Forget get-rich-quick Web sites: Most businesses don't make a lot of money on the Web. Still, a good site can be a terrific marketing vehicle. How can you make yours stand out from the crowd?
Start by studying several of the "pick-of-the-week sites" listed at the front doors of search engines like Excite--then spruce up your own site. Most award-winning sites are simple and well-structured, so visitors don't get lost. The best sites don't preach or boast. Rather, they seduce by being intriguing, fun and full of useful information. The Chuck E. Cheese site at http://www.chuckecheese.com, for example, offers not just company information but also contests, promotions, links and a bulletin board for children.
Good sites also make it easy for users to reach the company. Make sure you list your company's phone number and e-mail address. Set up mutual links to other related sites, and make sure your site is listed with search engines such as Alta Vista, Yahoo! and Lycos.
Finally, remember that building a site, like having a baby, is just the beginning of the work. If you're not ready for the commitment, you're probably better off without one.