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Hart Provides Website Tips

eDirectGlass' Gary Hart explained the ins and outs of developing an effective website at both the National Windshield Repair Association's (NWRA) annual conference and the Independent Glass Association's (IGA) fall conference at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas previously. He provided several handy tips during the event. For example, Hart suggested that shops not only purchase a domain name-but also be certain that the company they pay to handle the domain registration be a viable one. He noted that accredited registrars, such as GoDaddy, Network Solutions and are preferable when available.

"You pay for what you get," he told attendees. "If it's under $15 and not one of these [above] there's a good chance you're going to lose your domain name."

He also noted that it's important when setting up a website using a third-party domain registrar that your contact information appear in both the organization and administration spots on the electronic form-and that the domain registrar only appear as the technical contact. However, he noted, whatever contact information is provided there must be current.

"We can't stress enough-keep your contact info current," he warned. He also advised attendees that if an e-mail address is provided, it needs to be one you utilize.

When it comes to the development of the website itself, Hart advised that branding is as important as it is elsewhere.

"Your brand is not only your name-it's your company, [and] it's your logo," he said.

And, as your company changes, so should your brand, warned Hart.

"Your brand evolves," he said.

That brand should also convey one thing-what your business is, according to Hart. When deciding what content to include on your website, Hart warned that it's important to make sure that potential customers know clearly how to reach you for your services, and that the information they need to obtain your service (and what it is) is there.

"People aren't going to your website to be entertained. They're going because they need your service," he said.

He also noted, though, that any paperwork you give to current customers should contain your website, so they no where to find you, and to obtain customers' e-mail addresses whenever possible so that you can remain in contact with them.

Hart also provided tips on the ins and outs of meta-tags, cross-linking and the possible breakdowns for website pages.

For more information on this and other seminars provided during the IGA and NWRA conferences, see the upcoming November-December issue of AGRR.

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