Web Design

Can people find your website?

Not only can people find your website, can they easily find what they want to find, and find what you want them to find: you?

It is important to get the best possible domain name for your web address.

This brings in marketing. You should personally promote your website. Tell people, show people, advertise your website and include your web address on every paper, card, or brochure. Anything and everything should have your web address. Vint Serf sports a tshirt that reads "IP on everything". That may be a rather common statement but it makes the point, you are your best advertiser.

Begin by making your website "search engine optimized" (SEO), and get your website listed with search engines. I was taught to "make it right to start with" and you don't have to pay someone to make your web site search engine optimize later. SEO is a very complex set of web development practices that help search engines catalogue your website and list it in the search results.

Start out making your website fit whatever size of screen your user is using. Some users will be using phones, tablets, or monitors. You want your website to automatically adapt to the size of screen your visitor is using. The phrase commonly used today is "responsive web design" which simply means, your website will respond and adapt to fit whatever type and size screen your visitor is using.

Can people easily find what they are looking for? And are they able to find what you want them to find? Is the navigation simple, easy to use, and natural? Can a person quickly find how to get from point "A" to "B" without spending a lot of time searching for how to get there?

Keep in mind, what is your visitor's purpose for visiting your website? Why are they there? If you do not know why people will visit your website, be surprised if they do. Generally, people have a reason for going somewhere on the Internet. You need to answer the real question, why will someone visit your website and will they find what they are looking for.

Also keep in mind, what is your purpose for having a website. Just having a website should not be reason enough for having a website. How will you know if your website is successful if you don't know why you have a website and what you want it to accomplish.

Remember your website is an online relationship between you and your visitor. So don't neglect to tell them "about" you. This is one of the places I look to get a feel for a website's credibility. Can I trust this website? Does the person or company have a good reputation for quality and service? Can I trust them?

In the next article I will expand on making your website "sticky".