Sunday, 17 June 2007

Ten Secrets For a Killer Website

With millions of competing websites, designing a website, let
along a successful website with a high ranking, can be quite
daunting. The following "Ten Secrets for a Killer Website" will
help give you an edge on your competition:

1. Custom vs. Templated - A Custom website is a website that is
totally designed and formatted with original material. A
Templated website is constructed from a list of premade designs
and formats that you pick from. Which is the best route to go?
If you are interested in attracting customers to your site and
converting them to a paying customer, then a custom website is
the only way to go. A Templated website does not receive a high
search engine ranking in Google or Yahoo. Search engines do not
like sites that are duplicates of other sites, so they give them
a far less ranking. What is the use of a website if people can't
find you? A Custom site gives you a uniqueness that fits your
business and message. A templated website restricts you in
choice of colors, images, and layouts. Custom is the best way to

2. Fonts, Content, and Placement - Do not use font sizes that
are too small. You should use 10 point or larger. Smaller font
sizes are too difficult to see and read. Never run more than 52
characters across the screen, so as to not lose the reader. That
is why news print is in narrow columns. It is easier to read.
Pick a font style that is widely used on the Internet and
personal computers. If you are using too fancy of a font, the
text becomes difficult to read. Some safe fonts to use are Times
New Roman and Arial. These are fonts that are available on most
all computers. If you use a font that is not supported by a
user's computer, they will not see the text in the font you
chose. They will see it in the font that is set to default on
their computer. It is very important to use only common fonts.
Make sure that the content (text) of your site is useful
information; information that your customer can use. Place your
most important content towards the upper left-hand corner of
your site. Research has shown that your visitor will start in
the left hand corner of a website and move across the page to
the right and then down. Use bolding and larger font size to
draw attention to a phrase or word. Do not use underlining, as
it has come to communicate that the underlined text is a
hyperlink. All of your text should be flush left and not
centered. It is more difficult to read if it is centered. Use
good headlines and subtitles to draw attention to an area.

3. Advertising (PPC) - Once you have a website, how are people
going to know about it? It is interesting that some people have
this idea that once they have a website up and running that
customers will flock to it. "Well," they say, "I now have a
website and people will do a search and find me there and come
to my site." Don't be fooled! How many other competitors do you
have selling your same product on the Internet? Let's say that
you sell printed business cards. So if you do a Google search on
the keyword phrase "Business cards printed," you'll find that
there are 20,700,000 listings for that search. That means that
there are over 20 million other sites competing for that
searcher's attention. How in the world can you compete with
that? Well, if you notice on the first few pages you'll see
"sponsored links". Some are in the top left section, and some
are down the right side of the page. These are your competitors
that are paying to advertise in top positions on Google. Does it
work? Absolutely, or you wouldn't be seeing so many every time
you do a search. These ads are called "paid per click" (PPC)
ads. This means that every time someone clicks on their ad,
Google charges them. Some ads can be as cheap as 10 cents per
click, and some can be as expensive as $20 a click. It is the
advertisers that determine the cost based on what they are
willing to bid for a position. The stiffer the competition, the
higher the bid price. You can learn more about PPCs by going to

4. Keyword Frequency - It is important to use your main
keywords or phrases (words and phrases that people search on) in
the body of your text, as close to the top of the page as
possible. Search engines look at the website text, from top left
to right, to determine the relevancy of the site for ranking it
for the keyword searched for. Becareful to not load up on a lot
of duplicate words that don't make sense. Search engines don't
like that and will score you lower for trying to put too many of
the same word in your text.

5. Relevant Links - One of the aspects of getting a higher
ranking with Google and Yahoo is linking your website with
quality, reputable sites. The search engines are looking for
websites (hopefully yours) that provide the information that a
searcher is looking for. This is one of the areas the search
engines evaluate. Is your website linked from other relevant and
quality websites? For example, if your website is a hotel
reservation site, some good links to acquire would be car
rentals, restaurants, airport transfer services, art galleries,
etc. These should be links that are useful to the traveler. You
should consider links that are not necessarily competitors, but
supportive services to your business.

6. Flash Movement - Flash-based components add movement, sound,
and interactivity that usually cannot be achieved with a
standard static html website. Flash enhances the experience for
your visitor. It grabs their attention and helps make a rich
presentation to drive your message. With custom Flash you have
almost limitless design options. It allows you to provide a
variety of graphics, tutorials, film clips, and introductions,
has the state-of-the-art technology and professional look about
it. It creates an interactive environment. Generally, you will
not have this with a templated site.

7. Call to Action - Imagine walking into a retail store where
no one helps you, there are no "50% off" signs anywhere and
basically nothing there to motivate you to buy their product.
That is what happens when you put up a website with no "call to
actions" on it. A call to action is a reason for your visitor to
sign up or purchase your product or service. Call to actions are
very important in content and placement. A typical visitor to
your site is only there for a few seconds, so you need a "hook"
and a "call to action" to keep them there and motivated to buy.
It is important that you satisfy what they came looking for. If
they came looking for a nice picture for their office, you must
give them a reason to purchase your beautiful print and to
purchase it today. Remember they may have been shopping several
other sites before they landed on yours. Give them a special
deal if they purchase today. Do a two for one. Give them a free
article or eBook for signing up.

8. Contact Information - Make it easy for your visitor to
contact you. Your phone number and email information should be
prominent on each of your pages. You also need to give them a
reason to contact you. Ask yourself this question, "Why should
they call or email me?" Give them a reason. Take a look at the
websites you visit. What motivates you to fill out their form
with your information? There are a lot of sites that don't ask
for the visitor's information. What is the purpose of a website
anyway? Basically, it is to sell something or to provide useful
information. How are you going to sell something if you don't
have a way of communicating directly with your customer? These
are important questions to ask as you design your website.

9. Auto Responders - An Auto Responder is an email program that
captures your customers contact information from a form on your
website and automatically sends periodic emails from you. These
are emails that you have previously drafted and tell the Auto
Responder Program how often to send them. You can send out
emails to new contacts, your customer list or a list that you
purchase from a list copy. Statistically, these are your best
leads for converting sales. An Auto Responder gives you an easy
way to stay in contact with them. It is important that the
information you send them has value and substance to it.
Generally, people won't mind receiving an email from you if it
is something they can learn or use. For more information on auto
responders go to these sites:;

10. Images and Graphics - Graphics and Images are extremely
powerful in leading the eye through your landing page. They
should not just be there to make a site look pretty, but to push
actions and indicate eye pathways. An appropriately placed image
can draw attention to a headline or title. You should consider
making your images a clickable link because visitors tend to
click on them. You could show a larger pop up image or more
information about the offer or product. The type of image needs
to have purpose with your page. Don't just throw any image on
the page. It needs to fit in with your theme. Images of nice
looking people looking directly at you seem to attract more
attention and give the visitor a warmer feeling than objects. If
you are selling a product, make sure you have a very clear and
quality type image of the product. Customers want to see what it
is they are buying. It is also important to keep your image file
size small. The larger the file size, the longer it takes to
load the image to the site. Remember, the average visitor is
only there for a few seconds. If your site is loading slowly,
they will move on. Also, when you are saving your image to a
file, try to save it as close to the same size as you will be
displaying on you site. Trying to take a large sized image and
squeezing it into a small sized image on your site creates a
picsolated (grainy looking) picture.

Brad Stone is CEO of Heritage Web Solutions, a USA Based
Company, specializing in Designing and Hosting Affordable
Websites for Small and Medium Size Businesses. With a staff of
over 160 employees, Heritage Web Solutions has grown to a
multi-million-dollar company in just 4 years, achieving a Top 1%
National Ranking as reported by WebHosting.Info. For more
information, call 866-754-1474, or visit

About the author:
Brad Stone is CEO of Heritage Web Solutions, a USA Based
Company, specializing in Designing and Hosting Affordable
Websites for Small and Medium Size Businesses. With a staff of
over 160 employees, Heritage Web Solutions has grown to a
multi-million-dollar company in just 4 years, achieving a Top 1%
National Ranking as reported by WebHosting.Info.

For more information, call 866-754-1474, or visit


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