A guide for Newbies to get under the Radar of the ever increasing mountain of technophobia that faces a Web site owner starting off.
There is of course a huge amount to learn in setting up and running a Web Site, which is why, I believe, that most newcomers tend to put their trust in a web designer, aka webmaster and leave them to get on with things hoping that all will go well. Big Mistake!
It’s only when, having spent quite a lot of money, you find out that your pride and joy is not giving you the results that you imagined, that alarm bells can start to ring. In my own case this took approximately four years to sink in. After a promising start, with some enquiries from the other side of the world, things not only didn’t get any better but got worse!
Of course, if you are running and developing a new business, which takes a colossal amount of time and commitment, you don’t initially have time to worry too much about the success of your web site. After all, a web site will make you a zillionaire quicker than you can spell the long version of SEO! Big Mistake!
I believe it is just as important to designate sufficient time to understanding how a web site is developed, promoted and maintained as it is to spend time on all the other many facets of a fledgling business.
Many new business owners, myself included, thought in the past that just by having a web site and on-line presence AND a webmaster, that everything would be fine. Visitors and sales would surely follow and increase exponentially. Not So!
Probably the pace of change on-line is more rapid than most businesses realise and therefore if you are going to build a site AND do some reasonable level of commerce from it, you have got to study and learn a number of basics.
1. Key word research should really begin before you set about building your site, because it can help with the choice of a suitable Domain name and continue to assist in the titles and scope of your eventual articles.
2. Original and fresh content related to your prospective field is a necessity, and needs to be uploaded on a very regular basis. Unless you are a very large company with an in-house webmaster, this is probably the most crucial aspect of developing a site in terms of getting good search engine results.
3. Writing new pages can be extremely time consuming and unless you have a suitable S. M. S. package installed, enabling you to become your own webmaster, it’s highly likely you will commence the slow but inexorable slide to oblivion, other wise known as Zero traffic.
4. Build your site by all means but make sure that you become your own webmaster, having taken a crash course in the do’s and don’ts. You absolutely must have the facility to control what goes on within your site. If you miss out on this vital aspect of developing a site, the chances are that you will lose interest and stop creating ideas and content.
5. Learning to write your content, even if this seems a bit beyond your reach to begin with is another essential skill to be fine tuned and believe me, once you have got under way it will become easier with each passing day. Looking at how other web sites operate and the standard of their content will help you along the path.
6. Articles on your area of expertise, submitted to a number of reputable Directories, will almost immediately get you noticed and start to build credibility. These can be modified for use as web pages and will provide ideas for new content on a never ending basis. It has been my experience in the recent past that articles can have a very advantageous effect on search engine results. Credibility is something you can never have too much of.
7. Search engine optimization, a very fancy term, with nearly as many, so called, experts as there are sites on the Web and similar in number to the droves of Web site designers! This is a thorny topic and one best left to the experts, for the behind the scenes work. However, it is my belief that the best results come from fresh and original content put up on your site on a regular basis. Results from my blog of only two months existence, in terms of link popularity, are outstripping my web site that has been on-line for five years. This is all down to regular articles on my chosen topic.
8. A newsletter or ezine, is a very good way of encouraging traffic to your site and building your subscriber list that you can eventually turn into clients, customers and sales. Offering an incentive for your visitors to part with their e-mail address can be by way of a free mini course or e book. . In the case of your newly published E-Book, offering a free download of one complete chapter is something worth considering and is a very popular technique. This is all part of the credibility building process. Once you get used to making regular posts to your newly set up Blog, a newsletter should be relatively easy to produce, without too much stress.
9. A Business Blog is I think, the way forward, for many web site owners who would like to see an increase in traffic of a targeted nature. They are easy to set up and have the advantage of being virtually instant. One of the great things that can help you in becoming more adept as a webmaster, utilising your own blog, is that learning the rudiments of html is not the nightmare that it may appear to be. You can practise away to your heart’s content adding and subtracting code from a blog post and see immediately the result in the preview pane. You don’t even need to publish this post. Again, getting used to viewing the source code of other web sites and seeing how they do things will give you no end of inspiration.
10. Control is the key to success in developing your skill as a webmaster. In a follow–up article on the experiences of a complete Blog novice we will have a look at some of the more interesting facts, figures, and activities that will take you where you want to go, and contribute to the success of your web site, providing you are prepared to allocate sufficient computer time and are not expecting to retire a millionaire in six months!
It is, however, an achievable goal to go from Meek to Geek in just a couple of weeks, with a little effort!
Robin Piggott is a professional Driving Instructor, in Limerick, Ireland, who has discovered a new way to have fun. Breaking down the Techno barriers in developing a web site. His blog is situated at: http://astralmotoring.blogspot.com and web site at http://www.astralmotoring.ie