10 Rules for a Successful Web Site
Before the first text message was ever sent, before the first blog was ever written, and before young CEOs like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg were driving cars, I compiled some very simple “rules” for any Web site to follow.
The one-page tip sheet was produced in response to companies asking a lot of questions about their Web sites, while we were asking them for advertising dollars. The end result was “10 Rules For A Successful Web Site,” which we gave to advertisers and prospects as a thank-you for their business and to show them that we were taking online advertising seriously.
What strikes me today is how relevant some of the rules are, even on the 10-year anniversary of writing them. Some of the highlights:
• Web sites should be BIG (Belonging, Informative and Gratifying). Granted, I didn’t use the words “community” or “sticky,” but a decade later getting loyal, repeat visitors should still be a primary objective of any Web site.
• People will give to get. Regardless of what Rupert Murdoch decides to do with The Wall Street Journal, “gating” content may seem like an attractive option to build a customer/subscriber file. Few sites have succeeded, but those that have offer great content while not asking for a user’s first-born (a lesson trade magazines may never learn). Remember, you can always go back and get additional information from a loyal, repeat visitor.
• A hit means a hit. Still today, I hear from sales reps who say, “XYZ advertiser says their Web site gets 100,000 hits a day.” My reply, “Great, and their Alexa rating is probably really high too (which is equally as meaningless).” Neither hits nor a Web site’s Alexa rating should be used when you talk about Web site traffic.
You can view the original “10 Rules For A Successful Web Site” by clicking on the thumbnail below.