I am so happy that a friend of mine asked for help on a website for this charitable foundation. I went to India this past summer and, although I knew that there would be terrible poverty, I was really unprepared for what life is really like, especially children, that live in the slums. Rather than go into a lot of that detail (I'm sure you've all seen this in the adverts on TV), I'll give a shout out to the faithhopelovefoundation.org. They raise money to take children out of the slums and get them into school. Even a $5.00 a month donation will get a child to school everyday, and even better, will provide them lunch. $28 per month will allow a child to attend boarding school where they receive clothing, shelter, food and an education. That's hard to believe, but true. I am going to sponsor a child to go to boarding school. I figure that I can give up a few trips to Starbucks each month and instead make sure that one kid is going to have a life out of the slums. If you want to see what this foundation is all about, click here. Thanks to Thanh Dinh for starting this grass roots foundation. I wish him all the success in the world!
By now, you should all be using the "Advanced" feature on each page of your website to complete the 'Page Title' and 'Description' for each of your pages. This can be found here. PAGES -> ANVANCED SETTINGS
This plays an important role in terms of your SEO. Having said that, there's one page that you can skip. If you have a blog, leave the 'Page Description' blank for that page only, as the search engines will pick up the first line of each individual blog post to determine whether it will be included in a search. If you complete the description portion for the blog page, you're limiting yourself to that singe description for your entire blog. Not good! So, for once, I'm asking you NOT to do something to help your SEO!
We all know that we need to drive traffic to our sites to get business. Did you know that you have about three seconds to get a potential customer's attention? Don't confuse your visitor with too many graphics, blurbs, and unending text. A simple paragraph and relevant image that directs your viewer to the purpose of your site (what you are offering!) will serve you best when it comes to that first three viewing seconds.
Now that your visitor has decided to stay on your website for a few minutes (because your image and content is stellar!) do they know what to do next? Give your viewer more than just the standard navigation bar. They are much more likely to click a 'call to action' button or link if it's available. Do you want them to see your price rates? Go ahead and make a navigation tab that says, "Pricing", but then make a button, text or image that will link them to your "Pricing" page. Put it at the end of a paragraph with a lead in that says something like, "For more information about pricing, click here." People like links that take them to the logical conclusion. If they're looking at your site, it's because you've already done something right. Don't let them go! Give them something to do on each page, directing them to the ultimate purpose of your site. I want to sell affordable website design on my Plain & Simple Web Design website. On my landing and pricing pages, there's a place that customers can just click to make a down payment to have me get started on a site! It works because it's EASY and there's no confusion about what to do next.
Finally, and I'm not so great at keeping up with this, but BLOG. You know why. If you don't, see my previous blog posts. You've got to either create new content on your site or new content in a blog (or both if you're REALLY serious) to keep giving people a reason to come back to your site!
Remember, your website is an ongoing work in progress. Keep it simple, fresh and GET NOTICED!
A customer asked me how to add a blog subscription widget and I found this great article from Weebly that explains exactly how to do this with Feedburner.com! http://kb.weebly.com/blog-subscriptions.html
The RSS feed requires that you have a reader set up. This allows them to see your posts through this reader once they have clicked on the RSS feed on your blog. In addition or alternatively, you can use a HTML element and install the Feedburner.com blog email subscription widget so that your blog followers will receive updates in their email each time you post!
"Somewhere along the line, I totally geeked out and now, if I'm not working on a website, I'm playing around in Photoshop or Illustrator. I still look pretty normal, but there was a nerd inside me all along. Who knew?"
"Web-building is an extension of my art training and I find it very satisfying helping people create a beautiful and esthetically pleasing site for their business or personal hobby."