Updating or Redesigning Your Site

Top 10 Ways to Improve Your Website
10 Steps to a Successful Website,
How to improve your website.

1) Write down the main goals for your site, such as more traffic, more sales, longer visits, better prospects, better customers, etc..

2) Select a top web design company which also specializes in web maintenance and has a web marketing arm. This web firm should be in your country and been in business at least 5 years. Avoid all WYSIWYG and "generator" or direct content manager software and systems. They can cause great damage to a better quality clean code maintainable site.

3) Go over your goals, your business strategy and your web strategies with your web designer in consultation with their web business consulting arm to review your goals and make suggestions for more improvements to save you money and be more competitive in the long run. Carefully consider their suggestions designed to properly balance all the factors, including ease of maintenance. They can tell you how to save money on PPC and how to use alternate hooks to more strongly draw prospects.

4) Decide whether you will primarily depend on paid advertising or "organic" rankings. One of the best compromises on those which helps organic ranking is to join onto directories and find sites which will allow your inbound links of your site. When you have fully discussed your main approach and budget with the web design consulting firm, your goals should be finalized and sketched up and outlined, and your content should be reviewed to best match your main promotion method, with emphasis on keywords and phrases for SEO, search engine optimization.

5) Although the "look" of the site is important, it is not nearly as important as following basic advertising principles. Go read up on those and be sure you communicate who is your main audience and how your business serves them better than anyone else, and quickly shows them the benefits, features and feelings to expect. Longer explanations and articles should be on their own pages or lower sections.

6) Emphasize "credibility". If you don't have much time in business, find a way to offer a guarantee, membership in a credentialing or business verification firm like BBB. Testimonials are important, as well as samples of work or product.

7) Give away a small sample of your service or product, if possible. Make it "quick and easy" to try or at least look at. Items 6 and 7 here include having "authoritative content", such as articles and studies and how to information. Avoid sending prospects to other sites.

8) Make navigation clear and simple, with a clear menu, easy to read (not too many pull downs) and big "Buy now" or "Order Now" or similar buttons prominently displayed. Give them alternatives to buying to build their interest.

9) Avoid too much flash and images, especially if they continue moving. These not only slow down the page load, but they often distract prospects from the main messages. Even worse, they are not readable by search engine spiders.

10) Plan and develop a testing program for headlines, offers, appeals and ad copy along with a good web traffic statistics system. You have to spend some money to test offerings. Your web marketing strategy based on research allows proper positioning into a niche. This is where you refine your keywords and phrases for SEO. Normally DO NOT use a separate SEO company for promotion. Have one control point. Any SEO should be approved by the web designer. All changes and updates to your site must be through your web design and maintenance company, sometimes called a webmaster. Otherwise, the SEO company is likely to break your site's coding and make it non-compliant with standards. Your backups kept by the designer will not matchthe host, changes will be lost, and the SEO company will likely not do nearly as complete a job to keep clean, organized HTML and script code practices that a good web maintenance company will do.

It is important to avoid many changes after the first 6 months to one year after launch or major revisions, so try to get it right in the first two to four tries (cycles of testing and improvements).

NOTE: 1 There are lots of amateurs and wanna-be's in both web design and maintenance as well as in SEO promotion. Avoid them, or pass the SEO company's suggestions and wording by your web designer for his/her additional improvements.

NOTE 2: If an existing site works pretty well bringing in sales, be careful about changing it much at one time. Even minor changes can sometimes reduce sales, and if you rely on mostly organic propagation and rankings, this goes doubly for you. Changes should be done mostly within a month and allowed to propagate two months, quarterly. See Web Site Design Priorities and Implications


Note: If you would like more helpful information about starting a website or a web business, then browse our other information guides and tips on our menu above: 11 Web Business Success Tips, Starting a Web Business Checklist, How to Choose a Domain Name, How to Choose a Domain Registration Company, How to Choose a Hosting Company, Tips for Designing a Website, How to Get My Website Working, How to Promote Your Website, 10 Website Improvement Tips

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