Archive for the ‘search’ Category

17 Ways to Make Sure
Your Website is Working for You

By Hannah Du Plessis (c) 2011 Attraction Marketing
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Is your website bringing in at least five new inquiries per day? If not, you need to look at its functionality.

Your website acts as a “storefront.” You should put as much thought and care into your website as you would to the display in your store’s window. Your website needs to attract customers and keep them coming back for more. The following should give you a place to start and a guideline of what a good website should have and what it should do:

1. Where Do Your Eyes Go First?


You only have a few seconds to catch a visitor’s attention. That means you need to make sure that you capture their interest immediately. You need a headline that stops them thinking whatever they’re thinking, and think instead: “hey, this looks interesting! I need to read this.

2. Do You Know Right Away What This Website is About?

Don’t have any distractions from the message you are trying to get across. If you start talking about how great your company is instead of what the visitor is interested in, you lose them.

3. Is the Important Information Immediately Visible?

Site visitors want to know details as soon as possible. If they have to work too hard to find out what you’re offering, they will likely leave. You need to be clear on what you want them to do. Don’t sell more than one thing from your landing page. Decide on the main action you want them to take, and talk about only that. The best thing to do on your landing page is to provide your client something that will sign them up to your list.

4. Can You Easily Find the Benefits of the Product/Service?

Too many websites cite features rather than benefits. Features won’t get the visitor’s interest. They want to know what’s in it for them. Make sure your website makes it clear to them how your product or service will change their lives.

5. Is There a Clear Call to Action?

If the visitor likes what he sees, it is important to get him to take action quickly because delaying may lose his interest. Don’t have more than one call to action. This will only confuse them.

6. Are the Colors and Images Aesthetically Pleasing?


If your website has too many colors and pictures, it may put visitors off rather than catch their interest. Moreover, too many images will take too long to load, and if visitors have to wait, they will lose interest.

7. Is the Font Easy to Read?

Don’t use fancy fonts that are hard to read or colors that are too light. If visitors have to strain their eyes in order to read, they will lose interest and leave.
Keep your sentences and paragraphs short, and use bullet points. Long sentences and paragraphs make it difficult to read and understand.8. Are There Long Sentences or Long Paragraphs on the Page?

9. Are the Menu Buttons Clear?

Make sure your site is well designed and that buttons and links are easy to click on. Your page should also have a “contact us” and “about us” page.

10. Is There an Easy Way to Contact the Business?

If your website is working well, it should generate inquiries for you. Make sure visitors can find out easily how to contact you. If you are not contactable, your visitors will think that you are not reliable. They want to know that they can contact you in the future if anything goes wrong with their purchase.

11. Can You Find Out More About the Owner or Employees of the Company?

Prospective customers want to know that they are dealing with a real person. That is why having an “about us” page is so important. Have a photo of you and a photo of your business at least. Make sure the visitor knows what makes your company different.

12. Do Your Visitors Feel Personally Connected?

If you connect to your visitors in a personal way, they will be more likely to become customers. Tell them your story and tell them what makes you different. Have a conversational writing style and be honest.

13. Is the Writing Corporate or Conversational?

Your language should be easy to read, conversational and at about a year 9 level. This will be to your benefit because customers will identify more with you. Big corporations write differently, making customers feel like a number.

14. Is There a Visible Contact Form?

A contact form is really the only way to capture the prospect’s details. Make sure you have one with a powerful magnet to help your visitor decide to join you.

15. Do You Have an Irresistible Offér?

You should offér a powerful magnet to give your visitor a reason to give you his contact details. This must be a problem you solve for your visitor or something he really needs.

16. Is There Multimedia?

Some people prefer watching a video or podcasts to reading. Offering these will make your site more appealing.

17. Are There Links to Social Media?

You can connect with your customers in different ways. Perhaps they will not want to sign up to your newsletter, but would prefer to follow you some other way: Facebook, Twitter or some other social media website. Make sure you have these available on your website.

Now all you need to do is to decide what needs to change on your website, and plan to implement those changes.

About The Author
For more information on how to design your website to attract prospective clients like a magnet, sign up at Attraction Marketing for your free copy of “10 Magnets to attract clients.” www.masterattractionmarketing.co.nz

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Most Important SocNet? 60% Say LinkedIn – Website Magazine – Website Magazine.

Web users communicate in a variety of ways (email, IM, forums and social networks) but the bulk of activity occurs on a few platforms. So which is the most important for you as a Web professional to participate within?

Performance marketing agency Performics released results from “S-Net (The Impact of Social Media),”and the report provides one possible answer. According to the survey of 2,997 active social networkers, 59 percent of respondents said it is important to have a LinkedIn account – more than any other social network.

“We may not necessarily be in a double-dip recession but, individuals have embraced social networking as a means to actively manage their personal visibility in the global economy.” said Daina Middleton, CEO of Performics. “Factors including LinkedIn’s recent IPO announcement, the May uptick in national unemployment and signs of a slowed market certainly contribute to LinkedIn’s attractiveness among social networkers.”

As Middleton points out, there are obviously quite a few factors as to why LinkedIn may be top of mind, but what a professional network like LinkedIn provides is visibility and it is successfully living up to the expectation.

Of the study respondents with an active LinkedIn account, 50 percent visit the site at least weekly and 20 percent visit the site at least daily. While visits to LinkedIn decreased since the height of the recession in 2010 (67 percent weekly and 22 percent daily visits), the percentage of people who deem LinkedIn the most important social networking site jumped dramatically from 41 percent last year to 59 percent this year.

SEO Strategy – Keyword Density Revisited – Website Magazine – Website Magazine.

There has always been something intriguing about the concept of keyword density. Many years ago, search engine optimization professionals relied on keyword and phrase density (also called keyword prominence) as one of the core strategies behind top rankings. What made keyword density so appealing is that it was straightforward and simple. The downside is that it was misused if not outright abused. While keyword density remains a bit dated as an SEO tactic in general, there is still plenty of value in revisiting the practice as a means to improve rankings — if you know how to use it. 

There are far more accurate (better) ways for search engines to determine true relevance than keyword density, and each search engine has its own means and methods to rank sites for a particular keyword or phrase. Search engines consider usage data, anchor text of inbound links, site/domain age, and general authority (all of which have been discussed here at WM), but each one of these criteria also has its own way of relating/associating keywords and key phrases. This is called natural language processing and is something you, as someone responsible for high site rankings, have an immense amount of control over and should spend time on improving. 

The issue is not that keyword density is a bad means to determine relevance; it’s just that search engine algorithms have evolved while many SEOs and the search engine optimization software tools they use, have not. Where keyword density tools fall short is their ability to provide meaningful assessment and objective insights into ranking improvements. But keyword density tools are meaningful when used in conjunction with the right tactic. The “right” tactic in this case is to reduce on-page irrelevance and to boost relevance. 

The semantic algorithms of popular search engines typically look at supporting vocabulary when determining the relevancy of a page. The question to ask yourself is simple: If you removed the keyword phrase being targeted from your page, would it be very easy to rank for that term? If search engines can still determine what your page is about with the remaining/supporting text, then the answer is a definitive Yes. Let’s look at a few popular keyword density analyzer tools to see this in action. 

Dave Naylor’s Keyword Density Tool provides metrics about the content and even some technical information about a website. The tool provides several data points which are useful when trying to get a big-picture view of why competitors are outranking your site. For example, you might notice that a website with which you are competing has a higher keyword density in its title or page headings than you do. Naylor’s tool provides a quick overview of this very important information. 

Should you want to dig deeper into the relevancy of keywords and pages on your own site (or that of your competitors), then check out Ranks.nl’s Keyword Density and Prominence Analyzer. The tool provides a “Ranks Wizard” metric that is helpful in identifying the non-primary keywords on a page to support the search engines in their quest to relate/associate keywords and phrases and as you optimize for the long tail. 

These tools and many others are useful in determining how relevant a page is to a specific keyword and in gaining the perspective of a search engine crawler, but they are also useful in finding and minimizing irrelevance. As search engines continue to evolve their algorithms, rest assured that keyword density remains a good initial measure of future performance (but only if you know how to use it). Does keyword density carry as much “weight” as it did before? Not by a long shot, but when you know how to use it correctly and to your advantage, your site’s ranking will be that much better. Instead of chasing some specific keyword density percentage, use density as a measuring stick to reassuring yourself that you are doing all you can to convey to search engines that the page you are optimizing is indeed relevant.

Online Ad Revenues Jump 23 Percent – Website Magazine – Website Magazine.

Online advertising revenues in the U.S. hit $7.3 billion for the first quarter of 2011, representing a 23-percent increase over the same period in 2010, according to figures released by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

This marks the highest first-quarter revenue level ever for the industry and a significant increase over last year’s first-quarter revenue level, which had been the highest on record to date.

“The consistent and considerable year-over-year growth we’re seeing demonstrates that digital media is an increasingly popular destination for ad dollars, and for good reason,” said Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO of the IAB. “As Americans spend more time online for information and entertainment purposes, digital advertising and marketing has emerged as one of the most effective tools businesses have to attract and retain customers.”

Search made up for 46 percent of the ad revenues, followed by display advertising with 24 percent. Sponshorships (3 percent of the share) have grown 88 percent since 2009, and classifieds (10 percent) are up 15 percent.

How To Analyze A/B Tests Using Google Analytics.

Web CEO – Online SEO Software In Focus

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It is fascinating to see companies not just survive over the years but actually thrive – continually finding ways to offer better products to their users and remain relevant and useful. The Web is a highly competitive business environment for every niche and category; not evolving means irrelevance.

For this reason, it is good to showcase those companies serving Web professionals that fit this mold, changing now for a better future for themselves and their clients.

Having tools and applications at the ready that have been used by thousands for their own SEO success is one way to shorten the road to Web success. One of the perennial leaders in the search engine optimization software market is Web CEO.

 

Web CEO – Online SEO Software In Focus – Website Magazine – Website Magazine.

Social media marketing and measurement has become a necessity for success on the Web, forcing many companies to expand their staffs, outsource to expensive firms or both. HootSuite has been an effective and affordable option for many online businesses in the short time the space has existed, and the recent launch of a new analytics platform has been welcomed by more than a million users.

Updates to the Web-based dashboard include a brand new interface, much-improved reporting capabilities and new metrics that allow for deeper monitoring of Twitter, Facebook, Google and other services. The demand for social media management and analytics tools is rapidly approaching the supply, and companies such as HootSuite, Radian6, Involver and Sprout Social are doing their best to keep up.