Tuesday, July 1, 2008

8 Website Essentials

It doesn’t matter how much money you spend on your website design if people aren’t going to see it.

As I’ve said many times before, SEO (search engine optimization) is key to your website success.

Keep the following in mind if you intend to utilize your website to attract more business:

1. SEO. Your website must be able to be crawled by the search engines. If the spiders, robots and crawlers cannot read the content on your page, you are not going to be found. 2 common examples of sites where the content cannot be read are websites created entirely in flash and websites that rely on images in order to create a great “look”. Big name corporations who have the advertising dollars can afford to have an artistic “flashy” website, unless your brand name is known nationwide, don’t risk it.

2. Content is king!
A common mistake many first time website owners make is to use their company name and “welcome” as the site description. “Welcome to My Company!” Refrain from using your site title or company name for your main site description. Search engine crawlers consider your site description in the formula for SEO. You want to have meta tags that convey whatever product or service that you are selling so that when people search for those keywords, they will find your site.

3. Links.
You should include a resource section on your website that links to other websites that are relevant to your industry. You also want to have inbound links coming to your site, these help tremendously with search engine optimization. How can you find how many links you have to your site? You can do a Google search: link: yoursite.com to find out. Remember your search engine results rely on links as part of the algorithm.

4. Anchor text.
Always use proper anchor text in your linking strategies. For example: “click here” simply doesn’t have as much weight as “read our small business tips”. Search engines read those words and they put weight on those links.

5. Articles.
Having articles on your website with your keywords in them can help tremendously to get you noticed by the search engines. Do not stuff your articles with keywords; instead use the proper keyword density for the size of your articles.

6. Blogging.
Blogs are a wonderful way to drive traffic to your site. While your website is your online brochure, your blog is your connection to the public. Blog posts are indexed quickly and a great way to get noticed on the Internet. You can gain a large following by posting helpful tips, links to other resources of interest and interacting with other bloggers.

7. RSS feeds.
RSS feeds are a wonderful way to distribute your site updates as well as contribute to your site by including related industry news on your website.

8. Analytics.
You need to keep track of your website analytics and monitor what is working and what isn’t. Keeping track of whether or not your website is converting visitors into buyers can help you tweak your site to create a working sales funnel. If you are using PPC advertising, you’ll be able to easily assess your ROI. Don’t forget to utilize A/B testing!

Good luck!



Anonymous said...

Great info here, always something you want to keep in mind when designing a website

Laura said...

As always very useful information

Anonymous said...

Very informative and honest. Good information

Jim said...

Thank you Joanne, you've cleared up most of the questions our company & I have had about internet marketing..

Your explanation of the terms like SEO, PPC & ROI for those of us just starting to learn how to market our company on the internet is VERY helpful...

Thank you!!

Search Engine Optimization Company said...

for analytics you can use google analytics.

Mike@itdoescompute said...

Although I agree that these 8 points are important, I would not want to send anybody to my website if it was poorly designed. Your website is an extension of you and your business. If somebody came to your business, would you answer the door wearing shorts and a t-shirt (excluding you Surf Shop owners)? If not, then don't show them a website that is poorly designed or ugly. If you hire a good designer, then SEO will be part of the package. Then it's up to you to provide the valuable content.

Complete Business Systems said...

I agree!

I like to use Google Analytics as they are free. In the past I've used ClickTracks, WebTrends and others and I've found you just don't need to pay in order to track your website activity. Google's platform is easy to use too.

Complete Business Systems said...

You're right Mike!

Many people get their $200 design that looks great, but it doesn't have all the other things they need in order to be a success.

You need the whole package...

Anonymous said...

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Complete Business Systems said...

Thank you for the great feedback Susan!

If you have a topic you'd like us to blog about, please let us know.