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Web Site Planning Guide

Pre-launch checklist for your web site---

1) Do you have a domain name yet? This is your "dot com".
To have your own website, with your own URL, you will need
a domain name. Cost of this is $7.00 per year and up from
firms such as Network Solutions, etc.
If not, we can research possible names for you. If an
exact match is not available, we can provide you with a
list of alternative names.

2) Do you have a hosting company for your web site to-be?
A hosting company is the firm who will be leasing you space
on their servers(really powerful computers) for your site.
If not, we can recommend a few. And, in the very near future,
we will be offering hosting plans.
Once you have your hosting company, we will need to know
information such as your "username" and "password" assigned
to you by them. This is so we can upload your finished site,
or any changes of your site to their servers. This information
is kept in the STRICTEST of confidence and is between just you
and Highland Design Works.

3) Do you have materials together that may be used to develop
your site? Items such as brochures, print ads, pictures, etc.

4) Do you already have content ready for the site? That is, the
words, verbage, etc. that will be put on each page? This should
be on disk or CD in a text format. If you need copy writing
services to turn your words into print, we offer these services
for a reasonable per hour fee.

5) What are your objectives for your site?
Is it to be "brochure-ware"---a web based version of print
media you already have? In this form, your site is merely a
web-based ad.
Is it to be purely an informational site?
Is it to be an interactive site? Customers can request information
from you, then you send a reply.
Is it to be an e-commerce site, an extension of your physical location?

6) Search engines look for keywords in the HTML code of your site to
facilitate the indexing of your site on their listings. Develop a
25 word or less description of your site. If you require assistance
with this, we can help.

Web Site Promotion---

1) Search engine submission.
Research has shown that, initially, most visitors will find a site
through querying a search engine. If your site has not been
properly configured to make optimum use of search engines, then
you will not be a success. We submit your completed site to
all the major search engines as a component of the overall
design process. We can also re-submit it to search engines to keep
your site fresh on their databases.
Have a site but can't remember the last time it was submitted? Thatís not good!
We offer submission and re-submission services.

2) Meta Tags.
Meta tags are descriptive keywords in the HTML code of your site.
They are unseen to the human visitor to your site, but the search
engines read them when indexing your site. If your site sells widgets,
then relavent Meta tags would be words like: widgets, blue widgets,
international widgets, widgets for less. You get the idea. Also,
a description of your web site in 25 words or less is part of the
Meta tags. So, a relavent description of your site, more importantly,
each page is a must.
Not sure your site has Meta tags, we also offer Meta tag insertion

3) Use e-mail to the max! When a visitor e-mails you, answer their
e-mail in 24 hours or less. Show you care!
In e-mail programs, you have what is called a signature. This
is where you can "automate" a "Yours Truly, John Smith" to
be included in all your e-mails sent out. But, what you can also
do is list your name, your business's name, your web site address,
your phone number, etc. Almost like sending out a business card
with each e-mail. 
Also, start an e-mail newsletter and send it out on a regular basis.
Advise them of upcoming specials, sales, special events, site
updates and such.
This will keep you fresh in your client's mind. A simple sign-up
form on your site will allow you to compile a mailing list
in no time. This is call an opt-in option.
Advise visitors that you will not be selling your
e-mail list. Web surfers receive so much junk e-mail that they
want reassurance from you that they are actually receiving something
they ask for.

4) Visit newgroups on the web. These are e-mail areas of like-minded
individuals. Newsgroups cover every subject from archery to zoology.
Straight-forward advertising here is verboten!
The first few days, just visit and watch. Then if a subject arises
that you'd like to give your two cents worth on, do it! Your entry
will then have your signature (remember #3 from above?) in it. So,
guess what? You just advertised your site without actually advertising

5) Put your web site address and e-mail on EVERYTHING.....
business cards, stationery, brochures, billboards, etc. Take
every opportunity to get the word out.

6) Web site traffic analysis
Thorough use of various programs allow us to measure such items as:

A) Number of visitors to your site-
This is that old "how many hits". This is an all-encompassing
traffic analysis. You know the total number of visits you've had.
Kind of like, how many people walked pass my booth?

B) What page(s) do they visit the most-
This is more defined. What pages on your site spark the most
interest and therefore the most traffic? We can tweak your site
to put the items you want to move the most here.

C) What are your peak traffic hours and days-
Knowing when you have the most action on your site will
allow you to know when changes made to the site would gain
you the quickest results. Say your busiest time is Thursday
around 6 p.m. This would let you know a change should be done
no later than the day before. This way, the change gets the
biggest bang for the buck.

D) Where are your visitors coming from-
Do they come from a search engine? Which one(s). Knowing this
will allow you to targer search engine re-submittals.



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