Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Five Things You Can Do To Increase Website Traffic and Sales

We all could use extra traffic for our websites, but most of us get complacent as we focus on developing content and staying in touch with our regular audience. Here are some things you can do to help you grow your audience, trim your budget, and fatten your wallet.

Complete a detailed SEO audit of your website.

Begin your index page. Is your title tag is accurate? Do photos have alternative text tags? Are all of your links active, and accurate? Does your text feature the keywords that you have identified? Do the headlines and bold print emphasize your main theme?

Now examine every page that is linked from your homepage for the same criteria. Continue to follow links until you've examined every page on your site. If your website is large, several hundred or several thousand pages, make sure that you hit all of the most important pages for your topic.

Do keyword research.

Examine the keywords that are sending traffic to your website. Are these keywords used by customers who are predisposition to buy? Try to identify very specific keyword trends used by your audience when they are ready to buy items in your product category.

Remember to focus on the keywords your potential customers use, not the keywords you prefer to use in your own business. Avoid industry jargon unless your customers are well-versed in the language.

Update, Update, Update!

Have you updated your website this week? This month? This year? This millennium? Updating content on your website is critical for ongoing search engine recognition, additionally if your customers the feeling that you're busy. Companies who don't look busy and don't attract customers! Not only do you need to update on a relatively regular basis, a minimum of once a month, but you also have to demonstrate to potential customers that you're actively involved in your business.

This doesn't have to be a mountain that you climb once a month. If you write a newsletter, archive it on your website. Create a blog that's updated weekly. Add a new contest, special event, or special offer and put it on your home page. Make sure that every piece of content you add is dated. Make sure your home page contains links to items that are fresh.

Develop a linking strategy.

A website is only a website because it's part of the World Wide Web. Your website should be connected to other sites, and other sites should be connected to yours. Create highly relevant incoming and outgoing links and have a clear strategy for getting more. When you add new content, link to relevant content on other websites. Build relationships with other website owners and content creators and ask them to review your content and link to it. Relevancy is the key. Make sure both incoming and outgoing links are focused on your keywords.

Develop a Web 2.0 strategy.

The Web is changing. We are able to connect with more people, faster, at a further distance. Make sure you have a distinct strategy that helps you identify and connect to potential customers with an existing networks. Social networks, social media, and social bookmarking sites created human side to search. Search engine optimization is useless unless real people are doing the searches. More and more, where people are championing websites in the marketplace. The massive success of social networks is a clear demonstration that people innately trust other human beings more than search engines.

If you do these five things, then repeat them as part of a process, the potential of your website is virtually unlimited.
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