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Posted on May 4, 1999

  ==================================================
  The Add Me! Newsletter           *** ISSUE #30 ***
  "Free tips for promoting your website"
  
  Add Me, Inc                   http://www.addme.com
  ==================================================

      >> The Basics of a Successful Website <<

  ........................................................
  May 4th, 1999                   *** ISSUE #30 ***
  ........................................................



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           .....THIS WEEK'S ARTICLE.....


  
         The Basics of a Successful Website
         ==================================

  By Kathy Gold


  Home page:

          The home page is the page where people first 
  enter your website. Your homepage needs to be quick 
  and easy to load. You have only 1-3 seconds to grab 
  your public's attention before they decide to move 
  on. If you have a lot of graphics on the home page, 
  bells and whistles, the public might have to sit 
  there for 5 minutes waiting for your home page to 
  download;  if the public is on a 14.4 modem; maybe 
  ten minutes to download. I can almost guarantee that 
  most people will not sit there and wait 10 minutes 
  for a page to load. Would You?

  About page:
      
             The about page is a page that explains to 
  the public who you are, what your company does, how 
  long your company has been in business and where you 
  are located including address and phone numbers. This 
  is essential to your website as most people want to 
  know about the company with which they are doing 
  business with. Wouldn't you?  This can be its own 
  page or its own section of a page.

  Info about products/services being sold:
        
           This page explains what the products/services 
  are. From sizes, to colors, to prices, to categories, 
  etc. What you are selling and for how much?  Just like 
  in a store, the products are displayed with price tags.
        
        
  The Why Page:
        
        Why I need to buy this product/service and why 
  I need to buy this product/service from you. This is 
  one of the most important pages of your website as this 
  is where you sell the person. This is the sales of any 
  website. As a consumer, I need to be informed about 
  the advantage of purchasing your product or service.


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  Testimonials:
        
          This page is a list of  your clients and what 
  they say about your products/services. The more well 
  known the client the better. For example if one of 
  your clients is Coca Cola, you can get a testimonial 
  from the CEO which would state what your product or 
  service did for him.  If you are new and don't have 
  any clients, leave this page out until you have some 
  clients. Never make up testimonials, it's bad business 
  and it will eventually come back to you.
        
        
  Update Page Section:
      
          You can make this page anything you want, 
  whether it be a newsletter, product updates, new 
  products, specials, new services being offered etc. 
  But you need to have this page as you will have 
  clients and potential clients coming back to your 
  site to check this information. This is one of the 
  reasons people will come back to your site.


  Interactivity:
        
          This page lets the consumer interact with 
  your website whether it be a guestbook they fill 
  out, order form they fill out, bulletin board they 
  post to or shopping cart program they use to buy 
  products/services from you, etc.  


  Navigation

       Make sure your site is easy to navigate. Most 
  consumers hate having to go through millions of web 
  pages to get to the information they are looking 
  for. Not all browsers have front and back buttons 
  and the only way a user can get from one page to 
  another is by using the website.  The easier it is 
  to get to the information, the better.


  And there you have it.  These are the basic qualities 
  of a successful website. No matter how you design 
  your website, be sure to include these things and 
  you won't go wrong.

  Here's a design tip:
  When you have a home button/icon or link pointing 
  back to your homepage, don't have it point to the 
  index.htm or index.html page. Copy your homepage 
  which is usually index.html or index.htm and name 
  it home.html/home.htm and use that for the navigation 
  link. Later when you go to check your webstats you 
  will be able to see how many people went to your 
  index.html and you'll get a more accurate number 
  as each time someone clicked on home.html it didn't 
  take them back to index.html. This way you can 
  separate out the two.

  Until Next Time,

  --------------------------------------------------------------
  Kathy Gold
  Effective Website Design + Promotion = RESULTS
  http://www.digitalgold.com

  If you need website design services or web promotion 
  please feel free to contact us at (818)828-7400 
  or sales@digitalgold.com
  --------------------------------------------------------------
 


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