Dec. 28,  ISSUE #87
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I often wonder how serious people are when it comes to their websites. I thought that most everyone knew that the phrase "Build it and they will come" no longer applies on the internet but I'm not sure how many people really believe it.

I look at sites everyday as part of my sales strategy and I can't tell you how many of them violate the obvious elements of good website design and submission.



What even amazes me more is that they can't figure out why they don't get sales or visitors. Do yourself a favor and attempt to apply the following tactics to your site. They won't cost you a thing except a little time and effort to apply them.

About Page

Always include an about page on your site.
Don't be afraid to tell your story and let people know who you are and how you arrived where you are.

Opening yourself up and letting people know who you are adds an element of trust. It exposes your personality, capabilities and knowledge. All factors that let your readers know you are genuine.

Include all your contact information

Let your visitors know that you are available.
Encourage questions, email and phone calls. Include your name, address and phone number.
If you can, it's also helpful to place a photo on your site. Familiarity is key and it can add one more link in the ladder of trust.

Headlines

Create compelling headlines. Peak the interest of your readers. This is your chance to grab their attention and incite them to read on.

Don't be flashy or obnoxious. Simply tell it like it is. Capture their attention with descriptive, informative words. Get your readers involved in your information. Ask questions. Make them think.

You might be surprised to learn that just one compelling headline can bring instant sales almost overnight.

Create your meta tags

This is the first place I look when people tell me they aren't getting visitors. I often see sites that have no title or description tag or the tags don't follow the suggested guidelines for proper setup.

Here's an example of how the tags might look for a site that sells hummingbird feeders:

<title>Hummingbird Feeders: Shop For Hummingbird Feeders Online</title>
<meta name="description" CONTENT="Hummingbird feeders.Shop For hummingbird feeders online">
<meta name="keywords" CONTENT="hummingbird feeders, hummingbird feeder, bird feeder, bird feeders">

You will need to do this for each page of your site. Each page needs to have it's own set of tags. I also recommend focusing on one keyword per page, two at the very most. Too many keywords can confuse what your page is about.

Always make sure that your keywords are scattered throughout your text as well, however don't sacrifice
good content for nonsense. Your text should be easy to read and should not sound redundant. Make your pages at least 250 words.

Testimonials

Solicit feedback from buyers you've had. Ask them to write a small testimonial that you can place on your site. This goes a long way to help convince your visitor that your products and services are sound.

Linking

Reciprocal linking is a common and effective tactic for obtaining search engine status and page rank but it's also the most time consuming. It requires making contacts, following up with contacts and updating your website.

While reciprocal linking is an excellent way of establishing page rank it's not the only way. Page rank can also be established by submitting your site to directories, writing articles and setting up blogs.

Don't underestimate the power of website links. Take the extra few hours a day and get your site noticed.



Review the page you are exchanging links with
. Be sure it is a site that you find easy to navigate and informative. I also recommend that the site's index page have a Google PR rating of at least one. This ensures that the site is not being penalized by Google. If it is a penalized site then you could be penalized as well for linking to it.

Include a 'tell a friend' and 'bookmark' script on your site. This gives viewers an easy way to bookmark you and most of all return to your site.

Include a Site Map

Site Maps let visitors know what information you have, how it's organized, where it is located with respect to other information, and how to get to that information with the least amount of clicks possible.

Site maps also provide spider food for search engine robots. This can increase your chances of becoming indexed because a site map allows the search engines to easily visit every page of your site.

A site map works best if you include a link to your site map in the navigation of every page on your site.

Finally, don't let your site become stale. I have found that my search engine rankings improve when I periodically add new pages to my site and keep the content new and fresh. Follow these tips and 2005 may be your year for traffic.


About the Author:
Elizabeth McGee has spent 20 years in the service and support industry.
She has moved her expertise to the world wide web helping businesses
find trusted tools, enhance customer service, build confidence and
increase sales. You can contact Elizabeth at: mail@pro-marketing-online.com or visit her website at: http://www.pro-marketing-online.com

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