Preparing Your Website For Visitors

Written by Christine Stander

Designing and developing a website today is not as easy as it was let’s say four years ago. There are so many elements to take into consideration and various media strategies to contend with.

Color, technology, screen resolutions and cross browser compatibility are but only a few of them. Lately you also have to contend with and create instinctive navigation, search engine optimize your site effectively and ensure that all action pages are merely three clicks away from any given landing page to ensure effective conversion.

With all these considerations, where does one start?

Starting Out Right

I have always been one to believe that if you spend enough time planning your site upfront, you will definitely reaprepparttar rewards upon its launch.

Prior to jumping straight intorepparttar 141170 development ofrepparttar 141171 website, you would have 1.Establishedrepparttar 141172 demand for a specific product or service in a given industry. 2.Researched and documentedrepparttar 141173 strategies ofrepparttar 141174 nearest competitors. 3.Estimatedrepparttar 141175 intended traffic and market audiencerepparttar 141176 site would receive

Only once you have established these points you turn to design.

Designing an effective yet attractive site isrepparttar 141177 most time consuming part withinrepparttar 141178 production process.

Assistingrepparttar 141179 Process

It is very important thatrepparttar 141180 initiator work closely withrepparttar 141181 designer(s), copywriter(s) and developer(s) ensuring that they have access to all information regardingrepparttar 141182 project, including: 1.Target audience 2.Competitors 3.Technology to be used (XHTML, Flash, Java etc.) 4.Site Map, or basic structure of site including pages and on page requirements

Once an initial design has been produced it is advisable that a web analytics or user behavior expert be brought intorepparttar 141183 discussion to ensure thatrepparttar 141184 proposed design will convert as expected.

Visitors do not like to think when they are on a website. Present them withrepparttar 141185 content that they are looking for and make it easy for them to find related information or makerepparttar 141186 desired action such as purchasing, downloading or signing up to whatever it is that you wish them to do.

There are a few generic details to look out for to ensure thatrepparttar 141187 design is onrepparttar 141188 right track, including: 1.Name of Site: The name ofrepparttar 141189 site (and logo) should be clearly visible and legible withinrepparttar 141190 header ofrepparttar 141191 site. This instills brand awareness and if a catchy name and logo are chosen, you will mostly likely find that your return visitor rate increases. 2.Instinctive navigation: Is it always clear exactly where you are within a site when you are on any given page withinrepparttar 141192 site? 3.Underlining of Links: Ensure that all links are underlined. This wayrepparttar 141193 outgoing page path and related information is immediately determined and visible torepparttar 141194 visitor on page load. 4.Actions: It almost seems redundant to say, but ensurerepparttar 141195 actions you would like your visitors to take are always clear. During a page heat map research project, it was proven thatrepparttar 141196 most attention lies onrepparttar 141197 right hand side ofrepparttar 141198 page. The top right corner beingrepparttar 141199 most effective area for actions to take place.

The design is one ofrepparttar 141200 first, but nonerepparttar 141201 leastrepparttar 141202 most important area of site production that needs to be taken into consideration. Equal parts of design, development and content are needed to effectively prepare your site for visitors.

SEM – Viral and Affiliate Marketing Differences Explained (Pt2)

Written by Christine Stander

The need to chooserepparttar most effective marketing option in an ever evolving competitive environment has become increasingly important.

The second instalment of a two part article coveringrepparttar 141153 four most important areas of search marketing: natural and sponsored listings and viral and affiliate marketing. The first article expanded onrepparttar 141154 differences between Natural listings and Sponsored or Pay-per-click listings (Left or Right – Which is best?) onrepparttar 141155 SERPs.

This article will coverrepparttar 141156 differences and advantages of viral and affiliate marketing. Why one would use it, and how you as a website owner may benefit from implementing comprehensive media strategies.

Viral Marketing

Viral marketing is mostly used to describe Internet-based marketing tactics and may include newsletters (mailers), web logs and other forms of online encouragement to create word of mouth for a new product or service and to create brand awareness.

In this example we concentrate on newsletters or mailers asrepparttar 141157 principle form of viral marketing.

Compared to other marketing methods, email marketing is relatively inexpensive, immediate and has a wide reaching audience. It isrepparttar 141158 primary interactive medium for marketing and communicating with clients andrepparttar 141159 most accessible form of advertising for smaller companies to generate brand awareness.

As little as two years ago, there was a very negative connotation attached torepparttar 141160 user of mailers as most were considered to be spam.

The strange thing is that a recent survey byrepparttar 141161 Pew Internet & American Life Project has found that email users are receiving slightly more spam than before, but they are minding it less. Withrepparttar 141162 volume of email messages having escalated inrepparttar 141163 last two years, it has become imperative that companies that are using this as a marketing method make every effort to ensure that messages are contextually relevant to their customers.

Most mailers are now more targeted in their audience and websites endeavour to give their usersrepparttar 141164 choice of signing up to their newsletters and mailers rather than bulk emailing to a group of unsolicited email addresses which have not been pre-qualified.

The key to effective viral marketing is to build relationships with your users via permission based marketing methods. This ensures that your company accessesrepparttar 141165 true potential of email marketing. You are benefiting your business inrepparttar 141166 long run by forming lasting relationships and building brand awareness inrepparttar 141167 audience it belongs.

Acquiring Email Addresses: •Compelling Offers. Advertise compelling offers where relevant to entice people to join, such as informative newsletters, eBooks, advice columns. •Quick e-mail sign-up. Streamlinerepparttar 141168 process by asking for as little information upfront as possible. Its easier to get more information from customers once your have provided them with for example a newsletter or some correspondence that they may benefit from. •Easy sign-up. Place an opt-in sign-up box or button and a text link in a visible area of all your site pages as well as inrepparttar 141169 footer of every page. This facilitates registration for people who want to receive your e-mail. •Link from newsletters. Addrepparttar 141170 sign-up box or a link inrepparttar 141171 newsletter. Many people send interesting articles or newsletters to friends and colleagues. This way it just makes it easier for those wanting to sign up. Affiliate Marketing Affiliate Marketing is generally referred to as revenue sharing between online advertisers and merchants whereby compensation is based on predetermined performance measures, typically inrepparttar 141172 form of sales, clicks, registrations or another agreed method.

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