Business Plans

The main reason that some people take opportunities when they arise, and others do not, is that some people are ready.

They have their business plan ready and all they need to do is take advantage of the opportunities.

Where can you find the right business plan?

If your business is based in the United States - click here

U.S. Business

If your business is based in the U.K. - click here

U.K. Business

Ideas To Action.

Part 29 - Website Development.

Any website development can be fairly straightforward or fairly complex for those businesses offering many products or services. Here is a list of several important considerations:

  • Establish a baseline – research your competitors. A practical starting point when deciding what your redesigned website should look like and how it should function, is to take a look at your competition and how their website is designed.

  • When researching your businesses competitors, try to understand why some competitors rank well and why others cannot be found in the first page or two of results.

  • Contact at least three digital marketing agencies to discuss their approach, past clients (listen for experience that is relevant for your business) and price. Ask them about what role search engine optimization and visitor engagement play in their website design and development process.

  • Ask for references. The best way to understand the capabilities and success of a design agency is to speak with previous and current clients. Take a look at the website(s) of these clients. Do all the websites look the same? Or, is each website crafted to fit the individual needs of each client?

  • Ask for a website review, or audit, from the short list of agencies being considered. Which agency conducted the most thorough website audit? Who was able to walk you through the results and provide sufficiently clear explanations and a course of action for your business?

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Website Development

Ways to get your website noticed

Your businesses website is just one of the billion sites parked on the World Wide Web. Chances are, you don’t think yours will ever get noticed.

Here are ways to get people clicking on to your site.

1.) Make sure it’s professional looking.

No one likes looking at website that reminds them of a book report they wrote back in school. Invest in learning a good web design program (Dreamweaver and Microsoft Frontpage are good picks), and let your creative juices flow. Make sure it is compelling, well-designed, and organized. People don’t enjoy working through dozens of pages to get the information that they want.

On that note, do not make it a heavy site. Putting up some flash intros may be great eye candy, but the average internet surfer only waits 10 seconds for a page to load, and then they are off to the next.

2.) Put your businesses URL on every search engine possible.

Putting your URL on business cards and bugging your family and friends to check out your site will not increase traffic by much. Submitting it to search engines will make it easier for people to find your business, provided that your webpage carries the topics they a’re looking for.

To understand how a search engine works, think of it as a “spider”: it crawls through your website, picking up words and information which would later be indexed in the search engine’s database. So make sure you sprinkle your site with keywords you think are relevant to what people are looking for. Web directories, like Yahoo!, are operated by humans who actually categorize the websites themselves.

If you don’t feel like submitting your website to numerous directories, consider subscribing to sites that, for a fee, will automatically submit your businesses website to search engines and directories for you.

3.) Link everywhere.

Find other sites that carry similar content as yours and ask to exchange links. Create banners to be placed on other peoples’ websites, and offer to the same for them on your site. Add your URL on your e-mail signature. Join webrings; there is nothing like strength in numbers.

4.) Advertise offline.

The world of cyberspace is not enough to get you noticed. Write up press releases for your business and send them to local newspapers and magazines. Print out fliers to be distributed. Just make sure that your site is already up and running to avoid giving people a bad impression (no one likes getting pumped up for something only to get disappointed).

5.) Interact with your readers.

Put up forums or message boards for your visitors to interact with each other. Message boards allow them to check back every so often for replies and you can create an e-mail list so that you can update your visitors about new developments.

Always be open to feedback; that’s what will make your site. and therefore your business even better.

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