Thanks for joining me again. In this part of the series, we’ll
talk about trying to keep from looking like a clone. 9. Presents
an appearance in keeping with what you're selling: This step
just takes a few minutes of objective observation on your part
to make sure your website presents the personality of your
company and has the kind of image you intended to project. If
you have a very serious service to offer, such as financial
services, your website should have very little fun stuff on it.
It should present a very professional image. In most cases, it
should contain no moving gifs, no cartoons, and no goofy stuff.
If your site sells toys, its image can be completely fun. This
is, like some of the other elements, subject to opinion, so just
do what your heart tells you. If you have any doubts at all
about the appearance of your site, change it until you feel
right about it. Check out other sites of your biggest
competitors to get an idea what is selling in the way of website
presence. There will probably be a lot of things about their
sites you do not like. Use your creative sense to make a site
that is uniquely yours. One financial services company had a lot
of success by offering a calculator utility on their site that
allowed visitor's to figure out how many years and at what
interest rate it would take them to save the kind of money they
wanted to have available at retirement time. 10. Sells in a very
subtle way: There's nothing more annoying than to go to a site
to read up on some information you really need to brush up on,
and every other paragraph is a CLICK HERE or to buy it, go here.
I can understand an FAQ area where this goes on, but not your
main page, please! The most effective sites on the Internet are
those that provide a lot of free information, but they might
have a banner at the top or a click through on the side of the
page in case the reader is interested. Most of the really bad
sales letters I see on the Internet are nothing but that -sales
letters with no real redeeming value to the reader. If you're
not willing to give away any of your knowledge on your website,
how can you expect to sell any? In a retail store, people walk
in expecting to buy. On a website, they're aware that you're
selling something, but it's kind of like that store where you
that the salespeople are constantly nagging you, asking you if
they can help you. Subtlety says it all! 'Nuff said. 11. Is not
like everyone else's: This kind of goes along with Element
number 11 of presenting the image your company has. Have you
ever noticed that many sites that represent companies in the
same category all look alike? I'm not picking on any sites in
particular. You know which ones they are. Try not to be a clone.
This could take a long time to figure out how, but it is really
crucial that you make your site unique. If it reminds visitors
of someone else, they can easily lose the brand identification
that you'd like them to have about your product. If your site is
memorable without being obnoxious, they'll remember you. The
Internet makes it really easy to forget what sites you went to.
Make sure your site is one they'll bookmark or add to their
favorites in order to visit again. That's the ultimate
compliment - the one you're working for. "Please come back soon"
is tougher to ensure on the Web. One site deals with the
mechanics of using a program called Bryce 3D by Metacreations.
The site has a very unique name, but it also epitomizes Bryce
3D's capabilities because of its awesome graphics. You may have
been there: www.digitalblasphemy.com. Great place to pick up
free wallpaper for your desktop, which keeps people coming back,
but it is also a great place to just learn about Bryce 3D.
People don't easily forget the name or the focus of the site.
This is your ultimate goal. Another website you won't soon
forget is www.websitesthatsuck.com. You’ll especially not forget
them if they decide your site belongs in their list of Sucky
Sites! Thanks for your joining me again! You’ve been so patient.
(grin) Next time is our last time together, but we’ll talk about
something very crucial to keeping your website in your visitors’
minds: Keeping in touch. See you again soon!
About the author:
Lynne Schlumpf is the CEO of Route 66 Cyber Cafe, Inc.,
http://www.r66cci.com, a Web hosting and design company
specializing in promoting websites for new owners, building
affordable e-commerce sites, and providing reliable web hosting
solutions as an affiliate of Virtualis Incorporated.