What's New in Technology for April 2004

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You’ve finally got the great website you need to boost sales and profits. You are happy with the graphics and the content. It is user-friendly, well organized and easy to negotiate. You think you are ready to launch, but before you sign off on the final editing of the there more you can do to improve the number of "hits" your site will get? Will new customers and prospective clients actually find your site? The best web site in the world won’t boost sales unless the right people are busily clicking on it.

Here are some important considerations and tips to help you promote your site:

Get the best exposure you can from search engines.
Perhaps the most important factor is your ranking on the various search engines -or to put it simply--the on-screen positioning your site gets when a computer user types key words into the search engine. Does a reference to your site appear on the first couple of screens... or is it buried way back where only the most intrepid surfers-- with lots of time on their hands-- will venture? To improve your odds and get a better ranking within the search engine process:
  • Make sure your title page is properly set up to contain the key "search" words that will lead prospective customers to your site. List-- in priority order-- all the key words that might be used. Now, look at the title-the text that appears at the top title bar of a browser-- for the opening page. Are your top 3 or 4 key words contained in the title? Note: that the title should not be more than 70 characters -otherwise the search engine may lop off the final portion.

  • Next check your site description-know as a metatag. This copy goes in the "Head" portion of the HTML. This should be concise-no more than 30 words or about 3 short sentences. Here is where you try to fit as many of your priority key words as space allows, whilst keeping the description clear, easy to understand and explanatory. If you can, separate key words or phrases using commas, this helps flag key phrases. Use the same key words from the title and metatag for the site links and headlines. This will help optimize the results you’ll get from search engines.

Develop reciprocal deals with other sites
Be open to exploring exchanges and ideas that are mutually beneficial with business owners who target the same audience groups with different goods or services to those you offer.
  • Ask web sites complementary to (not competing with) yours to add a link to your site and do the same for them. Explore web affiliate programs and see if this makes sense for you.

  • Consider offering web content containing expert advice/tips or to other web sites in return for a link back to your site.

Use email correspondence to drive traffic to your site
Make sure to include a link to your web site in all business correspondence from your office. Consider sending out a monthly e-newsletter to clients and business partners with tips and newsworthy items that link back to your web site.

Off-line Promotion
Make sure all your print materials carry your URL -that includes letterhead, invoices, business cards, press releases, print advertising, flyers and any catalogs you might produce. If you submit articles to trade magazines or make spokespersons available for TV interviews, include your business’ URL in the author’s by-line or for on-screen captioning.

Don’t forget to include your URL on company cars or vans and on all promotional "give-aways" including T-shirts, mugs and pens.

Spend a little time and energy on optimizing your web site and on supporting it with pro-active promotion and you’ll see measurable results in increased traffic.


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