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The World Wide Web


The Myth

Visit Our Website.

Nobody actually visits a website. The files that comprise the page are stored on a server and delivered to the requesting computer on demand. The demand is simple, an address. If the document cannot be delivered you cannot view the page. If the document gets delivered but you do not have software on your local system to deal with it, a browser, you cannot view the page.

Access

Myth : I have Internet access.

Maybe so, maybe no. There are basically two types of access. Your access. Everyone else's access. For your access, you may have an Internet Service Provider providing dial-up access for a monthly fee. Most connect you to the World Wide Web, but some ONLY connect you to the Web. The Internet is much larger than the Web. The Web is only one network that comprises the Internet. Some providers don't really connect you to anything but their portal and you only get to access what they want you to see, which, in all fairness, is still a lot. The advantage of dial-up access with a national (or international) network is portability. You can make your connection just about anywhere in the country from a local phone number.

Broadband connections like DSL and Cable are usually much faster, but your access is restricted to the wall plug or cable box located where they have installed your access. Eventually all access will either be wireless, for ultimate portability, or fiber optics, for really really fast fixed access (not a typo).

Then there is everyone else's access to your content.

Remember you are asking a machine to talk to another machine and ask still another machine to deliver something to the first machine in such a way that the software on that machine can properly interpret what each one of all those other machines have delivered along the way. Now it starts to make sense. Or not.

But this is true whether you want your content delivered as a web page, an email message, or a file transfer. Your content must be encoded properly so it will deliver properly through whichever distribution channel is preferred by the end user.

Next, whoever you think would like to utilize your content must be able to find it. What it means to all these machines is the address of where your content is located and ready for delivery.

Content

Myth : Content Is King.

The best content in the world is effectively buried if nobody can access it. But we already discussed that. It is still true, however, that the primary reason for web use is to find information. Information is your content. This may be in the form of text, pictures, or even links.

If your content is text, make sure it is well-written. Remember the reader is reading the words but listening to a voice in their mind. The type of voice they imagine depends of the style of writing. You can achieve a friendly voice, a matter-of-fact voice, even a fatherly or motherly voice.

But you can easily achieve an annoying voice, a patronizing voice, and even a condescending voice without intending to. The voice, or style of writing should enhance and illuminate your business goals. A consistent voice throughout your site will induce a more personal involvement from the reader.

A picture is worth a thousand words. Photos of your products or services also provide crucial information. And people like to see people. Plan to include photos of your staff as well. Or photos of the folks who use your products or services.

Distribution

Myth : If You Build It They Will Come.

Your site must be distributed to your audience. Delivered. Like a newspaper.

Studies indicate that if over 12% of your site traffic comes from search engines, you have not distributed your site properly.

Yes, search engines are important. And good placement will help. If your site is built for the Internet and not just the Web, so all those machines on all those networks can easily talk to all the machines in your network, most of this will actually happen automatically. One site I built had over 50,000 pages indexed within one month and I never *submitted* any of them.

Spend money on print media. Make sure all company stationery now reflects your URL and an email address. Make sure all business cards have a URL and email address. Make sure your telephone book advertising shows your URL and an email address. Make sure any coupons, newspaper, and billboard advertising includes these as well. Any TV or radio advertising should mention your URL.

Take advantage of Press Releases, both in newspapers and trade journals.

Include your URL and an email address on any signage. Your office building and delivery vehicles, even sidewalk sandwich boards, should all include your URL and an email address. People will write these down and contact you. Your website can reinforce a public perception of progressive legitimacy for your business.



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