Web Design Principles: Website Visibility

Website Visibility - Attact Traffic to Your Website

How to Drive Traffic to Your Website

The classic question “does a falling tree in the forest make a sound if no one is there to hear it?” has many different credible answers, depending on your philosophical point of view.  In contrast, the question “does a website have any commercial value if no one is there to visit it?” has only one clear answer:  no.  Although there are many factors that contribute to a successful website, none of them matter if no one visits the site.  It can therefore be said that visibility, or attracting people to visit your site, is an important web design principle to include in your website strategy.  Below are four methods that have proven to be successful in achieving website visibility.

1) Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engines, especially Google, continue to drive the majority of traffic to websites.  According to Search Engine Watch, over 70% of all web traffic is driven by organic search .   It is therefore critical that SEO be integrated into your site’s infrastructure as well as its content to ensure that your site is visible as high up on the list of search engine result pages as possible.  Responsive web design, fast loading times, good user experience (UX), contextual relevance, high quality engaging content, keyword research, and inbound links are some of the key elements your site will need to ensure best SEO results.  Most of these tactics are important to incorporate during the build of your site and NOT as an afterthought.

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Little-Known Ways to Find Content Ideas for Your Blog

Image courtesy mkhmarketing.wordpress.com

We all know the importance of regularly publishing new and interesting content on our blogs. And if you’ve had a blog for any length of time, you probably also understand the challenge of having to come up consistently with new topics and ideas.

You may find yourself asking:

“What can I write that hasn’t already been written a thousand times before?”
“What topics are of interest to my target market?”
“How can I create content that gets my readers so excited they can’t stop sharing, liking, and commenting on it?”

This post will walk you through the process of generating new content ideas on a regular basis. By drawing on the strategies below, you should be able to feel confident in your ability to devise interesting and meaningful topics on a consistent basis that your readers will love.

1. Make use of Facebook interest lists
You may already be using Facebook interest lists to aggregate the reams of content you receive each day in your newsfeed. If you’re not familiar with interest lists, here’s a brief overview: By setting up lists, you can click on your customized links (found in the left sidebar) to view posts only from the people or pages that are part of that list.

For instance, if you’re in the social media industry, you may have separate lists for “Facebook Marketers,” “Social Media News,” and “Top Twitter Accounts.” When you’d like to view posts and updates only from people on those lists, simply click on the link in your sidebar, and voila! … customized content at a glance.

Once you have your lists set up, it’s simple to use them to generate content ideas. You can:

  • Identify a trending topic and write a blog post about it to
  • Share breaking news or viral posts with your community.
  • Keep an eye on what your competitors are posting and write a post that adds your perspective to the conversation

For tips on using these ideas to write your own web content, please visit our post Understanding and Developing Content for the Web.

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Three Search Engine Marketing Tactics That Have Surged in 2012

Search engine marketing tools and tactics are in an ever-changing state of flux. Search engine juggernaut Google regularly announces significant changes to their algorithms (they announced 40 changes to their various search engines earlier this year, followed by the Penguin update in  April). On top of that, powerful new search engine marketing and optimization tools are launched almost daily and existing tools are routinely enhanced.

How can you keep up?  Get on board and add these three tactics to your online marketing strategy this year:

  1. Guest Blogging – This time last year many in the search engine optimization (SEO) community were still reeling from Google’s first infamous Panda update. Panda – Google’s code name for a massive search algorithm change also known as the Farmer update – fundamentally altered the SEO landscape by placing tremendous importance on quality content. Read more

The Pros and Cons of Pay-Per-Click Advertising for E-commerce Websites

Pay Per Click AdvertisingSearch engine advertising – also known as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising – is one of the more evolved advertising options available to businesses, as it has a few key advantages over traditional advertising:

1. You only pay for performance. Unlike TV, radio, or print advertising, PPC ads only cost you money when people click on your ad and visit your site.
2. Your ads can be highly targeted. Whether you’re buying clicks from Google’s AdWords program or Facebook Ads, PPC advertising offers a level of targeting that mass media can’t match. You can target by search term, demographics, consumer interests, and/or geography.
3. Budget doesn’t matter. In the world of television advertising, for example, it’s very difficult for small and medium-sized businesses to compete, as a relatively “cheap” TV ad campaign will cost upwards of $15,000 a month. However, in the world of PPC, many businesses can run an effective ad campaign for less than $1,000 a month.

Still, PPC advertising isn’t perfect. E-commerce website owners in particular must manage their PPC campaigns very closely, or they risk wasting money on clicks that don’t convert. If you own or manage an e-commerce website and you’re thinking about a PPC campaign, here’s what you need to know.

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