The Number One Tip for
Doing Business Online
Donald Nelson, copyright 2008
about doing business online give you a number of tips for
success. Certainly you can learn a lot from these articles and
many of the tips are useful and important. Right now I will
not confuse you with many things to do or remember, rather
let’s focus on one point that can make or break your effort to
make money online.
In my opinion, the most important aspect of doing well
online is to have a professional looking website.
If you are a door to door salesman or a sales person who meets
clients face to face, then your appearance and your manner of
presentation is the most important factor in determining your
ability to sell. When you are trying to sell online, no one
knows what you look like or what you are wearing and or what
you sound like (unless you include video on your site). For
the most part, you will first be judged by what your site
Most web visitors only spend 30 seconds or less on a web page.
In that 30 seconds they judge whether there is information
that will be useful to them and they also judge whether this
is a serious offer coming from a trustworthy source.
You may ask how can they determine all this in 30 seconds?
They will scan the headlines and headers and see what the site
is offering and by looking at the design and layout they will
form an initial opinion on the trustworthiness of the site. If
the site looks like it was designed by your nephew who just
learned how to put up a website, then the first impression
will not be good.
Skimp on Web Design
So, to make a long story short, don’t skimp on design. Get it
done by a professional. If you have to pay for this, consider
it money well spent because you will get this money back and
much more when people visit your website and get the feeling
that they are dealing with someone who is a professional. They
will go on to buy your products or services, or sign up for
your mailing list.
You don’t have to spend a fortune on web design. It is also
possible to buy a template and add your content. But even if
you are working from a template or using a blog or content
management system that utilizes templates, it is still good to
take the help of a professional. For example you can have your
main banner or logo designed by a designer or you can have an
artist or designer tweak your template or content management
system so that it looks good.
You may also be wondering, “Once I have a nice design, how am
I going to get traffic to my site?” This of course is the next
step, but there is one thing that should be remembered: having
a good looking site will actually help you to build traffic.
Here is how a good design can help with your traffic building.
One of the most important factors in building traffic is
achieving high rankings in search engines. Your ranking will
depend on many factors, but one of the most important is the
number of incoming links to your website from other websites.
These incoming links are viewed by Google and other search
engines as “votes” for your site. If you have a smart looking,
professional site, then there is more chance that your site
will gain entry to directories which are edited by human
beings (as opposed to the robotic programs which gather data
for the search engines). A placement in a directory such as
www.dmoz.org can really boost a site’s ranking in the other
In addition, if your site has good content and a good
appearance it is highly likely that people who are building
lists and directories of important sites in a particular field
will choose your site for their list and mention you as a good
resource. If you have a garden supply business, and a
snazzy-looking green site then there is a good chance that
other people will list it as a resource even without you
knowing it. In fact these are the best kinds of links, the
links that you get without asking, the links that you get
because people look at your site and say, “that is really a
great site.” Good design will help you to get more of this
type of links.
There are indeed many other things that you have to know about
doing business online, but if you neglect this first point of
starting with a great design, then you will not be able to
reap the benefits of all your other knowledge. So, whatever
you do online, take the time and effort and expense of making
sure that your website’s design shows that “you mean