Websites and the internet can seem extremely complex, and on certain levels they are, but the fundamentals are simple. Here are some simple but effective tips.
Websites and the internet can seem extremely complex, and on certain levels they are, but the fundamentals are simple. Don't let 'experts' baffle you with science. Have faith in common-sense principles and your own experience when using websites. Here are some basic rules for good internet and website marketing, and particularly for creating effective business-to-business websites:
- KISS - as the saying goes - "keep it simple, stupid". people want information quickly, clearly, no-nonsense. Remember your own frustrations when using unnecessarily complex websites. Make your own website easy to use and to convey your improtant messages. Aim for simplicity and ease of use in all functionality.
- The internet and the website medium are ideally suited to specialised providers, suppliers, companies, etc., so try to specialise and be the best in what you offer within that specialisation on the web.
- Give as much as you can free online from your website - material that can be printed or downloaded, or information that can be read from the web page are all good worthy free things to offer.
- A website should be like a shop - think about it in the same way - ease of access to what you want - make browsing easy - layout clear and clean - the experience should be warm and welcoming.
- Remove obstacles like registrations and password requirements as far as possible - these are barriers to visitors - shops don't have barriers and registration requirements do they?...
- Fancy graphics visual effects please designers but not customers - fancy complicated design puts people off.
- Lots of text is good - if it's relevant search engines like lots of text too, but it must be relevant.
- Keep information up-to-date - many search engines take account of update frequency, so update your website frequently (ie, weekly at least) even if it's just small changes.
- Offer what people are interested in - not what you want to push.
- Good websites will be found by most search engines - don't pay for regular submissions services unless you have a very complicated and extensive internet and website strategy.
- Other sites linking to yours will certainly improve your search engine rankings, so reciprocal links are okay, but building a site that other sites will want to link to is far more beneficial than directing all that effort instead into a reciprocal ink campaign. Reciprocal linking is much over-reated as a website optimisation tactic. relevant high quality links matter. Having hundreds of irrelevant links on tiny unpopular websites counts for very little.
- Search engines downgrade or de-list sites that cheat, so don't cheat. If you want to know what constitutes cheating look on the web for the very many highly complicated website marketing and promotion websites.
- Measure your traffic - there are lots of trackers and systems to use. Google Analytics is a great tool. It offers an extremely sophisticated free website tracking and analysis tool.
- Read website optimisation blogs and newsletters, and learn about the tools you can use to design and measure your website's performance in relation to the web as a whole - especially what people are searching for, how they find websites, and what yoiu can do to optimise your own website. For example, Google Trends is very useful tool for assessing the relative popularity of website search terms. Overture's keyword search inventory tool is also very useful, when you can actually get on the site - it is inconsistently available, perhaps due to high demand.
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