Internet Marketing tip- create great web usability and functionality
82. Don’t have a brochure site. Your website needs to live a bit!
83. Have goals for your website. What do you want it to achieve? For example it needs to capture the attention of visitors and retain that attention. It needs to enable ou to begin a long-term relationship with your visitors. It needs to be able to convert visitors into buyers through an efficient checkout process. It needs to establish credibility. It needs to reassure potential visitors with good contact and support features and provide best practice and legally required information contained for example in Privacy Policies.
85. Internet Marketing Tip- take a look at rival websites. What do you like about them? What can you do better? Cheaper? Differently? More of? Less of?
86. Write with the user in mind. And no one wants to read a boring blog
87. Spell check your work (mea culpa) as much as you can. It is difficult generating stacks of content without making mistakes so take steps to minimise them
88. Use the best plugins
89. Add share buttons to your site- we use addtoany.com here
90. Make your blog as credible as possible
91. Minimise the use of multimedia. Content really should be king on your site
92. If you have comments enabled, respond to each and every one of them as this will lead to more comments- if that is what you are after. It is generally accepted as good practice to enable comments however you may have your own reasons why you choose not to – Internet Marketing Guru Seth Godin for a long time chose not to enable comments on his blog ( I do not enable comments for example). The important thing is to be consistent and if you are going to enable comments, you must respond to them all.
93. Choose your posting frequency and stick to it so your site visitors know what to expect. Nothing is more disappointing than returning to a site and only finding old content from last month. It will cost your visitors if you make a promise and break it.
94. Create a glossary of terms pertaining to your industry – some refer to this as a ‘cheat sheet’. This will help you appear as an expert in your niche. So if your niche is Homeopathy, create a glossary of terms for that that people can always check in on.
95. Get rid of spam. This has been my bugbear for my first couple of months- I was literally inundated with Spam despite my best efforts to minimise it and I am happy to be very open with you about this in the hope that you will look out for it! There is a WordPress Akismet plugin which will block them but you may find that this is not enough. Use Captcha module asking visitors to identify a string of text before they can be registered or their comment gets approved. According to Akismet up to 93% of blog comments are spam. I visited Google’s Chrome Webstore two days ago and saw a large number of ‘mark as spam’ comments on there. It is mind numbingly frustrating but you simply have to be ruthless in your methods to keep them out.
96. Avoid decorative fonts such as Comic Sans on your website. Sans serif fonts such as Georgia and Arial, or Helvetica are good ones.
97. Use the rule of thirds to design your site. A very, very simple non-designers way to approach this is to roughly divide your page into three. The key thing is to have balance in your site. Use white space to separate elements and give elements room to breathe. A good way to add white space to a web page is to increase the line height to at least 1.5 times its standard setting of 150% for example go for 170%.
98. You can use Adobe’s free online tool kuler.adobe.com to generate a colour scheme for your site. You simply need an account with Adobe which is free to create if you do not already own one. Once you have signed in, select Mykuler and create a new scheme. The middle colour in the row is defined as the Base Colour. Below, the numbers represent colour values described in various ways.
99. Make sure you have your own domain name ideally. This makes it easier for you to build a brand in your own right. It also gives you more flexibility in terms of what you can do with your blog. For example if you had your own domain name you could take it with you wherever you want to have it hosted, eg Godaddy.com. If you had a blogger.com site or Typepad.com site, you would have to stick with their domain name that is a subset of their own name. If you wanted to move your blog in the future you could not do so, and would have to start from scratch creating a brand new domain name. This of course means that your visitors will not know you at the new domain site and name.
100. Regularly read top blogs and become acquainted with how they create great visitor experience. JeffBullas.com is a personal favourite. Other great blogs include perrymarshall.com; alistapart.com; smashingmagazine.com
101. Dress your blog appropriately. Images and graphics are necessary to create visual appeal but do need to be used sensitively. Your logo is a really important part of your brand and will need to be as professional as possible. You can use photographs and other images that show the physical product itself or screenshots of software. A good internet marketing tip is to include photos alongside their testimonials. As a rule of thumb, graphics should have a purpose for example enhance your brand or illustrate it. You can source images form flickr.com/creative commons; or clipart.com; istockphoto.com or gettyimages.com. It is also worth considering video and audio in the same manner. For example you could create a screen-capture video showing the product in use with accompanying narration. Internet Marketing tip – you will need a script and plenty of practice to avoid recording mistakes. Use Camtasia Studio which is highly respected and available on a fully functional 30 day trial basis. You can also use Camtasia to capture a PowerPoint slideshow, add a voiceover and output the results as a video. Be mindful of the rule from Guy Kawasaki that you should have 10 slides in 20 minutes with no text at less than a 30-point size- see http://blog.guykawasaki.com/2005/12/the_102030_rule.html. A good tool to use for recording is the open source Audacity; a free sound editor which can be obtained from http://audacity.sourceforge.net. In the optional downloads section also download the LAME MP3 encoder which will enable the MP3 export function to the software.
102. Avoid using flash on your site. Flash is generally regarded as a ranking no-no and is rarely a good idea. Internet Marketing tip- do not use animation as most web users equate it with adverts and will simply ignore it