Text (or web copy) is the backbone of your website. It can attract clients if presented the right way or it can scare them off when it lacks focus or has typos. Paying close attention to what you write and how can make a huge difference. Think of an average reader – use clear and accessible language that everyone can understand. You’ll learn about whether a website builder is right for you, which questions to ask when you’re picking a platform, how to get your website found in Google, and much more. Setting your website up for success begins long before you actually pick a template – we show you what to do before building to get ahead of the competition. Use this list to share information you think your clients and prospects will find valuable whenever you have it. About Us Section People care about who they’re doing business with, which is why sharing your story and “why you do what you do,” can make a real difference when trying to attract business. 'Think About It' presents the latest 'real news' that main stream media doesn't talk about. Think About It reports on the real story behind what you heard. 'When you're tired of the lies.' How your business is unique. Answer the question 'Who are you?' As interestingly and compellingly.
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Considerations you should be aware of when registering your domain.
by Christopher Heng, thesitewizard.com
Before you rush out and choose your domain name or name your website, you might want to considerthe following points:
Your Domain Name Should Be Your Website Name
Naming your site after your domain may seem obvious to some of you, but you will be surprised tolearn that not every website is named after the domain name even when the webmaster owns thatdomain name.
It is important for the simple reason that when people thinkof your website, they will think of it by name. If your name is also your URL (ie, web address), they willautomatically know where to go. For example, when people think of thesitewizard.com,they don't have to wonder what web address to type into their browser to get there. The nameof the site is also the URL.
Imagine if your business (or website) is called 'Acme', but somebody else holds that domain name.Instead, you have some obscure domain name called, say, 'mybusiness.com'. What happens whenyour customers, recalling that Acme has a product they want, type 'www.acme.com'? They will end upat your competitor's website. One lost sale.
In the modern world of the Internet, where people automatically turn to the Web for information,it pays to have a domain name that reflects your site or business. There are just fewer thingsfor your customers or visitors to remember. Moreover, you don't seriously think that they willtry to memorize an unrelated web address just because you want them to, do you? The only people who willcommit it to memory are your competitors who want to compare your prices.
What if you cannot get the domain name of your choice? It really depends on how committed youare to that particular name. If you have an existing brand name that you are knownfor, you will probably not want to ditch that name just because you couldn't get the domain name.After all, it took you a lot of time and money to establish that name. If so, youmight simply want to try to buy the domain name from the current owner. Find out who the owneris (which you will probably be able to from the domain search page of anydomain registrar)and contact that person listed to see if they are willing to sell it. You probably should be aware thatthey are likely to want to charge a higher fee than you will normally get when buying new domains (assumingthey want to sell it in the first place).
On the other hand, if you are just starting out, you might prefer the cheaper alternative oftrying to obtain a domain name first, and then naming your website (or business) afterthe domain that you have acquired. So if you have acquired, say, the domain name 'acme.com', thenyour website and business might be named 'Acme' or 'acme.com'. I know this seems a bitlike putting the cart before the horse, but that's the reality if you don't want to lose out onthe Internet.
Generic Names Or Brand Name Domains?
I know that a number of people seem to think that your domain name really must be somegeneric name like 'cars.com' if you are selling cars. Witness, for example, how much moneythose generic names are being sold for. But seriously, if you were looking for a car, you willprobably already have some brands in mind, and you are more like to try out things likegeneralmotors.com or toyota.com rather than just cars.com.
For that reason, I personally feel that a domain name that matches your brand name is veryimportant. The very name that you use to advertise your product is the name that you willwant for your domain, because that is the first thing that people will try in their browser.It is also the easiest thing for them to remember, and whatever that is easily remembered,will be more likely to be tried out than the obscure domain name.
Long or Short Domain Names?
Domain names can be of any length up to 67 characters. You don't have to settle for anobscure domain name like avab.com when what you mean is AcmeVideosAndBooks.com.
Having said that, there appears to be some disagreement about whether a long orshort domain name is better.
Some argue that shorter domain names are easier to remember, easier to type and farless susceptible to mistakes: for example, 'getit.com' is easier to remember and less proneto typos than 'connecttomywebsiteandobtainit.com'.
Others argue that a longer domain name is usually easier on the human memory - for example,'gaepw.com' is a sequence of unrelated letters that is difficult to remember and typecorrectly, whereas if we expand it to its long form, 'GetAnEconomicallyPricedWebsite.com',we are more likely to remember the domain name.
Some of these arguments are actually academic. It's increasingly difficult to get shortmeaningful domain names. I have not checked, but I'm fairly certain that names like'getit.com' and 'good.com' have long been sold. If you manage to get a shortdomain name though, the key is to make sure it's a meaningful combination of characters andnot the obscure 'gaepw.com' in my contrived example above.
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Long domain names that have your site keywords in them used to have an advantage in that they fared better in a numberof search engines. For example, it used to be that if someone searched for 'super fast cars' (note that this is justan example) and those words featured in your domain name, your site was more likely to be listed higher. With thevastly increased sophistication of the search engines today, this is no longer true.
Which would I go for? I'd go for the shorter name if I can get a meaningful one, but I'm notaverse to longer names. However, I would probably avoid extremely long names vergingon 67 characters. Aside from the obvious problem that people might not be able to remember sucha long name, it would also be a chore typing it and trying to fit it as a title on yourweb page.
Should you get a hyphenated name? There are a few things to consider here:
It's easy to forget the hyphens when typing a name. Many users are used to typing things like freecpluspluscompilers.com but not free-c-plus-plus-compilers.com. They will probably leave out the hyphens and end up at your competitor's site.
When people recommend your site to their friends verbally, having hyphens in your domain name leads to more potential errors than when the name does not contain hyphens. For example, how do you think your visitors will refer to your site if it is named 'acme-books-and-videos.com'? They might say, 'I visited Acme Book and Videos dot com yesterday. It was fabulous.' Their friends, remembering that comment later, might type into their browsers 'acmebooksandvideos.com'. Oops.
It's a pain in the neck to type. Enough said.
The non-hyphenated form may no longer be available. At least this way, you still get the domain name you want.
Search engines can distinguish your keywords better and thus return your site more prominently in the search results for those terms. This is not as significant an advantage as you think, since those words will probably also occur on your web page itself. For example, if you sell cars, it will be hard to avoid using the word 'car' in your content, not to mention that it would be foolish to do so. In fact, I suspect that modern search engines give a lot more weight to words that appear in the content than those that only appear in the domain name itself.
Personally, I prefer to avoid hyphenated names if I can, but I guess it really depends onyour domain name and your situation.
Plurals, 'The', and 'My' Forms of the Domain Name
Very often, if you can't get the domain name you want, the domain name registrar will suggestalternate forms of the name you typed. For example, if you wanted website.com, andit was taken (of course it is), it might suggest forms like:
and the like, if they were not already taken as well. The question is, should you take them?
My personal opinion is that if you take the 'the..' and 'my..' forms of the domain name,you must always remember to promote your site with the full form of the name.Otherwise, people are likely to forget to affix the necessary 'the' or 'my'. For that reason,I always advertise my sites as 'thesitewizard.com' and 'thefreecountry.com' in their fulldomain name forms, rather than just 'Free Country' or 'Site Wizard' (without the article).
On the other hand, I would not take the plural form of the domain name (eg, websites.com) if Icannot also get 'website.com', since the chance of the visitor failing to type the 's' in thename is very great. Think about the famous name tussle between etoys.com and etoy.com. Manypeople wanting to go to etoys.com were apparently going to etoy.com instead. If it happenedto them, it can happen to you too.
COM, ORG, NET, etc?
One common question I encounter is from people who can't get the '.com' domain of their choice,but find the '.net', '.org', '.biz', '.info' (etc) or country-specific top level domains (TLDs)(like .uk, .de, .us, .eu, etc) available. Should they try for these?
The answer is not as straightforward as you might think. If your website or business caters tothe local community, such as a pizza delivery business or recruitment agency orthe like, then it makes sense to get a country-specific domain. You actually benefit from havingsuch a local domain because the people in your country know that they are dealing with alocal entity, which is what they want. After all, if they stay in (say) the United Kingdom, they are notlikely to want to try to order pizza from pizzaparlour.com, which suggests aninternational site. You will have better luck calling it pizzaparlour.co.uk, ie, with aUK domain.
What if yours is a site or business that can benefit from an international audience? There areactually many schools of thought on this. I will just mention a few common ones.
The first school of thought goes on the premise that it is better to have a domain name of yourchoice 'myperfectdomain' even if it has a TLD of '.net', '.org' or some other countryspecific suffix, than to end up choosing an obscure domain name for the simple reason youcan't get your first choice. Thus they would settle for domain names like'myperfectdomain.de' or 'myperfectdomain.net' or whatever. Against this is the argument that ifyou get a country specific domain, people might think that your business only caters to thatcountry.
Another school of thought finds the alternative suffixes (like '.net', '.org', '.biz', '.info', etc)to be quite acceptable. For some, the '.org' suffix actually describes the non-profitnature of their organisation (or 'organization' if you don't useBritishEnglish). So, for example, the famous Apache web server can be found at'apache.org'.
Others settle for the '.com' suffix and no less. As grounds for their arguments,they cite the browser algorithms used to locate a website when a user simply typesa name like 'acme' into the browser. Apparently, the browser searches for a domain name'acme.com' before attempting 'acme.net', etc. As such, people who do that will be deliveredto your competitor's site if you do not also own the '.com' extension. Indeed, even if peopledo not rely on their browser to complete their typing, many simply assume a '.com' suffixwhen they type a domain name, so if your business is 'Acme', they will just assume yourdomain name is 'acme.com' rather than 'acme.net' or some other such name.
As you can see, there are actually good grounds for accepting any of the above views.My personal footnote to the above arguments is that if you get a domain name with a suffixother than '.com', make sure that you promote your business or website with the full domain name.For example, if your domain name is 'dogandcatfood.net', make sure that when youadvertise your site or business, call it 'dogandcatfood.net' not 'dogandcatfood'. Otherwisepeople will assume a '.com' extension and travel to the wrong place.
In case the forest got lost in the trees (or the reverse) in my arguments here, let me reiterate the main point of thisarticle: get that domain namebefore you start your site or business.
Don't make the mistake of attempting to retrofit your domain name to your business or website. Myfirst site, thefreecountry.com did not originally start out with that name, and I encountereda huge hassle (and lost visitors)as a result of the URL changes. Don't make that mistake too.
Once you have decided on the domain to get, follow the steps inHowto Register a Domain Name to get one.
O be some other name!
What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.
Copyright 2000-2021 by Christopher Heng. All rights reserved.
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This page was last updated on 4 January 2021.
There are currently over 600 million websites in the world. Making a website has become an easy and manageable task. Getting your business online is one of the best things you can do to reach new and potential customers. However, many people find it difficult to begin. In this article, we outline four basic steps to help you make your website memorable and engaging.
1. Strong and clear message
Your website is your best chance to make a lasting impression to your customers. What is the first thing visitors see when they come to your website? Do they understand your site’s purpose?
In order to have a successful and engaging website, it should have a simple and clear message that all visitors can understand. The best way to communicate your website’s purpose is through a clear message on your homepage. This will also help search engines categorize your website for appropriate keywords and phrases. If you are building your website with Yola, you may want to review this article.
Think about what your website does or what you want it to do. What products or services do you offer? Then, on your homepage clearly display that message in your content.
Many websites online fail to communicate the essence of their website to customers on their homepage and, thereby, lose valuable leads and sales. Your website is often a potential customer’s first impression of your business. Make it count.
2. Easy navigation
Another important feature of a good website is navigation. Many website owners fail to include well-structured pages or clear navigation tabs that lead visitors to relevant sections of their website.
Organize the information on your website in a simple and structured way. Think of the general path you would like a site visitor to take. In many cases, adding sub-pages to the top navigation will be the best option for organizing your information into specific categories.
Think through your web pages’ structure so that it all makes sense in a logical flow. That way, when customers visit your website, they will have an easier time navigating to the information on your website that is most relevant to them. Take a look at the Zumba Hamilton site below for an example of clear navigation. In some cases, adding sub-pages to the top navigation will be the best option for organizing your information into specific categories.
3. Content and more content
The main function of your website is to convey relevant content to your visitors and help them understand the problems that your products and/or services solve. Your content is the single most important element in increasing customers. Make sure that the content you add to your site is displayed in a simple and clear manner.
Use clear and error-free language that will encourage your visitors to dig deeper for more information about your business. You’ll want to include keywords that relevant to your business and industry in your page titles, meta tags, headings and in your website’s content so that your potential customers can find your business online. This tactic is called search engine optimization (SEO). We discuss this in depth in our SEO Tutorials.
Building a community for your business is one of the best investments you can make. It’s crucial to establish an online presence. Start with the networks you know and are active on – the most common being Facebook and Twitter. Include Facebook “Like” from your business Facebook page or a Twitter follow button will allow visitors to connect with you through other media.
In addition to your social networking profiles, creating and maintaining a blog is one of the most effective ways to build community and a great way to increase content. (You can create a blog for your Yola site using the Tumblr widget). Blogs are a great way to have a conversation with your visitors and customers on a regular basis and improve the level of trust website visitors and customers have for your business over time.
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The best way to make a great website is to simply get started.
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