Monday, November 07, 2005

The Key to a Great Website

I've always written that yes, Content is King, but I've added that the content MUST be content of value. Well, just what does that mean, "content of value". It is just what it says.

I used to say it doesn't take a rocket scientist to tell between a great website and a website of little value. But the more I am asked to consult sites for AdSense use, the more I am convinced that many people don't "get it".

We recently had a major hurricane roll through Naples. Now we're pretty used to keeping one eye on The Weather Channel here, so when Wilma took a turn for us, we took it seriously. Most boarded up their homes, the rest left town. One thing we could do little about was the trees.

I grinned as I watched my neighbor hire a crew to trim his beautiful trees back to stubs. I thought, Marc, you're over reacting. But guess who did the right thing? Marc's trees didn't fall when Wilma struck. Why not?

Two things I want you to learn here.

1. Many sites have very little value, very little in substance (roots) to keep them solidly placed in a storm of information.
2. Probably the best way to get back to basics is by trimming your site back to a stub. Get rid of fluff - anything that keeps your site from being linear to your visitor.

My trees fell in the storm. Their root system was shallow and Florida is made of sand. I would have been served best to trim them, get them down to a few specific branches with little resistance to the winds of a hurricane.

Make sure your website contains structure. Build on a theme and do not add anything that would deviate from the theme or main idea of the site. Visitors will not tolerate fluff. They want to walk away with "value". Give them value and they'll come back. Become useful.

Tell a friend about these tips, but only after you've taken a look at your sites and done some serious trimming.

Thanks for your time,
Dave Jackson

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