Debbie Mayo-Smith international inspirational motivational how-to speaker technology, time management, improving business performance
Motivational Speakers, Sales, Marketing, Time Management, Productivity, Technology, Tips

21 point checklist to increase your website return on investment Part one:

Ahhh, the website quandary
So many choices to make. So many different web designers with different prices. So very much to know. The intense danger of not knowing what you don't know! Just this month alone I've been out on five different website consulting jobs with each client facing the above scenario.

Ours is old
It's time I redo my SIS one, so mulling over what I'm going to keep and change made me decide to put fingers to the keyboard and draft a 21 point checklist for everyone. If you have a website or are considering revamping it, or want to brief a designer on a new one, or have a colleague that's puzzling over theirs - this will certainly help.

Part One - 21 Tips
I've arranged the tips into three categories: Structure (S); Search Engine (SE); Content (C)

  1. (SE) Dynamic Content
    Many large database driven sites don't have actual webpages, but rather the page is created on demand from a database. While cost effective, this is dangerous in terms of search engines. The resulting ASP webpage normally has a lot of numbers and question marks in it - something that search engines steer clear of, as they're "afraid" of being caught in a loop. So be sure that your dynamic content can be created without the use of numbers, ? and similar.
  2. (S) Contact details
    Make it easy, very easy for your viewers. Why not build your contact details into your website template so it's always visible. Look at the bottom of the SIS website.
  3. (S) Make it simple and uncluttered
    People hate clutter and busy websites. Be sure yours has lots of open "white" space and is built along the "C. R. A. P." principle that I talk about in the book/workshops. Contrast, Repetition, Alignment and Proximity.
  4. (C)Research
    Check out your competition at home and abroad. See what they're doing on their websites. Check out their keywords, page titles and descriptions in their source code (while on the webpage right click the mouse and select view source. That's the html code behind the webpage). Type in some keywords you want to use in search engines and see what companies come up first and then look at their source code.
  5. (C)Write Internationally
    If you want to do business overseas, be sure your language fits their terminology. A perfect example: I was in a keyword brainstorming session with a client, vitamin manufacturers. I kept on saying drugstore and pharmacy in the conversation. They kept saying chemists. Being American, I'd key the word drugstore in search engines, not chemists. So it's essential to think and include international phrases and spellings in your text. Remember in NZ and Australia - a lot of "z's" are turned into "s" (organisation instead of organization).
  6. (S) Use CSS - Cascading Style Sheets
    Style sheets allow you to name and define whole sets of formatting so they can be applied easily and instantly to selections of text. They're advantageous because you can globally alter the style of an entire website by changing the style sheet. External ones are for sites and internal ones are for a single web page - such as an html email newsletter.
  7. (SE) Use Title and Heading Tags
    These tags have much heavier search engine "weights" than others so by putting keywords in them, you'll have a shot at better ranking.
  8. (S) Use Tables
    The secret of great web design. You can even slice and dice images and put them in the individual cells of tables.
  9. (S) You must have a secure server for online payments
    It's easy and people look for that little gold padlock on the bottom of their screen to indicate they're in a secure server. We got ours from http://www.thawte.com
(S) Do I have to say it - Grab their email addresses up front
Be sure that one of the very first things someone sees when they come to your site is (an offer for something) in tandem with a request for their email address. Do not let them go without giving you that golden asset.

Debbie Mayo-Smith (BSc Hons Econ) is an International Motivational Business Speaker and Managing Director of SuccessIS! (http://www.successis.co.nz) and a leading specialist in easy practical ways to improve business profitability, personal productivity and Internet marketing. Debbie lives in NZ and travels the world speaking, writing and training. By the way, if you'd like to get lots of neat tricks like this, plus marketing and business development tips, why not enrol for our free newsletter?

This article is copyright to Debbie Mayo-Smith & SuccessIS. You may use it for your newsletter, website or as an article. It can be reproduced - but in its entirety and with inclusion of Debbie Mayo-Smith as the author and the weblink www.successis.co.nz


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