5 Web Site Development Tips to Turn the Tide In Your Favor

By Theresa Cahill

It always pays to be on the alert for sage advice from others, and recently I found something that got me thinking... and now sharing... with you.

In a nutshell, say you want to put together a website of any type - affiliate, shopping, books, clothing, retail, wholesale, etc.

Before you start ask yourself this most important question, "Who will be my competition?"

The answer is simple. Online you are up against the Barnes & Noble's, the Amazon's, the Wal-Mart's... the list is endless.

Will your little website scarf the business away from these biggies? Of course not. Don't even dream.

So what can you do? Here are five ideas to get your web site designed in the right direction:

1. Develop a website designed to draw your visitors in. Since you can't be the best in terms of traffic and pricing (not up against the giants of your industry) you need to come at your business from the opposite direction. For every customer you draw to your site, give them a reason to stick around and then come back for more. Free stuff works like a charm. But make sure it is quality free stuff or you're missing the point.

2. Pick a niche. Versus trying for a conglomerate of everything do your homework and research specifics! Be the only one on your block that provides CDE (not ABC) widgets. If they can only get them from you, or you have the best source, they must come to you. The narrower you focus your site, on keywords and terms people are searching for, the greater you up your odds of being successful online.

3. Speaking of keywords, pick the right ones. If you go to great lengths to design and develop the prettiest, best, etc., website all about XYZ widgets, but no one is looking for them, what good will that do you? Not a darn lick of good. So do your homework first, then set to the task of developing your website around searched-for terms.

4. Maybe you're coming at making money online from the wrong direction. Versus products and stuff, where once again people can go to Barnes & Noble or Wal-Mart, what the internet provides is the perfect arena for savvy marketers to develop informational websites. Think about it... students, teachers, your mother and aunts and uncles all get online to LOOK THINGS UP right? Why not develop first a site that supplies that searched for information and then, on the side, suggests products and services to further that cause? It's easier to get someone to first come read then to come buy - especially if you're an unknown starting out.

5. Have a plan and set aside a budget. Most people love the idea of having their own spot on the web, but if it can't be found among the billions (yes billions) of other web pages, what good is it? Marketing and advertising takes money, patience, and persistence - in that order! - to develop website recognition. Think about these costs before you pour your heart into your design. To "break even" online means covering your hosting, your design (time or hired help), product inclusion, research (again time which is money) and marketing and advertising. Too often hundreds if not thousands of dollars are spent up front only to leave the proud but now poor website owner without the means to market and advertise. A website gathering dust is no website at all.

Having your own spot online - and making money from that spot for some - is the goal and dream of many internet users. The reality is yes your dream can go from rambling around inside your brain to a "physically virtual" place online. Just be sure to do your homework up front to develop that website you've been dreaming about!

Theresa Cahill and her partner Jeff Greer invite you to make wise decisions when planning your next online move. Marketing strategy is a skill not luck. Come visit us at Molten Marketing for more information.

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