Monday, October 6, 2014

9 Important Tips to Consider Before Starting a Website

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Before you or your web designer starts creating your website:
Check out other websites in your field.  Identify those you like and take notes.  What is it about your layout and design that works?  What do you want to tell your visitors? How can you impress them about your books and keep them on your site - and coming also back at a later point? 


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1. Make an Overall Plan:


  • Easy to Read
  • Easy to Navigate the Website
  • Easy to Use Links to Other Sites
  • Contact Form for Visitors
  • Sales Page e-Commerce for Your Books
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2. Writing for the Web
Web design consideration: In what pattern do people scan (not read!) your website?  Your first two sentences of each web page must convince the visitor to stay on your page.
Learn how to write for the web: from most important on top to less further on.  Keep your text short, use lots of paragraphs, sub titles, bullet lists and to make your web page appealing, add lots of images and graphics.
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3. Easy to Navigate
One thing, with many websites have in common, is lots of clutter which hide the key messages. It’s almost as if some people want to put everything on one tiny page.
Removing some of the clutter, particularly from the main page or what visitors can see, without scrolling down, can help to deliver the key messages. Ask yourself: Is my site easy to navigate, and does it have some empty space to make it easy to read?

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4. Links to Other Sites
If you have links to other sites: what happens when the visitor to your site clicks them? If they are taken directly to another site in the same window, and they find something more interesting, you have lost them.  All your external links should be set to open in a new window, leaving your site still on view.
Search Engine Optimization, short SEO: To move up to the top of the search list, you need to have lots of links from other relevant web sites to your page; submit your web pages to various sites that deal with your topic and encourage them to link their readers to you in return of the favor. Get lots of tips how to get more inbound-links.
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5. Contact Form

Set up a comments box on your site for visitors to communicate directly with you through email.

Ensure your visitors, that their email addresses are only used to respond to messages, and not being sold or used for any other purposes.  Don’t place your email address on your site, to avoid getting junk emails.
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6. Maximize Your Web Traffic 
Improve your visibility on search engines by using clear and accurate keywords in your web site title, description and body text. Don't forget Meta Descriptions and ALT image attributes for your images.  Use this FREE keyword tool.  See also #4, SEO.

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7.  Sell Online
If you are selling your books directly from your site:  is it fully secure, from the buyers perspective? Any web pages which require sensitive customer details, need to be fully encrypted. If your web page has no https in the address bar, it shows that it is not secure.  Read also how to get lots of visitors and book lovers to your website.
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8. Don’t Forget Sharing and Following Buttons
Would you like to have SEVEN times! more people read your blog or visit your website? So, how do you get followers to share your posts or website content online?  Make it easy for them to share what you have posted, so that others can discover your content – and forward it to their followers and friends, and these also forward it to their friends and followers …. You get the idea!

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9. Usability as Common Courtesy – Why People Really Leave Web Sites:
Want to learn more about a professional author website: this is the most important and useful book, you should read before anything else:  Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability  2nd Edition, by Steve Krug.
By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail ~ Benjamin Franklin.  This is true for writing books, publishing and creating a website as well!


Examples of Author Websites: 

http://www.stephenking.com/press.php
http://www.jamespatterson.com/about_biography.php
http://www.thisisliteracy.ca/teenagers/resources/365

More outstanding websites of bestseller authors:
http://www.thewritingplatform.com/2013/02/ten-author-websites-that-really-do-the-business/


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