for great web sites
visitors time and energy. They did not come to your site to be entertained
or to see how clever your webmaster was. They want information that
is organized and easily accessible.
You may have a fast computer with broadband internet access, but an
important number of your visitors don't. Web pages need to load fast
when people only have a 56k modem. The number of visitors who will stay
at your site fall off dramatically if they can't see what they want
in a few seconds. Graphics need to be well chosen and optimized for
speed. This is known as designing for bandwidth.
like a visitor
You may want to sell but your visitors may not start out thinking they
want to buy from you. Mostly they want information. If you give it freely
and make them need you, you will get them as customers. Hard sell does
not work on the web.
People like to sign up for free stuff like newsletters, a chat board,
a Q&A forum, and request forms for more info.
visitors a reason to come back
Keep you content up to date, and keep it fresh. A page or two which
changes daily (like the Hotsheet) is very effective. Keep listings up
You are an expert
- share your expertise. The best way to sell yourself on the web is
to make yourself invaluable by demonstrating your competence and usefulness.
smart with the search engines
Search engines can drive a lot of new customers to your site - if they
can find you. Your site design needs to reflect the special way the
search engines "see" you site. You might be surprised to know
what they look for. For instance, those flashy "Flash" animated
gateway pages you see more and more of are ignored by search engines,
which can really hurt a site needing search engine visibility.