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Creating an Effective Business Website
 
Here are 10 suggestions for creating a website that will increase your business.

1. Hire a professional website designer to create your site. If your site doesn't look professional, potential customers will assume your business isn't professional either.

2. Your website should look “exciting” or at least “interesting.” If it doesn't, why would anyone stay to check it out? (For specific design recommendations, see “How Good Is Your Current Website?” and “Essential Elements of a Home Page.”)

3. Your website should be designed to appeal to your customers, not yourself.

4. 1jn.com is a huge website. But most of my clients who called or emailed me after visiting my site only looked at the home page! This means your home page has to make your sales presentation and close the sale. It has to be outstanding!

5. Create useful, informative content about your business, your experience and the products or services you offer. On the home page, state very clearly and concisely what products or services you offer. Explain what information is on your site and how to find it. Make your contact information easy to find. Avoid self-serving praise and don't include content that doesn't promote your business.

6. Use high-quality photos and graphics on your pages. It's best to create your own custom photos and graphics, but if you can't do that, use quality stock photos and graphics. Don't include a photo of yourself unless you look very attractive. Don't use a snapshot; get a studio portrait.

7. Create product or portfolio galleries to make it easy for potential customers to find what they want.

8. Make your site easy to navigate.

9. To attract traffic to your website, you must get listed on the first few pages of the most used search engines. The most important is Google, but clients have found my site on Yahoo and MSN. Professional website designers know the techniques for obtaining high rankings on the search engines. But one thing you can do is to make a list of all the search word combinations and phrases people are likely to use to find your site and incorporate those words into your text. If you serve a local market, list all the local cities and counties on the same page as the list of products and services you offer.

10. You can increase traffic to your website by creating separate sections that provide information about subjects people are interested in. If it relates to your business, even better. Put ads on those pages that link back to your home page.

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