Web Site Development and Promotion: Dos and Don'ts
from Net Atlantic
- Offer your web site visitors an offer they can't refuse (such as FREE!)
- Make it obvious what you are trying to accomplish (or sell)
- Clearly guide your web site visitor where you want them to go (new buttons, hot, etc).
- Offer a way for people to respond to you with email links and forms
- Offer something of value to your web site visitors. This is important. Put your best information on your site. Web surfers are infomaniacs, and want to learn or discover something.
- Use a "theme" to help the navigation and look of your site
- Keep your message and web pages simple. People have very short attention spans. Make your message direct and straightforward. Avoid long paragraphs.
- Use lists and bullets for quick reading.
- For online ordering, offer a secure server which encrypts information and protects credit card information.
- Test your pages on various browsers and platforms (Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Opera, Windows, Apple OS, Linux, etc.)
- Make a large footprint with your web site so that people are more likely to find you. Post articles, newsletters, etc. to an archives section with a link to your home page.
- Advertise your new web page to your current customers and prospects. Cross-sell customers to new and other services. Make current customers aware of new offerings.
- Ask people unfamiliar with your web site to navigate it, and watch them (in person) as they surf your site. Watch where they go, and what they do.
- Read your web host's weekly or monthly traffic logs to see which pages are most popular. Also find out which pages or graphic images are not being loaded completely. Redesign and improve your site with what you learn.
- Ask your web site visitors for their email addresses, and send mail to them periodically
- When you update your site, send the new info to all the people on your email list.
- Allocate a large percentage of your budget for web site promotion
- DON'T require your web site visitor to have a web browser plug-in to view important information on your web site. Even worse, don't use poorly written Java or Java Script which could crash the browser of your web site visitor!
Fix: Pull off anything questionable. Or ask your web site visitors if they like a certain advanced plug-in feature, and if they find it useful.
- DON'T design your web site exclusively for graphics navigation, with no text links at all. Forcing your web site visitors to load graphics will alienate some visitors. Additionally, people with slow Internet connections will simply leave.
Fix: Offer text navigation links at the bottom of your site.
- DON'T forget to submit your web site to all the search engines. Just because your web site is great, doesn't mean people will go see it.
Fix: Tell all the search engines about your web site.
- DON'T forget to add meta tags to your web pages.
Fix: Learn about how meta tags work, and add them to your web site.
The above was excerpted from a Net Atlantic presentation about web design and development topics delivered to the Annual Conference of the New England Telemessaging Association.