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Title
How To Increase Website Profits

Published
2008-12-01
Entry

Give your audience what it wants

Far too often webmasters make websites that contain just fluff. Visitors don't come looking for just any random stuff, but usually they have certain things they are looking for, and if they don't find it, they are gone faster than you can say, �Thanks for visiting!�

So how do you appeal to these visitors, your potential clients? Easy answer, �Give them what they want.� The more important question you should ask is, �What do my visitors want?� To answer this question, you need to research three imperatives:

  1. Who are your visitors?
  2. What attracted them to your site originally?
  3. What do they want when they come to your site?

Once you know who your visitors are, what attracted them and what they are interested in, it becomes very simple to attract and retain them.

The next question becomes, "How do I find this out about my visitors?" There are plenty of tools you can use to do this. First, ask them. Find a way to open up a dialogue with your customer. This can be done by asking them directly how they heard about your site, what things they were looking for, what they could and could not find, and so on. A dialogue can be started simply by adding a "Contact Us" page, having a place to sign up for newsletters, obtaining a telephone number, and other ways. A second way way to learn more about your customers is by using analytic software such as Google Analytics. Not only will this software track the number of customers and the number of pages accessed, but it will also show pinpoint locations where your visitors reside, how long visitors spend on your site, how often they return to your site, as well as the amount of visitors who come to your page and immediately exit it. This is also known as bounce rate. Google Analytics will also tell you the type of operating system being used by your visitors, the type of browser being used, and other important information about your visitors.

Build Traffic

The great thing about finding out who your customers are and what they want is that it becomes a catalyst to building traffic. However, this alone will not maximize the amount of traffic you can receive. There are as many ways to build traffic as your creativity allows. We will go over a few, as well as some overlooked ways that you can build traffic for your website.

The quickest way to build traffic to your website is by using Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising. This method of advertising can become expensive, but if done correctly, can be a very lucrative avenue. To start, it is recommended to use a low budget with Google Adwords (a very popular PPC resource). The beauty about using Google Adwords is that it connects wonderfully with Google Analytics. If set up properly, you can discover if your advertising efforts are worth the money, and take the necessary steps to improve your ROI.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is another must in traffic building for those who are serious about maximizing their profits. SEO is a way in which you can have your website ranked higher within search engines, thus creating more traffic to your website. SEO is done in two parts: First, your website must be search engine friendly. Second, there must be other websites linking to your site.

Gear your website to make money

As mentioned earlier, you want to make it quick and easy for your visitors to get what they want. On the other side of the coin, you need to make it easy for your visitors to do what you want them to do. For example, why make them click through endless pages to sign up for a membership or newsletter? The easier you make it for your visitors to do what you want, the more they will do it.

You'll need to keep your site clean, but you also get their attention to key areas of your web page that encourage them to make a profitable action. You can do this by changing the contrast, color, style and/or font. Try different ways to draw attention to get your visitors to do what you want on different pages.

Finally, make market driven changes to your site. Different content including different images, color schemes, text and page layout will have an effect on your rate of customer action. You can test the effect of different content using A/B or multivariate testing. This testing service is used by very few web designers but very powerful. Using this service, you no longer have to guess what will increase sales, because instead you know what combination of content is the best.

Partner/Hire an Expert

Too often we look to do our web design and marketing ourselves, and sometimes as a result, we lose more money than we save. Unless you're dedicated and experienced in this area of specialties, you will find yourself beneath your competition when it comes to building an effective website.

There are volumes written on design, PPC advertising, SEO, usability, marketing, and branding. If your goal is to make your business profitable using the web, it is usually most cost effective to invest in professionals to build a quality site.


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