The 10 guidelines to develop a successful Website
Define your objectives
You should have at least an idea of the people you want to visit your website and why. Define what categories of people you’re targeting and it will be easier for you to move your marketing strategies towards that direction.
Targeting the search engines
It is estimated that 85% of the Internet users employ a search engine to find the information they’re looking for. A top listing on the search engines is a great “gift” for webmasters especially those on tight budget. As computers are used to run those search engines, they have been programmed to look for certain keywords or phrases. As such, the words that you use are very important in attracting visitors to your site via a search engine. The best way is to create keywords, simple phrases and actual content with words that search engines could understand and index your website properly.
Use a short and descriptive domain name
A domain name should be the first matter of business to build traffic to your site. It is how people associate it to your website. It should be brief so that it can be easily typed. There are thousands of domain names taken every minute. So it is getting tougher and tougher to find the right one. If you have a catchy domain name, register it immediately.
Check out your competitors
With millions of websites in the Internet, it is unavoidable to have competition. But however, compared to the traditional media, it is easier to check out your competitors. Search for your competitors on the major search engines using their name or keywords related to your website or logon to closely related newsgroups and see what others are saying about them.
Enlist the aid of your visitors
Word of mouth promotion is highly effective and it is a free source of new customers. The Internet is no different. Try asking referrals from your visitors or customers. It is also the least expensive form of advertising and most effective way to get new businesses. Build relationships with your visitors and ask them to share the relationship with others.
Partners and relationship
Associations, affiliations and partnerships are of utmost importance in driving traffic to your website. Affiliate and link programs allow you to generate traffic from both larger and small websites. Visitors surf the Internet moving from one link to another and it is through this link exchange that new visitors will arrive at your site. Plan on getting reciprocal links from other websites that are of the same category of yours.
Talk up your site constantly
Many webmasters are so caught up in the sheer thrill of seeing their website online that they forget to talk up the site. Put it on your business card, company letterhead and all other promotional materials. Successful promotion starts with you.
Integrate your marketing
Everything you do should convey the same message. Integrated marketing is the practice of promoting by using several forms of media simultaneously with the goal of creating a singular brand or website image. With the explosion of the Internet, integrated marketing has undergone a transformation. The web now lets the offline companies the opportunities to deepen their relationship with their customers because it is a one-to-one method of doing business.
Do everything regularly
Ensure that your website does not go into “hibernation” as the main secret to a successful website is to get started and keep updating it on a regular basis. Your visitors should feel that they are visiting an active site. Visiting a website that was last updated in 1995 is a sure way to lose visitor trust and when designing your website, build in a program to always keep it fresh.
The way to build is to analyze all of your hits all the time. As a webmaster, you should have all the information and data easily available. Thoughtful study of these data should be planned into your strategy so that you can act accordingly. It is good to periodically step back and see what’s working and what’s not in any business. Expand on what is working and drop or improve what isn’t. Keep updating and evaluating your website to keep everything at an optimum.
Attracting new visitors are much more difficult that to satisfy existing visitors. It is easier and more profitable to make existing visitors return for more, rather than to chase for new visitors. So it is wiser to fix up your site so that it works for the traffic you are already getting instead of spending a lot of time, effort and money chasing more visitors.
A good ranking results from major search engines and their search results indicate a good match to your site and it is especially good if your site is listed in the top ten matches.
Make your website fit your business rather that the other way around.
Plan your complete marketing process, complete with strategies and tactics, right from the start.
Treat your website like a business and it will pay you like a business. Treat it like a hobby and you shall get paid like a hobby.