Know the competition of your web site design! Know everything you can about them. Analyse what they do and how they present themselves. Find out their Unique Selling Proposition and analyse its differences to your own, i.e., their strengths, weaknesses, etc.
To find out about your competition, go to www.google.com. Do a search for your products or services. Limit the search results to pages from New Zealand.
The top 10 links listed on the first page of the search engine will often contain the key competitors of your web site design. If possible, become a customer of your competitors or get a friend to become a customer of theirs. Then analyse exactly how the buying process works with them.
There are a number of free tools that are available on the Internet that enables you to become an investigator:
http://www.marketleap.com/publinkpop allows you to check how many other web sites have links to your competitor’s web site. You can also use the same site to check search engine saturation, i.e., how many pages of a web site have key words linked (different entry points to their website) within those search engines.
http://www.siteowner.com/system/meta.cfm allows you to check what keywords your competitors are targeting in the search engines.
http://www.websiteoptimization.com/services/analyze/ reports on the speed of your competitor’s web site via a 56k modem (e.g. how long it takes to load – which is very important to visitors).
http://download.alexa.com – the alexa toolbar lets you view all sorts of information about any web site that you visit. This currently includes traffic, contact information, web site statistics, related links and history. You can also do a search on their web site to find similar information
http://www.netmechanic.com contains a comprehensive list of commercial tools that enable you to conduct a full, in-depth web site analysis.