Marketing and Design to Get the Most out of Your Website

Once you have figured out your what your focus should be,think of ideas and sketch out each page. Start with you home page; this page should be a 3-5 paragraphs long and state who you are and what you do and guide the viewer to the rest of the site.

Keep in mind that the average web browser will decide to leave or stay on your site in the first 6 seconds! Get there attention, but don't scare them away! (See our other article on how to write good copy)

Once your site is up, market it! What good is this great site that you have spent so much time and money on if no one can find it?!

List your website address in ALL your printed promotional materials. Business cards, postcards, flyers, etc ? Then submit your site to the search engines.

Consider hiring someone to do monthly submissions for you to keep your site fresh on the search engines. It also helps to optimize at least your home page for your most relevant keywords and phrases. (See our other article on how to write copy search engines love)

Try to get your site listed on other related sites that may already have established rankings with the search engines. The more ways the potential client has of finding your site, the better. This is "Link Popularity".

Writing articles related to your field and submitting them to related sites and article bank sites (such as is another great why to build inbound links to your site.

Your website doesn't have to be fancy, just clean, informative and easy to navigate. Remember the 6 second rule. Here are some basic guidelines for content to include in your site:

- A complete description of your products and/or services "Services page" The more information you give your visitors, the more informed they will be when they contact you.

- Pictures, everyone loves pictures! Every page on your site should have at least one picture or graphic. But be sure they are related to your business. Depending on your industry, you might even want to have a "gallery page"

- Have a "Packages" or "Pricing page" If you don't list your prices, your prospects might go somewhere that does. Ever been in a store with no price tags? In cases like this, many people think that the products are too expensive or that the company will try to get them to buy something they don't really need. At the very least, list a starting range and maybe a description of your average package.

- Testimonials. People want to feel that you can actually produce what you claim. Get testimonials from past clients and put their names on it and maybe even where they live, as not to seem like you made them up.

- Give a brief history/bibliography. This is usually the "About Us" page. State your experience, why you got into the business, etc ? it is OK to embellish a bit for readability, but don't lie! If you are a member of any professional organizations, list those here too.

- FAQ's ? Answers to frequently asked questions is another good thing to have on your website ?. This will add valuable information to your site and save you time in having to answer the same questions to every new client.

- Links to friends and colleges in related fields is another great thing to have on your website. This makes you appear to have greater experience to the prospective client. And offers valuable information to your visitors. Of course, you should trade links with your competition. Look around, I would be willing to bet that in most cases, your competition has a link referral system.

- Finally, the "Contact" page ? make sure your contact info is easy to find ? it doesn't hurt to have the contact info a the bottom of every page and then detailed on the "Contact" page. Always, have a phone number AND an email contact. You should also have your location somewhere on your website, so people know where you are, even if you work from home and don't want to advertise your home address, you can put the city you are in. Or you can get a local P.O. Box. Most people like to work with local businesses.

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