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The Art of Website Optimization

By David Bell
Posted Monday, June 28, 2004

They say "diamonds are a girl's best friend". Just like a flawless diamond in the making, a website demands significant attention to detail in order to stand up and deliver and captivate its target audience.
Ever wondered what components clearly define a website as "professionally" done? It should have a polished look! You don't need to spend thousands of dollars on web design, simply make sure it loads quickly and employs a simple navigation system. Your visitors must feel that the time spent at your site was time well spent! Pay extra close attention to your sales copy. If you have all kinds of questions popping in your head as you read your own sales material, so will your customers. There is a simple approach to creating great sales copy and it works like crazy.
Ask yourself a few simple questions, "What's in it for me?, "How can you fulfill your promise?", "Why should I believe you?", "What if I don't like it?". Write your sales copy to paint a portrait of "yes, I can!" by answering each question; giving a risk free assurance by including a money back guarantee along with a good time factor. Strive to incorporate all of your answers in your sales copy and you'll convert your readers into buyers.
One of the hottest topics on the Internet today is search engine optimization, another critical and important component of a professional website. With recent surveys showing over 40% of all search engine traffic coming from Yahoo Directory, it has never been more important to pay close attention to the selection of your title and description. First and foremost, get a head start on the competition by choosing a keyword rich domain name. It's a clear advantage you may have overlooked in preparing for search engine submission.
Make sure that your title is 5 words or less and includes your most important keywords. Try to limit your site description to 25 words or less. Remember, Yahoo doesn't look at your meta tags like a typical search engine, so make your title and description count! If you are submitting to Yahoo for the first time, make sure to submit to Google, Yahoo's search partner, then Yahoo in a few days. Google creates the description of your site by looking for the first bold word so make sure you optimize your site accordingly.
Every webmaster should analyze their site's keyword count. Your most important keywords should be 5% - 8% of your keyword count. If your percentages are too high, the search engines may consider your site as "spam". If your percentages are too low, your site will never appear in the Top 100 of any search. Keyword and relevancy optimization can easily move a site from complete obscurity to instant popularity in the search engines overnight. Do it right the first time and I'll see you at the top!
It's a painstaking process but website optimization is a necessary step towards securing market position. In an age of instant gratification, ones and zeros, gigabytes and terabytes, the simple virtues of patience and perseverance are seldom nurtured. In developing your website, take time to reflect on your mission, and if you do only one thing well, share your passion with your target audience. Do it for the sheer love of it. Your audience will appreciate your efforts. It's the first step towards creating a website that speaks the language that your visitors want to hear!
With the right attention to detail, just like a long lasting relationship, you'll have no fear in the night that your website might desert you.

I hope this helps in your future marketing decisions.

About the Author
David Bell is Manager, Online Marketing, at ( , a leading Search Engine Optimization services firm and Advertising Agency.


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