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ARTICLES and FAQ: Eight Simple Steps to Enhance Web Site

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Eight Simple Steps to Enhance Web Site

To be successful with your online business, whether you are selling your own product, services or are selling for other merchants as an affiliate, you need a web site that focuses on that subject alone. The site must be easy to build, maintenance-free, low cost, credible, and a powerful traffic-builder and customer-converter.

Having the right tools or product alone will not ensure the success of your website. There are many factors to be considered when designing your web site. And unfortunately, most of these are usually ignored by Internet business owners. Here are eight simple steps to enhance your site and make it profitable.

1. Build It for Speed
There is no denying that in this day and age that people are in a hurry. You have between 10 and 30 seconds to capture your potential customer's attention. To minimize your load time, keep graphics small. Compress them where possible. Use flashy technology (JavaScript, Flash, Streaming Audio/Video, animation) sparingly and only if it is imperative to your presentation.

2. Target Your Market
Know who your market is and make certain that your site caters to their needs. It is critical that your site reflect the values of your potential customers. Is your market mostly business professionals? If so, the site must be clean and professional. Is your product aimed at teenagers and young adults? Then your site could be more informal and relaxed. The key is to know your market and build the site to their preferences.

3. Focus the Site
Make certain your web site is focused on the goal of selling your product or service. If your business offers many products, dedicate a unique page for each instead of trying to sell them all from one page. This can easily be accomplished through the utilization of subdomains.

4. Build Credibility
The most professionally designed site won't sell if your customers don't believe in you. Become an authority in your chosen niche. The internet is all about information, not just marketing. People go to the internet to find information on a particular subject. Providing clear concise articles focused on the subject of your site makes you an expert in your field. Providing a clear privacy statement is also away to build your credibility. Provide a prominent link to your privacy statement from every page on the site as well as from any location that you are asking your visitors for personal information. Provide legitimate contact information on line, including your mailing address and phone number. Don't hide behind a computer!

5. Keep Navigation Simple
Make site navigation easy and intuitive. Simple and smooth navigation adds to the convenience of the visitors. Add powerful search and catalog features. Many times a lot of visitors do not have the patience to navigate through the whole website to find what they are looking for.

6. Keep It Consistent
Make sure the site is consistent in look, feel and design. Nothing is more jarring and disturbing to a customer than feeling as if they have just gone to another site. Keep colours and themes constant throughout the site.

7. Make Your Site Interactive and Personalized
Make your website interactive. Add feedback forms as well as email forms that allow your prospective customers to ask you any questions they might have pertaining to a product. Personalization of your website is another key element that can lead to customer delight and can increase your sales. Personalization technology provides you the analytic tools to facilitate cross-selling and up-selling when the customer is buying online. It would give you an idea of what products to cross-sell and up-sell. For example, when a person buys a CD player, a disc cleaner can also be offered.

8. Content is King
Good content sells a product. Ask yourself the following questions. Does your copy convey the message you wish to get across to your visitors? Is it compelling? Does it lead your visitor through the sales process? Have others review, critique and edit your copy to ensure it is delivering the intended message. Always double-check your spelling and grammar.

These eight, simple rules will go a long way toward the improvement of your website and most importantly, turn visitors into customers.

By Alden Smith (c) 2005

 
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