Develop a Solid Website Presence
Starting an internet business can be confusing to non-veterans. The internet is the new world of business and research. Conventional business practices rely on location. If we opened a bookstore on Broadway, New York City, thousands, or millions, would pass the store daily. In contrast, if we opened a bookstore on main street, Williamstown NJ, we would have significantly less customers passing each day.
The internet lacks the model of location. There are no roads or attractions forcing potential customers to pass. Therefore, Internet businesses are forced to find customers. We can appease their interest while they're visiting, by anticipating what entertains them. However, if a website lacks resources, it would be difficult to develop a good presence.
Considering the development of a Website's presence, there are two regions of focus. First, we have, what many refer to as, "on-site," development. This region of development ranges from Web Page design to content. Second, we have, "off-site," development. This is required to attract a portion of the internet community. Off-site development is generally considered, "Link development". If we read discussions among professionals, in Website Forums, its obvious many argue the importance of both. In the middle of the debate, there are those focusing on balance, which produces a solid presence for any Website.
Creating the Website
There is no guessing between the Chicken and the Egg when it comes to business. A website is required before partaking on off-site development. The beginning stages of Website development are crucial to stability and recognition. Although entrepreneurs could purchase pre-established domains, there are significant advantages to, "Starting from scratch". If we purchase a domain that utilized unethical practices, we could face repercussions. Starting from the foundation ensures control.
When starting from scratch, anticipate five years before the Website stabilizes. There are surely Websites with impressive success stories, but the developers often utilize pre-established Websites they manage (Rooted Developers) for publicity. Starting a new Website is a difficult task.
Creating a template is an excellent idea, before producing pages. Templates are base pages with an open area for the Title, Meta Data, and content. A uniform menu is utilized, ensuring clear navigation. The company logo, or header, should be included on the body portion. This ensures uniform pages with functional menus. If the developer has access to a database, it would be wise to create a database table for menus and have them created dynamically from one file across the entire site.
As this journey begins, move with caution each step of the way. Set a long-term goal for the final release of the Website. Ensure every link and page functions, as they are built. Place considerable thought on page titles, wording of content, and how visitors will perceive the Website. Anticipate minimal changes, based upon visitor feedback. Once the basic pages are created, begin establishing recognition.
Understand the Task-at-hand
Researchers at the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) indicated over seven million Websites exist. Many of these Websites struggle to gain one visitor per day. On the other hand, a few of these websites realize modest traffic. If developers attempt to over-run a market, it more then likely would fail. We should not seek dominance, but desire to contribute to the Network. After all, the internet is nothing more then an open computer network. Participate, don't try to dominate.
Consider the number failed E-businesses. These numbers are scary. In 2003, the GartnerGroup (http://www3.gartner.com/Init) reported "75% of all E-business start-ups fail". Developers should consider this information while analyzing information from other developers. Three of four suggestions could be, "A bad idea".
Off-site and On-site Development
The development of a Website requires considerable dedication to gain recognition. Developers should utilize a balance of on-site and off-site development to become established. Before development begins, a budget should be recognized. This may include nothing. Additionally, it is wise to keep accurate records of actions taken. Create a Database to store data.
Here are some suggestions that will surely develop an established Website:
Create some banners for inclusion on reference resources (If selling an item). There are a variety of Websites that offer knowledge. Most of these Websites are very well established and draw a respectable amount of traffic. These websites include Ezines, Forums, News and Media, Article distribution or syndication, Analysis and Opinion, Libraries, Encyclopedias, Niche Dictionaries, Blogs, Ask an Expert, Maps, Travel Guides, Health Information, etc? Many resource sites charge a small monthly fee for displaying banners. Most will produce decent results.
Link Exchanging is an old but popular trend. Many veterans recall when it was customary to include a contact Email address for link exchanges. Today, there are automated programs that make exchanges easy to manage. In addition, there are Websites that enable exchanges to be conducted on their domains. Be careful choosing exchange partners. Do not be eager to exchange with a poor quality Website. Links play a major role on the internet.
As the Website develops, many will find it challenging to, "keep-up," with exchange requests. When thirty requests are made daily, exchanges will take significant time to pursue. Regardless, developers should attempt maintaining a set schedule. For example, ten exchanges per day.
Directories are Internet reference points. Many organize Websites by topic but some utilize a home-grown scheme. Regardless of the layout, they serve an important purpose to the network. Many directories are focused on Link Exchanges. Non-reciprocal Directories may charge a review fee, while others may index a site on sheer quality. This is an additional portion of where a budget is necessary. Add the Website to one Directory per week.
Article syndication is an extremly valuable resource. There are Article distribution resources to post information. These Websites appreciate contributions. The information creates a useful Site and provides value to advertisers. Understand, they intend to generate an income from articles posted. In addition, Author's release rights to the content. Make no mistake, this is not bad. When an article circulates, it is often referred to as, "Viral Marketing". In addition, many Syndication sites provide Newsletters. If an article is included in their mailing, it could provide significant recognition. It is a good idea to write one good article each week.
Forum participation can generate modest and targeted traffic. Forums, often referred to as discussion boards or bulletin boards, allow the internet community to interact openly. They are extremely valuable to developers. Large forums find it difficult to answer questions or create discussion topics and rely on users to satisfy this requirement.
Developers unfamiliar with Forum etiquette should review several forums prior to participating. They are not considered an area to advertise. They are intended to offer interaction and discuss a variety of niche topics. In contrast, sites offering forums will allow contributors to include a link to their Website in a Signature. Some may require a certain number of posts before a signature can be enabled.
Participating in a well established Forum, related to the target market, can produce quality users or customers. Developers should offer insight within at least one related forum weekly. Additionally, developers should participate in Webmaster forums to gain outside insight on new development techniques and changes occurring on the Internet.
Search Engines are simply the easiest area of off-site development. Literally speaking, nothing needs to be done, if utilizing the above mentioned aspects. Search technology is much more advanced then it was in the past. If actively including the above aspects, Search Engines will find the Website when scouring the Web. They are designed to find content, and they are excellent at doing so. Don't waist valuable time focusing on how to be number in the Search Engines.
The page title is the most important area of a Web Page. The title should be used to briefly illustrate purpose. Additionally, search engines place heavy emphasis on page titles. Each page of the site should have a unique title related to the content.
Metadata is becoming obsolete. There are few Search Engines and directories that rely on this information. However, the Meta Description tag is still utilized often and considered important.
Heading tags are another important aspect. While the title could be brief, the content headings can help illustrate what is being presented. For example, a page title could be, "Making Ice Cream". The main heading tag (H1) could specify, "How to Make Fat Free Ice Cream". This adds weight to the information being presented and enables search engines to present relevant results. Headings should be used on all pages to increase the understanding. Title tags range from H1-H6.
When it comes to onsite development, content is often referred to as, "King". Most people utilize the internet to conduct research or comparative shopping. Developers need content to attract the shoppers and those seeking information. This is simply done by creating pages. Make it a rule of thumb to create three pages daily. If it is difficult to produce this much content, syndicate informative articles that others have written. Articles will still satisfy a visitors hunger for information.
Taking into consideration the goals of the Website, customize the above mentioned suggestions to develop a rock-solid presence on the Internet.
The Website would be relatively large, containing over 1,000 pages of content. There would be several banners, according to the advertising budget, contained on authority sites within the industry. The site would have inbound links from nearly 3,640 sites. At least 52 Directories will have the Website indexed and classified according to topic. 52 informative articles would be circulated throughout the Internet on related Websites. Each article will have a reference to the developer and a link to the Website. At least one recognized forum will provide targeted leads and recognition. Search Engines will be reviewing the new content and following links to the Website daily. All the pages on the Website will be constructed clearly and easily indexed by search engine spiders. People searching for related information will clearly understand what is on the page presented from reading the Meta Description and Page title.
Multiply this by five times, and we have developed a significant Internet Presence for the Website.
Michael Medeiros has a background in business and advertising. He works part-time as a Real Estate Agent for Century 21 Hearst Realty, and is an Internet Entrepreneur. Michael participates in link exchanges through his Website Directory.
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