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Top 5 Ways To Make Your Website Huge

Published on June 22, 2009 by   ·   53 Comments Pin It
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Have a business or website you are trying to grow? Mazel tov….don’t we all.. Don’t have the cash to hire a Marketing Team, Publicist, and invest in Staff? We asked interactive designer Jeremy Davis to tell us what is worth spending dough on – and what to get free. This one is for all those gals who email us on the reg asking how to get eyes on their new sites. “Take your passion, and make it happen!”

Here are the top 5 ways to get eyes on your website and keep people coming back for more.

SuccessfulWebsiteDesign

1. You really do get what you pay for.

Look, nobody wants to spend all their money on a website, I get it. I have been in this business long enough, heard all the wheeler-dealers trying to cut every corner they possible can, and see them wind up with a cheap pile of crap for a website that hurts them more than it helps. And guess what, ten times out of ten, they end up getting a redesign within a year and spending more than they would have in the first place. You have to think of your site as the ultimate advertisement for your business available to potential clients/opportunities 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year….you get the point. There is no form of media that can compete with a well-designed, well-built site. You want your visitors to have as positive and easy experience that they can when coming to your site. And the experience and expertise of a well-established firm or individual designer will enable your users to have this experience and it will pay for itself 10 times over. So don’t be such a cheap ass, if you care about your business/blog/adult singles site, then do your research and be willing to pay the experts what they deserve. You will thank me in the long run. If you’re thinking that you might just let someone else do it, then try these guys: Toronto website design by Influce Inc. They might just be able to help you, but that’s only if you decide you want to use them. Heads up: A beautiful site WILL cost you upwards of 2G’s. Don’t plan on spending anything less. A really fancy site with an elaborate back end will cost you upwards of 10G’s. I’ve done sites that cost hundreds of thousands, good investors have no issue putting up the money an elaborate and well-designed website costs. Put the money aside and invest. You may think your website is decent enough, but that’s your calling card. Would you wear a sack to your wedding? Your website is your calling card in the modern world – make it nothing short of phenomenal. A student won’t necessarily be the right person for this… save the interns for editing and coffee runs! {EDITORS NOTE: We highly recommend working with Jeremy! He was a pleasure to work with and his creativity is beyond the pale.)

An example of a beautifully designed site

An example of a beautifully designed and successful site

2. Join all social networking sites you can.

There are billions of people on social networking sites like Facebook and Myspace, and microblog sites like Twitter. You can and should use all of these FREE sites (free being the operative word), with access to millions of individuals, to get your site seen and your voice heard. After speaking to an external agency, I realized I needed to stay involved and be active with groups and networks that you share interests with. Throw your url in, or links to various areas of your site whenever appropriate. Be careful to not overkill it – that will have the opposite effect of what you’re trying to accomplish and turn folks off. In general, social networking will get you way more exposure then advertising and cost you nothing. Also, offer to do link exchanges or banner exchanges with your newfound web friends. It’s another free way to get your site exposed to another audience. Offer to aggregate content (that means you may link to one of their articles, and they may link to one of yours) to bring new eyes to your page.

3. Network and socialize, even if it goes against your nature.

This was always a tough one for me. Being a naturally introverted person, it was hard for me to break out of my comfort zone and walk away from the computer every now and then to have ACTUAL HUMAN INTERACTION. Go to parties, bars, dinners, sporting events, benefits, casinos, gay black Jews for Jesus mixes, WHATEVER, just get out there and talk to people. Shake a few hands, smile, always ask about them and show interest in what they have to say. Think like a Politician. If you talk too much about yourself, you can end up turning someone off. Let them ask about you and what you do before you shove it down their throats. Always make sure to be armed to the teeth with business cards (another area I recommend you don’t skimp on). You don’t have to be the life of the party, but it is a fact that people tend to invest in people more than they invest in a product. I’m not just talking about money, I’m talking about time, interest, word of mouth, etc. If you’ve made an impression on someone, they are bound to pass that on, and new interest in your site is inevitable. And one more thing which I can’t stress enough: Follow up follow up follow up. Make sure you get their card or email, and as soon as you can send them a short email saying how nice it was to meet them with a “let’s have drinks or lunch” message. People generally want to give business (and support) people they like. So look cool/ presentable/ interesting so people want to know you, be nice/ funny/ smart/ attentive and the rest will come easily.

An unforgettable and well-designed business card is key.

An unforgettable and well-designed business card is key.

4. Avoid the bells and whistles of the 90’s style flash sites.
Back to websites for a minute, ‘cuz they are really that important! Forget the flashy movies, drop the audio soundtrack, and get rid of the 2 minutes site loads which rarely hold a person’s interest anymore. Content and usability are King! Stay current, stay active, and stay fresh when it comes to your site design. If you’ve ever heard the music industry line “don’t bore us, get us to the chorus,” now would be time to apply that free knowledge. Your site should be accessible to anyone and everyone. Clean, scan-able, and professional designs will always beat out the over graphic flash sites that dominated the web for the last 5-10 years. We live in an age of information and everyone wants that information now. It’s why people go to Home Service Direct and other sites to help them hit those modern marketing needs. Nobody wants to sit and wait for your cute little intro animation to load, those are a thing of the past. Nobody wants to listen to thumping techno music while they’re trying to read your blog about gut busters. Drop anything that doesn’t need to be there. Make your content as easy to find as possible. Basically, your site should be idiot-proof. Also, make sure your site is search engine optimized (SEO). This includes proper meta tags in your HTML, and registering your site with as many search engines as possible, using the most accurate keywords and site description you can. Learn more about SEO here.

5. Get your visitors involved.

Allow people to comment on your content. Commenting gives people the platform to be heard, and the more they have the ability to be involved, the more involved they will be. By encouraging people to comment and discuss the content you’re presenting, you will learn what they like and (more often!) don’t like. Think of it as a focus group without being a focus group…and without having to pay for it, of course. People want to participate; the web is no longer a spectator sport.

Have additional questions on something regarding blowing up your website? Leave ’em in the comments section below and I’ll check in and respond.

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Jeremy Davis is an award winning Creative Director and Founder/ Owner of Craft & Valor. He has directed and designed sites like thedailybeast.com, ESPN’s Fantasy football hall of fame, DrPepper.com, Brant Publications, Black Book Magazine, Vice Mag (vbs.tv), MTV, VH1, Comcast, Comedycentral.com and many others. Contact him to discuss designing your site, ipad application, or print ads.

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Readers Comments (53)

  1. Allison Tray says:

    Great tips! Another informative, fun to read blog. I’m gonna make sure that I am D w/ these tips. Thanks!

  2. Leatrice v brantley says:

    I “shared” on FaceBook.

  3. Jeremy’s work is bad ass. Also note, FLASH is less SEO friendly than html sites (from an analytics 2 cents ;). Very awesome tips JD…why aren’t you doing shit for MTV.com?????

    Thanks Chloe, once again delivering awesome content.

  4. Galia Myron says:

    hahahaha! I just realized I was supposed to leave my comments directly on this blog, but I left my note on Facebook instead…thanks for understanding and not admonishing me, Chloe Jo!;)

    I read them and thought they were great, then closed the window and commented…how silly.

    Anyway, thanks again for posting these great tips! Next time I will remember to comment on the blog itself. Keep up the good work! :)

  5. Chrissie Eden Vazquez says:

    Oh my god, thank you for #4. People think that you have all day to wade thru their flash vision of the future of web design and awesomeness, and the reality is, uh, not so much.
    Simplicity is key. You can make a powerful statement without all the hoopla. In fact, a tasteful, well designed site (like GG) improves readability and makes your site more of an asset to your visitors because they can find what they need! And isn’t that the point, to give the people what they want!?!? Another great one, Chlo-Jo!

  6. The basic difference between a search engine and a directory is that the search engine use crawlers or robots to collect website content. Advertising Network

  7. Great post! I have been feeling I should do some of this for awhile, but this was the kick in the butt I needed. I’d love you to check out my blog/website at http://www.TheEsthete.com to see how I did ;)

  8. That was an excellent post with some great information. We published some information on this topic too.

  9. Lydia says:

    Great advices, thank you so much!
    Any recommendations of successful social networking sites for promotion?
    In music, fashion, culture, lifestyle.
    Not including facebook, twitter, myspace etc.

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    LOVE this advice! Thanks JD and GGA!

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