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Tips for achieving more traffic to your website.

Search engine's and directories are a great way to receive traffic and helping in providing traffic is what we do.  The truth of the matter is that this only accounts for part of the possible traffic you may receive.  Optimizing your site for search engines will be discussed further down this page but first here are some other ways to increase "hits" to your site: 

  • Link Exchanges!
  • Message Boards & Guest Books
  • Mailings
  • Navigation
  • Bandwidth
  • Browser Compatibility
  • Domain Name
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Link Exchanges!

    While this may be time consuming, this is a sure fire way to generate traffic to your site that is directly interested in the product or service you are offering.  Most webmasters, even if they might be competitors, are very willing to exchange links or banners.  Some sites have over 200 links to other sites that are direct competitors.   These link exchanges may generate as much traffic, if not more than search engines and directories do. No one can do this but you... the webmaster. 

    Message Boards & Guest Books

    These options offer a multitude of benefits!  Message boards can cause potential customers to return again and again to your site to engage in conversation related to the products and services you offer.  The more  popular your message board becomes, the more visitors will recommend your site to other people on the internet. Not only this, but after your message board and guest book grows, they become search engine magnets!   Every keyword you every dreamed of related to your product or service will be discussed by your visitors.  If submitted to a search engine they will be spidered helping your ranking!

    Mailings

    Generally most people frown on unsolicited email (or "Spam") trying to sell you a product you are not interested in.  This is never a good idea.  To put this in perspective, think of a telemarketer calling you at dinner time trying to sell you a product you don't want.  A better alternative is to have your visitors have the option of "subscribing" to a "free" newsletter from your site... let them make the choice.  Do not fill the mailing with sales slogans or other "slap you on the back one-liner salesman techniques".  Instead mention the latest additions or updates to the site and possibly any special offers.  This can also increase word of mouth referrals, but always be sure to offer an option in each mailing to be removed from the mailing list.

    Navigation

    This is difficult for any webmaster, as well as ourselves. Many webmasters feel the need to explain everything they can about their service and product, as do we.  The problem is, and research shows this, most people do not read everything available.   The trick is you can offer all of the information you want, but rather than filling one page with text, put links to other pages or put the topics at the top of the page and have links to the information that it located further down (as we have done on this page.   The trick is to limit the amount of reading only to what the visitor has a direct interest in.  Use text links in addition to image links because many web surfers may turn off graphics to make sites load faster. If no text links are available, visitors may leave and some search engines follow only text links when spidering a site.

    Keep it simple!  Everyday more and more people are using the Internet.  Many of these people are on their first computer and have limited experience using one, let alone the Internet.  The more simple your site is, the easier it is to navigate.

    Bandwidth

    Many webmasters now have cable/DSL modems, this is an excellent benefit to them, however it can also be a direct disadvantage.  Most Internet users do not have cable modem access, they are limited to telephone line modems.  A Webmaster with a cable modem may not realize that the page she/he is designing may take 60 seconds to load on a standard modem.  Statistics show that most "surfers" are unwilling to wait more than 15 to 20 seconds for a page to load.  You must also consider that most sites with high traffic are charged for bandwidth.  Fancy sites are not always the answer and "More" is not necessarily better.  Try to keep your index page between 30 to 40K.  If the pages on your site are graphic intensive, keep each page below 30-40K by using thumbnails instead of full size images, this will allow the viewer to wait only for the images she/he wishes to view.

    Browser Compatibility

    This is a big issue.  If you do not know how to program in HTML and are using a program to design your site, be sure to view it with as many browsers as you can.   You want your site to be as compatible as possible and aside from the many versions available from the big boys on the block (Internet Explorer and Netscape) WebTV and AOL users may not be able to access your site properly.  Simplicity is the key.... while fancy plug-ins and other enhancements may impress your friends, it may also limit your business.

    Domain Name

    Having your own domain name has a big impact on your viewers, it shows that you are committed to offering your service and may give them a feeling of comfort.  Your domain name should be short, a very good example would be that one of our clients who sells Digital Video equipment and supplies wanted to use a domain name of digitalvideosupplies.com, with this domain name there was plenty of possible typographical errors, instead we suggested a shorter name of dvsupply.com because "dv" is the standard abbreviation for digital video and potential customers interested in this field would have no problem remembering the domain name.  If you have already registered a domain name it is not too late.  You can always add another domain name and use that name to forward to your existing domain.  Leaving the old and new domain names up would double your exposure!

    Domain name registration is well worth the minor investment.  On the internet you can be as big as you want to be!  For example: How do you know for sure that big name companies like amazon.com (a reseller of books, videos, and CD's) buy.com (a reseller of just about everything)  dvsupply.com (a reseller of digital video hardware and software),  binak.com (a company that manufactures a well known brand name lubricant for wind instruments) or for that matter submitasite.com (us) are not all run from a family owned small office in some rural location?  Truth is.. you don't, but those domain names give the visitors confidence as to their stability over a site such as http://www.earthhosting.com/user/home/bettysbridal/ 

       

    Search Engine Optimization

    If you jumped to this section you should really go back through everything on this page!  The reason is that all of the above issues directly impact search engine optimization.  If you have read all of the above, you should continue reading the next section on "Search Engine Optimization." 

    Here is why each of the above are important:  Link Exchanges-aside from possibly doubling or tripling your traffic, many search engines may rank you by your popularity with other sites.  Message Boards & Guest Books- aside form causing visitors to return to your site, they are also keyword gold-mines and search engines love them!  Mailings can improve repeat business and word of mouth referrals. Navigation if done properly will ensure that potential customers can find what they are looking for.  Bandwidth will also ensure that viewers will actually view your site rather than ignore it. Browser Compatibility has a direct effect on your traffic.

    If you followed all of the suggestions above, you are now ready for the next step, search engine optimization.  This falls into 5 main categories: the Title of your page,  the Description of the page, the Keywords used on that page, Submitting Multiple Pages, and Re-submitting every 60 days.

     

    Title

    Your title should be between 50 and no more than 65 characters (including spaces!).  Your company name and a short description of your site should be included.   This is what viewers will see when they book mark your page.,  This is also what search engines will use to classify the content of your site.  Do not use common terms with your title, try to be specific. 

     

    Description

    Your "Meta" description tag should only between 150 to 200 characters (between 18 and 26 words).  This description is very important as this is what many search engine users may see when your site is listed.  Do not use slogan's or other phrases that may seem like your desperate to sell a product.   Instead use an honest approach in your description that offers a true down to earth explanation of your services or product.  

     

    Keywords

    Repetition in "Meta" keywords tags is a "no-no" and may cause search engines to stop indexing your page. Your keywords should be about 800 characters long (although some engines allow up to 1000 characters). Use both singular and plural form of your keywords.  Use commas to separate your keywords and key phrases.  When trying to figure out your keywords pretend you are a potential customer and think of what words or phrases you may use.  Ask your friends or associates what they may type to find your product or service.  Another common technique is to purposely misspell commonly misspelled words.  Suppose in any given day out of the tens of millions of people on the net worldwide, there are 500,000 people looking for information on "tomorrow" and only .25% (1/4 of 1%) of those misspell it as "tommorow", using a simple typo as a keyword may isolate you as the only option for your service or product, placing you in the top ten on a search engine and generating up to 1,250 hits! Also, use keywords and phrases within the first 50 or so words of your body text for search engines who do not use "Meta" tags for indexing.

     

    Submitting Multiple Pages

    Top placement can be very difficult in some categories.   It is beneficial to keep a very narrow focus in your "Title" and "Meta" tag info for each page. Submitting multiple pages will broaden your exposure. This will help bring more traffic to a specific area of your web site. When registering other pages of your site, be sure to use a different variety of titles and keywords.

     

    Re-submitting

    Search engine's requires re-submission to maintain a good listing. We recommend re-submitting your site every 60 days.  However, submitting your site more than this is considered "spamming" and some engines may block your site. All of our Platinum or higher plans offer this service.

     

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