If you have gone to all the trouble to create a fantastic website, you will of course want that site to be noticed by other people.

All successful sites have basically the same key elements.

First, a successful site doesn't take days and days to load in the visitors browser. It should load quickly...otherwise, the visitor will hit the stop or back button fast.

You should first speed up the display of your pages by making your graphic files as small as possible. This can be done by compressing them, using Paint Shop Pro. .

Remember that smaller and less is better when it comes to graphics!

The next thing that will help to make your site successful is the page design and layout...then the site design and layout. First, everything...all text and graphics...should reflect what your page is about. You only have so much space, and your visitors only have so much time and patience.

Each page should contain from 100 to 500 words, and have breaks between the text. You can use a headline, horizontal rule, or image..and should do so every 50 to 100 words. Each page should be no more than 4 screens long...and no more than 50-60KB per page, including graphics. If you are using animated graphics, your page may be larger than this..and will take more time to load. The page should load within 15-20 seconds.

Make sure that you use colors that are easy on the eyes. If the page is blinding, or the visitor has to strain to see the words, they won't stay long, and they probably won't be back. You have one chance to make an impression...and you need to do it fast!

The page should appear to be well balanced, and not crowded...clean. All images and links should be working, and you should check your page periodically to make sure that this is so. You should have no more than two banners per page.

Making your website a success

Your site should be easy to navigate. It is a good idea to make it so that your visitors can get to any page on your site from any other page on the site. This can be done with a menu in a table on the side of the pages, or a drop down menu. This is like providing a map for your visitors.."You Are Here."

Your meta tags should be perfected so that your page ranks fairly high in the search engines.

The above suggestions are for all types of webpages. Business pages need even more elements to make them successful.

A business page should offer lots of free information for the visitor. That is what will bring them to the site, and keep them coming back. It usually takes about three visits to your site before a visitor will actually buy anything from you. So, offer free information, or free gifts.

The visitor should be able to order your product or service, and pay for it, directly from your website. This is crucial.

The visitor to a business site arrives with the knowledge that you are selling something..but that isn't what they are there for..they are there to collect whatever free thing you are offering, and have no intention of buying anything. It is important that you have what you are selling mixed in with the free thing...on the same page. They are not going to go to the page where your freebie is, and then click to another page to see what you are selling..that will seldom happen..if ever.

A successful site will provide a way for the visitor to contact you. Your e-mail address should appear on each and every page of your site.

Ask your visitors for their comments. Just as if they were inside your physical store, while inside your virtual store, they should be able to suggest how you can serve them better. You can use forms to get feedback from your visitors...and when you get feedback, you should examine what it is your visitors are telling you, and decide if their suggestions really would make your site better.

Now, once your site is perfect..or as perfect as it can possibly be, it won't make a bit of difference if it isn't promoted the right way.