Alter-Net
Website Design
(815) 596-0695
Web Site Planning and Marketing Strategies

Getting Started on the Internet

An effective Web Site on the Internet requires planning. If you haven't already, you'll want to obtain an Internet Account from an Internet Service Provider (ISP) before you can begin your market survey. Today, an average Internet account costs between $15 - $25 per month. The majority of ISPs will provide you with free software and a personalized E-mail address. However, setting up your Internet account can be problematic. As a general rule, you'll find the best overall providers are those with the most accessible and personable technical support teams.

The fastest and easiest solution to obtain the best ISP for your needs is to hire a consulting firm. We can assist you in installing your Internet account. In general, consultants can provide you with loads of free advice, on call assistance, help you set up your Internet account quickly, and even teach you how to use all of your new software within a couple of hours.
 

Designing Your Site

With your Internet account up and running, take some time to "Surf the Net" with your favorite Web browser. To complete a market survey, simply go to a Search Engine with your Web Browser and begin your search from there. The following Search Engines are a good place to start: Google (www.google.com), Yahoo (www.yahoo.com). You should search for any of the competition's web sites to see what they have done, but don't stop there. Look around for anything that might interest you personally and take note of the features you like and dislike. With a working knowledge of your Web browser, Search Engines and an Internet market survey under your belt you're ready to take the plunge in preparing your own Web Site.

Preparing your Web Site for the Internet is similar to setting up a newspaper or magazine advertisement. There are three primary steps: research, design and advertise.

Once you've completed your research and have a good idea what you like or don't like about Web Sites on the Internet, you're ready to take the second step-- designing your Web Site.

Designing your Web Site requires planning. Here's one approach that seems to work well for us:

  1. Our sales staff will set a time with you to create a basic flowchart of the content and pages of your Site.
     
    1. The text (content) of your Web pages should be gathered or created. Printed material is a good source for content, however your web site should more than a copy of the source in which many will have found your internet address. Our marketing experts will help to find the right content for your site.
       
    2. Select the pictures or type of pictures you will use in your Web Site. Our marketing / Design team will help you to find or create an overall image for your site.
       
  2. With flowchart, word processor file or printed content, and some pictures, our professional Web Design team will create a rough draft of the overall image and a final draft of the flowchart for your approval and/or suggestions.
     
  3. With the final draft in hand our programmers and designers will create the site.
     

Marketing Your Site

While designing a Web Site, consider the methods of marketing your Web Site on the Internet. Two means of effectively marketing your Web Site involve using Search Engines (similar to your local Yellow Pages) and actively Networking your Site (establishing links with other Web Sites).

Search Engines are the Internet's equivalent to your local Yellow Pages. Some Search Engines on the Internet do not charge a fee to use or list your Web Site. However, submitting your Web Site to multiple Search Engines can be a labor intensive process. Our programmers will submit your site to all of the biggest search engines as part of the design process. In order to insure that your site is listed correctly you will need to:

  1. Create a concise 20 word description of your Web Site.
     
  2. Create a list of about 15 key words.
     

Networking your Web Site requires searching the Internet for Web Sites similar to your own. Networking is probably the most effective way to advertise your Web Site to the World. Networking your Web Site is a personalized affair sometimes requiring hours of Internet "surfing." Once you've found a Site, ask the administrator (sometimes called the Webmaster) of the Site to add a link on their Site to yours. Most Webmasters will be willing to add a link on their Site if you promise to add a link on your Site to theirs. Include a clear description of your Site in the request and a promise to add a link from your Site to theirs. Perseverance is the key to ensuring a well networked Web Site on the Internet.
 

With a feel for the preparation and planning of a successful Web Site, are you ready to take the plunge?  Contact us now!

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