Rules of the Road (cont.) Web is VERY different from Print Content is King! Navigation supports content Images support content and navigation Only use animations where they provide a valuable service to the content or navigation Your competition is just one click away Consistency is paramount
Rules of the Road (cont.) Keep Consistent with the rest of the internet’s design principles / standards People learn to use web sites by surfing other sites. Don’t frustrate them by being different. Underline & use standard colors for linking text Unvisited links should be blue Visited links should be purple Most important “stuff” top left, think like a book and newspaper combined No more than 3 clicks to any piece of information on the site
Rules of the Road (cont.) Don’t forget about tracking Google Analytics Hosting Services provide reporting Keep content fresh Web 2.0 Blogs & Micro-Blogs Content Management Systems LinkedIn & Facebook Bookmarking sites (digg, delicious) Private vs. Public pages/content
Rules of the Road (cont.) Writing style is important Short pages and paragraphs Bulleted Lists Headings & subheadings Highlight key words Keep it interesting Use Action Verbs and “Sales Talk” Use text links to more information where necessary PDF is only for download of entire article
Process or Flow Define the audience Who are they? What do they want to see/know? Platform Connection Speed Level of technical experience Define the content Including who is responsible How do we obtain it What will it cost
Process or Flow (cont.) Define the navigation of the site based on the content Design or Redesign the look Define responsibilities for ongoing maintenance of specific pages within the new site Define plan for maintenance of specific pages within the new site Define responsibilities for ongoing promotion of the site
A Little SEO Search Engines love Good Content Key Words should have “relevance” to the page content Put key words in Headings and content The higher on the page, the more importance given by the engines Don’t duplicate content
A Little SEO (cont.) Fancy stuff can be SEO friendly, but simple stuff IS SEO friendly for sure. Links from other sites have value Links from higher value sites has higher value While SEO is important, the real purpose is sales. Design for the human not for the bot.
Additional Tidbits How much of your time does it take As much as you want to invest Depends on what you already have that can be “repurposed” What can be done to get higher in a search Key words Content / theme Links Pay Per Click
Additional Tidbits (cont.) Linking Strategies You want inbound links Chamber of Commerce Organization memberships Press Releases Web 2.0 Sources Outbound links should open in a new window Should not be competitors Concentrate on links that provide value Tell people WHY link is on your site
Additional Tidbits (cont.) What happens after the site is live? Ongoing maintenance SEO/SEM Support Services Nothing … it’s up to you What about technical support As much or as little as needed Provided at an hourly rate What about site enhancements? Provided at an hourly rate
Additional Tidbits (cont.) What if the site goes down? Am I hosting it? 99.9% Uptime Email & Phone support for outages 24x7 If not … What is your SLA (service level agreement) I can be available to talk to your support dept.