communication -- Can your users communicate with you and you with them? Don't just think of e-mail, but also think of instant message, newsletters, blogs, etc. Remember that a community of people will want to communicate with you and likely with each other.

  • Commerce -- We don't all use our web sites for ecommerce, but we might want people to "do" something (use a database, view photos, read articles). A web site that is focused on ecommerce will make sure that the ability to find, select, and buy is easy. Do the same for your site. If you want users to search or browse, for example, make sure that it is obvious and easy.

  • Customer service & support -- We hope that our web sites and online products are easy to use and that no one will need help, but that's not true. Users will want to be able to contact you with questions, especially if they are having problems. And they will want to contact you when they are having that problem, not when it is convenient for you. So what customer service and support mechanisms do you have in place? Are they obvious and easy to use?
The five C's were a good take-away from the presentation. As the saying goes, if you get one thing out of a presentation, then it was worthwhile. With that as a standard, I'm glad I sat through it.

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Mitch Mitchell said...

This was a great post. As for the SOHO show, too bad I wasn't home to go, as I've done in the past. That presentation would have irked me; I'm hoping it wasn't done by someone I know, but I've got a feeling I know who did it, and if so, I'm not really surprised. Still, you got something out of it, so it wasn't a total bust.

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