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Tutorial – How to Create a Successful Website

In todays’s digital world, it is very important to have a web presence. How a website presents content and streams information to the Internet determines its success. The following tips can help.

Design
The basic rule about website design is substance over style. Site content must stand out, be easy to navigate and constantly fresh to bring in traffic and repeat business.

An effective website has an objective, whether to sell something literally or sell visitors on an idea or concept. This must be reflected in the layout.

A good simple design is one that uses white space, two or three neutral colors and the same font family thoughout. Don’t crowd elements and make sure all text has natural flow. Links should be underlined and a different color from the rest of the text. All major sections of the site should be clearly marked at the top of the page or the top of the sidebar and the company logo and copyright information should be on every page. Provide a search and contact form so visitors can find what they need quickly and can easily send messages or place orders.

A designer or artist will want to showcase talent and will therefore need a fancier layout. This is fine, as long as good navigation is provided and the design still focuses on business, while using the extra color and graphics for emphasis.

Generating Traffic

A website is only as successful as its SEO. It is vital to fine tune keywords and meta tags to correctly reflect the site’s content and get a high placement in the major search engines.

A business should seriously consider an SEO firm. The firm will have professionals who can analyze a website and its potential and come up with a longterm SEO plan. This should be done before launch to ensure a good strong start.

Basic methods to bring in traffic include having a prominent RSS feed with an easy subscription process on each page of the site. Leaving comments on other sites can have a link to the RSS feed as opposed to the regular URL. Having contests and offering free items, such as e-books, is attractive to visitors and they will spread the word. Specialty sites can benefit from promotion on forums by having a link in the user signature.

Other methods of generating traffic include linkbacks and the use of social media. Linkbacks, also known as trackbacks, benefit bloggers the most by indicating who’s writing about and linking to them. These links are indexed by search engines and are associated with both the original author and the one who linked back. It’s a very effective way to build a network.

The advent of Twitter and Facebook have presented even faster networking because the results are instantaneous and often viral. The real-time aspect of both services generates immediate traffic and the ability to share and forward information is infinite. All major blogging/CMS platforms can interact with Twitter and Facebook through the use of plug-ins, making access to a vast social media audience simple.

The golden rule of website success is fresh content. All the SEO and traffic-building methods in the world won’t matter if the content is not up to date.

Writing Articles

There are two simple rules to writing. The first is to write what one knows about and the second is to write how one would speak. Don’t force the written voice to be like someone else’s. It will make the job more difficult.

Grammar and usage are also important. On a business site it is especially important to make a good impression, so using online dictionaries and grammar tutorials can be of great assistance. Having a good editor can be of help, too.

Writing should never be done when the writer isn’t in the correct frame of mind. This will lead to poor content and a lot of revision later on.

When inspiration does strike, write it down as fast as possible. Don’t stop to edit constantly as this will slow down the creative process. Focus on the content and the rest will take care of itself.

Writing for SEO has its own special set of requirements. Keywords must be used in the right density, preferably no more than 4% of the entire article. The length of the article should be somewhere between 300-600 words. This will keep the reader engaged while also effectively getting the point across. Articles that are too lengthy will bore the visitor and lead to information seeking elsewhere.

Launching a website can be a daunting process to a beginning webmaster or business owner. Implementing a few key points above can be a good start. It’s not a requirement to be a brilliant writer to produce compelling content or sell an idea. All it takes is belief in what one is doing.

Alexandru

Alexandru is the co-owner of TopDesignMag. “If it looks easy, it's hard. If it looks hard, it's impossible. If it looks impossible, it's due tomorrow. At 8 A.M.”

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