Increase Web Site Traffic: About Your Site Design Web Site Promotion
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Chapter 1: Before You Start

About Your Site Design

Before you start promoting your site, spend a little time to look it over carefully.

In fact, I'd also suggest you get the kind of friend who will talk openly to look it over too: The best way to do this is to leave them alone with your URL, a web browser and notepad, and then when they're done, get them to walk your through their notes.

Apart, from obvious mistakes like correcting spelling errors, fixing any broken graphics, etc., some other things that you should look for include:
  • Is your site easy to navigate? Can people find the information that they are looking for?

    A very common mistake on many beginners' web sites is to hide their navigational links away. There is a reason why most professional web sites place all their navigation links in a menu positioned at the same place (usually on the left or near the top of the page) on every page of the site.

    Another variation on this type of mistake is to be unclear in the menu/navigation links. It's no good using text that means something to you (like the name of your product/service) unless you're sure it also means something to your prospects.

  • Is your site junk free?

    I'd recommend that you avoid cluttering your site with items that doesn't contribute to its purpose or your visitors' experience. This could include:
    • Flashing/annoying/unnecessary animations or graphics. (By the way, 99%+ of the splash pages that I have seen on the web, in my opinion, fall into the categories of annoying and unnecessary graphics. Splash pages may look cool to your graphic designer - but do you (and more importantly, your visitors) really need one?).
    • Text content that is not on-topic.
    • Unnecessary or confusingly duplicated materials (for example, I once worked with a site where the original developer had three different sets of navigation menus, all performing essentially the same function, which were placed in different combinations on different pages).

  • If your site is sales-orientated, are you making the sale? (this also includes sites where you are selling an idea, and want to persuade your visitors to take some specific action, like sign-up for a free service).

    You put up a web site, throw in an order or sign-up form and you're done right? No, Wrong!

    First, you want to make sure that you describe your product/service in terms that your prospects will understand - and which will persuade your prospects to buy. This type of writing, is called sales copywriting, and is something that you need to learn and then practice over time. (Please check Appendix C for some useful copywriting resources).

    Second, you want to make sure that the ordering (or sign-up) process is easy-to-find and easy-to-follow. I expect you've encountered other people's web sites where you have been unable to find the order form or couldn't figure out how to fill it out - is this how other people see you web site?

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About Your Site Design

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