Ten Step Plan for Business Websites
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Today most businesses need to be found on the web and it's not difficult to
get started. Here's a 10 step plan.
Having a website now is the norm for businesses, whether it is one or all of
- Tell the world that you exist and how to contact you.
- Give prospective customers a catalogue of your products.
- Sell your products on line.
Businesses can spend thousands annually for a display in the Yellow Pages,
but all they need there is the basic entry with a reference to their website. On
their website they have unlimited space to display many times the amount of
information. They can also change it daily, weekly and monthly - not just once a
When your business is registered and you know your products or services you
can now plan your website carefully:
1. Register a domain name:
Choose a name that's relevant to your business and that will help the search
engines satisfy searches for products that you sell. If your business name is
Sue Smith Co. and you sell labels, www.labelsmith.com will be listed for
searches for labels ahead of www.suesmith.com If you have a catchy name,
register it before someone else does. Check it's not similar to an existing
name, so your website doesn't later get confused with another. Avoid names
available in your country domain, but which are already taken in the .com or
* Collect information and pictures to display on the website. There is no
practical limit on the quantity of information you can provide on the web.
Remember, search engines provide their visitors with websites sorted in the
order of relevance to the words in a visitors search. The more relevant
information you display, the higher your website will rank.
* Write copy for your home page very rich with words that people will search
for when looking for products like yours.
3. Key words:
Search for the key words representing your business on the internet and see
how many competitors you have. E.g. If you are selling lingerie don't be
surprised that Google lists 64 million results. But a search for "french
lingerie" "size 10" reduces the results to 550. Use this sort of information to
decide on the text in your web pages.
4. Balance content:
- You need both words and pictures. Don't fall into the trap of planning a
website that looks artistic but has few words. Such websites are left behind
by search engines, or rely on very large numbers of links from other website
to get listed. We decline to design websites using Flash, as we don't want
- If you want more than just your family and friends to find your website,
then optimize it for search engines. Your website does need to look
attractive, but if people don't find it in search engines they won't see how
attractive it is. Research Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
- Get quotes from a web designer for developing the website.
- Help them understand what information you want in your website and how you
would like it to work.
- They need to know how many web pages, images, products.
- If you are selling online, decide how to charge for delivery, and on
- Don't start an advertising campaign before you agree a completion date
with a web designer. That sounds obvious, but amazingly we get approached to
build websites which are already mentioned in an advertising campaign.
- Be sure to hire a web designer good at search engine optimizing.
6. Updating facility:
Be sure you can easily add / edit the product data after the website goes
live. Options are:
o Pay web designers extra for content management systems. (These are usually
part of a shopping cart system).
o Pay web designers to update when necessary.
o Learn how to update the website yourself using an HTML editor and FTP
program. (These are available for free download).
Get quotes for hosting the website. You usually don't need the highest disk
space or traffic allowance available. Pay for a basic plan and upgrade when you
need to. While cheap hosting may be available in a foreign country, check that
you can phone them in your time-zone. Often a web designer is a reseller for a
host and may save you money.
8. Get listed:
If preparing the data for your website is taking a long time, it's a good
idea to get at least your home page live and another listed website linked to
it. The search engines robots will then find and list your website and be ready
to index the content as it's uploaded.
9. Incoming links:
Once you are live, get as many other websites as possible to link to you, as
a website's popularity gets points in seach engine rankings. However, be careful
not to exchange links with 'link farms' or Google will drop your website.
10. Keep up to date:
Always keep the information on your website up to date. If visitors guess
your data is not current they go elsewhere.
Follow all these steps and succeed on the web. Above all, be search engine
friendly and get found. It may sound a lot, but - if you plan carefully the
pay-off can be huge.
About the Author
Ken McKay is an Australian web designer. More information on web design for
small business is available at
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2007-10-11 13:21:32 in Computer Articles