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Re: Marketing on the Web without spending a fortune!
From Cynthia on 23 August '98
adding to Marketing on the Web without spending a fortune! posted by Sandra Pottorff

Hi Sandra:

My advice is along the same line as the other posts. Your main page needs a good redesign. I am a small scale web designer and my handful of clients are doing well on the web. You can make money on the internet. I think of a web site as a 30 second commercial, if you don't grab a visitor's attention in the first 30 seconds they are going to be off to the next page.

You should put what you've got right up front (the in-your-face approach). Ask yourself what is the very best thing that you've got to offer. Once you figure out what that is, tell them as quickly and effectively as possible. Web surfers don't like to have to read a lot to find out what the best things are about your site. I would strongly suggest some bullet points, animated text, or any type of text highlighting (bold or different colors) to make what you want to say jump right out at them. You don't want to make your visitors have to work to find out why your products are great.

This was a hard lesson for me to learn when I started designing, but if the picture doesn't help you sell your product and it isn't absolutely necessary to what you want to accomplish then loss it... no matter how pretty it might be.

I would recommend JPG/GIF Smart Saver from ulead.com There are several other good graphic compression programs out there and they make a huge difference in your download time. As a rule of thumb, I use JPG for photos and and GIF for images with just a few colors.

Having "ALL" your links in one convenient location on the left is also a very good idea. You should also put your company name, address and contact info at the bottom of every page. Make sure that your visitors are always just one click away from the order form no matter what page they are on.

A secure ordering is an absolute must. With your type of site (many products) a shopping cart program is a must as well. This would allow them to browse your products, add them to a shopping card and when they are done looking, they can check out. Asking your visitors to print out a form is a bad idea. I can think of many situations where that wouldn't be practical. Maybe they are at work (yes people buy things from work) don't have ink, paper or maybe it's late at night (when many people surf) and they don't want to wake someone else in the household with the sound of a printer.

You can make money on the internet. Just keep studying your site and ask yourself what you see in the first few seconds while the pictures are loading. Best wishes for future success.


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