Creating a good website is much easier in the last few years than when I first got online in 1998. At the time, I was working with a webmaster to design a site for local crafters. Getting professional crafters to understand the importance of a web presence at that time nearly took an act of God! And the programing …. well, thank goodness I had a webmaster.
Fast forward to 2002-3 when I created my own websites. The template for my first site was a minor $750 purchase, plus $25 per month to maintain the shopping card (by the way, two of those original sites are still in operation).
Now, websites can be set up free or nearly free and the biggest issues today is how to create a GOOD website!
I have a few tips to share, but first I would like to listsuggestions:
Here are the points in a nutshell:
- Crawlability – make your website crawlable, view it in text browser. How does it look? Is it readable and well organized?
- Sitemap – create a sitemap. A sitemap is a list of pages of a website that are accessible by web crawlers and users. It gives a comprehensive view of the structure of the website.
- Content – good, properly written content. Don’t pad articles with unrelated content. The content should be relevant to your website in general and specifically to the particular article.
- Marketing, promoting, optimizing – target your niche. Make them aware of what you have to offer.
- Hooks – create newsletter, tutorial, specials…give people a reason to subscribe to your newsletter and return to your website.
- Social Networking – use social networks such as Facebook, Google +, Twitter, LinkedIn etc, to tell others about your website and what you do.
- Offer something interesting – in as much as it is possible, try to create a unique experience for your users.
Julian tips are exceptional for creating some real interest on your site.
I would like to add the following tips:
- Develop a list of key words and a few key phrases pertaining to your business and use them in your copy where appropriately.
- Use pictures and graphics where possible making sure to tag your pictures with your key words.
- Add a blog to your site or change/add new content on a regular basis.
- Offer occasional specials and promotions to attract new buyers and reward long time customers.
- Respond to any and all comments, questions, issues that you customers address on your site (or email you privately).
- Make your website easy to navigate with clear button or links to pages and/or products.
- Don’t add too many flashy graphics that may distract your visitors from the focus of your website.
- Have a clear Contact page that includes ALL your contact info (including phone, mailing address, fax and email).
- Include an About page that tells about you, your company and what you can do for your customers.
- Use a small professional looking banner that does not cover the entire “above the fold” part of your website. (NOTE: The “fold” is the spot on the website where the reader must scroll to see the rest of the site.)
I am sure there are more tips that you may know of that are not listed here. Whole books have been written on the subject! Despite that, please share with us any others that you have found to create a good website!