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15 Strategy Tips to Help Create
a Magnetic Web Site
by Joe Gracia

1. Develop an Effective Marketing Strategy FIRST:

This is the most important step when developing a Web site, and it's the one most novice Web site owners skip. You must have a clear and effective marketing strategy to design your Web site around.

If you don't have a proven effective marketing strategy before you begin putting your Web site together, you should wait until you do.

Both of our Web sites are designed around our Give to Get Marketing Solution strategy and they generate tens of thousands in sales every month.

2. Remove Obstacles:

Don't place obstacles in front of visitors like asking them for their e-mail address and name just to enter your Web site. Few people are willing to do that.

If you are offering a free Idea-Pak or free newsletter -- good for you -- don't ask your subscribers to provide you with lots of personal information like their name, address, phone number, etc.

Since so many people are concerned about privacy on the Web, they are very reluctant to provide personal information to a Web site unless it is absolutely necessary, like ordering a product or service.

You will get far more response if you simply ask for your visitors' e-mail addresses so you can send them the free Idea-Pak or newsletter.

3. Have A Privacy Statement:

You want your visitors to know that you respect their privacy, and that if they sign up for any of your free offerings, you will absolutely never share their information with anyone else.

Tell your visitors up front what your policy is, otherwise you will lose many potential subscribers and customers.

Of course, if you promise to never share your subscribers information with anyone ... stick to your word!

4. Use a Tracking System:

You need to know exactly how many Unique Visitors you are attracting to your home page each day, week and month. Why? How will you know if a new promotion you are doing is working or not if you can't see how many more visitors are coming to your Web site?

You also need to know how many Unique Visitors are going to each of your main Web site pages so you will know what your visitors want.

If you get high numbers to one page, and hardly any visitors to another, that should tell you something about what your visitors want. Give them what they want and they will keep coming back for more.

If your Web Host can provide you with these numbers, that's great. If not, you need to get a tracker like Site Meter -- -- and put them on each of your pages.

5. Get Your Visitors Onto Your Prospect List:

Getting visitors to your Web site is a challenge and should be a primary goal of your marketing strategy. But if you just get visitors coming and going but you don't get any sales, what's the point?

It's rare for someone to buy a product or service after just one visit to a Web site. You must get them back again and again before they will know, like and trust you enough to buy your products or services.

The least expensive way to do that is to get your visitors to voluntarily provide you with their e-mail addresses before they leave your Web site.

With their e-mail addresses you will now have unlimited opportunities to remind them of your Web site and invite them back again and again.

6. Offer a Free Idea-Pak, Free Report, or a Free E-Book:

The easiest way to get your visitors to voluntarily give you their e-mail addresses so you can follow up with them repeatedly to invite them back to your Web site, is to offer them something that they would want.

Offering a free idea-pak, free report or free e-book filled with helpful tips related to your product or service, is an ideal way to get your visitors to provide you with their e-mail address. It's the perfect give to get approach.

This technique will help you to grow your prospect list.

7. Offer a Free Newsletter:

In addition to offering a tips pak, report or e-book, you need to have a way to follow-up repeatedly with your prospect list. If you simply follow up with sales offers, your prospects may get tired of your constant promotions and become irritated.

They want information or entertainment, not just promotional offers in their e-mail. So give them what they want. Create a newsletter filled with tips your prospect list would find helpful and informative. Then within your newsletter you can give your readers reasons to return to your web site; new articles, new products, etc.

8. Provide a Store Page:

In addition to product or service description pages that provide lots of information about your products and services, you should also have a store page that lists all of your products and services on one page.

See our store pages for examples of what we mean:

Why do we list all of our products on one store page? Because it significantly increases our number of multiple product orders!

We've heard other online marketers proclaim that you should not list all of your products together on one page, but rather separate each one on different pages so that you don't confuse your customers.

We've proved that to be a myth. 30% of our orders from our store pages are for multiple products now. Before we created this store page format, it was 5-10%.

9. Accept Credit Cards:

When we first put our business on the Web a few years ago, we only accepted checks and money orders for payment. The checks trickled in for those first few months.

Then we began to accept credit cards and our sales exploded. It's true what they say; you can increase your sales up to 200% - 300% by simply accepting credit cards.

You don't have to have your own Merchant Account right off. There are services online that will provide you with the ability to accept credit cards within a few days with no up front fees. They then charge a percentage of each order.

10. Provide a Variety of Ways for Your Customers to Order:

Some people like to use personal checks or money orders. Some like to use their credit card. Some like to order online and some would prefer to call, mail in, or fax their order.

The more ways you offer for your customers to order, the more sales you will get.

11. Include Your Photo:

It's important for your visitors to get to know, like and trust you and your business before they will be willing to give you their money, and especially their credit card information.

Lots of free and interesting content, and a newsletter, can go a long way in establishing this trust.

Another element to help establish trust is a photo of you and/or your team members.

People like to feel as though they are doing business with real people, not an impersonal corporate machine. This is an advantage a small business has over the mega giants.

Make sure that your photo presents you in an appropriate and professional light. Your favorite picture of yourself may be decked out in your Harley Davidson leathers straddling your hog, but unless you are selling motorcycle gear, it may not be the most appropriate picture.

12. Learn to Submit Your Pages to the Search Engines Properly:

It's said that 80% of Web surfers find the sites they go to through the search engines and directories.

It stands to reason then, that being listed in the search engines and directories is very important.

However, if your site is listed in the engines but you come up 58,499 when people search for information your site offers, your listing isn't going to bring you much traffic.

The average person won't go beyond the first two pages of search engine results. That means that if your Web site doesn't show up within the top 10-20 results, you'll never get the thousands of visitors you could have gotten.

As of the writing of this article, if someone searches for Offline Marketing Tips in the AltaVista Search Engine, you will find over 929,296 web pages.

Lucky for us that we come up in the first position and not at the 457,123 position. Or was it luck?

There is quite a bit to know about properly submitting to the search engines and directories to ensure that you get listed.

There is even more to know about how to design your Web pages to help give you the best chance of showing up near the top of the results.

There is not enough space in this tips article to get into these details.

Just understand, that it is rarely enough to just submit your page to 700 search engines and then think you will get thousands of visitors. Chances are . . . you won't.

13. Know the difference between Hits, Pages Views and Unique Visitors:

HITS: Each of the files that comprise your Web page must be loaded from your Web host's computer server each time someone comes to your Web page.

Each graphic on your page is a separate file that must be loaded. The HTML code file that is used to create your Web page on your visitors' computers must also be loaded from your host's server.

Each file load is called a Hit. So if you have 20 graphics on your Web page, that would represent 21 Hits. 20 for the graphic files and 1 for the HTML code file.

Each additional visitor to visit your Web page would also represent 21 Hits. The same would be true for every page on your Web site. Depending on how may graphics you have on each of your pages, you could accumulate thousands of HITS from very few visitors.

You can never use Hits as a measure of how popular your Web site is. Hits have no relationship to visitors. If your Webmaster keeps telling you that you are getting thousands of Hits to your site, you may consider getting yourself a new Webmaster.

PAGE VIEWS: Each time a visitor goes to one of your pages it is counted as a Page View. If the same person leaves that page and comes back a few minutes later, he would be counted as another page view.

It doesn't matter if the same person comes back to your page 50 times, it would be counted as 50 Page Views.

Because of this, you can't use Page Views as a gauge for how many visitors are coming to your Web site.

UNIQUE VISITORS: This is the only true representation as to how many visitors you are getting to your Web site and the individual pages on your site.

When a visitor come to your home page, they are considered a Unique Visitor to that page. If they leave your home page and then return to your home page a few minutes later, they are not considered a new visitor, they are not counted again.

However, if they leave for 2-3 hours, and come back again, they will be counted as another Unique Visitor.

This is the most accurate count of how many people are actually visiting your Web site pages. Make sure you are being provided with Unique Visitor numbers by your Web Host server stats, or by your Webmaster.

14. Give Your Visitors an Easy Way to Contact You:

As your visitors get to know, like and trust you by visiting your Web site and receiving your newsletters and promotions, they may have questions or suggestions. Give them an easy way to contact you.

One of the best ways to do this is to provide a contact page. You can list different contact categories, such as Questions About Your Order, or Suggestions for Your Site, Question About Your Product, etc.

You can then create an e-mail link for them to click on that would put the specific category question in the e-mail Subject Line.

This way, you would know exactly what type of question or comment is being received. Plus, you can answer many of the common questions that come up repeatedly right on this contact page.

15. Market, Market, Market Your Web Site:

Once you have a solid Web site strategy and you have designed your site to carry out that strategy, then you have to go out into the world and promote your Web site to the masses.

With an effective strategy and a well designed Web site, you should be able to sell around 1% of the visitors to your home page.

If your system is working well and you are selling 1% of the visitors to your home page, then the name of the game becomes attracting as many people to your home page as possible.

Drive thousands of people to your home page each week and you can begin to enjoy a nice steady income. Double the number of visitors to your home page and you will double your sales.

Learn everything you can about marketing to grow the number of visitors to your site and your number of subscribers to your newsletter, and you will do well.

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