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You have it all now: the domain, the design, the navigation, and the empty pages.
The next step is now to fill your website with life!

A good website is all about content.

We often think the design is more important, but at the end our site visitors are looking for information and if they don’t find the information they are looking for they will quit your website and never come back.

1. Write like a conversation

You already have a list of your customer’s questions. Take this list and try to answer every question as clearly and briefly as possible.
Write down your answers as a conversation with the customer’s questions.

2. Keep it short

Write short sentences with less than 15 words. A paragraph should not contain more than 3 sentences.

3. Keep it simple

Write clear and simple. Avoid technical language and complicated, tangled sentences.

4. Write actively and personally

Write in the active voice and use “you” to talk to your site visitors. Use “I” or “we” to talk about you or your organisation.

5. Focus on the essential message

Write only facts and information. Avoid marketing fluff. Start with the key message and put the important information at the top of the page.

6. Cut the rest

Cut the sentences that do not contain useful information. For example the famous “Welcome to my website” phrase. Cut adjectives and other unnecessary words.

7. Make it scannable

Use headlines, short paragraphs, bold character and lists to make information easy to grab.

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How to point out links

While your site visitors are in a searching mood they will click on the first link that looks plausible. A link is like a promise. The site visitor must be able to predict a link’s destination. He expects that the information appearing on the site will fit the link he clicked.

Do’s

  • Colour and underline the link text.
  • Unvisited links should be blue. Visited links should be purple. If you plan to use other colours use a bright, vivid colour for the unvisited link and a weaker variant or shade of the same colour for the visited link.
  • Put the most important keyword into the first 11 characters of the link.
  • Keep your links short (2-5 words).
  • Use descriptive links that are meaningful to your users.
  • Turn relevant words or a phrase within the text into links.
  • Write informative links that explain what kind of information is waiting behind the click.
  • Use an active phrase for an active link: “Sign up now”, “Go to the shop”, “Search for articles”.
  • Indicate if the link is linking to a PDF file or launching an audio or video player.

Don’ts

  • Don’t use verb phrases in links. (You can click here to get more information about…)
  • Don’t use single nouns for links.
  • Don’t promise too much.
  • Don’t colour text when it’s not a link.
  • Avoid generic instructions, such as: read more, click here, go.
  • Don’t underline text that is not a link.
  • Don’t create additional links if the word is already used within the text.
  • Don’t add visual effects when the cursor hovers over a link.

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How to name pages

The page name is the title of your page and it has to be a clear description of the web page. The name must match the link your site visitors clicked on in the navigation. When they clicked on “About us” in the navigation they expect to end up on a page that’s named “About us” and contains content about your organisation.

Do’s

  • Make it bigger than the other titles on the page.
  • Use your site visitors’ words.
  • Start with relevant keywords in the first 11 characters.
  • Try to answer people’s questions.
  • Write descriptive titles: Call each thing by its proper name.
  • Be as explicit as you can. Don’t use “Massage” if you can use “Hot Stone Massage”.
  • Insert a call to action to get people to click through to your site (for search engine marketing).
  • Use short names with no more than 60 characters.
  • Summarize the page content in your page title so that the title makes sense even when the rest of the content is not available. Page titles are used for headings in search engine listings, browser bookmarks and RSS headlines.
  • Use names that agree with each other regarding: part of speech, verb tense, plural or singular, capitalization, language, number of words, length of words.
  • Use separations like – or / instead of words like “and” or “also”.

Don’ts

  • Don’t use the same title twice.
  • Don’t use two meanings in one page title.
  • Don’t use jargon: marketing slogans, industry terms, acronyms, slang.
  • Don’t use visual metaphors.
  • Don’t use fancy, or clever names.

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Find a domain name

1. Brainstorm

Write down the 5 most appropriate terms for your domain name.
Ask yourself “What are the relevant words that searchers are looking for?”
Visit www.wordhippo.com or www.wordiq.com/thesaurus.html to find similar or related words.

2. Check your keywords

The keyword use in the domain name is one of the most important ranking factors for search engines.
Visit www.google.com/insights/search/ to check how many people are searching for your keywords.

3. Combine keywords

Pair your keywords to create possible domain names. You can also add hypes, words before (prefix) or after (suffix).
Visit www.bustaname.com if you need help to find good combinations.

4. Choose a suffix

Choose a suffix for your domain. This can be a global and/or a country-specific top-level domain. Sometimes it makes sense to register more than one suffix.
The .com domains for example are most popular. I recommend that you always register the .com domain because some people still think that .com is all that’s out there.

If your business is local and has a close connection to the country it makes sense to register in addition to the .com domain a country-specific top-level domain.

Most common global top-level-domains:

  • .com
  • .org
  • .biz
  • .name
  • .info

Country specific domain

Find the top-level-domain for your country: www.iana.org/domains/root/db

5. Check availability

Visit www.marcaria.com and check if your domain is still available.
If the .com domain for the name that you want to use is already taken, change the entire domain name.
Check also additional domain names for alternative spellings, abbreviations, or common misspellings.

6. Investigate trademark infringements

Avoid possible trademark infringement by searching for domain names that are similar or use a different suffix. Do a trademark search also, to be sure that the name you want to use is not a registered trademark.

Every country has its own copyright office and there are also many professional trademark investigators:

Change your domain name if

  • it’s part of a registered trademark.
  • it already exists in a very similar form.
  • the .com suffix is already taken.

Learn more about how to avoid trademark infringements: www.iplawforstartups.com

7. Register your domain name

If your domain name is still available you can register it yourself or through the website builder (Weebly.com or Wix.com).

Register a domain name through the website builder

If you are using www.weebly.com, www.wix.com or www.wordpress.com you can register .com, .org. and .net domain name through these website builders. It’s much easier than registering it yourself. Weebly.com, Wix.com and WordPress.com offer a service to register and set up the domain name. You will need to upgrade to a premium account to use your own domain.

Register a domain name yourself

If you want to use your own country specific domain name (for example .ch, .uk) you will need to register the domain name yourself. After registration you can match the domain to your blog.

You can use a registrar service in your country or one of the popular registrar services such as:

Make sure the registrar offers:

  • Free transfer to another provider.
  • Possibility to set-up an A-record.
  • Optional privacy registration to hide your contact information in the public WHOIS database.

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How to create a domain name

Make your main activity part of the name

Make it clear who you are and what you do. Put your most important keyword into the domain name. The keyword use in the domain name is one of the most important ranking factors for search engines.

If you specialize in doing Hawaiian hot stone massage at least the word “massage” should be part of the name to give users a sense of what you do.

Examples

  • hot-stone-massage
  • hawaiian-massage
  • stone-massage

Avoid non-descriptive names

If your company’s name uses a non-descriptive name such as xlix.com you can use it.
But bear in mind that a domain name with no intrinsic meaning doesn’t communicate what you do. It will be difficult to achieve a good search engine listing.

Keep it short

Make it easy to remember and write your website’s name.
Choose a name that‘s easy to read and sticks in users’ minds.

Don’t use long terms such as

  • hotstonesmassage
  • hawaiianhotstonesmassage

Avoid more than 2 dashes

Domain names with dashes such as http://www.stone-massage.com are easier to read for the eye and easier to parse for search engines but many users forget to type the hyphens.

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