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About the Owner

==> Developing A Web Site

" The Keys to a Successful Web Site Today: "

You may reprint this article provided you make no changes,
include the author's resource box and keep all links active.
And, please notify the author at jeberhard@ca.rr.com

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 designed are:

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 it.

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 free offers.

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 into customers.

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 "spam."

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 your lists.

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 this.

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 desired results.

About the Author:
John Eberhard
Los Angeles, CA
See my new eBook: "Making Money with a Web Site,
The Basics of Internet Marketing Part 1"

********** Additional References **********

Site Build It - the only all-in-one site-brainstorming-building-hosting-and-marketing system.

Create Your First Business Web Site in 10 days! - video enhanced system for complete beginners to launch a business web site.

65 Instant Web Design Answers! - answers those "how do I do that?" type questions with edge-cutting web design tips and tricks.

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!

Stan Smith

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