Ten ways to build an effective web site
of the most frequent enquiries through our FREE
on-line consultancy service is "How do we increase the effectiveness
of our Internet advertising?" Many people visiting this site already have
their own Web pages, so here are a few pointers to help you to make your
Web site more productive...
- Make sure
that your site contains plenty of information - not
just advertising material, but information that will have use and value
to your visitors.
- Go easy
on the graphics. A 'good' page is one that achieves
the right balance between being visually attractive and being quick
to download. Remember that speed of downloading doesn't only depend
on the length of the text and graphic files. Each time the visitor has
to download a new file, at least another second is added to the time.
- At the
very least, give a text alternative to each graphic
- 4 out of every 10 Web users browse with the graphics turned off. If
you can, set up a text-only version of the site, selectable by the user
on the home page (we're working on this for our site).
test your site on more than one browser. What looks
cool on Netscape may come out as garbage on Mosaic. And a lot of people
are still using text-only browsers, such as Lynx.
- Make it
easy for visitors to interact with you. Have at least
one way of them contacting you on every page - and give people
a good reason why they should. Although using a form may be an attraction,
some people prefer an email alternative.
- Web users
like hot links - not just to other parts of your site,
but to other interesting / useful sites as well. Don't be like one CEO
we heard about who said "Why should I encourage people to leave
our site?" The Internet is as much about co-operation as competition,
and if people like your site, they will return. So spend some time 'surfing'
to find interesting and relevant sites to cross-link to from your site.
- Use your
home page like a piece of direct mail. Get people's attention
quickly and hold it. Tell your visitors what they will find on the site
- and put this right at the top of your home page, not buried near the
after your site and tend it as you would a garden. Prune old
stuff out, and plant new material regularly - at least once a month
if not more frequently. Let your visitors know that this is your policy
- and they will return if they expect to find new, interesting material
your site well, so that people can easily navigate round it.
Let visitors go to the most interesting pages as directly as possible.
You might want them to have to plough through your advertising
material before getting to the rich bits of information - but this simply
will not work. And never lead people to a page that simply
says "under construction" and nothing else. That really infuriates people!
- Work constantly
to advertise your site. Check your entries in directories
and on search engines regularly. Be on the lookout for new site promotion
methods (they are appearing all the time). Look out for mutual cross-linking
opportunities with other sites. If appropriate, participate in relevant
Newsgroups and forums - not blatantly advertising, but responding to
postings - naturally, with your URL contained in your .sig file.
give people ten per cent more than they expect from
your site. (Did I say ten ways to build an effective Web site?)
Lenny Laskowski, President of LJL
Seminars and author of "Dynamic Presentation Skills for the Business
Professional" adds this advice:
it easy for people to get a hold of you. I use E-mail and TOLL-FREE numbers.
Also, have most of the general questions people may ask available at your
Lenny. One common Internet way of dealing with the latter point is to
prepare a FAQ sheet ("frequently asked questions"). This could either
be a separate page on your site or an email document available on request
- yet another way of getting feedback from your site.
help on this topic...
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