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==> Developing A Web Site
The Keys to a Successful Web Site Today:
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The Keys to a Successful Web Site Today:
By John Eberhard
Some web designers would have you believe that the most important thing about a web site is that it has the latest Flash animation bells and whistles, i.e. the latest gadgets. In other words, the most important thing is that it be visually impressive.
In actual fact nothing
could be further from the truth.
Let's start from the assumption that the purpose of your web site is
commercial in nature. Its purpose is to generate or help generate
revenue for your company. So the site would then generally fall into
one of two categories:
1) it sells something or promotes something for sale, or
2) it is some kind of site where people come for free content, but then
you make revenue somehow from the traffic you generate, such as through
advertising or affiliate revenue (sort of modeled after television).
So in general, the most important things about the way a web site is
1. The site has
compelling sales text on it, that convinces your visitors to buy the
products or services.
This is arguably the most important aspect of a web site. Well written,
compelling sales text can make the difference between a terrible and a
terrific conversion ratio, meaning what percentage of your web site
visitors take a desirable action (buying, or signing up for a free
offer and giving you their address). Watching these conversion ratios
is important in gauging your success.
There are numerous courses available that teach how to write sales copy
for the web. I've done several of them, and there's a bit to know about
2. There are features
built into the site that capture identities of people who are
interested in your topic but don't buy right away, such as compelling
This is another very important aspect of having a successful site. As a
general rule of thumb, you want to capture identities of people who
visit your site who don't buy right away. That should be one of your
mantras when designing or revising the site.
Why? Because once you capture that identity, you can send him
information via email (which is free), that sells him on your products
or services. You can go for the jugular right away and immediately send
him sales information, or you can send him a newsletter with articles
and information of general interest. It's up to you, and what style
works for you.
But the overall concept is to start collecting names and start a
program to regularly send those names information that will make them
And by the way, once someone has accepted your free offer or joined
your newsletter, they have now "opted in" to your list. You can send
them information to your heart's content without it being considered
It is a good idea, with your free offers, to put a checkbox for them
(which by default is checked) where they say they do want to be on your
mailing list. That way even if someone doesn't remember taking your
free offer, and they complain to one of the vigilante organizations on
the Internet that claim to police spam, then you have a paper trail
showing they opted in.
There are a number of software programs you can purchase to send out
bulk email, depending on the size of your operation and the size of
3. The site is designed
in such a way that it is easy to navigate through and easy for your
public to find what they need.
Ease of navigation is one of the key points of site design. For large
sites, you must build a navigation system that allows people to get
around the site easily and find what they want quickly.
For small sites, many of the most successful sites I have seen place
most or all of the information on one long page, with only one option
at the bottom - to buy the product.
But whether your site is large or small, you want to make it easy for
the person to navigate around, but you also want to lay it out in such
a way that the visitor does not have a million choices, so that he
wanders aimlessly around and then leaves.
You need to channel him to the optimum actions that you want him to do,
such as buying the product, taking the free offer, or joining an email
mailing list. Because if lots of visitors come to your site, but they
leave without buying something or giving you their name and email
address, your chances of gaining anything from those visits are remote.
And it's expensive to generate web site traffic, either in actual money
spent or in your time spent in doing it the cheap way. So either way,
you need to capitalize on that traffic.
4. The site contains
attractive graphics and picture elements, which do not take too long to
load and are not so overdone that they interfere with the communication.
I am a big fan of the latest graphics. I love Flash and GIF animations
and so on, and I use them. But, some web sites go way overboard on
Graphics (such as buttons and navigation bars) should be used to give
your site the proper look and ambiance. Pictures should be used to
illustrate concepts in your text. But all this must be used in
moderation. You must make sure that the graphics and pictures do not
get in the way of the communication.
I have seen web sites that are making literally millions of dollars per
year, that have very little or no graphics or pictures. Some of the
sites I've seen actually looked hokey or unprofessional. Yet they were
making lots of money.
So now I probably sound like I'm anti-graphics on web sites. I'm not.
(Honest, look at some of my sites!) I love, and I create, really nice
looking navigation bars and buttons, and I like to put in pictures,
charts, etc. A picture is worth a thousand words. But I also know that
the sales text is more important. So your graphics can't overwhelm it
or get in the way of it. Or worse, don't design graphic-heavy sites
with no room for text.
5. You have web statistic
software so you can track visitor activity.
In order to effectively manage a web site, you need to know how many
people are coming to the site, what pages they are going to, and a
variety of other statistics. This is vital, in order to be able to
track the success of all your actions, and the success of all the
changes you make to the site. You can see another article I wrote
specifically on this topic for more information on it.
If your web site isn't delivering, in terms of actual sales, or leads
for your sales team, or a rapidly growing email mailing list, then
contact us. We can help you revise the site and get it creating the
About the Author:
Los Angeles, CA
See my new eBook: "Making Money with a Web Site,
The Basics of Internet Marketing Part 1"
********** Additional References **********
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Simple PHP - easy guide teachs how and why you should add PHP to your web site.
Affiliate Armor - protection for affiliate links against bypass and lost commissions.
Java Scripts Magic - advanced web page design with easy copy and paste codes for those who want to skip all the HTML techie talk.
Absolute Beginners Guide to CGI - step-by-step guide to learning the basics of CGI scripting.
XSitePro - an easy way to create a stream of income-generating web sites in minutes.
MateMedia - puts your business on the web in 4 steps with affordable hosting plans.
Easy Site Magic - adds special features to your web site / free report: "23 Tips to Get Repeat Visitors to Your Site, Build Your Subscriber List and Turn More "Browsers" into Paying Customers".
Best wishes for your online success!
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