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Site Planning

  1. A website can be one of the most cost-efficient means of promotion or advertising. Below I've provided an outline of things to keep in mind when considering your website and the overall process. This is also a guideline to a typical website building process with KBS.

Go To:

Phase I: Planning |
Phase II: Building |
Phase III: Making Your Presence Known |
Phase IV: Website Maintenance and Updating |
 

Phase I: Planning

There are several things that KBS will discuss with you during your initial consultation.
 

Things To Do:

Please be prepared with your information prior to your consultation with KBS
(see
Things To Consider below)

Suggestions:

  1. Write notes while you brainstorm, including questions you may have.
  2. Make an outline or detailed notes of your needs.
  3. Organize folders in which you add and keep information and materials for your website:
    • a physical folder with photos, brochures, company logo, written materials.
    • a directory folder on your computer with text for your website, digitized photos, images, logos, and other pertinent information.
  4. Look at as many websites as you can that are related to yours in some way. Make note of the following:
    • Websites that you like and why,
    • Websites that you don't like and why not,
    • Any websites that have elements that you like, such as colours, navigation, overall layout, the type of content and how it's presented.

    This will not only help you see what your competition has going and an overall perspective of websites in general, it will also help you brainstorm for your own site.

    Things to Consider:

    1. Purpose of website.
    2. Target audience.
    3. Website content:
      • Text, and who will write or provide the text if not already available. 

        Some very basic contents might be:
                - who you are,
                - what you do,
                - how to contact you,
                - list of services or products.
           
    4. Photographs or other images (to enhance or illustrate the text).
    5. Logo.
    6. Updating of text and other content to keep site fresh and content current.
    7. Ways to bring in new visitors, repeat visitors.
    8. Budget        

      Other costs:
      1. Internet Service Provider.
      2. Domain name and registration.
      3. Database information to make available online (know existing database format, online password access only or available to public).
      4. If you wish to sell products or services online:
        • Secure server for processing transactions.
        • Merchant account through your bank (or alternatives).
        • Online purchases by credit card, alternative purchases by fax, postal mail.
        • Shopping cart software, if needed (usually recommended for over 10 products or so).

        • Set up system that integrates easily with new or existing accounting software.
        • (If you haven't already done so, write or gather your content and other materials as needed for your website.) 

Phase II: Building

  • Contract Agreement and deposit.
  • Test site will be available for review at each step of the creation process, with regular communications throughout (usually by email, but sometimes by phone).
  • When site is completed, we get your final OK, final payment, and we then upload your new site to your server (or send you the site by zip file or disc, if needed).

Phase III: Making Your Presence Known

  1. Website Registration with several major search engines.
Other means of bringing in visitors:
  • Add website and email address to all correspondence, all advertising.
  • Consider sending announcements or commencing other advertising of your new, redesigned, or improved website.

Phase IV: Website Maintenance and Updating

  1. Keep your website content fresh and alive.
  2. Provide reasons for new visitors and for them to return to your site.
  3. Add new information as appropriate and update existing information regularly.
  4. Check search engine rankings and tweak pages and/or meta tags if needed.
  5. Continue to promote your website regularly.

Once your website is online, it is nearly always necessary to do ongoing promotional work to bring in visitors, especially if you have a business site that includes purchasing products or services. Perhaps you want to build the unique visitors numbers to gain sponsors for your site. If it's a personal site, perhaps you'd like to let others know about your website and bring in increasing numbers of visitors.

Whether a personal or business site, if you'd like to bring in visitors, some promotion will need to be done. As I mentioned in my last newsletter about building reciprocal links, promoting your site is not such a daunting task when you learn a few helpful tips.            

Must you promote your website?

If you want visitors to find your website, then you'll need to let others know it exists, of course. Some of these ways are through search engine registrations, reciprocal linking, online and offline networking, and traditional forms of advertising, such as through newspapers, radio, TV, and magazine ads.

What if you have a limited budget and limited time? There is much that can be done even without a lot of money or a lot of time.

First of all, search engine registration is definitely important, but it is only one part of helping others find your website. When budgeting your website construction and ongoing maintenance, I recommend earmarking funds for search engine registrations and follow-up, adding fresh content, and promotion in a variety of ways.

Here are a few things that you can do yourself or for low cost:

  1. Keep content fresh with regular updates, current information.

  2. Add an eye-catching signature tag at the end of your email.

  3. Participate in online discussion lists regularly, also using your signature tag.

  4. Add your URL and email address to all written materials (business cards, letterhead, brochures, literature, publications, products, etc.), and include it in all advertising.

  5. Tell your friends about the website. Word of mouth is very powerful.

  6. Send out announcements about your website, and send out news and updates.

  7. Start a newsletter that will be of interest to your clients, customers or potential clients or customers.

Other Considerations

Part of constructing your website ought to include a search-engine friendly approach with strategically located and keyword-rich content, the use of meta tags, using ALT tags within images to describe the images, and carefully optimized layout and design.

 

Discussion Lists

I recommend joining discussion lists to help promote one's website and business. Discussion lists are great ways to network with others online and to also make friends all over the world.  You can  choose from thousands of lists on a wide range of topics.

Check out Internet (Email) Discussion Lists where you'll find an annotated listing of some of the best websites with discussion list databases to locate discussion lists within your interest.