First ImpressionsWritten by Bob Osgoodby
First impressions are extremely important if you hope to do business on Web. After you refine your ads, and if you make your pitch to a targeted group, you will start to get visitors to your web site. Here is where many would be entrepreneurs drop ball.
Putting up a web site is not a difficult task, but designing a good one is, and if you don't pay attention, it might be working against you. Think about it, web site is not only first impression of you and your business, it is crucial to your success or failure.
People don't waste a whole lot of time when visiting a site. If it isn't professional looking, they may just "click away". While looks are important, you must spend time on developing good copy. Copy written by affiliate programs has been seen over and over, and while it may have been effective at one time, it is so overused that people immediately recognize it for what it is.
In addition to good copy, which of course has no spelling, grammar or punctuation errors, it has to clearly state what you are offering. Many web sites offer a real challenge to try to figure out what they are trying to sell. The offer should be first thing they see. The information must also flow logically, and not leave a lot of questions unanswered.
In addition to complete information on your offer, it must have a call to action, which entices visitor to purchase from you. It must also have an order form, or instructions that are easy to follow. It is also a real plus to let prospect know a little bit about you. Your picture on site can go a long way to help instill confidence.
There is some confusion on value of links. Some advocate that a good web site should be divided into separate sections connected by links. Others feel that a single long web page will score higher in search engine rankings.
There are basically two types of links. One goes to a completely separate web page, and is considered an external link. Another type is referred to as an internal link. These point to different "parts" within same web page. Both have value, however internal links are a little friendlier. If someone clicks on one and next "part" logically flows from previous one, people will be more inclined to read on.
FLASHY WEB SITE DESIGNS ARE BAD FOR BUSINESS Written by Cheryl Carnright and Joann Marsili
Have you heard yourself saying, "I don't understand? I have a gorgeous site, a really cutting-edge splash page with a flash introduction, up-to-date technology, I paid a small fortune for this site, and I'm getting plenty of hits but no one is buying or staying in site." Well, you may be one of a growing number of businesses, both large and small, who believed all hype about latest in new technology. Many business owners want their website to have that cutting-edge look, and so will ask for things such as animation, music, flash, and other "bells and whistles" that would be detrimental to their site. These extras are probably driving potential customers away because they increase download time and are not search engine optimized. In rush to join everyone else on Internet, businesses have ignored vital steps in process of getting their business on-line. They assumed that because everyone else had gimmicks such as a splash/intro page, this was right way to go. The result: businesses chose design companies who readily took their money and who designed exactly what client wanted without clearly focusing on marketing goals. To be fair, oftentimes graphic design company has no idea that a site designed with all latest technology doesn't necessary translate into a site that has functionality that an on-line business needs. This is because graphic design firms specialize in graphic design, not in marketing. Many graphic design sites are full of splash pages, scrolling text, animation, etc. They use these tools because it allows graphic designers to display their creativity and their knowledge of these "bells and whistles." Creativity is good but all latest cutting-edge technology translates into a lack of functionality to effectively market any on-line business including their on-line presence. When having your site designed, remember that first and foremost, you are building your site to increase prospects