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Re: Marketing on the Web without spending a fortune!
From Jochen Binikowski at Ships-in-Bottles, Internet Maritime Shop on 21 August '98
adding to Marketing on the Web without spending a fortune! posted by Sandra Pottorff

Dear Sandra, since I do have a simmelar product site I checked your homepage. Althought I am only a "web design amateur" I discovered at least some reasons why you are not getting any orders:
1. The loading time of your start page is far too long.
2. The menu should be at the top or side of the page, not at the bottom.
3. There are no photos of the products. I guess that people will see what they buy.
My site has weekly hits from 150 to 200 (english and german version together), just the index sites. Since my ISP has only weekly statistics for the top 15 sites I don't know how many hits are on the sub-sites.
More important, I receive about 3 to 8 orders per week, even from USA, Japan etc. The trend is increasing week by week. In August the orders had already a value of approx. US$ 2.000.00. Not so bad. Some orders are very small, other are big and I got already regular trade customers.
When designing my homepage I gave priorities to fast loading, easy navigation, huge selection of products, general informations and service. I first asked myself: What is the purpose of my homepage? Off course to sell products. Who are my targeted customers? Private and trade. Someone who search the web for very special items like Ships-in-Bottles and nautical decoration does not expect a fancy site with blinking, sounds and other loading-time consuming gimmicks. They want to know what products are available, the prices and how to order. That's it.
For sure my site is not yet perfect and I am always working on improvements. Tips and hints from experts are always welcome.
If you try my site have also a look to the german version, which has much more product lines. The menu has english ALT-tags.
Regards from Hamburg, Germany,
Jochen


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