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* Analyze your SWOT Perform an in-depth analysis to compare Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) of your competitor's online presence to your own. A qualified SEO firm can enhance your site's usability and navigation, implement ethical optimization techniques, and provide eye-catching design.
* Evaluate your website development goals It's never too late to write or re-evaluate your website's mission statement-not necessarily for publication, but rather to create your own benchmarks. This will help you set goals and concentrate your efforts on critical issues to achieve and exceed those goals.
* Know your audience An old adage says: "you can't be everything to everyone." Fortunately, your website can be various things to various audiences. Success comes from having a clear understanding of your target market(s). By creating diverse navigation paths and reader-specific content-for buyers, vendors, job seekers or investors-your conversion rates will increase dramatically.
* Enhance website usability Effective website navigation must flow effortlessly. If visitors cannot quickly and easily pinpoint information they seek, they're very likely to leave your site and click to competition.
An IBM study reveals that every dollar invested to increase usability earns $10-$100 in benefits, winning customer satisfaction and loyalty.
* Measure success and failure Read your log files and tracking tools! Website traffic analysis is essential to accurately measure your site's performance. In-depth analysis will show you how to increase traffic, trace your search engine referrals, monitor link campaigns, and make necessary changes to achieve your desired results.
...Apply Power of SEO Your website has power to be a highly effective marketing tool-but just because you built it doesn't mean they'll come. If you optimize it, however, they're much more likely to come ... and stay a while.
Anyone can learn search engine optimization and website usability. But if lack of time and interest is holding you back, enlist help of website optimizers and SEO copywriters to complement your design team and ultimately increase revenue.
A word to wise: ensure that SEO firm you choose works strictly within confines of best practices-safe and ethical search engine optimization strategies. Unethical SEO tactics may seriously harm your rankings, and even get your site banned from search engines altogether.
On behalf of Word Associates and U-C WEBS, we wish you a happy, healthy & profitable 2005!
~~ Nardo Kuitert is a Website Optimizer with U-C WEBS (http://www.u-cwebs.com/). A heuristic usability evaluation will provide you with a first step towards greater visitor conversions.
~~ Aimee Cremasco, Founder and Sr. Copywriter of Word Associates (http://www.wordassociates.ca/), produces compelling content to help websites achieve top search engine rankings & ultimately increase conversion rates.