Media Alert: Microsoft Office Live Teams Up With to Offer Free Advice to Small-Business Owners on How to Improve Their Web Sites

REDMOND, Wash. — Sept. 18, 2007

What: Having a Web presence is important for those small businesses and entrepreneurs that want to attract new and existing customers. However, a poorly designed Web site can hurt the image of a small business. Therefore, when building a Web site, it is important to understand what works and what does not.

That is why has teamed up with Microsoft® Office Live to publish the eBook “I Hate My Website!: 10 Easy Ways to Improve Your Website Plus 9 Disastrous Moves to Avoid.” The free download, available at, includes tips and techniques to help small businesses design an effective and engaging Web site, generate more traffic to their Web site, maximize search engine results, and provide a security-enhanced online experience.

The eBook provides the following tips for improving a Web site:

  • Have a basic plan. Before starting a Web site, ask yourself these key questions: Who are my customers? What are they looking for? What are my competitors doing? What do I want to get out of this Web site?

  • Keep it simple. Do not cram your Web site with features and information that may make it slow to load and difficult to read. If users cannot easily find what they are looking for, they will look elsewhere. Users will appreciate a fast-loading, informative and easy-to-use site.

  • Pay attention to content. A Web site is one of the best ways for businesses to highlight themselves without any marketplace interference. While you can be creative with your Web site, make sure it includes some basic information such as About Us, Contact Us, Testimonials, News/Announcements and Media Coverage. These sections are your chance to promote your business’ strengths, core competencies and differentiating factors from the competition.

  • Update frequently. Nobody likes going to a Web site that has months-old information. If content is not updated, why would customers want to return? New content is easy to create through formats such as blogs, surveys and polls, and newsletters.

  • Pay attention to the users. Tracking customers might seem difficult, but it is actually fairly easy. All Web-hosting companies should be able to provide free reports about site traffic. This data can show important trends, such as where site visitors are coming from, how long they stay on the site, and what your site’s most popular pages are. This information can then inform future revisions to your site.

  • Attract users. Most search engines easily allow you to submit a Web site to their database so that the site will appear in search results. Look for the “Add URL” or “Submit your site” buttons. To make sure the site does not appear at the bottom of the results, focus on including as many relevant keywords and links as possible into the content of the site. Paid search, or “keyword” advertising, is another way to drive traffic to the site.

Where: The eBook “I Hate My Website!: 10 Easy Ways to Improve Your Website Plus 9 Disastrous Moves to Avoid” is available as a free PDF download at

Who: Entrepreneur Magazine and are the definitive guides to all of the diverse challenges of business ownership. The magazine and Web site equip entrepreneurs with the critical information they require and demand to grow their businesses. Microsoft Office Live is sponsoring this new eBook.

About Microsoft Office Live

Microsoft Office Live is a complete, affordable set of easy-to-use Internet-based software and services that helps small businesses attract new customers, keep in touch with existing customers and easily manage their business from virtually any location. By combining the power of software plus services, Microsoft Office Live helps small businesses establish a professional Web presence. More information is available at

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at

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