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Welcome to OrbWeaver's Business Resource Lab

Building a Brochure Site.

Web Brochures

Whether you've already launched a web site and are looking to enhance it, or never launched one before, a brochure site almost always includes a few basic pages.

The Index (or Home) Page is the door they come in. It should include at a minimum navigation, contact information, and graphics which provide a visual anchor for your business.

Top Level Pages are the products or services you offer, logically divided. So, for example, a garden center might offer "landscaping design," "tree planting" and a "tour of the gardens."

Sub-level Pages are "below" the top level pages, so in our example our garden center might have sub-level pages under the "landscape design" page for "water gardens" "post construction landscaping" and "herb gardens." Under the "tour the gardens" page might be "the greenhouse" and "the tree coral."

About Us is the page generally used to expound on your business philosophy or to introduce yourself to potential customers. Possibly even to extol your virtues!

Resources this page is about search engine placement... on a bed and breakfast site this would be the "Local Attractions" or "Events" page. But this is an integral part of any business site because these are the pages you can list for free on LookSmart's system. If you don't want to pay to play on the search engines... provide information and they'll let you play for free. What can you add to your site as a "resource?"

  • How to... pages. How to knit a sock. How to plan a wedding. How to pick a bed and breakfast. How to choose the right diamond. How to articles will serve you two ways: they'll punch you up the search engine ladder... and they'll answer questions before they arrive in your email box. If someone does ask a question you've already addressed, you can simply respond with "see our article at http://www...."
  • Links to other people's how to resources. Which, from a search engine perspective, can have the same results... and make you friends at the same time. Everybody loves a free link.
  • You can actually make money at this by including links to suppliers from your affiliate relationships on your resources page. Just make sure the links are relevant. So, for example, on our chicken resource pages "A flock of your own," we include our affiliate links to Lehman Brothers, ebay, and Magazine City. Lehmans sells books on raising chickens and supplies, ebay is a source of used equipment, and Magazine City offers Mother Earth News at a discounted rate. All of these links have made us a little money, a few dollars now and then, but more importantly... they spare us from having to answer, over and over again, email which asks "where can I buy..." The links are right there!

Resource pages, properly designed and written, are submitted for free to the LookSmart directory, which is the directory MSN and other major search engines draw from. You may NOT submit your front page, or commercial pages to this directory without paying for them, and paying for them adds up very quickly. Writing a few articles and coding the pages carefully to draw traffic unobtrusively back to your main index page is a most cost effective way of getting into the hierarchy, without having to shell out $300 or more in placement fees. So consider "Resources" a must include... not a luxury item.

Feeling comfortable? If you're not, you're not alone. It is difficult to imaging breaking your business apart into little boxes and stacking them back together in any cohesive order. So to make it a little easier for you, we've designed a worksheet.

Sit down with a nice cup of coffee, and sketch out your ideas.

In addition to the traditional pieces that make up your business, you should consider these additional pages:

The Affiliate Page is a little store within your site, or links to someone else's store. Commerce and income potential... without the attending headaches of running an e-store. Learn More.

A Micro Store is a tiny store powered by PayPal buttons which you manage yourself, stocked with your own merchandise, which you will ship out to the customers. Learn More

The "Friends" Page is a page you can use to promote other businesses or websites who will either enhance your site by providing content you can't offer, or will exchange links with you, also known as a "link farm."

Directions to Us, often overlooked, but seriously, don't you want folks to actually find you?

The Guarantee is almost never used, but look at the miles Land's End and L.L. Bean have traveled with the "unconditional guarantee." If you believe in your products... guarantee them. A guarantee is a priceless piece of good public relations, and often spells the difference between making a sale, and not.

The Contest using your product. Sell fleece? Have a contest for the best handspun using your fleece with bragging rights and a small prize. Punch up your site with lamb recipes by having a contest. Have a contest for the best vacation photo of your resort. You can make a contest out of almost anything, just make the rules clear and fair, and run the show clean.

At this point, I should say something about design. There are as many ways to manipulate and display graphics as there are web designers. And there are as many ways to present information as there are imaginations. Please visit our portfolio where we discuss different options in detail.


Additional Articles:
The Web Worksheet: planning your site

Ecommerce without Inventory (or a shipping department... or tears!)
Investing in Your Website: Anticipating Expenses