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  • Primed for Success: Optimization for Users

    Do you know what it takes to build a website that is primed to succeed? Building a website that has the best chances of generating traffic and being well respected takes a lot more than just hood internal architecture and the right keywords and back-links. It takes the proper mix of knowing how to satisfy both human visitors to your site as well as search engine spiders.

    Primed for Success Optimization for Users Your website needs to be built for the searchers and users first – not search spiders. While you cannot ignore the search engines and their demands required to rise to the top in any sort of timely manner, but what makes for being overly SERP friendly and user friendly are not always the same thing – although it is getting closer to being that each update. The following are some basic tips on how to meet both goals and help your site succeed.

    If you plan to monetize a site you need to use analytics. This is true whether that is right away or after you get rolling. If you cannot track visitors, mash data and collect information on who visits, how they get there and what they do upon arrival then you can’t know what is and isn’t working and where to best use your resources. This is a non-negotiable part of keeping your site headed in the right direction.

    You definitely need a logo or banner that lets people know they are in the right place, but you don’t want it to dominate your page. It is important to leave some white space on the page so as not to overwhelm and look thrown together to keep it easy on the eye. Use an easy to read font and a subdued background. This usually means bright flashing neon colors are a no-go. Somewhere in the range of 250-350 words is adequate text for a home page.

    You will also want to use a system that makes it easy to update or change any step you take on your site. If you need to temporarily make use of redirects, it should be a snap. New pages should be easy to add. Choose a format for your URLs and stick to it consistently. You don’t want to depend on redirects, but when they are needed they are needed. Page titles, header tags and Meta descriptions provide another chance to optimize your site so take advantage of them. Keep your copy well written and to the point.

    Regarding your contact information, it should always be easy to find. Make sure that your phone number, business hours, etc are clearly noted, especially if you have a location that might pick up foot traffic from web search. Bullet points or short paragraphs make reading easier and finding the relevant information a breeze which is consistent with writing for the reader and not the spiders. Keep your pages from feeling cluttered and cramped. If you provide a sign up, subscription, follow us or contact form, ask only for what you really need, and make sure your privacy policy is clear.

    This is a proved strategy for putting together a winning website that will grow with your needs. These basic steps will help your website succeed. As you learn more, you can tweak things as needed, but remember it is always easier to start the right way than it is to make changes later.

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