These days, anyone who wants to start an Internet business can download a template and fill in their information. However, are these cookie cutter web sites really the image you want to present to your potential customers? Using a template can cut costs, but it can also make you look unimaginative and unprofessional.
Templates can have coding errors that make your web site work incorrectly, the graphics can be inappropriate for your business, and the layout may not be the best one to promote your products and services. So how do you get a great web site? Follow these basic tips for setting up a web site and you'll be on your way to an attractive and useful marketing tool.
Choosing a Suitable Domain Name
The domain name of your web site is the address that points visitors to your site. One example of a domain name would be [http://www.yourbusiness.com]. You can use your domain name to your advantage in two ways. One way to effectively use your domain for marketing purposes is to use your business name as your domain. If you start a business called "Joe's Printing," try to see if http://www.joesprinting.com is available. You can also use keywords in your domain to help your web site get ranked higher in the search engines. Joe's Printing might use http://www.affordableprinting.com if "affordable printing" is a popular search phrase. No matter how you choose your domain name, remember to keep the name easy to remember and easy to spell. Inventive spellings may show your creativity, but they will not help people remember how to get to your web site.
Keeping Layout and Graphics Simple and Professional
Unless you are a graphic designer or other creative professional, your web site does not need many graphics. The layout should also be kept as simple as possible to keep people from having difficulty navigating to the areas of the site that they want to visit. According to many web studies, people want to find the information they need within 8 seconds of visiting your site. If they have to wait for large graphics to load or for long Flash intros to play, they're going to get frustrated and go to another site. Colors are also important in designing an effective web site. Do not you just hate it when you visit a site and you can not read the text against the background or the whole site is neon yellow and you need to squint? People will hate your web site if it looks like that too. Use professional colors that can be seen easily by many users. If you really want to make your site accessible, use colors that can be read by those who are colorblind. If you make your site accessible for everyone, you'll increase the opportunities you have for making sales and building customer relationships.
Providing Informative and Accurate Content
If you get past having a great domain name and getting a good design, you'll need to provide visitors with content that they can use to keep them coming back to your site. No one will visit your site again and again if there is no information to keep them interested. Good content will keep customers informed and let them know about any advances or new products and services in your industry. An added bonus of providing informative content is that you'll create a professional image for yourself as an expert in your business.
Your web site speaks volumes about your business, your level of professionalism, and your experience. Taking the time to build a great site will boost your profits and skyrocket your online business success.
Copyright 2006 Rasheed Ali