12 Secrets to Website Success

Here are twelve secrets to website success.

1. Have specific goals for your website.

2. Know your customer or site visitors and what they want to get out of your site.

3. Have pages dedicated to specific items or subjects the customer or site visitor is looking for.

4. Don’t make the home page of your site a “flash” animation. Web visitors routinely skip those animations (or just leave) because they aren’t interested in pretty graphics. They want facts. If you’re going to use flash to demonstrate your product (or a video) let people choose to view it, don’t force them to.

5. Make it easy for visitors to find what they want. Use a simple navigation structure, and if you use drop down menus, make sure visitors can actually click on the links without the drop down rolling up before the person hits the link they want.

6. If you’re selling products, have category pages plus individual pages for each type of product. (For example, if you are selling furniture, have one page for dressers with links to individual pages for different types and manufacturers of dressers, such as Broyhill, Lane, etc.)

7. Pay attention to search engine optimization (SEO) in setting up pages. The more closely the page title, page description, and keywords match what someone would search for, the more likely they’ll find the website, and the more likely they’ll buy whatever product is advertised on the page. Don’t stuff your keyword tags with words that aren’t relevant.

8. Have a means for legally and ethically capturing visitors’ email addresses so you can contact them in the future.

9. Plan to advertise and market your site on an ongoing basis through all methods available to you. Don’t think that just putting up a website is the end, it’s only the beginning!

10. Track and measure traffic, bounce rates, sales conversions and progress.

11. Ask for feedback from site visitors and stay in contact with those visitors (those who gave you their email addresses) on a regular basis so they remember to come back to your website.

12. Keep your content updated. Unlike blogs, where content is constantly being updated (or at least it should be), websites tend to be more static. But the days of slapping up a website and just leaving it for months (or years) are gone. You must be willing to update your site and give visitors a reason to keep coming back. Otherwise, they won’t, and you’ll be constantly faced with the battle of finding new customers and clients, over and over.


What is Going On With Google?

The world of search engine optimization (SEO) is in an uproar these days. If you have any kind of Internet-based business, or a business that largely depends on Internet leads, you need to know what’s going on – and how you can take advantage of it.

As you should already know, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is all about getting your site listed in the search engines’ top results. The higher up in the results you rank, the better chance you have of capturing your prospective customer’s attention. Get them to click on your link, and you are on your way to making a sale or getting a new client.

So knowing how to get those coveted high rankings is critical to the success of your Internet based business.

The way search engines currently spider, rate, and index a website depend on various factors, including link popularity, content, site structure, and a mixture of other variables. All of these can be manipulated by most webmasters and SEO specialists.

But this could be changing very soon!

The word on the Net is — search engines are changing the way they spider and index websites to help them serve better results to their search audience. They are incorporating new ranking algorithms that will take into consideration input that is submitted by “real people” (as opposed to primarily software calculations).

Google (and the others) will give higher priority to sites that Web surfers vote for. The way a Web surfer “votes” for a website will be completely transparent. It will not be something that can be easily manipulated by webmasters and SEO specialists as it has been in the past.

If this happens, we will see an entirely different pattern emerge – and it will affect thousands, if not millions, of websites across the Internet. Many that were once showing up in the top 10 results will no longer be there. New sites (rated using the latest algorithms) will take their place.

Google currently asks Web surfers (normally users who are logged into their Google account) to move their search results around, based on the surfer’s own idea of how important each one is. If they like a certain page in the search results, they can move it higher on the list so that anytime they search for the same keyword(s) they will be presented with their own personalized set of results.

Google claims this data is not currently calculated in their existing algorithms, but I seriously doubt that. Search engines are constantly looking to improve their search results. By using actual feedback provided by their users, they can get a better understanding of what Web surfers consider relevant.

So that’s the main thing that I think will make a difference in the way results are ranked in the future: Web users will have more influence. In addition, I believe the search engines will be spidering online videos, article comments, and social media.

Having videos on your website and/or blog helps your SEO now. (Webmasters love to link to good videos.) But if a search engine can actually read the contents of a video, you might have to give more serious consideration to the content of the videos on your site than you have in the past.

According to many SEO analysts, search engines will be looking at criteria like these when scoring your Web pages:

  • How often have Web surfers moved (voted) your listing to the top of the results?
  • What type of searches have those users performed in the past?
  • How many times has your page or blog been bookmarked (voted for) on a majorsocial networking site (i.e., Digg.com, LinkedIn.com, and StumbleUpon.com)?
  • How many other sites are talking about yours?
  • Does your Web page or Blog have video? If so, how long do people watch it?
  • How often do website visitors return to your site or blog?
  • How many comments does your page or blog have on it? (More people posting comments on your page means more popularity, as far as search engines are concerned.)

What YOU Can Do About the “New” Ranking Rules

The new search engine ranking methods are sure to bring a lot of changes to the world of search engine optimization. But don’t worry. You won’t have to learn a bunch of new SEO tactics. One thing will always hold true: GOOD CONTENT IS KING.

Plain and simple, if you have good Web or Blog content, surfers will bookmark it, comment on it, and talk about it on other websites and blogs. Whether you are offering useful videos or informative articles, people appreciate high-quality content. And search engines will take notice as well. This will continue to boost your SEO efforts more than anything else you or your webmaster can do.

With that said, keep in mind that no one knows for sure what the search engines are going to do. They guard their secrets like the CIA guards theirs. We can only make an educated guess as to what the future of SEO holds, and try to keep on top of the latest changes.

One more thing. Keep in mind that even a top ranking on Google won’t mean a thing for your business unless you can turn the resulting traffic into paying customers.


In subsequent posts here, I’m going to expand on this article, and tell you more about what you can be doing to take an ACTIVE ROLE in helping your own site or blog deliver exactly what Google (and the others) are going to be looking for.

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