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Michael Newman by Michael Newman

When you start thinking about how to promote your website to just the right audience, keep in mind that it all starts in the planning. If you do not start with a great plan you might not reach you intended market.

There are many people that will be more than happy to "design" a web site for you but what I tell my students and clients applies to anyone starting a web site; start with good quality content and promote to your intended audience. While you are collecting your content and piecing together a web site, keep the following ten points in mind and you will have a successful web presence. Keep in mind that it is YOUR web site so, just like Burger King says... "get it your way".

1.) Make your web site interesting
People do not want to see the same look on every web site. Make yours stand out in the crowd.

2. ) Organize your Web site
Before you ever start actually making your page, draw it out on paper. Gather all of your content and get other people to look at your work

3.) Make your Web site user friendly
Nobody wants to deal with a confusing site. Keep it as simple as possible.

4.) Limit the size of your graphics
Do not make huge graphics that take up the entire page. If it will not load quick people will not come back.

5.) Consider animated graphics and sound
If used correctly these can make a web site look very professional.

6.) Conclude each Web page with a prompt for action
Have the reader do something. Send you an email, sign up on a list serve or send you their comments.

7.) Secure the intended response
If you want a particular group to visit your site. Put information up for that group. Find out what people want and give it to them.

8.) Keep your promises
If you say that you will be updating you page weekly make sure you do it.

9.) Test your web site
Look at your page on Netscape and Microsoft Internet Explorer. It will look different on both.

10.) Keep your web site fresh and dynamic
Constantly make updates. Keep people coming back time after time. Nobody like a stale web site. Good Luck!

Article by Michael Newman, webmaster for Randall Publishing's Trucking Media, Michael is also a Ph.D. student in Instructional Technology at The University of Alabama. He is an instructor in the College of Education focusing on integrating technology into the classroom. He can be reached at mnewman@randallpub.com

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