What do you need for creating a new Snap! websites?

Alexis Wilke's picture

Pense-bête

Living on the Track (from Living on the Track in Bangkok)

There is the pense-bête (French meaning reminder)1 I use whenever I create a new website. These are a few basic things you mustn't forget to include on all the websites you create or you will lose traffic, and everyone knows that traffic is the bloodstream of a website, after all.

So, what's important to include on your Snap website on day 1?

Name

The name of your website is very important. Obviously, if you already have a company, you want to use that name. It may already be taken, though. Thus, I suggest you do some searches with Google to see how it is currently used.

Snap! is certainly a bad example here since several other technology companies are using this name for their products and services. However, it is a strong word. It shows speed and a work well done all in one word. We think it is a good choice in that respect.

If you are creating a brand new website for a brand new business, then I suggest you choose a name that is fairly unique and easy to remember (To take my usual example, kadanuumuu is a very unique name, but chances are no one will remember that word!)

For people creating a blog, make the title reflective of what you write about and don't hesitate to change it a bit after a little while if you think the original name was not perfect.

Domain Name

It will certainly sound obvious that you will want to have a domain name that is your business name. If you are creating an online business, it is actually a must. You will have no choice here! For instance, Snap! Websites uses http://snapwebsites.info/ whereas, our main company, Made to Order Software Corporation, uses http://www.m2osw.com which is the abbreviation, but no one is likely to guess our main company URL! (on the other hand, if you search for Made to Order Software in Google, we own the first page—not the ads, but the first 10 regular results!)

Social Media Accounts

AddThis.com service directory sample.While you choose your name, you probably want to make sure that it is indeed available in the social media that you will be using. For sure, you want to check Facebook and Twitter since they are the two major players. Depending on your business and country, you probably want to choose others such as MySpace and YouTube in the US, Viadeo in Europe, etc.

A good way to choose the best services for your country and type of services is to search for a service directory offering data of the most used systems. AddThis.com/services is such a page.

At time of writing, MySpace lost 30% and Twitter gain 3%. Surprisingly enough, Facebook lost 10% but it still is number 1. This may because of the end of the year holidays...

Note that in some cases, the name may be available, but you may not have the necessary weight to get it. For instance, Facebook requires you to have at least 25 people who like your business page or group before you can claim a Facebook name.

Logo

The Snap! logo with the stylized S in blue with reflections.Your logo should be memorable. Yes. If people come to your website and see your logo, they should remember it when they see it again. Some technology companies have a problem in that regard. Microsoft has used their name as their logo for years. Now they often use their Windows Media logo (which is a remake of the MS-Windows logo.)

However, for most of us, that's not as easy to use our name as our logo. Thus, a neat and very simple logo is what you need. Do not try to talk to people about all what you have to offer in your logo. It will be way too complicated. "Just do it!" is enough. In our case, we just use the word "Snap!" If that's all you remember, you already remember us. That's fantastic.

Call to Action

A Call to Action is your lead generator. For any type of business, a lead generator is very important.

For a blogger, you probably want a large, very obvious RSS feed button, because you want everyone to listen to what you have to say on your blog.

For a business with a newsletter, you want a very obvious form where users can subscribe (we have one on your Turn Watcher website.)

For an online marketer that wants to grow his mailing list, a registration form to that list is what you want to be obvious.

For a store online, put your main seller item on your front page, again, in a very obvious location with the Add to Cart button calling to action right there.

Whatever you decide, make sure it is (1) very visible and (2) easy to see how to click the button. If you didn't notice, at the top-right corner, we have a call to action so you get your own Snap! website right now.

Useful mentions

I'm sure 50% of the people reading this paragraph will laugh at it. If you are one of those, think about it for a day or two, come back, and re-read it, seriously.

Yes. What I'm talking about are those super boring pages that appear at the bottom of the page: Terms & Conditions, Your Privacy, Terms of Use, Your Rights, Disclaimer, Legal...

It may sound silly that you should have those on your page. It is likely that you think you need to hire an attorney and have them draft the text. Well... if you can, it is much better since it will be correct legal material. If you don't have the money to hire an attorney, then write something very close to what a large company uses (Facebook, Google, Twitter, etc.) and you'll be all good. Just don't just copy and paste because if you say "Twitter.com" in your legal material instead of your own website URL, it probably won't look too good, will it?!

This being said, this is primarily a marketing trick. If you do not have anything explaining to the user what his rights are, some people will not go any further. Especially if you are selling something to them. I do not purchase anything if I cannot read the terms and conditions, especially on how I can be reimbursed in case I'm not satisfied. Not only that, I will go check the page to make sure it is secure (oh! yeah! I have seen companies offering you to get reimbursed through a totally non-secure page where they expect me to enter my credit card!!!)

Anyway... I think you get the idea now. If you're just a blogger, you may want to write stuff about whether other users have the right to copy your content or not and with which conditions. Think about it! 8-)

Contact Info

With your Snap! Business Website, you're in luck! It comes with a Contact form pre-filled with nearly everything you need (you'll want to enter your business address, phone number, etc. the rest is ready made!) Not only that, we offer you Feedback buttons that appear on the side of the screen.

Now, whether you get a business website or not, you want to have some form of a contact page. This is important for many people need to talk to you before they conduct the action you want them to conduct (check the Call to Action again.) I know that some people will first contact you because they want to be 100% certain they can actually talk with someone and if you have something to sell, that is a very powerful way to push the sale forward! Think about that... That's a very hot lead that just gave you his authorization to emailing him! So they expect a sales talk anyway and you can re-iterate all your strong point. One of the things I repeat to everyone is this:

Our 30 Day Money-Back Guarantee

Oh! And by the way this applies to all the Snap! Websites.

  • 1. In case you try Google Translator, let me tell you that it won't work on that one. "pense" is "think" at the 3rd person. "bête" is "idiot", many translation will tell you "beast", which is correct too. However, in this case, it is an idiot reminder. This is quite similar to those Books For Dummies. So a good translation here would be: Creating a new Website for Dummies.