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Sunday, March 10, 2013

How Important Is Website Design?

In this article I will be writing about Website Design, how it affects sales, and how it compares in importance to other aspects of Website Management. Lets list the different aspects of owning or managing a Website.
Domain Name: How important is the domain name you choose for your Website? Many people say it is not important at all, yet I have number one listings in Google, Yahoo, and MSN for the key phrases that exactly match my domain name. It matters a lot.
You need a domain name that matches keywords and phrases you will also use in your Website that people are searching for. Many people think their company name should be their domain name. If you have a lot of money for advertising to make your company name something people search for, I agree with you. If you do not have that ad budget, then you need a generic domain name that is a phrase people already search for.
Web Hosting: How important is choosing the right Web Hosting Service for your Website? Again, this is important in many ways. You need your Website to load fast. If your Website loads slow, people will leave without buying anything. You also need to choose a Web Hosting Service that gives good tech support. There are a lot more things to consider when choosing a good Web Hosting Service, but make sure you rate this high on your list of things that are important to your Website.
Web Design: How important is Website Design? Your Website needs to look professional and trustworthy in order to create buyer confidence. A poorly designed Website will cost you sales. However, and this is the part that web designers will hate me for, it is not as important as many of the other aspects of Website ownership and management.
Many web designers know nothing about search engine optimization, picking a good domain name, hosting, Website promotion, or other issues. They only know design. That is a good thing in my opinion, but they should let their customers know they are a designer and cannot help their Website be competitive in the marketplace. Yes, there are some designers that know more than just design, but many do not. Keep this in mind.
A beautiful Website that gets no traffic and makes no money might as well be an ugly Website. An ugly Website that has traffic and makes money gets more beautiful by the dollar.
Search Engine Optimization: How important is SEO to my Website? Extremely important! Again, many web designers do not know how to properly optimize a Website for the search engines. It is important to have someone who specializes in SEO to go over your Website and make sure it is ready to get crawled and indexed by the search engines.
There was a time when SEO was all-inclusive with link building, Website promotion, search engine marketing, etc. Times have changed somewhat and the search engines have become more complicated, so now many people specialize in certain aspects of SEO.
I define SEO as coding the Website properly, writing text that contains the proper amount and correct keywords and phrases, search engine submissions, and some link building techniques.
Search Engine Marketing: What is SEM and how important is this to my Website? Search Engine Marketing by my own definition is marketing your Website through Google Adwords, MSN AdCenter, and other keyword purchasing programs as well as purchasing links, ads, and sponsored listings.
Again, many people are specializing in an area they have success with these days. I am very good at SEO, but I have limited experience with SEM. Therefore, I can make your Website ready to be crawled, do link building, and write text that helps you attract good search engine rank and traffic, but I would not be the guy you would hire to manage your Adwords program.
Website Promotion: Yet another category with a relationship to SEO and SEM. How important is this category? In my opinion it tops the list. What is Website Promotion? This category includes Article Marketing, Press Releases, Link Popularity, Buying Traffic, Blogging, Forum Posting and more.
Why do I consider it more important? First, none of the things mentioned here can stand-alone. You need to consider all of the different aspects as important. However, search engines change constantly. Depending on search engines for all or most of your traffic and sales is putting your life in Google's hands basically since they account for 60% of all searches now.
If you are comfortable with one company having that much control over how well you do on the web, then ignore Website promotion and just do SEO and SEM. You need traffic from many different sources if you want to be successful. That way if one source dies out, you are not affected nearly as much as someone who only had one or a few sources of traffic would be.
Focus on getting traffic from every source you can. Post comments in Blogs and Forums related to your topic. That means actually join the forums or blogs and actually get involved in the conversations there and post quality comments. Be helpful to people at the forums and blogs. Ask questions. No one will mind that a link in your SIG line goes to your Website is you are a real participant. If they do object at that point, find a new place to join.
Start your own Blog. You can put up two if you really want to benefit from Blogging. A Blog within your domain name or on a subdomain can help you add fresh content to your website more often. That helps with the SEO. You can build a Blog on another domain name and promote links to pages within your Website and benefit from a little link popularity while also giving customers another way to find your Website. Doorway pages used to be the way to go. Blogs on their own domain name have replaced doorway pages as the way to go.
Article Marketing means writing articles and submitting them to article directories, writing quality articles and offering them to topic-relative high-traffic Websites as exclusive content, and press releases are a great source of traffic that builds link popularity as well. The traffic you get from people who read your article are many more times likely to convert to a sale than the traffic you get from search engines.
I will get new customers and signups due to this article you are reading right now. Article Marketing and Website Promotion work very well.
I hope this article has helped you to understand that owning or managing a Website is about a lot more than just getting a domain name, designing a Website, and picking a host. "If you build it, they will come" does not apply to Websites.

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