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Website Design

Welcome to the website design area of the Free Resource Center. Here you'll be guided through the step-by-step process that will help you to design a successful website. You'll also be guided to the latest online tools that will be utilized in developing your website.

1. Design the look of your homepage

A homepage has two main purposes: to get people to the page, and then to get people past the page and into the website. You'll want to set up your homepage in such a way to grab peoples' attention and get them to want to learn more.

There are three main parts to a website: navigation, graphics, and text. The key with navigation is to always be guiding people to your products or catalog page, so place Buy Now all over your website to get them to your products. You'll want a professionally built logo to make your site look nice. A great website that can build a custom logo at a great price is LogoInABox.com.

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There are three main keys to an effective homepage text: First, you want the text to be skimmable, or easy for people to just scan their eyes through and see exactly what it is that you are offering. Second, you want to make it persuasive, or give people enough information so that they'd want to learn more. And the third key is to have good keyword phrase repetition so that the search engines will rank you higher.

2. Choose keyword phrases

One way search engines rank a page is according to the location and frequency of keyword phrases being placed on your website. A great website with a ton of info on the search engines and what they look for is at SearchEngines.com. A site that you can use to research what keyword phrases people are typing into the search engines is http://inventory.overture.com.

3. Secure a domain name

Having your own domain name is an essential part of having a website. You'll want a domain name that is easy to remember, easy to spell, is descriptive to what your site is about, and get the .com version if you are selling products/services. You can register a domain name for only $8.95 a year at GoDaddy.com.

4. Design the sub-pages

The sub-pages are the pages you will create for each one of your navigation buttons on the side of your website. They would include the following: products, about us, contact us, testimonials, FAQ's, related links, etc. The key with these pages is to make your business look as large as possible. People will not order from a website that looks like it's run by one person out of his/her basement. The benefit with the Internet is that you can look as big as you want to be because people aren't actually going into your store, so take advantage of this with professional pictures and a good overall layout to your site. Also, make it easy for people to navigate through your website.

5. Get a Merchant Account (if needed)

About 95% of all orders over the Internet are done via credit card; therefore, the ability to process credit card orders will be essential for you to be successful online. Talk to your local bank about this to find out what you will need and where to go to get it.

6. Make sure you have tracking software in place

You will want to track your visitors coming to your website so that you can know what marketing is working well and what is not. You can get some free tracking software at SiteMeter.com. Or if you'd like more advanced software, you can go to WebTrends.com or MyComputer.com.

 
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