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“Rev Up Your Website Traffic: 10 Strategies you can master today”

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This PDF report is a revised version of Mark Beck's presentation at NJ Entreprenuer's Forum.

How The Boulevard Group produces websites

What to expect

Expect to devote time to this project, especially in its early stages. An average project takes about six weeks.

Sample timeline gantt chart

The design phase

In conjunction with your project manager, you'll decide what kind of content you want on the website. This list of categories and pages is known as the sitemap. The sitemap becomes the navigation structure of the website, information that is needed by the designer in order to create an appropriate layout. Keywords that optimize search engine placement will be identified at this time.

You don't need to have the photos early on, but, for example, the designer will need to know where photos will be be used and for what purpose.

You'll provide initial color and design likes and dislikes so the graphics designer can start off on the right track. Once they produce a selection of designs, you'll need to review them and provide feedback. This feedback cycle continues until you approve the design.

The requirements phase

While the designer is working on the design, you'll meet with the web copywriter to come up with the actual content. Any existing materials will serve as a starting point. The copywriter will interview you to get more information. Depending on your needs, you may need to schedule time for the writer to interview certain members of your staff.

You may want to check with your attorney to prepare appropriate terms of use, disclaimers, copyright and trademark notices, warranties and guarantees, and shipping and return policies.

Any photographs will need to be collected and identified. Photos can be scanned from existing prints, taken by you or your staff, or done professionally.

Details of any special functionality of the website will need to be worked out and finalized. Examples of functionality are the way the calendar is updated, the way the product catalog displays options such as sizes and colors, or the methods you'll use for credit card payment processing.

Again, your project manager will lead you in producing the requirements package for your website.

The programming phase

Once the design and requirements are agreed upon, the programmer can begin building the site. As the site is being built, it's not uncommon to request changes to the design and functionality. Most of the time, these changes can be accommodated at no extra cost to you. However, if the changes create a major upheaval in the design or programming, or are additions to the original concept, charges may apply.

During this phase you will verify functionality and approve progress along the way.

If you've opted to control the content yourself (rather than have us do it for you), you may be given access to the website during this phase to supply your own content. Otherwise, you'll gain access when the site is ready for launch. In either case, we will train you to use the content management system (CMS) which will enable you to update the website without programmer or webmaster intervention.

The launch phase

You site is ready to be launched when preliminary content is posted and all special systems are properly working.

The programmers will activate your home page and release it to the search engines.

The post-launch phase

Statistics will be tracked using Google Analytics, which you will be able to monitor.

In the days and months that follow launch, your website will need to be maintained to keep the content current. While you may update the website with new material, we may be recommending "tweaks" to the words and their placement that can optimize your exposure to the search engines (SEO).

Once the website is live, you may be interested in pursuing a search engine marketing (SEM) strategy such as Pay-Per-Click marketing to drive targeted visitors to your website. Other marketing strategies to pursue would be email marketing, regular newsletters, and press releases. These can be done at anytime after the website is launched, under a separate contract.