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Seven Elements of a Successful Web Presence





wab11287
There is more to an effective Website than great looking graphics. In fact there are seven crucial elements every site needs to maximize profits.

1. Balanced Visual Appeal – Of course your site needs to have a clean, attractive design. The Web is a visual medium and an ugly website is often the kiss of death.

But your graphics should not distract attention from your marketing message. If your site is an online video game or movie promotion of course it’s ok to have a full-blown flash intro and loads of cutting-edge animations, but if you are marketing a more traditional product or service you should avoid going overboard on the visual presentation.
Also a visitor should not have side scroll to view your entire page. This adds a sluggish feel to the browsing experience and should be avoided if at all possible.

2. Awareness of the 60 Second Rule – It’s safe to assume the average Web surfer will give your site a maximum of 60 seconds of their time unless you actively compel them to stay longer. The truth is statistics vary from market to market, and in many cases your window for first impression can be as short as 8 seconds!

For this reason, the area above the fold is the most important part of any page your visitor might land on. When I say “above the fold” I am referring to anything that is visible before your prospect has to scroll down the page.

You should use this area to relay your most important message. You might leverage a well-crafted header graphic, a killer headline, or an audio greeting that plays as soon as the page is loaded to pull your visitor into your marketing message.

3. Easy Navigation – Give you visitor clear navigational options so they don’t get lost. Nobody likes being on a Web page with no idea of how to get back to the page they just came from or where to find the main menu.

You can take this a step further by actually directing prospects where you want them to go. You might have a flashing Click Here button above the fold on your main page that takes a visitor to your portfolio or service display page, for instance. Or in the case of a direct response site you can leave your visitor only two options: order your product/opt-in to your newsletter or leave your site.

4. Quality Content – A strong and informative message is not only what your target market is looking for as they scour the Web in search of your product or service, it’s what the major search engines will use when ranking your site in the search results.

It’s a great idea to present yourself or your company in a personal and inviting manner. Most people want to do business with other people, and not some nameless entity.

5. Pre-Qualification – Your Website should answer many of the common questions and overcome the most typical objections posed by your target market.

When this is handled correctly you are able to weed out potentially problematic customers and pull only the best-fit clients into your profit funnel. This is obvious enough in the case of a direct response sales letter site.

But even if your business is in the service arena (landscaping, home inspection, wedding planning, etc.) pre-qualification is a must. By providing detailed information on your scope of service, and even including a FAQ page on your site, you can begin the pre-sell process and “warm up” your prospects before a personal meeting or phone conversation ever takes place.

6. A Lead Capture Device to Set the Stage for Follow-Up Marketing –

Research shows the average Web prospect needs to see an offer up to seven times before deciding to take action. If you let a visitor leave your site without collecting their contact information for a follow-up campaign, it might be your competition that finally ends up closing the sale.

You might offer a monthly newsletter, a discount club subscription, a sample product, or a free course as the incentive for your prospects to opt-in to your mailing list. These are just a few examples.

In fact there are a slew of different ways to collect your visitors contact info in an ethical, mutually beneficial way. The key is to offer some real value in exchange for the subscription.

7. Find ability – It’s pretty hard to profit from a Website that your target market can’t find. It takes a lot of active promotion to drive traffic to your site, and this should be viewed as an ongoing process.
tamilparks
very good design tips for the web designers, really its very useful for me also..
speeDemon
hey, I visited ur website, can you explain that how, by using frihost, Cpanel, I can edit that 404 page....?
steve1200
quite helpful text!
Thank you.

I think I will use some of your advices in my following projects...
wab11287
To edit the 404 error page you will need to login with an ftp or file manager onto your site.

Look in your root directory, the place where your homepage is, for this file (.htaccess). If it’s not there don’t worry, you can just create it and it won’t make any difference. When doing so, just make an empty text file in Notepad or whatever, and make sure you start the filename with a dot — it’s vital. Starting a file name with a dot makes it a hidden file in Unix.

You may have problems creating a file name that starts with a dot. If your operating system won’t let you create a file like this, name the file something else temporarily and rename it through your FTP program once you’ve uploaded it.

Next make a blank html page and just write a simple message for now. For example; "404 ERROR"

Now you need to point .htaccess to your custom page. Add this line to the file (edit it with a text editor like Notepad):

ErrorDocument 404 /404page.html

Make sure it’s all on one line. Start the file path with a slash, which tells the server to start looking in your root directory (where your homepage is), and follow the path you specify. For example,

ErrorDocument 404 /misc/404page.html

This will load the file 404page.html in your misc directory.

Make sure you don’t specify a full URL to your 404 page, as in something like “http://www.example.com/404page.html”. This will cause your server to return the wrong response code, and will actually make it seem like the page was found correctly.

It’s also a good idea to add the code <meta name="robots" content="noindex"> to the <head> section of your 404 page, so that search engine robots don’t add it to their indexes.

Once you have edited your .htaccess page save the file on your server.

This step may not be necessary, but if you’re unlucky you’ll have to tell your server to activate this feature. On a Unix server, this may already be on, but if not you’ll have to connect to your server and type chmod 644 .htaccess at the prompt. This sets the file permissions. You can change .htaccess’ permissions through the interface in most FTP programs too. If you have no idea what that meant, contact your server guys again and ask them to sort it out for you.

To read more about 404 pages please read our article at http://www.wabashstudio.frih.org/resources/404-error-showcase
snowboardalliance
wab11287 wrote:
3. Easy Navigation – Give you visitor clear navigational options so they don’t get lost. Nobody likes being on a Web page with no idea of how to get back to the page they just came from or where to find the main menu.

You can take this a step further by actually directing prospects where you want them to go. You might have a flashing Click Here button above the fold on your main page that takes a visitor to your portfolio or service display page, for instance. Or in the case of a direct response site you can leave your visitor only two options: order your product/opt-in to your newsletter or leave your site.


Of course flashing things can also be annoying. Also "click here" is not a good link text, very non-descriptive. That's just one point I think I'd disagree with.
tamilparks
snowboardalliance your point is correct, but instead of that we have to make a very good name in the link that will attract the visitors....
TrueFact
To edit the custom error pages, you can simply do that from the cPanel provided with your account on Frihost. Simply log in, and you'll find it at the bottom of the page.

I design my page in FrontPage and copy the HTML code to into the editor in cPanel, save it and you are ready to go. If you used any graphics, be sure to upload them.
tamilparks
for the beginners the frontpage is more and more useful now we can use ftp and upload it so its no problem, i am also using the frontpage only..
binsmyth
those are quite helpful tips. but i think all the factor vary continuously according to the scope of the webpage.
deanhills
tamilparks wrote:
for the beginners the frontpage is more and more useful now we can use ftp and upload it so its no problem, i am also using the frontpage only..
Great to find others who are also using FrontPage. One of the challenges I'm trying to meet right now is how to upload a flash file to my Website. I've already battled enough to know that I have to upload some other files with some script but don't how to go about it. Any ideas on that? I started a new thread for it, but hopefully you can give me some tips on this either here on in the new thread. Thanks! Smile

http://www.frihost.com/forums/vt-110035.html
tamilparks
first u create a flash files using the flash editor

then u can open the frontpage editor and go to the insert menu there is image if u go there it will ask flash image or some other if u choose the flash image... it will automaticallly inserted in your website...
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