Top 11 Tips for a Successful Web Business
11 Steps to a Successful Website,
How to have a Successful Web Business.
Sponsored by Web-Successtn and BG Design"

1) Most Important to a successful web business and website is research to find the right Niche and Business Strategy with a unique selling proposition of a unique product or service in demand. That is not a closed circle of opportunity seekers marketing opportunities to each other in a network MLM, for example. You must have more than a special look, high efficiency or cool sales scheme to really profit.

2) Using that Business Strategy and more research on internet competition, determine your "positioning" and "barriers to competition"; which make it hard for others to duplicate, such as special expertise and special better and/or partly secret methods. Design the basics of your web site, then determine and write down the main goals for your website such as high traffic, educating prospects, building credibility and trust, developing leads or actually making sales, longer visits, screening and qualifying better prospects, better customers, etc..

This is where you also write your "elevator pitch", your "unique selling proposition" and a concise description of the site using keywords based on your web marketing strategy and competition research. This Title and description will be the primary few words that will describe your site. Get it right.

3) Select a top web design company which also specializes in web maintenance with a web business consulting and website promotion arm. This firm should be in your country and in business at least 5 years. Avoid all WYSIWYG and "generator" or direct content manager software and systems (CMS) as possible. They can cause great damage to a quality clean-coded maintainable website. Only use a site generator for drafting a design and getting started with propagation---AFTER steps listed on this site. A site builder WYSIWYG or CMS can be used for a separate blog, for promotion only IF you can write well and have important things to say, and extra time keep it up.

4) 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, be more competitive and increase sales 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 advertising and how to use alternate hooks to more strongly target, screen and draw prospects. Set out all your overview and intent, and each project's requirements in a statement of work, agreeing on an estimate. You should carefully budget at least $3000 and one year for even a fairly simple website to allow for one major revision and improvements as well as initial and on-going promotion. That is nothing for a real business. A web business will not fly without serious promotion. Allow more for a complex web site with forms and shopping cart or membership database, etc..

5) 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 Google groups, quality 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.

You should start out with web site goals and your target customer's needs/benefits, composing headlines and subheads in outline form. Compare those to competitor's and their paid ads that run a long time. Target the audience in the headlines; Tout benefits in the sub headings and bullets moving toward your product features relating back to "feelings" and benefits.

Only then, and after your trade dress and logo are decided and the "theme" and "look" of your site are refined---should you begin to sketch and layout the actual site, drawing sketches and using Word or Publisher to approximate the site, emphasizing Headlines, concise description of site and audience, focusing landing pages on reasons to buy and product types. Remember, you can not copy-paste Word text directly into a website, but it can be used by your web designer indirectly.

6) 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 your web site communicates 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.

7) 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.

8) 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.

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

10) Avoid too much flash and images, especially that continue to move. These slow down page load and often distract prospects from the main messages. Even worse, they are not readable by search engine spiders.

11) Plan and develop a "campaign" testing program for headlines, offers, appeals and ad copy along with a good web traffic statistics system. You must spend some money to test offerings, appeals-headlines, ads and copy (content). Your web marketing strategy based on research allows proper positioning into a niche. This is where you refine your keywords and phrases for SEO. DO NOT use a separate SEO company for promotion.

YOU can have a limited edit or articles area, but MOST changes and updates to your site must be through your web design and maintenance company, sometimes called a webmaster. Otherwise, you or an SEO company is likely to break your site's coding and make it non-compliant with standards affecting search spiders and browser appearance. Worse, your backups kept by the web maintenance company and host will not match, and the SEO company will likely not do as complete a job of keeping code clean and HTML organized for maintenance the way a good web maintenance company will do. It is important to avoid many changes after the first year to year and half from launch or major revisions, so try to get it right in the first three or four campaign cycles.

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 your first or second 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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