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Quick Tips For Beginning Webmasters

Starting off on the right foot with any new business is not just important, it's imperative. This is especially true on the Internet, where first impressions are made in a matter of seconds, and can make or break the potential for success.

A sales focused website functions simply as a retail cyber-store. With that in mind, it's just as important that  visitors be welcomed and feel comfortable while browsing a website, as they would be made to feel in a shop on Main Street.

Here are a few quick tips that will help to gain your cyber-visitor's interest, and keep her browsing for awhile.

  •  Capture the visitors attention immediately with a bold headline or a thought provoking question. You have about 10 seconds to convince a first time visitor that it might be worth her time to browse your site further.

  • Keep slow loading graphics, animations, and flash presentations to a minimum. Most visitors will not wait long before clicking off to another site.

  • Avoid loud or overbearing color schemes. What may look great on your living room walls might be difficult to view and read on-screen. Background colors should be pale or white, with dark or black font for maximum readability.

  • Compose your primary message to focus on the visitor's interests, needs and desires, and how you and your site can fulfill those. Few people will be interested in your accomplishments or how great you think your business is. Save that for the 'about us' page.

  • Inject a conversational style into the message that your website conveys, avoiding dry corporate syntax or technical jargon. A site that portrays a personality and casual human element will be much more attractive to repeat visitors.

  • Proofread carefully for spelling, punctuation, and grammar. This is imperative to presenting a professional image of you and your business. It is recommended that the proofreading be done by someone other than yourself, and who has not previously read the script. You may wish to contact the English department at a nearby high school or college, and arrange to have an upper level student perform this task for you. It's that important!

  • Keep your page design clean and free of clutter. A site that visually assaults the visitor will be clicked off quickly. White space and clearly defined sections will make for easier navigation.

  • For a large site, break the content into sections and create seperate pages accordingly. Many Internet users do not like to scroll down indeterminately on overly long pages. Manage your page length to three screens maximum.

  • Test your pages with multiple browsers to be sure they work as they should. What works in one browser may not work with another. The two most commonly used browsers as of this writing are MS Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator.

  • Invest wisely in registering your own domain nameand acquiring professional quality webhosting. To rely, even at first, on sub-domains or free hosting services will seriously harm your business credibility. In addition, avoid using any free email account as a business contact.

  • Provide a incentive and a method for visitors to join yourmailing list, and display it prominently on each page. This is not an option. It's a necessity to your ongoing success.

  • Openly display your full name, your physical address, and at least two contact methods (ie. email and telephone) on your site. This will cultivate visitor trust, and add to your credibility as an honest and above-board business owner.
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