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Thread: What's your top ten tips for building a website?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    127

    Default What's your top ten tips for building a website?

    My Brother has offered to build a website for me.
    He's been studying web stuff for years(part time) and done nothing with it.
    So I'd like to shamelessly learn from others mistakes. He's found me a .com I think is good and he's mocked up the first page.
    He's bored me enough for me to know it's all about driving traffic,which I think must be as important as how good it looks, and content.
    Got any tricks that drive traffic and then how do you test what is working?
    Cheers Shaun

    This is an update my bro just sent me. It sounds sensible although I'm not sure about the nagging emails?
    You can get webhosting for $4.95 a month and your domain name is $10.00 for 1 year.
    Thats all you need to get a site on the web.

    if you want an autoresponder to take emails, and automatically send regular emails
    to prospects/customers to build a relationship with them
    (which is where the real money is as people buy from people they know, like and trust)
    then that is $15.00/month.

    Of course they'll have to write 10 or so emails put in the autoresponder to start with
    sent out at weekly or monthly intervals (or whatever period they like).

    Most website visitors won't buy on their first vist, so if you've got no way to keep
    reminding them that you exist, they'll never come back.
    Last edited by Shaun750; 19-07-2010 at 12:48 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Wisbech, Cambridgeshire
    Posts
    33

    Default

    1 - Keep it simple, stupid. Don't over complicate the site with music, videos,banners, ads etc. Different people have different connection speeds. If its not essential or relevant, keep it off so the pages load quickly and cleanly.

    2 - All roads lead to the checkout. Be careful what you are linking to. Why would I put a link to my facebook and twitter on my shopping cart? I think Facebook and twitter are overrated unless you spend serious time adding content and networking. If you cant buy directly from these channels why send customers there? Better to have links from facebook and twitter to your store than the other way round.

    3 - SEO. Search Engine Optimisation. Make your site easier to find so it hits the top of google searches.

    4 - Your website is a channel for sales, marketing and promotion. It is NOT the only channel. Consider it additional to business operations. There are other ways to make money.

    5 Websites will always be a work in progress. Continually develop your site. Do not let it go stale. Active websites rank higher in google and customers like to see things happening.

    6 Reciprocal linking is largely a waste of time. Choose carefully if you are going to do this. No point sharing links with ABC industrial chemicals if you sell toy fluffy bunnies. Better link with ABC Pet store. Google doesn't like these sorts of links. Any links going external need to be carefully chosen.

    7 Newsletters, coupons, gift certificates, vouchers, competitions. All good ways to bring inbound traffic.

    8 Value for money. Always assess the VFM before doing anything. Is a 3,000 redesign of your site worth it with sales of under 50 a month? Or should you look at other ways to increase sales?

    9 Continually test the site. Ask for reviews. Ask people who would be customers, they could be friends to shop for your products. Sit behind them while they are on the computer. Watch what keywords they are googling. See how they find your site. Notice how they navigate around. Are they hitting dead ends? Did they get distracted by your facebook link? Did they shoot off your site after seeing that nice reciprocal link for designer handbags? Are there ways you can streamline and direct your customers to the sale. Don't make it hard for people to buy, make it hard for them not to buy.

    10 Make your site different. What makes you different from your competitors? Cheapest is not always best. If you can demonstrate that I can trust you, you care about me and you care about what you do then I will buy from you. There are endless bead sites out there for example. I can't really tell the difference between them but I am more likely to buy from the ones who have a bit of personal info about themselves and their aims.

    Well that's about the top ten I can think of. Hope it helps anyone!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Manchester
    Posts
    14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Arborvita View Post
    3 - SEO. Search Engine Optimisation. Make your site easier to find so it hits the top of google searches.
    Here's a useful doc related to this:
    http://static.googleusercontent.com/...rter-guide.pdf

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    1,744

    Default

    make sure your webhoster has good customer service. godaddy is a nightmare. I use site5 who have superlative on-demand customer support.

    I wouldn't bother with an auto-responder. One, to start with, you won't need it unless you are advertising heavily and selling really popular and cheap stuff. Two, they always look like a responder and are impersonal. If a potential customer has taken the effort to email you in the first place then they won't need reminding that you exist so there is no need to spam their in-box.

    As to the website, keep it really simple and easy to negotiate. make sure all your images have alt tags because these show up in google images. Make sure your web pages have good titles with keywords because that helps get stuff up on google. Make sure all text is in html or it won't be searchable.

    Have clear descriptions and sizes. If it is a precious metal, emphasise that by saying it's hallmarked at whatever assay office you use.

    I disagree with Aborevita about Facebook and twitter. If someone 'likes' your page and you keep your FB page updated then it shows up on their FB page. As long as you aren't updating every three hours (which is annoying), then it's a nice passive way for people to be reminded of your presence.

    don't pay for SEO, but use the google tools that relate to finding good keywords.

    Get links to your site wherever you can. If your stuff is specialised, it's much easier, to get meaningful (as in potential customers) traffic, but failing that any links help with google, though reciprocal links are not as good.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Central London
    Posts
    7,399

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    When trying to buy anything on line you are inundated with product information, reviews, mission statements, Google maps, but where is the cart and how do you proceed to checkout? Sometimes it is not a secure site and you have to phone in your card details. Dennis.
    Last edited by Dennis; 02-04-2012 at 11:33 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    1,744

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis View Post
    When trying to buy anything on line you are inundated with product information, reviews, mission statements, Google maps, but where is the cart and how do you proceed to checkout? Sometimes it is not a secure site and you have to phone in your card details. Dennis.
    Good point. I think if you have a ready made stock, then the best way might be to have a Paypal cart integrated into the website. I do everything to order and use paypal for payment, sending out the invoice before dispatch. I buy a lot on-line and am very wary of using any site that doesn't either use paypal or a secure checkout system.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    London England
    Posts
    8

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    I agree with most of what has been said above but would like update the link information.

    Links are very important to Google but the type of links that count has changed, 10 links from any old website or article will only carry (broadly speaking)the same weight as 1 authority link from a industry relevant site. So build your own links within your industry. Reciprocal links in broad terms cancel each other out. Google looks at links like recommendations, so if industry relevant sites link to you Google considers your piers are recommending you. Many webmasters have spent the last couple of months removing links from any old site, these were diluting the overall score.

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