If you’re building your own site to save money, either with web-publishing software or with an online
site builder, you’ll still have to invest time to make it attractive. More importantly, you may
be missing the most important (invisible) elements necessary to bring in traffic. Finally, what
you have must be functional to prevent your visitors from getting annoyed, or simply leaving
without reading what you had to offer.
10 Steps Toward a Successful Website
Establish a concise list of objectives.
What do we want to accomplish?
Understand the target audience.
What information do they need, and how fast? Will graphics help?
Provide quality content and keep it concise.
It must immediately convey it's purpose, or visitors will leave.
Develop a site map based on a logical sequence to display information. Organization aids both the site and the visitor.
Keep the visitor in mind when developing a navigation scheme.
The flow from page to page should be logical and consistent.
Utilize multimedia features if they aid communication.
Mouse rollovers, animated images, sound, etc. can reinforce the text.
Make it Search Engine friendly. Appropriate title, SEO keywords and META tags are essential to generating traffic. And don't forget to submit it to major search engines!
Maintain the site on a regular basis to keep it fresh and give visitors a reason to return.
Integrate the site with other components of your marketing plan.
Your business has a website because it’s a cost-effective way to supplement advertising to prospects and to
maintain contact with customers. You’re probably aware that you should include the web address in all
marketing material, correspondence, signage, and phone directory ads. You want your site to be more attractive
and more user-friendly than the websites of your competition. You’re happy with the design, structure and
maybe even a cool Flash movie. But once the site is online, it can be all too easy to neglect a key
The site may have contained informative and relevant information when it was built, but is it still current
and correct? It can cost very little time or money to ensure that your website continues to do it’s best
to help your business thrive. And if you don’t put that small effort in, visitors can be quickly
“turned off” by faulty or outdated information. Here are some steps to keep the site working hard for you:
1. Maintain the site on a regular basis to keep it fresh and give visitors a reason to return.
Outdated information gives the impression that you’re unreliable. Your Webmaster or designer can make
it easy for you to make your own timely changes to parts of the site. In minutes, you can change a
“weekly specials” page, add new products, update pricing information or edit a “customer news” page.
One method to do this is to install a database.
2. Provide quality content, including keywords that visitors are looking for. Keywords and
content are the most important factors for your pages to rank high in search engines (at no expense to you).
Make it easier for people to find you by incorporating the SEO words and phrases they’re searching for.
3. Keep it customer focused. Give your visitors what they are looking for or they will find
someone else who will. Are you seeking a new target audience for particular products or services?
Add a page to address their needs and concisely show how you can fill those needs. If a page doesn’t
immediately convey it's purpose, visitors will leave.
4. Integrate the site with your marketing plan. For a particular campaign, you may want to
direct visitors to a specific page of your site, instead of the home page. This way, they’re being treated
as individuals and not just part of the crowd.
It’s always a good idea to visit the websites of your competitors to get more ideas on improving your website.
But the most important thing is to view your site from the eyes of visitors. Give them what they want!
Input your website address to find how Google ranks your site. The scale is from 0 to 10 with 10 being best. Most sites range from 2-5, with only very large sites receiving higher ranks. Ask me how to increase your number!