Setting Up Your First Website
Q. Hey, Cathy: I'm just setting up a website. What should I do?
A. First, don't call the web designer yet! Write out a detailed summary of your ideal client, if you haven't already done so. Get very clear on what benefits you will offer and how you will stand out from the crowd. Before you spend days and weeks refining your copy, test your ideas on real people -- as close to your ideal client as possible. Study your competition to see what works -- and to avoid creating a "me-too" site that gets lost in the crowd.
Most important, get some confirmation that a market exists for your product. Do people actually use this product or service? Do they pay or expect freebies? Do they have a low-price mindset? Do they mind on the web? If you can't answer yes to all these questions, identify resources who can help.
If you are starting a brand-new business with a website, start small. Very small. Don't put a lot of money into your first website. If you want create a professional image, hire a designer, but keep costs down by setting up only a few pages. Your needs will change as your business grows.
Your site needs three basic sections.
(a) What the site is about. I recommend writing two or three sentences for your home page, enough for visitors to decide if they want to hang around.
(b) Who you are. When you're the product, include an "about you" page. I recommend a narrative format to hold readers' interest.
"Griselda began life in a cave somewhere in deepest Africa. After being abducted at age seven, she was taken to the US and... "
Be sure to include links to pages that detail your achievements. This is no time for modesty! List degrees, publications and certificates.
You may turn off some potential clients: some will be put off by too many or too few credentials, or they may have been burned by someone with a similar background. Better to lose them up front, I say.
(c) What you offer for sale. You need a page that describes your products and services in mouth-watering detail. You may include prices and a link to your shopping cart.
Some experienced web business owners choose to omit prices. They send price sheets to people who express interest in their services.
That's a judgment call, too. They hope to hook clients who are so enthused by the website they'll pay more. On the downside, some folks won't even ask -- they expect the prices to be a lot higher.
And you may include options: articles and downloadable ebooks, to allow your web visitors to learn more about you. Write in lively, journalistic, self-help style. Focus on topics that attract your clients' interest. If you sell fitness products, include tips on exercise.
How will visitors find you? You'll need a comprehensive plan including metatags, content keywords, link swaps and articles.
When will you see results? If you have little or no revenue after three months, experiment with tactics, such as getting your website known, revising your site for better navigtion. After six months, it's time for an overhaul. Investigate options for a professional website review.
I offer one-to-one consultations on career and business strategy.
About The Author
Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D., is an author, speaker and career/business consultant, helping midlife professionals take their First step to a Second Career. http://www.cathygoodwin.com.
"Ten secrets of mastering a major life change" mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact: email@example.com 505-534-4294
How Worldly is Your World Wide Web?
The growth in Internet usage around the world is astounding - 146% in the five years prior to March 2005. And it's not just European and North American users on the Net.
Server Stats - Analyzing Traffic To Your Site
Analyzing traffic to a site is a key factor in tweaking search engine optimization and marketing campaigns. Determining how people get to your site is critical.
UK Online Shopping with an Edge, for Buyers and Sellers Alike
Any new website competing on the internet, needs to take its business seriously, as there is so much competition around. So, there needs to be an edge on quality, content, and general user appeal.
Eight Deadly Web Site Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
Creating and maintaining an effective presence on the Web has become increasingly complex and challenging as the power of the Internet as a marketing tool becomes more and more necessary to entrepreneurs and emerging businesses.The good news is that technologies that were only available to the big guys just a couple of years ago - audio, video, ecommerce, e-mail database management applications - are now affordable for almost everybody.
Where's Your Web Site?
This simple question can take on several different forms, but if you have your own web site, all are equally important. Don't worry, this isn't a sales letter, and it's well worth a read.
What Does An Ex-Basketball Coach Know About Pulling Web Metrics?
In my previous life..
Free Webmaster Tools - 7 Things Every Webmaster Needs in Their Toolbox
Webmaster tools are vital to becoming both efficient and effective in your online efforts. The following are my picks for the top types of webmaster tools:Tool #1 Link FindersEvery webmaster needs this free tool.
Guide to Internet Business - Website Setup
After planning the design and content of your website, it's time to actually physically set up your website. This is the step where you put all your designs and plans into action, creating a website that will attract visitors and earn income.
Ever Wondered What Challenges Other People With Their Web Site?
Have you ever wondered what challenges are faced by other webmasters and owners in the design and promotion of their websites, well I certainly have and so I decided to try and find out.I created a short survey which asked the following questions:1.
The Road to Better Results
A lot has changed in the way sites are optimized for search engines since last year. For one thing, Google is not the only search engine worth looking into anymore; Yahoo has definitely managed to take away some of Google's oomph over the past twelve months.
Stop Losing Precious Web Site Traffic to the Dreaded World Wide Web Black Hole
You work hard to build traffic to your web page. If you are not doing 1 simple step you are loosing a portion of all your web site traffic to the dreaded World Wide Web Black Hole.
4 Steps to Selling More With Your Web Site
Most web sites are more like stage sets than real buildings; they make a good impression and they look substantial at first, but when you open a door, you end up back stage in the dark. They don't generate large numbers of leads, help build relationships with prospects or generate the desired volume of sales.
KISS Your Website!
Many web developers today are starting to KISS their website, and it shows!No, I don't mean they get hot and heavy with the monitor, I mean they apply the basic values of Keep It Simple Stupd! (KISS)Many sites today are focusing on high end graphics, advanced java scripts, catchy logos, and other trivial factors. What they don't realize is that it's a win win game if you keep it simple.
Instant Relevant Web Site Content - No Its Not a Bot
In about the Time it takes to Watch a Reality TV Show
(About 1 Hour) I added 10 Pages of Relevant Content to my
Web Page without a Bot.Adding content to your Page Fast is Easy with the Use of
Free Articles you Can Reprint.
You May Be Losing Valuable Traffic - And Not Even Know It!
Here's something you may never have thought of before:If I were to type your domain name?http://www.yourdomain.
I Want To Be A Freelancer
So you have decided that you want to do freelance work. You have done your homework and have developed your skills in HTML, PHP, CMS, and a slew of other applications.
The Two Most Common Mistakes That Scare Away Web Visitors
Can you imagine the hypocrisy of spending thousands of dollars, countless hours, and boatload of resources to create a marketing tool that actually sends prospects running for the hills? It might seem crazy, but a overwhelming majority of websites are doing just that.By failing to (1) define the specific goals of your website and (2) understand how it fits in with your customer's buying process, you could be loosing out on the opportunity to enable prospects to receive the value you can offer them.
5 Tips For A Better Website
Having an eye catching website is great, but are you optimizing your website to allow the best performance possible? I receive several emails a day from clients asking how they can get more hits to their websites, what can be done to increase sales, and how to prepare their sites for search engines. There are very simple things that can be done to help your website perform its best.
Trinkets, Lockets And Empty Pockets
It never ceases to amaze me how many people set-up a website, without any type of plan or clue about how to promote it, how to write a sales letter, how to write an ad-- nothing!Even more amazing is how many people try to conduct business online without any money.The other day, I received an e-mail from a woman named Nadia inquiring about my E-mail Consultation Service.
10 Tips For A Successful Website
Have you ever thought the secret behind the success of most of the famous sites. Do you ask yourself these questions.