Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Submitting your Sitemap

Once you have your xml sitemap built or updated you need to submit to the search engines so they find you sooner rather than later.

Google has the easiest, most user friendly and documented procedures. You first sign up for a Google webmaster account (using your current Google ID if you have one.) Then you follow the procedures on this Google Web Page.  Google will tell you within usually 24 hours if your Sitemap passed the test. If so then you can proceed to send to the other search engines.

Submitting to Bing is basically the same type of procedure. Bing does have some tools to monitor your site where you can monitor how your site does through the various search tools.

Yahoo's site is located at this link. Yahoo will notifyyou when your site has been accepted under your "My Sites" tab.

Sitemaps should be submitted anytime you make a change to your site.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Searching for you.

You have built a great site. You've included a lot of good content and interesting tips for your readers. You've made sure all your key words are in place. Now what?

Make sure you have a site map and submit that site map to the major search engines. A site map is a special XML document that notifies everyone that you are posted to the net and open for business.

Before you even post your site, though, make sure it is web compliant. There are a couple of sites on the web where you can check the code. The cleaner your code, the better chance you will have in the billions of pieces of data that are currently competing for attention on the net.

 You'll want to make sure that all your links are good. Search engines coming across a site with a lot of missing links may assume that it is an old, abandoned site.

Once you're sure that your site is in good working order, submit your site map to the major search engines. It may take some time for you to arrive. But we will find you.  

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Keeping your Audience Enthralled by Your Blog

Do you wonder what topics on your blog attract the most viewers? Are you thinking about running a series to explore one of your target topics in more depth?

Google Analytics can provide you with the data that you need to grab the topic with the most interest so that you can expand that topic and keep your audience returning for more.

Sign into your Google account and click on Content/Top Content on the left hand menu. Top topics will be listed.  You can then manipulate the data in anyway that you find helpful.

One wonderful way you can use this data is for your business blog. For example, you might be offering helpful sewing tips on beginning sewing that you feel your customers desire. You also offer intermediate and advanced posts on machine embroidery. By monitoring your content metrics you can target your posts to the needs of your visitors attracting more visitors and sales to your business in the process.

So when you want to find out what interests your audience and attract more visits to your blog keep an eye on the content tab.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Make Your Site More Dynamic with a Calendar of Events

Does your business provide training or hold events that need to be announced to your customers? Do you have promotional events to bring in potential clients?

Then you may want to include an agenda or calendar on your website. Providing a convenient way for customers to interact and keep on returning to you keeps your business in front of your customer. And with every contact is an opportunity to fill a need your customer has or solve a problem your customer may not even be aware that she had.

Public calendars can be easily maintained by your office staff. Customers navigate to your site, click on your calendar and in most instances the events can be downloaded right into the customer's calendar for easy planning.

A calendar of events can be a great way to stay connected to your customer and ensure that you are the business that the customer thinks of when a need arises.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Key Words

Every word that is on your website is a searchable clue that your customer can use to find you. It is important that you are as precise and specific as possible when you are reviewing your site and your business with your web consultant.

No one can know what you do better than you do. If you are selling lawn mowers and tractors, your lucrative side business of other yard tools like pruners and shovels may be overlooked as keywords.

Unfortunately, you may miss the opportunity of inviting a customer looking for a specific $20 pruner into your shop. This same customer may also be in the market for that $3000 tractor that you have on sale this week.

Words that are included in graphics, brought into frames from other pages, or words that are part of logos are not searchable. These words need to be incorporated into your website in other ways.
Good website planning of key words is crucial to getting the maximum marketing dollar out of your website.         

Monday, September 13, 2010


Google Analytics allows you to analyze content for your site, and experiment with different content to find what works for your needs.

You can measure:

  1. What content interests your visitors the most.
  2. What page on your website is attracting the most visitors.
  3. What page attracts the most exits.
  4. Site overlay showing which items on your page attract the most interest.
Each metric comes with measurements of number of visitors, bounce rates, average time on page, and dollars spent if appropriate.

Once you have some data collected you can start tweaking your website strategy.

Let's say you are blogging about a variety of topics but one of your topics is attracting the most visitors; your metric may be telling you to expand on that topic.

Or one of your pages showcases a new product. This page is getting a lot of traffic that bounces right off your site. Why? Do you provide enough information for your potential customers? --View your additional info link through your site overlay.

Pages that feed other pages on your website indicate interest that creates a desire for more. Bench marking exit pages with different criteria can allow you to expand interest and discover just what you can do to keep your customer's interest.  

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

How do your customers find you?

When customers search for your services or products on the internet do they find you or your competitor? Do you know?

Customers find you on the web in several ways:

  1. By keying or copying your link in directly. These are people who have been given your website or have visited you before and have bookmarked your site.  
  2. Search engines; Google, Bing, etc. 
  3. Referring sites;  Twitter, a social network site, affilliated product site, or any site that has a referring link to your site.  
Finding out how your customers find you is an important part of the process in tweaking your website.

Once you know that 20% of your customers find you through a search engine you can research what kind of searches your visitors perform. Are the keywords appropriate for your site?

How about the 60% of visitors arriving from referring sites? Are you taking advantage of all the possible sites that could be linking up and referring customers to your business?

And lastly do your current customers have your web address, a reason to return to your site every so often, and a reason to pass your site information on to their friends?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Hey! Where Do I Exit this Place?

I was on a site the other day looking for a part for my laptop. The site may have had my part but I never waited to find out. The file size of the images uploaded for the site were  humongous; making it impossible to scroll down the page. The site was so poorly constructed that I didn't stick around and went down the superhighway to a better constructed sight.

Your customers will do the same thing that I did. And you might never know you have a problem unless you have a great webteam that properly tests your website across a wide variety of platforms and browsers and you monitor your traffic for problems.

Websites are not the same as the physical locations for your business where you build correctly and leave alone. Even well built sites are subject to changing conditions. A browser update can reek the same havoc on a website that an earthquake can reek on your physical location.

Monitoring metrics like exit points and bounce rate can help you insure that visitors aren't leaving because of something you did or didn't do.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Connection Speeds of your Customers

Does your website have state of the art Flash, JavaScript, along with sharp, bright graphics that just glow with brilliance? If not, are you planning to build such a site?

If so, you may want to monitor the connection speed that your customers use to connect to you. Nothing is worse than building a lovely awe inspiring site only to find out that half your customers are still on dial up and bouncing off of your site because it takes too long to load.

Fortunately through the Visitors/Network Properties/Connection Speeds menu Google Analytics ® gives you a synopsis of the connection speed your visitors connect with and the corresponding bounce rate.

If you find that an unacceptable amount of visitors are bouncing off at lower connect speeds, it may be appropriate to have your web team address the load time of your site.

There are ways to accommodate all your visitors, allowing your information to go out to as many people as possible; making you a great web host.