Planning, Developing, and Promoting Successful Small Business Websites

Table of Contents

Website Planning
Plan Your Web Site Effectively for Max Success

Types of Websites
Explore the types of Web Site Business Models

Site Types 2
More information on the strategic types of sites

Strategic Planning
Strategy Planning is essential to Success

Strategic Planning 2
Make sure your strategy is up to snuff

Strategic Planning 3
Technical Strategic Planning an Outsourcing Contract Work

Strategic Planning 4
More on Outsourcing Contract Work

Content Planning
Deciding what will go on your business site and who will provide it

Content Planning 2
Determing a schedule for content management

Content Planning 3
Automation for Content Syndication

Keyword Planning Suggestions on preparing keyword research for your site.

Information Architecture
Brainstorming and organizing the architecture of your website.

Information Architecture 2
More discussion on the lower tiers of site heirarchy

Technology Planning Scaleability considerations for large and growing sites.

Tech Planning 2Weighing the value of flash technology.

Budgetary Planning
Creating a budget and using it effectively

Budgetary Planning 2
What type of web host will you need?

Budgetary Planning 3
Labor related expenses for site creation

Budgetary Planning 4
Measuring financial success and ROI

Developing a Web Site

Design and Development
Establishing the importance of credibility in design.

Form Versus Function
Establishing the design priorities of a site.

Writing the Initial Code
Programming considerations for when you get down to programming.

Web Design Coding

Design and Layout


Psychology Considerations

Website Colors

User Satisficing

Validation and Usability Testing

Usability Testing

Search Engine Friendly

Webpage Development

Title Tags

SEO Variables

Promoting a Web Site

Promotion and Analysis

Offline Promotion

Pay-Per-Click Advertising


PPC Tools

Search Engine Optimization

SEO History

Google History

E-mail Marketing

Website Analysis


Planning, Developing, and Promoting a Successful Small Business Website

Developing Websites for Small Business
Page 25

Website Technology Decisions

Some companies are often tempted to use Flash technology or HTML table-based layouts. From a design standpoint, these technologies are quite suffice, but from a marketing and functionality point of view they can severely inhibit a website. Flash technology should be used sparingly depending on the individual goals of a site. Utilizing the technology of cascading style sheets (CSS) is currently the most effective way to layout a website. CSS allows programmers to position all elements of a website relative to other elements. This flexibility offers developers the ability to create sites that are not specific to a certain type of browser, and will resize the webpage elements according to individual browser display settings, which can vary widely. The proper mix of technology during the development phase is crucial in executing the long-term strategy of a website.

Flash technology may be applicable to certain types of websites if they require animated or interactive elements. When Flash technology is used, it is the responsibility of the programmer to understand how to implement the technology while still maintaining the ability to be indexed by search engines. Search engines are the most effective method of attracting new clients to a website from a global perspective. Advertising websites on television, radio, and billboards will be adequate for reaching a local or regional market for the short-term, but the search engines offer a large opportunity should be used to their full potential. Flash should be used sparingly unless search engine traffic is not of any importance to the site.

Download time is another key consideration to take into account when deciding on technology for a website. While the number of broadband users is increasing substantially, over 60% of U.S. Internet users are still using a dial-up connection (, August 2003). Using a dial-up Internet connection can make browsing the web a slow and sometimes miserable experience if pages do not load quickly. Keeping pages under ten to twenty kilobytes file size means that they will normally load in under 10 seconds, which is a reasonable amount of time for a dial-up user to wait. Images, CSS files, and javascript files will add additional file size and download time to a webpage. Pages that take a long time to load will, ironically, decrease the length of stay of a user, and negatively effect the number of repeat visitors. Writing valid streamlined code and using CSS helps to improve download time and the satisfaction of users.

As with most technologies CSS is not compatible with ALL web-browsers. Developers should not be tempted to write off the two to three percent of browsing traffic that cannot view CSS. With a little bit of creativity and planning, a separate style sheet can be created to ensure that all browsers can properly view a website. Taking care of the lowest common denominator (older browsers) with “progressively enhanced” style sheets lends a level of professionalism and demonstrates courtesy to people using the older browsers.


(All in a single document) Appendix 1-1: Overture Search Term
Research Tool

Appendix 1-2: Wordtracker Search Query Research Tool

Appendix 1-3: Google Sets Website Theme Research Tool

Appendix 1-4: Reach/ Acquire/ Convert/ Retain

Appendix 2-5: Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth Information Architecture Flowchart

Appendix 2-6: Search Engine Themes Pyramid Information Architecture Example

Appendix 2-7: Webpage Download Time by File Size Chart

Appendix 2-8: Expected Locations for Common E-commerce Elements

Appendix 2-9: Website Usability Checklist

Appendix 2-10: Text Vs.Code Ratio/ Content Near the Top of Souce Code Examples

Appendix 3-11: Overture Bid Price Tool

Appendix 3-12: Webalizer Website Visitor Tracking Tool

Appendix 3-13: AW STATS Website Visitor Tracking Tool

3-14: Clicktracks Website Statistics
Analysis Tool


Author Notes

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Planning, Developing, and Promoting a Successful Small Business Website

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