An often neglected aspect of many Internet marketing strategies is ‘website optimization’. Your website receives your visitors and determines whether they will stay or leave.
To support your Internet marketing strategies in 2011, below are 10 extremely important tips for optimizing your website:
1. Have a Great Website ‘First Impression’ – The ‘Look & Feel’
While your website should not be filled with unnecessary gadgets, ensure its design appears updated. If your website appears outdated, fresh information will sound stale.
So, have a simple but tidy design to augment your overall Internet marketing strategies.
2. Consider Your User Interface
Your user interface largely contributes to the ‘user experience’ on your website, which is an important aspect of your Internet marketing strategies. Important buttons must be easy to locate, and correct representation should be used for links.
Additionally, make sure you include all the important sections that will boost a surfer’s confidence in your credibility. These include testimonials, about page, contact information etc. More so, the information on these pages should be well thought out and updated.
3. Place Your Major Navigation Buttons Strategically
Very importantly, you need to use standard navigation system in order not to confuse your visitors. For the major navigation buttons, it’s better to have them at the top of the webpage, below the header. Then, you can repeat the navigation links on the page footer. Important buttons to consider are home, about, services, contact etc. Other links (sublinks can be placed on the side bar).
Remember to include other information like ‘terms of service’ at the footer. Not having them may water down your Internet marketing strategies.
4. Always Have Lots of Useful Information
The Internet is known to be a source of free, cheap information. To distinguish yourself, you need to provide lots of quality information. Internet users are often looking for three major things – entertainment, inspiration and information. You need to provide one or more of these (in the right way) to capture their interest.
5. Include a Really Noticeable Search Button
You are aware that Internet users are usually in a hurry. It is really frustrating to be unable to find exactly what you hope to see on a webpage. A conspicuous search button will help your visitors easily search for more information.
6. Include Social Media Gadgets
2011 can be called the year of Social Media after 2010. This is because Social Media plays a vital part of most Internet marketing strategies in 2011. Therefore, a smart Internet marketer cannot neglect its use on a blog or website.
Allow your visitors to ‘like’ or ‘share’ your posts or website on Facebook; instantly bookmark your contents; tweet your articles etc. This is the crux of where Internet marketing has greatly changed in 2011.
7. Include Email Subscription Box
How do you capture and retain the tons of visitors you receive through search engines, Social Media or other traffic sources? What if search algorithms suddenly change and affect you negatively? What if Social Media quickly loses its thrill?
A sure way to make all your efforts count is by capturing the email information of your visitors and bringing them back regularly. In addition to this, you can add an RSS for those who may be unwilling to leave their email addresses.
8. Ensure Your Website Has a Sitemap
In Internet marketing, this is very important for many reasons: Search engine spiders will be able to index your webpage correctly, and your visitors will be able to trace whatever they are looking for.
9. Consider Your Website Compatibility across Browsers and Screens
Always bear in mind that different people use different browsers, and those who use the same browsers may be using different versions. While you are building your site, ensure your web pages appear correctly on other browsers and screens.
10. Incorporate Web Analytics into Your Website
The centre of all Internet marketing strategies is ‘monitoring’. Thus, the use of web analytics (e.g Google Analytics) is indispensable if you intend to compete successfully on the web space. You need to know who visits your site and from where plus what they are looking for.
Finally, ensure the contents of your site (articles, images, URLs etc) are all optimized for search engine. Any good website today takes search engine into consideration, because a website is of no use without traffic. After all, getting traffic is often the aim of most Internet marketing strategies.