12 Simple Steps to an Effective Web Site
by Nancy Fraser

The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five pound note.

Edward Lear must have had some precognition about what was in store for us all
with the development of the Internet when he wrote this nonsensical poem.

Many people do feel at sea after they launch their Web site and attempt to navigate
the sometimes confusing channels of the Internet. They wonder why their website
doesn't get more traffic and why their inbox is not filling up with emails from people
clamoring to buy their products or services.

It seems that the rules change as often as Oprah changes her clothes and who could
ever hope to keep up with that!

Price quotes for search engine optimization are all over the map; the process seems
never-ending and expensive.

How is it that some people seem to have great success on the Web without spending
a huge amount of money? Is it unrealistic to think that you can make a living working
on the web?

When faced with a seemingly overwhelming challenge it helps to break things down
into bite-sized pieces.

Effective websites should include the following:

1. Your website needs to focus on a specific niche.

2. You need to do keyword research and although Google no longer gives weight to
Meta keywords some of the other major search  engines still do.

3. Your website should have the main keyword used throughout and each page
should be written around 5-10 keywords that are tightly focused on that particular
page's topic.

4. Content is still King. Well written, focused content is crucial.

5. Meta titles need to include your keywords.

6. Organization of content should include headings and subtitles to make it easy for
readers to scan the pages. Be sure to include your keywords in these headings as well.

7. Most people on the web are looking for information. If you don't give them
anything of value or entertain them, they will be gone, probably for good.

8. Use keywords in links where ever possible.

9. Include a call to action and if possible offer a Free trial. You have to build trust
before you can make a sale.

10. Check your Web site in various browsers (FireFox, Internet Explorer, etc.) to make
sure it displays equally well in all.

11. Your personality is what attracts people to you so why would you create a generic
Web site with all of the excitement of a flat glass of pop. Keep the content fresh so it

12. Most importantly, have realistic expectations of what you want to achieve with
your website. With all the hype about overnight successes on the Internet it's difficult
to put your results into perspective. If you expect instant success and it
isn't happening it's easy to become demoralized and quit before you reach your goal.

Some Other Important Web Marketing Tips

Google page rank counts! The higher your page rank number the higher you will
rank in user searches. How do you find out your page rank? Download the Google
toolbar here for Internet Explorer
Google Toolbar or here for FireFox: Firefox Google

Improve your page rank by encouraging other highly ranked Web sites in
complementary businesses to link to yours and by developing content with a niche
focus. Page rank is also affected by traffic numbers. A couple of ways you can boost
traffic are pay-per-click advertising and posting articles on the Web.

Your Web image is at least as important as your personal image. You wouldn't go
out to meet a prospective client wearing a mishmash of styles and colors but many
businesses have Web sites with tools that don't work, tables and text that are out of
alignment, old information, dated colors, and confusing navigation. Those things are
bad enough but when an experienced Web developer looks at the code on a Web site
they often find a Web site that looks good but is not built to encourage search traffic.

Be prepared like the wise owl and make the job of marketing your business as easy
as possible with a Web site that enhances your brand image and is technically sound
purrrr your way to success.

About the author: Nancy Fraser of Nota Bene Consulting has been helping clients get better
results with  their marketing and advertising for  over 20 years. Sign up for Notable News and
get free marketing tips at
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