Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What makes a Successful Website?

Guest blog post by Steve Nunally, of

There are two kinds of website needs. There are websites designed to get new clients from the Internet and that need to be "optimized" for the search engines. These websites are designed to display your product or service as close to number one as possible in the listings on Google and other search engines. 

The second type of website is known as a business card or brochure site, used strictly for giving additional information to your customers who already have your business card.

What type of company should I hire to do my website?

If the purpose of your website is simply to be a brochure or follow up to your business card any website company can do the work and your decision should be based on getting the best appearance and flow of information for the lowest possible price.  On the other hand, if getting new clients from the search engines is a priority then you want to hire a company that specializes in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and you should also pay more attention to the company’s track record with getting their clients to the top of the search engines (especially Google).

How do I know if a company is good at SEO?

A company that is good at search engine optimization will never type the address of a site they have built when showing you the site. Instead, they will tell you what their client sells and will demonstrate how good they are by searching for key words and then showing you how their site ranks in Google.  In fact, if a company cannot show you how it's clients rank in Google - hire someone else.

What is a successful website?

A successful website generates profits that are greater than the cost of building the site. The higher the ratio of generated profits to the site’s cost, the more successful the website.  For instance you could have the most beautiful website in the world, but if it does not rank in the search engines and gets no visitors, then you have lost your money.  Why?  Because without visitors, even the most beautiful website in the world cannot generate profits.

Five tips to increase traffic to your website

1) Talk to the reader, not at the reader.  Nothing is worse than going to a website that feels like an advertisement, where people are just talking about themselves.  If you have good and interesting content people will come back over and over and also refer their friends to your website.

2) Your navigation should be easy to use and your pages should open quickly.  Nothing is worse than going to a website that is confusing, with pages that take forever to open.

3) Make sure that everything on your site works.  No broken links.  No missing pictures.  Navigation goes to where it is supposed to go.  Happy visitors come back more often.

4) Focus on the happiness of the visitors to your site.  Google tracks each person who does a search, using a small software program called a cookie.  If Google sees people going to your site and leaving after only a few seconds Google knows the people are unhappy with what they found on your website.  On the other hand if people stay a long time, go to many pages, and come back over and over again then Google assumes they are happy with what they found on your website and so Google will move you up in it's rankings.

5) Hire the best. There is only one number one spot in Google for each keyword.  You are in a competition with other website owners.  If you try to cut corners, while your competition focuses on quality, you may save a few dollars today, but they will be the ones making all the profits.

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