Web Design Is Just The Start For Rural Business
Web design can make your rural business look great. We all know that Devon is also one of the most beautiful counties in England, but beauty alone doesn’t help a tourist choose where to visit or where to stay. Their prime method of researching Devon, like other rural destinations, will be the Internet, and there’s a wealth of information out there. So much so, that many good quality guest houses, hotels and leisure facilities get lost, or don’t get seen at all. At worst, a cyber surfer could come across better information on another county! Malcolm Buttel, web designer with Devon’s Oxygen Creative graphic design and web design agency, says: “Research shows that people use the web for fact finding. They’re either opportunistic or are making plans.
Tourist A will have a free weekend and is thinking about visiting Devon, while Tourist B will be making detailed plans about visiting Devon and is using the web as their starting point.”Here’s a rough guide to getting spotted on the web. Web directories. You don’t actually need a website to be found on the web. Web directories are there to give surfers access to businesses of all types. You may need to pay to be listed on some, while others will be free. So should you pay? If you visit a search engine and key in your business service or product, among the first few pages of results you’ll find a number of directories. These directories often pay or negotiate really high listings on search engines, and are easily found by web surfers. The best ones to be listed on are the ones that come highest in the results, so you may think it worth paying to be on them. Overseas directories. If you speak a foreign language, key in your search in that language. It will pull up some interesting results, especially directories that promote UK tourism in overseas countries.Link to your website. When you place a listing on a directory, you’ll find that the information you can write about yourself may only include a name, phone number or email address. But many directories will allow you to add a link to your own website. That’s great, because you’ll be able to showcase exactly what it is you offer. Create your own website. You need three things to get your own website up and running. a) a URL – sometimes called a domain name.
This is an address where someone can find your site, which will look something like this: http://www.mydomainname.co.uk. You could register your business name, family name, or something that says what you do as a domain name.b) web space – often called web hosting. Internet Service Providers (who may provide you with your email or web access) can often give you web space for free, or you can pay to have your domain hosted. c) web software. This will include the software you create your web pages in (or that someone else uses to build your website) and some software called FTP (file transfer protocol) that’s used to transfer your web pages from your PC onto your web space.Reciprocal links. Some directories will link to your website for free, but only if you link back to them. It’s a good idea to design the home page of your website with an area for reciprocal links, so that you can group them all together, away from your own important messages. Links like this are good for your search engine rankings too.Clear information. Ensure your website is quick and easy to navigate. Fact finders are an impatient lot. Make sure that key things are visible, such as where surfers can find your prices, availability, facilities, special offers and so on.Bookmarks. A bookmark is a facility on a web browser where someone can remember your website address. You should have an area on your site which says “bookmark this site, and come back later”. People will click it, and you’ll then be a permanent reminder on their PC.Search engines. As mentioned before, directories will already have a good ranking on search engines. If you want your website to be found by itself, you’ll have to submit to search engines too. Some will expect you to pay for this, while others are free.