Web Design Tips

Here are some general design and promotion tips for Alexander Technique websites.  Many are covered in this interview I did with Imogen Ragone:

 

  • Be sure the phrases “Alexander Technique” and “Your City” or “Your Region” are in close proximity to each other at or near the top of your homepage. If you live in a large city like New York or London, be sure to include a reference to the part of the city where you teach. It’s likely that about a third or more of your visitors will be typing those phrases into Google and other search engines.
  • Make sure your site is listed on the website of your Alexander Technique professional society, and in their printed directory. If you are a member of AmSAT, ATI or STAT, you’ll probably get 20-30 percent of your visitors that way. If there is a meta directory for teachers in your area – Alexander Technique Teachers of Greater Washington D.C., for example – be sure you’re listed there too.
  • Be sure you submit your site to the major search engines. Submit Express allows you to submit to the search engines in a few seconds for free.
  • This is a bit technical, but your web designer will know how to do it: Make sure your metatag “description” and “keywords” are properly filled out and that “Alexander Technique” and “Your City or Town” are among the first few keywords.
  • Do NOT use an opening page that visitors have to see first before entering your site. There is almost nothing more annoying that this. Even a quarter second delay in getting to your site’s contents will cause many people to skip it according to recent research.
  • Consider adding an MP3 interview to your website so your visitors can learn more about you and your teaching.
  • Be wary of anyone offering search engine placement services for a fee. The same goes for paying to have your site be a “sponsored link” on search engines. You can use your money far more effectively in other ways.
  • Do NOT use any images or videos on your site that you don’t own or have permission to use. (You don’t have to worry about linking to or embedding You Tube videos that others have posted.) There is now sophisticated image recognition software that scans the web to detect trademark infringement and website owners have been billed and threatened with legal action if they don’t pay. There are several sites like this one, that offer royalty-free images.
  • As more and more people use smartphones to search the web, having a mobile version of your site is becoming increasingly necessary. Learn what your mobile options – especially Word Press – are here:

 

  • Consider backing up your important computer files somewhere away from your home.
  • You can read Imogen Ragone’s Tips for an Effective Website on this PDF Download.  You can also take a look at Imogen’s and my evaluations of several Alexander Technique websites here.
  • Be careful how you use email. If you decide to create an email mailing list – a good idea – do not add people’s email address to your list unless they ask, and be sure your list is easy to opt out of. Most people do NOT want more email. As Chris Anderson, curator of the TED conferences notes: “Every day somebody’s born who’s going to be sending you a crappy email in a few years.”