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For People Searching the Web
I have looked at literally hundreds of shamanism related websites and there were a few things I noticed which would make it difficult for someone who found you on a web search engine. I wanted to mention these in case it could help:
- Location, city and state. If you were found on a web search engine the person doesn't know where your from. Its a good idea to mention what city you are located near, what city your in, and what state you are in. That way they will know right away where your from and can then continue to invest the time looking at your information. Its especially nice to put it on you main page. Otherwise mention it in your contact information page.
- What do you do? Some pages talk about what they do in easy to extract manners. Workshops? Healing? Drumming circle? I found a lot of pages that don't make it clear what the full range of services are. If you can concisely mention it on your main page in written text or a list, that's a good idea. Also say what you offer first, and then talk about shamanism etc.
- Mention the year on your schedule. Not all websites are for groups who are still active, so it a nice sign to see the current year on the class listing.
- Make sure all pages link back to your home page. Its happens somewhat frequently that a web search engine won't send the person to your main page. Google does that frequently. Not everyone realizes they can delete a bit of text to find your main page. So even if you think the page isn't that important, put a home page link on it.
- Remember that some people are blind as a bat, and make sure your font isn't too small/unreadable/ or in a color that might make someone's eyes cross. I'm getting into web design territory, but remember that not all browsers will view your page the same way. You may want to check it on a few, internet explorer, netscape, aol and see if they all show your pages correctly.
- Don't make your links hard to find/figure out, especially your schedule page. People aren't going to spend a lot of time trying to figure out what you offer, so its usually good to have you links organized for relevance. If you are a shamanic teaching organization for example, visitors probably want to know who you are, what you offer and where your located, and when you are offering classes first. I have found that many people have the link to their current schedule buried in their site.
If you are searching the web I thought a few things may help. I start with information related to this site.
Not sure if our shamanic healers/teachers are nearby you? Go to www.mapquest.com, or a similar website, go to the directions section and type in your city and the destination city. You get directions but also the distance for how far it is to a given practitioner or teacher's city.
Google is a pretty good site, but its most effective if you use good key words. Shamanic, shamanism, shaman, are all words to start with, but may give you very general sites you aren't interested in. So you make it more specific "Shamanism Oregon" or "shamanism organization." Some words to search for healers or teachers: healer, teacher, organization, center, workshop(s), ceremony(ies), group. The trick is to get specific enough to find a nice number of relevant sites, but not too specific to eliminate something. For instance "mongolian siberian psyhopomp", may not yield many sites, and some of those not found could have good information. Also searching a plural word or singular, shamans versus shaman can give you different results.
If you get to a page that doesn't work, try deleting the extra stuff and going for their main page. For instance http://www.medicinefortheearth.com/pages/954404/index.htm will not work, but if you delete the tail and type http://www.medicinefortheearth.com that will get you to the main page.
Website words too small? With Internet Explorer you can go to the top pull down menu - View, and click on the option Text Size. It will let you select small, medium, larger, largest... This is probably possible with other browsers as well such as Netscape.
Trying to find something on a large web page? Use the Find command. In almost all Microsoft products you go to the top pull down Edit, and on that menu is listed Find. Click Find and a menu pops open, type in the word your looking for in the document/spreadsheet, or web page and you'll jump right to it. If the first jump isn't it, click find next, and keep jumping until you do.
Lauren Torres - Lansing, IL
Copyright © 2002 [Lauren Torres]. All rights reserved.