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1 Thinking About a Website? An Introduction to Websites for Business Name:

2 Thinking About a Website? Workshop Contents: Power point slides Task 1 Answer sheet: What makes a good website? Task 2: Creating a proposal for your website Help Guides: A guide to e-business terms and acronyms E-Business tips Learning Objectives The learning objectives for this workshop are: Learning objective 1 To understand the purpose of your website Learning objective 2 To identify what makes a good website Learning objective 3 To explore the different options available to you: Design and build your own website using template based programs Employ a web developer Ebay shop Learning objective 4 To raise your awareness of legal requirements and guidelines Learning objective 5 To put together a proposal for your business website.

3 A guide to e-business terms and acronyms Internet : The Internet is a global network of computers with millions of users all over the world. Anyone can join this network and from your computer you can send and receive information anywhere in the world - all at the cost of a local phone call, 24 hours of the day. The Internet offers many business benefits. Intranet : An intranet is a private internet which is not necessarily linked to the Internet itself. Browser: A software application used to search information posted on the internet. Two of the most common are Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. Content Management system: An administrative software system that enables a user to add or change content on a website. DSL : (Digital Subscriber Line): A technology designed to bring high-bandwidth information to homes and small businesses over ordinary copper telephone lines. Telus high-speed Internet service is an example of DSL. E-business: The use of internet technology to conduct or facilitate business. E-Commerce: The trading of goods and services over the internet. E-Marketing: Using the internet for business promotion and marketing Firewall: A system designed to prevent unauthorized access to or from a private network. Firewalls are commonly used to prevent unauthorized Internet users from accessing private networks connected to the internet, especially intranets. Home Page: The main page of a website that a user first sees when they connect to a website. HTML: ( Hypertext Markup Language) A code used to build web pages. A common language used to share data over the web. Hyperlinks : Embedded connections in web pages that allow users to jump from page to page anywhere on the internet.

4 ISP (Internet service provider): Also called an Internet Access Provider. An organisation that provides access to the internet either digitally or via analog for a monthly fee. Multimedia : Applications combining the use of more than one media, i.e. data, voice and video. Search Engines : Search Engine software packages (such as Google, Yahoo, Alta Vista, WebCrawler, Dogpile or Lycos) helps you find what you are looking for on the Web. You can type in a word or phrase to describe what you are looking for and the search engine matches this against its index, recording all likely matches. Most search engines are free. Search engine optimization (SEO): the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a web site from search engines. This can be done via targeted key words. Server: A network device that provides services to client PCs, for example file access, print spooling or remote execution. URL : (Uniform Resource Locator): The alpha-numeric address used to locate a website. Web hosting: An organisation that provides users who do not have their own web servers with serve space to park their website and allow others to view it over the internet. ISPs also host websites and those such as AOL, will allow subscribers a small amount of server space to host.

5 Task 1: What is the purpose of a business website? Notes page.

6 Task 1: What is the purpose of a business website? Answers Before you set up a website it is important to ask yourself why am I building this website? to ensure you are making informed decisions before committing time and expense. The main reasons to have a website would be: To share information with customers/potential customers (e-marketing) To encourage new customers to contact your business (e-marketing) To show examples of my work/products (e-marketing) To make money directly from the website (e-commerce)

7 Task 2: What makes a good website? Consider a website you like to use and any you have come across that are not so great. List the different factors that make those websites good/poor.

8 Task 2: What makes a good website? Answer sheet Structure: Navigation/menu bar that is easy to use, logical and available on each page. Not too many options on menu bar (5 to 8 maximum) Back button Hyperlinks to other sections of the website and external websites The same format on each page Check your website looks the same on different computers and through different browsers Consider if your website could be viewed on a mobile phone Design: Conformity of design Good balance of content and pictures Description behind each picture Clear, appropriate pictures (preferably in j.pegs) Clear, readable text-no lower than font size 12 No text in green or red due to accessibility issues (most people prefer black text on a white background) Easy to find contact details on every page Page/margins should be set to.. (your customers should not have to scroll across the page or too far down it) Speed: All information should down load onto your website including pictures within 5 seconds or 2 clicks of the mouse Detailed graphics, lots of pictures and flashing images will make a website run slower Content: Appropriate, manageable content (remember people do not read onlinethey only scan) Make it easy for people by using key words, bullet points and highlight key words Easy to find contact details Update your content regularly A website is only useful if your customers can find you online!

9 Task 3: Different Ways to Have a Web Presence For each of these web options list the pros and cons of having this type of web set up for your business. Designing and building a website yourself Pros Cons Employing a web developer Online Shop Presence on social media sites

10 Simple SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) Have you ever wondered why certain websites come higher up Google search results than others? Large search engines like Google send out what are known as electronic spiders each day that crawl across the internet looking at websites to see if they are matching their SEO criteria. Here are some simple points to consider when building or updating your website that will help you to get your website higher up the rankings. Choose your keywords carefully what would your customers search for? - Use Google Trends to find out. Make prominent keywords headings or sub headings in your website Titles phrased as questions often help as this is often how people search. Update your site regularly Adding a blog or Twitter feed can help with this Add a blog to your website Google loves blogs and has blog results as one of their search categories, but also categorises blogs in with News as they are date stamped articles. Encourage other websites to add a link to your site, or add links to your site via social media Remember quality is key, the bigger the website linking to yours the better. Try asking for a link and if that fails create your own links through forum posts, social media mentions etc. Don t just regurgitate content It can be tempting to copy and paste interesting content we find. Don t! Put your own spin on it Google hate repeated content. Avoid having blank pages on your website. If you have tried all of the above and are still finding your website isn t coming up the rankings it might be worth considering using some pay-per-click advertising such as Google Adwords. This is where you can set a budget for how much you want to spend on promotion, choose which keywords you want to buy and then Google gives you a hand, putting you as a featured advert for that keyword. Payper-click means just what it says. You only get charged when someone clicks on your advert which takes them through to your website.

11 Task 4: Enabling Your Customers to Find You How can you help customers to find your website? Notes page.

12 Task 4: Enabling Your Customers to Find You Answers Having a website does not guarantee more customers or more sales, you need to advertise your website so potential customers can find you. Help potential customers find your website by: Listing your website on online business directories Adding links to your website on social media updates Putting your web address on your business cards and printed promotion Asking other websites to link to yours Posting comments on online forums and articles adding your web address Adding a weblink to the bottom of your s Following SEO basic principles to ensure search engines can pick up your website

13 Task 5:Creating a proposal for your website Defining your Business Company Profile Write a description about your company and what products or services you offer. This information will be useful for the about us section of your website and for your web designer to learn more about what you do. Intended Audience Include a description of your client/customer. Is this product or service targeted towards a certain audience or industry? Include known demographics, consumer trends and professional, community or special interest groups. Objective Write a description of what you would like your customers to gain from their website visit. If you have a look and feel of your website please describe it here. Competition Do you have any examples of your competition? Please include competitor s websites and the things you like and dislike about the sites.

14 Website content and development What materials will you provide to the web developer? Photos Graphics Content/text Logo Other What level of graphics do you want on your site? Light Graphics (mostly text) Medium graphics Heavy graphics What features do you require for your site? User login/registration Shopping cart (how many products) Live chat Discussion forums Mailing list Database Credit card processing How many pages will your website consist of? 5 or less Do you need the web developer to arrange your hosting?

15 Do you need the web developer to arrange for your site to be listed with search engines and directories? If so please identify where you would like to be listed. Do you need the web designer to continue working with you after the site is launched? Updates, changes etc. Will this be daily, weekly, monthly? Budget and Time requirements What is the budget for the design and development of the website? What is the budget for the marketing and sustainability of the website? What is the deadline for the website to be launched on to the internet? Please provide any other information that you think will be helpful to the web designer.

16 E-Business Tips Tips to help you establish and keep up a successful E-business. Keep an eye on your competitors Often news of new products or services offered by a competitor will be released on their website allowing you to understand what advantages they may have and enable you to respond in a timelier manner to their changes. Stay Consistent Your website is part of your corporate brand and fits seamless with the other elements that make up your corporate identity. Consistency with visual elements such as logos, fonts and colours are as important as consistency in tone, language and overall message. Test your website The owner of a website seldom visits the website after the first few months of its launch. The explanation for this behaviour is the mistaken assumption that once the site is tested and launched any further testing is unnecessary. Constant review and testing is crucial when determining the success or failure of the objectives of the website. Know Your Visitors Knowing who is going to use your site is the key factor in determining how the site is designed and what technology will be used. The abilities and expectations of your visitors must be reflected in the navigation, content and user interface of the site. Don t Hide Your Domain Name A surprising number of companies spend thousands of pounds on a website their customers don t know they have. Don t hide your domain name; it should be on your letter head, business cards, uniforms, vehicles, exterior building signage and on the signature of all business related correspondence. Answer All Your s Unlike a ringing telephone, is easy to ignore; the fastest way to loose customers is to ignore their s. Unfortunately many business owners still consider communications unimportant and stubbornly refuse to accept the reality that is quickly becoming the medium of choice by both consumers and businesses.

17 Don t Believe the Hype If you are starting up an internet business just because your friends told you to or as the result of an unsolicited that claims you can make a lot of money, it s time to step back and re-examine your motives. The internet is a great if not necessary tool for business, but your web strategy needs to be well thought out and planned, just like any other aspect of your business. Review Your Server Logs Your server logs and other tools such as Google Analytics can tell you who is visiting your website, what pages they are viewing, how long they are staying, where they are coming from and a whole host of other useful information. Use these statistics to update pages that perform poorly and to help formulate your e-marketing strategies. Don t Forget SEO Even if your website has a great design and user friendly interactivity, it is of no use if no one can find it. Write your content for your users, but make sure those keywords are in there and are in the right places. You don t have to pay an arm and a leg for good SEO, just write your content well and submit it to search engines. If you have the time and energy you can delve deeper into the ever-changing world of SEO but remember, SEO tricks are no substitute for good content. Update Your Content Your users want current information and so do the search engines. If your content is out of date, your potential clients will move on to the competition. Stale content also does poorly in search engines. A great way to keep feeding your clients with good info and generate new leads is to set up a blog on your site. The internet is now the primary source of information for consumer research. Up to date information keeps people (and spiders) coming back to your website.

18 Thinking About a Website: Additional Information For additional information regarding your business website please visit the following websites: Template based design systems: The Business link website covers Optimise your site with better design Search engine optimisation and your keyword strategy Creating your links strategy Submitting new websites to search engines Search engine optimisation tactics Working with a search engine optimisation agency Choosing a search engine optimisation agency Tracking your search engine optimisation results SOURCES For guidelines and legislation in the UK see: /ecommsdirective/page10133.html for details on generally accepted standards. Accessibility: Privacy:

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