If you are new to bringing your business to the Internet, don’t know where to start, or just feel lost connecting your website all the people using the Internet each day, this series of blogs may be for you.

First of all, do you have a website, and is it ready to work for you? Having a worthy site to promote is the starting point. This is your big chance to make a first impression on a lot of people. There is a lot to consider when designing your site. Competition is abundant, and without proper education, thought and execution, a smooth path to your desired results can be difficult to find. A well designed website has to accomplish a few basic things to start.

1. Provide Credibility – Credibility represents the things that make a person feel comfortable doing business with you. Credibility builders include: a clean and professional design, clear contact information, company history, return policies and service agreements, testimonials, references, pictures of your work, your business and your team, awards, company news and events. The more comfortable and credible your website feels to your visitors, the more desired actions you will achieve.

PPC Advertising2. Compel Users to Action – An action refers to the process of getting your visitors to interact with your website. There is no way to gain personal information about your visitors unless they offer it to you. Your website needs to compel the proper visitors to action in a simple effective way. Website actions may include a filled out form, a sale, a phone call, or an email. Each action you want your visitors to take must be well planned and clear to the user. For example, good landing pages are a powerful tool to compel users to act, as well as great tool to analyze your efforts. Nikki is currently writing a detailed blog series on landing pages for your reference. Think about what your visitors are looking for, and give them a clear path to find it quickly and easily.

3. Build “SEO Friendly” – Last of the basics to consider is visibility. When designing and creating a website there are standards to meet to take advantage of your site getting indexed properly across search engines and directories around the world. This is a small part of a larger practice called Search Engine Optimization or SEO. If your website is not built to certain standards, it will lead to roadblocks slowing visibility through these channels over time. Make sure your designer is up to speed on designing SEO friendly websites. SEO itself is a very broad list of tasks that is always changing and always ongoing. Designing a site to be SEO friendly is step one. It is the foundation that will lead to all the other high level SEO tasks having a greater chance of success if you choose to pursue further SEO tactics in the future as a means of visibility.

In wrapping up, I’d like you to ask yourself these questions…What do I want to accomplish with my website? Does my website “sell” my goals as if I were in front of the visitor giving my own personal pitch? Does my business, products and services, pricing, and website stand up to the competition listed on page one when I search for keywords important to my business at Google?

Once you are comfortable with your website, there are many options to consider to promote your site. I will get into website promotion over my next few entries.