How to Drive Traffic to Your Website – Part 2 of 4

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In Part 1 of this series, I told you how to get your website found by search engines, thereby increasing your chances of being found by your target market. In Part 2, we will discuss how to keep people on your website and have them return once you’ve gotten their attention.

The funny thing about online businesses as opposed to brick and mortar businesses is that people tend to be edgy when they land on a website for the first time. The first question people ask themselves is “Is this the site I need to be on to get what I’m looking for?” You need to make sure that this question is answered immediately when people land on your homepage. The very next question, or actually it may be almost simultaneous with the first question is, “Is this a scam website or can I trust this website?” Believe it or not, people judge your website more on its design and appearance than they do by your privacy policy, the letters behind your name (your educational accomplishments) or any awards your company or you may have received. So keep the following tips in mind when designing your website:

1. Visible appeal & consistency – your website must be visibly appealing. This means consistent theme colors throughout the website, consistent font unless a phrase or sentence is a heading or subheading. Stick to 2 to 4 font colors and keep these 2 to 4 colors consistent in all of your marketing materials – online and offline.

Your pages should flow easily from one to another. In other words, people should not be on your homepage and then when they click to another page, think they are on an entirely different website.

After you’ve been in business for a while, people should be able to tell a marketing piece is connected with your company just by the color, fonts, logo and feel or flavor, if you will, of your marketing pieces. This is called “branding” folks and I know the word is tossed around a lot these days regarding internet marketing but you really need to decide on your brand and use it consistently.

Case in point; my son is an actor currently working in Singapore. He recently treated himself to a holiday in Thailand and he sent me a picture of a Pepsi soda can but because all the wording on the can was in a foreign language, had it not been for Pepsi's logo, the black can and the feel or "flavor" of Pepsi, I wouldn't have known what was in the can he was holding in the picture!

Pepsi

Yep, this is what branding does for you. This example may seem to be a bit off message but you got my point.

Make your website visibly appealing and keep colors and fonts consistent on your website and all of your marketing materials and people will know who you and your company are – all the time – regardless of the country your message may appear in!

2. Multimedia – only use what is necessary. I hate to be the one to tell you but Flash animation is probably a waste of your money and time, especially if you paid someone to build a Flash website or homepage for you. One large drawback of using Flash animation on your website is that most mobile devices can’t see Flash. An alternative to Flash that you might want to consider is HTML5; some websites, based on the business, must have animations on the website to sell the product or service but Flash sometimes distracts people. Do a Google search to learn more about how to incorporate HTML5 into your web page. If Flash animation is critical to being able to sell your product or service then this advice is not for you.

Instant Video Generator

The bottom line: use multimedia – videos, etc. – to support your content. Truth be told; if you don’t have some videos on your website or at the bare minimum, audio explaining something, sharing something or introducing yourself, you are missing out on one of the best tactics to keeping people on your website longer than for a few seconds. Video is king!

3. Page Layout – use a clear, clean layout with clear navigation. People are on your website seeking information; make it easy for them to find it. Here are some basic navigation tips:

• Keep navigation simple and near the top of the page. • Include navigation in the footer of your page; I’ve noticed lately that a lot of people/companies are placing their “About Us” page in the footer navigation and on large corporate websites, the majority of the time the Careers page is located in the bottom footer. • Don’t offer too many navigation options on a page; we are all suffering from information and “too much” of everything overload. • Keep navigation 2 to 3 levels deep. • For ease of reading, consider using bullet lists, short paragraphs and subheadings to break up information on pages. Most English speakers/readers read from top to bottom and left to right; make sure your information flows in those directions if you own an English website.

4. Accessibility – Test your website out on various mobile devices. If you don’t own an iPad, iPhone, Android or some other smartphone, then I bet you know someone who does and you need to ask them to view your website from their device. People are surfing the internet using phones and tablets more than ever before and this fact will increase. Also make sure you view your website using various browsers; particularly the big 3 – Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome. I can tell you from experience having built the e-BlackWomenNetwork.com website myself; there are some gadgets that will show up on a website if you view it using Google Chrome that will not appear if you paid it to on Internet Explorer. Very frustrating!

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