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9 Tips for a Successful Website

9 Tips for a Successful Website


    

9 Tips for a Successful Website

by Carrie Sommer

So you've created an incredible looking website, and you're ready to launch it on the Internet and start making money. Audit your site first. There are nine essential elements that every website should include if you want to ensure success.

1. Privacy Policy/Disclaimer:

Be advised, Im not a Lawyer and I dont profess to be one, but the "Privacy Policy" and "Disclaimer/Terms of Use" are two documents that are essential for every website you develop. People are entitled to know just how youre going to use their personal information. That's what a privacy policy tells them.

You should also include a disclaimer, or terms of use page. This document protects you and informs your visitors what theyre agreeing to if they use your website. Don't worry if you dont know where to start in writing these documents, there is plenty of help online. Here are a few:

* DMA Privacy Policy Generator http://www.dmaresponsibility.org/PPG/ * OECD Privacy Statement Generator http://tinyurl.com/5plgpc * Google Adsense & other Ad Networks Privacy Policy Generator http://www.serprank.com/privacy-policy-generator/index.php * Privacy Policy Generator http://www.freeprivacypolicy.com/ * Free Site Disclaimer http://www.easyriver.com/free_disclaimer.htm

This is not legal advice, so if you need help or feel your website has special legal needs, consult with an attorney familiar with Internet law.

2. Contact Us:

Would you want to take the chance to do business with a website that does not include any contact information? Even though you may not be able to include a phone number, you should at least have an email address or a contact us form. Your visitors will feel much more comfortable doing business with you knowing theres a way to contact if they need to do so.

Need a form but you dont know how to create your own? Once again there is lots of help on the Internet. Try one of these free online services.

* Bravenet: http://www.bravenet.com/webtools/emailfwd/ * Freedback: http://freedback.com/ * Email Me: http://www.emailmeform.com/

3. Search Box/Site Map:

If your site includes many pages, you should also include a way to search the site, or at minimum have a site map. There are many ways to add a search function to your site, the easiest method is to use Googles free service at- http://www.google.com/sitesearch/

or try PicoSearch: http://www.picosearch.com/

What is a site map? Its just one web page with links to every page of your site, usually broken down by category. Another resource - FreeFind: http://www.freefind.com/

4. Google Analytics/Statistical System:

Once you have launched your site, start watching your traffic. Whos visiting your website, what pages are the most popular, from where is the traffic coming? All of these questions and more can be answered by using a good analytics program.

Some hosting servers provide free statistical packages such as Webalizer or AWSTATS. If not, the easiest way to track your traffic (and it is free) is Google Analytics http://www.google.com/analytics/ Just register there, and you may add as many sites as you like all under one user ID and password. Youll be given some code to copy and paste on your pages. Simple, easy, and youre done.

5. Newsletter Sign Up:

Generally people don't buy from you the very first time they come to your website, so you need to find a way to stay in touch with them to bring them back frequently. One good method of staying in touch with prospective customers is by offering a newsletter, or ezine. As each person signs up for the ezine, youll be building a list of the email addresses of possible customers.

You can find many free and low cost newsletter building services online, depending on your particular needs and what you can afford. If you dont want to pay anything for a newsletter, some great free services are:

FreeAutoBot: http://www.FreeAutoBot.com Yahoo Groups: http://www.yahoo.com/groups

You may offer an RSS feed for your newsletter, or updates to your blog or site. RSS feeds make it easy for users to keep up with your most recent posts. The best service for this is FeedBurner: http://www.feedburner.com/fb/a/home

6. Site Navigation:

While it sounds simple, making the menus consistent is important to any site. No matter what style of menus you choose, just make sure it is consistent on all the pages of your site.

Menus guide your users through your website, making sure they always know where they are and how to get to where they want to go.

For more go to:

* Eye on Web: http://tinyurl.com/dyh9fm * Web Page Mistakes: http://www.webpagemistakes.ca/website-navigation/

7. Search Engine Optimized Copy:

While many web developers do not think SEO is important, believe me it is. If you build a website you want your pages to rank well in Google and the other search engines There are a few things you can do to improve your rankings.

Every page of your website should be optimized for no more than 2 to 3 keywords/phrases. For optimal results, use your keywords in your titles and in the content of every page. Don't forget to use them in your image titles, alt tags, and in the names you give your pages, too. Analyze each and every page individually and determine its theme, then optimize accordingly.

For help see:

* MarketLeap: http://tinyurl.com/ce8ffd * CopyBlogger: http://www.copyblogger.com/seo-copywriting/

8. Social Media Share Button:

Social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace, are becoming more important everyday in marketing your website. Be sure to include an easy way for your content to be shared with others.

Most of the social media sites offer a way to add a share button to your site. In addition, youll find several free services that will give you the code you need to instantly add a share button to your web pages so that users can instantly share them with their friends.

To generate your own buttons see:

* AddThis: http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php * TwitThis: http://www.TwitThis.com

9. Meta Tags:

Some web developers will tell you that meta tags are dead - no longer useful. Dont listen. Unique meta tags should be included in your HTML code at the top of every page of your website. Many of the top search engines read those tags to pull a title and description to include in their search results. (This includes Google)

Once again, each and every web page should be optimized separately and have a unique title, keywords, and description meta tags.

For help see:

* Submit Express: http://www.submitexpress.com/metatag.html * Submit Corner: http://www.submitcorner.com/Tools/Meta/

About the Author:
Weblolo.com offers a exceptional website builder to allow individuals to build your own website. It is amazingly simple to use, economical and effective. build your own professional looking website for a fraction of the price developers charge!


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