Website Design and Internet Strategy
Last week we talked broadly about website design and how to integrate it with your internet strategy. We also saw the significance of good original content and how it acts as a unifier for all aspects of internet strategy. This week we will go a step further and discuss onsite aspects of internet strategy. I will try to provide you with a checklist and a list of don’ts.
- Zero on a website design company in your area that has a good aesthetic sense coupled with excellent programmers and experience in website marketing. Ask around. Do not cut costs at this stage. Ask the number of pages and the rates for additional pages. Make sure that there are no hidden costs. Try to go for companies integrating three aspects -design, marketing and maintenance; it’s easier and more convenient. Though initially expensive, you eventually end of saving costs because basic SEO of your website is done.
- Decide on your website design requirements before hand. If you need a database to show information to your visitors offer two or three search options like search by city, search by type, search by requirement (may have 2 or more options hence will require more programming expertise). These factors make your website popular and user friendly encouraging visitors to come back.
- Research your keywords and identify a keyword for each page: You can do it yourself or take the help of a website marketing company. Do not identify more than 3 keywords per page.
- Good website architecture: The file should not be more than 3 levels deep, filenames should be relevant, main navigation tabs should be clearly visible and all pages should be linked. This inbound linking is a very important factor in SEO.
- Make navigation easy for online visitors and search engines. Logically group your pages.
- Original and relevant content: If you cannot write hire a copywriter. Be involved at each step. The content enables visitors to convert into customers.
- Optimized and verified HTML code: This topic was covered in the following post: Website Design, Keywords, SEO and your Business
- Acceptable code to content ratio: This tells us how much code is there on a page and how much of content. More the text the better. You can check your website at the link below
- Media Section in the website: check that it can includes video and podcasts abilities. These are the latest forms of media marketing
- Build a list: One of the most important steps of internet strategy and most often ignored is a visitor capturing form. Most often it is a short form containing the first name and the email id. Visitors to your site may give you this information if you are offering a newsletter or a free download of a whitepaper or something equally interesting. These lists are important when you are launching a new product or have something special to give to your old clients.
- Try to have a blog on your website. And update it frequently, at least once a week. The blog is good for feedback and information and attracts visitors. Search engines like blogs too as they always add fresh content to the site.
- Sitemap: Ask for XML version to be submitted to search engines and HTML version for your visitors
- Robot.txt tells the search engine where to go and where not to go.
I will not give a big list but avoid the 5 below:
- Avoid flash
- Avoid iFrames
- Never use a login to access content pages, remember SE cannot login
- Avoid duplicating your content across pages on your website.
- Don’t use black hat SEO, avoid companies that promise instant results.
Resources for Internet Marketing Strategies