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Adoption Outreach

What you can do to promote traffic to your open adoption web site
Your adoption web site is a perfect venue for promoting your search to be found by a potential birthfamily. The Internet is surfed by prospective birthmothers at ever increasing numbers so it is important for you to take advantage of all of the Internet outreach services available to you.

Internet outreach begins with your printed materials
Your Internet Outreach begins by determining your domain name or web address. This should be done before you create your printed materials so it can be added to your birthmother letter and any other form of printed outreach material that you will be creating.

Once your adoption web site is built, you can link your web site to adoption outreach sites that specialize in the promotion of prospective adoptive families. We can provide you with a list to get started.

You can advertise on Google and Yahoo with your own keywords campaign. It is very easy to do and Google and Yahoo have made it affordable and adjustable to anyones budget.

You can send out mass emails to friends, family and colleages announcing your wish to adopt. Along with your email you can include a link to your adoption outreach web site.

How to build a great open adoption web site

Designing your adoption web site is an important task. Your overall goal is to provide a web site that is informative, pleasant to look at, and easy to navigate. Below are some design tips that should help you in the creation of such a web site.

DO Build a web site that loads quickly.

DON’T build a web site that loads slowly. When an image isn’t prepared correctly for the Internet it will load slowly, if at all. This causes frustration to the visitor and they will move on before your first page ever loads.

DO have clear and concise navigation. Site navigation should be prominent and visible when the browser window opens. Create navigation that is consistently located in the same location with the same link names on every page. Make sure to add a “homepage” link so your visitor can easily get back to your homepage. The best location for navigation is, top left horizontal or top left vertical. Make sure to include a “contact us” link as part of your main navigation.

DON’T have a web site where your visitor has to scroll down or to the right to find the navigation. Poor navigation will leave the visitor frustrated and lost, prompting them to leave your web site early.

DO place your name and phone # at the top of every web page. You want your visitor to be able to rest on anyone of your web pages and receive this important information. While surfing your site your visitor may want to stop and give you a call.

DON’T make it difficult for your visitor to find your phone number and name.

DO have a great homepage photo. The focal point of the adoption web site, like the birthmother letter is the clients main photo. All of the photos on the web site should support the text and prepared prepaired properly so your site can load quickly.

DON’T have washed out or distorted photos on your site. A picture speaks a thousand words. You can have a beautiful web site but if the photos are distorted no one will notice the qualities that you want them to focus on.

DO have a web site that uses a color scheme that works well with your photos.

DON’T use garish colors or neon colors in your design. An adoption web site design is driven by photos. Photos of people tend to clash with intense color schemes.

DO create a site design that fills up the browser window, with main image, text and navigation that is clearly visible when loaded.

DON’T create a web site that chops off your navigation, main image or other important information when loading. Banner ads or pop up ads restrict the viewing of your web site and look to commercial.

Three more DON’TS:

DON’T use a log-in option for your visitor to visit your web site.

DON’T use flash on your homepage. You don’t want a prospective birthmother to have to leave your site to load the flash player. Also, anything that delays the loading of your site will deter a visitor.

DON’T use music that loops. If you use music make it interactive with the viewer allowing them to turn it on or off easily.
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Web Site Maintenance
Web site is maintenance is often overlooked when considering all that needs to be done when creating an adoption web site. There are certain things that need to be done on a regular basis to ensure a well ordered, finely tuned web site. Web Site

Check Links before you launch your web site you should check your web site thoroughly for broken links. Make sure to also check all of the links within your site that takes you to another location off of your site, such as your email link and all links leading back to your web site.

Spell and Grammar Check:
You should also spell and grammar check the text on your web site as well as the description text on all sites linking to you. Sometimes when cutting and pasting text into html text, the characters can get transcribed into funny little characters, replacing apostrophes with question marks. You will want to make sure that you eliminate all of these little oddities before you go live.

Visit Your Web Site On a Regular Basis: The company hosting your web site can go down. If the host goes down, so does the web site.

Keep Good Records:
You should always have a printed copy of your domain register, and the hosting company you are doing business with in a handy location. Should your hosting company go out of business or you are unhappy with your service, you will need this information to transfer your web site to another service.

2009 Debbie Weeks
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