the magical seven keys to website marketing that apply to virtually all business.
Apply these strategies to your website marketing efforts for maximum return on investment and great customer loyalty.
Focus a great deal of your search marketing efforts on linking.
There are many variables involved in marketing your website so it is found on the internet.
Many of the tactics involved in search marketing, both paid and non- paid search, are subject to change.
Here is one constant you can bank on: linking your website so that it is accessible from other websites.
Think of it this way: for every website that links to yours, you have another venue through which customers and prospects can interact with your business.
These "links" are really just selling extensions of your firm.
They are like "internet salespeople" that are out prospecting for business on your behalf.
Search engines love websites with lots of incoming links from others.
They view these links as an indicator of a website's relative importance in its subject matter.
Most search engines also tend to give higher search rankings to those sites with lots of incoming links.
Make "appearance" the last thing you evaluate about your website.
Your website needs to be found and responded to in a positive way by visitors for online success.
Many of the aesthetically pleasing features available in website design technologies are counter-productive to best practices of website marketing.
As an example, most crawler based search engines (Google) can't see and thus index Flash technology websites.
Rich media, streaming video and other "frills" often slow down website loading times, a real no-no in today's on demand society.
Businesses selling to business especially need to understand that these visitors want information and to buy, not a song and dance show.
Avoid type on fancy colored backgrounds, and rotating messages and banner ads.
State your case and give your visitors great content with strong call to action statements.
Then worry about how your site looks.
Go for substance with sound search marketing practices over style most every time.
Convey a "feel good" attitude about your company and its policies to your website visitors.
The internet has made new buying options available to consumers with just a few short keystrokes.
For many consumers, a website is the only interaction they will ever have with a company.
Convey a good feeling to website visitors about your company.
Give visitors information that helps them understand and feel good about your company.
All sites should tell about the company, its privacy and identity protection policies, and include a site map for visitors, at a minimum.
Also understand that website visitors come to a website looking for something.
Make it easy for customers to find you or reach you through ways outside of your website.
Keep your site fresh and up-to-date.
Adding content regularly to your website helps with search engine rankings and visitor's impressions of your business.
Nothing is worse than seeing a website that hasn't been refreshed in years.
Keep your site current and full of informative value to visitors.
Use your site as a sales tool for customer presentations and to lower costs of sales.
Make your site easy to use.
Your website is not a video game whose purpose is to challenge visitors.
Make your site easy to use, easy to read and make information easy to find.
Put your most important site navigational topics on the left of the page as this is where the eye goes first.
Include a site map so people can readily find needed information.
Every page should offer a link to the home page and try to keep visitors no more than one click away from necessary information.
Make sure your website is easy to read and free of "clutter.
Read your website traffic reports and do something smart with the data.
Website traffic reports and website analytics offer tremendous chances for you to learn more about your site visitors and their behaviors.
Learn where they come to your site, where they go while on your site, what they are looking for, what they respond to and more.
A systematic review of your website traffic reports, along with regular site analytics performed by a certified eMarketer, should be considered a vital part of any key performance indicator metrics for business.
Spend more money and attention on website marketing.
Reallocate your marketing dollars and time from traditional efforts to online marketing.
Over 15% of all advertising impressions occur online and yet less than 8% of business dollars are spent on online marketing.
The internet is the most valuable marketing vehicle in the past 100 years.
Its popularity and use is rapidly increasing with no signs of slowing.
Too many business people do not feel comfortable with online marketing and websites and thus fail to give these subjects the attention they deserve.
Don't let a lack of familiarity become a barrier to business results.
Devote the attention and the resources to online marketing and watch ROI that will blow your mind.
© 2005 Brian Offenberger.
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Brian Offenberger owns the copyright to this article.
You may distribute it freely as long as you keep the article, its copyright and its byline intact.