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Traffic Demographics

Website TrafficWebsite TrafficHow much do you know about the visitors to your web site? Are they directly interested in what you have to offer them? Is what you are speaking about on your site general information that is available anywhere on the internet, or something that they can only get from you? If you are simply rehashing what everybody else is saying, then you are losing out on a lot of traffic, and a lot of income.

Exactly how much you need to know remains something of a mystery. However, it is relatively safe to say that if you offer only generalities on your web page, you may generate a lot of traffic but you will probably not get a lot of return visitors. While people who come to your site initially, may provide some base ad revenue, unless they can interact on your site, they are probably not going to be very receptive to actual sales pitches from you.

HealthCareHealth CareFor example, if you are involved in the health care niche, and you only put out a couple of hundred articles about how important health care is, without giving your visitors and readers any real or useful information, it is not likely that they will be returning to get any real information from your site. When you offer them something of substance, no matter whether it is a digital product, or something more tangible, they will remember your mediocrity, and not be compelled to purchase your offerings.

On the other hand, if you have fifty well-written articles, discussing the different types of health care, and different concerns, benefits, and hazards of specific health care needs, your visitors will be more likely to return. When you have something specific to offer those readers, they are bound to be more responsive to your offers.

You can have ten thousand people on your list regarding your particular niche, but are you taking all of the possible variations into consideration, in order to offer something that is directly relevant to your list? That is not to say that you have to get into too much detail, but that you do need to offer them something that is directly related to a specific need. If there is no specific need to fill, none of your visitors will feel a need to purchase it.

While you do not want to narrow your niche down so far that you no longer have any real audience at all, you do want to include specifics about as many of those subgroups in your niche as is possible. Concentrate on building them up one at a time and you will actually fare much better than you would by bombarding them with everything all at once.

health care nichesHealth Care NichesIf you return to our health care niche example, you could very well start off with a general site, stating the relevance of health care, and how important it is for everyone. That main heading can then be broken down into sub-categories, in order to meet and fulfill the needs and requirements of all of the people that visit your site.

The health care needs of a professional athlete are going to be different than the needs of an elderly and infirm person. However, by including sections in your site to cover the needs of both of those groups, you have expanded your audience by providing more specifics separated into different areas. You have also accomplished this without alienating either group. This is something that is very relevant when you want to generate return traffic or confidence in the products you have for sale on your site.

Whatever particular niche yours happens to be, try expanding it as far as possible while continuing to provide enough information for the casual reader to learn what category they belong in. Offering something for both the general audience as well as more specific information for each of the groups within that arena will only expand your audience, your credibility and your income.

For more information, or a free quotation, please do not hesitate to contact us

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Web Templates: Replacing Designers?

web designer equipmentWeb Designer EcquipmentI’ve seen articles (and websites) that suggest you can buy a website template and skip the expense of hiring a professional website designer. Recently, I read several testimonials from the very satisfied customers of a website template vendor that mentioned how quickly they were able to get their sites done. The template vendor commented that he/she had known people to complete their websites in around two hours.

With experiences and statements like these, it not surprising that more and more people are attempting to build websites themselves. I think that’s great in a way. For those of us who are concerned about the trends in the web industry and community, it’s great to see more people becoming web oriented and involved.

However, I think there is a misunderstanding by many of these people about what a website template really is – and is not. At this point, I think it only fair that I should mention that I am a professional website designer (the person you supposedly don’t need anymore). I should also mention that this is not my sole motivation for questioning this idea of templates replacing web designers. As a matter of fact, I think website templates are extremely useful. I recommend using them to my clients as a way of getting a great graphical look for their site. What I hope to convey is that template consumers need to know what they are and what they aren’t getting with a template.

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What Is RSS And How Can It Benefit You?

RSS feedRSS FeedRSS is short for Really Simple Syndication. It is part of the XML family that is used for syndicating information. Put simply RSS allows one web site to share information with another web site.

As a web site publisher, RSS offers a way for them to publish their information on many web sites, which in turns increases their reach on the Internet and the amount of traffic they receive to their web site. They also receive more one way links back to their web site. These benefits result in an increase in their search engine ranking.

As a web site owner, RSS allows them to receive up to date links to information on a regular basis that runs on auto pilot. When the publishing site is updated, their web site is also updated.

The result of this is that their web site is updated more regularly which also increases their search engine ranking.

The other benefit the web site owner receives from using RSS is that their information remains "fresh" which encourages their visitors to return on a regular basis.

However, the web site owner does not receive the complete articles, instead, they receive a feed that contains a title, a brief description and a link to the article that resides on the publishers web site.

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When You Should Consider Using a Site Template or Wizard to Build Your Own Website

design and artDesign and ArtI'm a web designer letting you know when it's important not to use a web designer. I feel this is very important to discuss, because many customers spend a lot of money when a much simpler solution is available for them. HTML and other web technologies are easy to learn, but very difficult to master. There are many automated template and site wizards which can walk you through developing a simple site without any prior web design or programming knowledge. For the right customer this is a great solution to their web design needs.

The Look:

Although wizards and template machines have become increasingly sophisticated over the years, they still have a somewhat "generic" look and feel. If setup perfectly a website audience may not know specifically they are looking at a template site, although almost unavoidably they will feel uninspired by the look and at least subconsciously know they've seen a ton of websites with the same idea. The designs are usually engineered to be able to be conformed to any business so they lack any cohesion or emotional link to your specific company or individual site. There are some exceptions to this. Extremely large e-stores may have a VERY extensive library of templates even ones catered to specific professions. If the success of your website depends on an "expensive", ultra professional, or creative look then definitely rule out this possibility.


 

Time Frame limitedTime Frame LimitedTime Frame:

Templates and wizard sites are usually advertised with tag lines like build your website in 5 minutes. Regardless of the simplicity of the interface, if you're going to build a good website even with a wizard or template expect to spend hours and hours of your time on it. Without the help of a professional who can guide you through the trial and error discovery and content refinement process, expect to do a lot of research on your own. In addition if you have problems or make mistakes you won't have an ability to get instant help and tech support is painfully slow. If you have strict time schedule requirements, rule this possibility out.

Ideal Candidates:

Websites that represent industries where the website itself is not meant to be profitable (IE no e-commerce sites)

Personal home pages.

Situation where the website's goal is only to reinforce the product or service and not to provide new customers but as an information source. Industries or services were extremely good automated web solutions exist and are easily available. One example is real-estate agents, although elite agents may want a fancy website, a normal agent can find very satisfactory template website solutions that are complete with industry specific functions and features like mortgage and interest calculators and live up link with their firm's properties. In addition all the web competition has kept the price of these services VERY low.

When only the product has significance. If your setting up a website to sell a used car, and want your local ads in the paper to point there, people could care less if the graphic design looks professional. PLEASE use a template.

If you're testing an idea or concept and don't want to spend a lot of money.

out of business diy website designOut of Business DIY WebsiteWhat not to do:

Here is what I don't recommend. DO NOT and I repeat DO NOT try to build your own site by learning a WYSIWYG (What you see is what you editor like front page or Dreamweaver, unless you already know these programs well and have a lot of web experience. These programs are not intuitive and will allow you to completely mess up your layout and code.

time on your handsTime on Your HandsAlthough extremely limiting, the online wizard and template machines have a certain degree of fail safeness to them. You simply supply the information and they setup the pages for you. You can upload pictures and adjust them quickly and easily following simply directions. In a WYSIWYG editor there are many non intuitive things you have to know WELL in order to create a website that's functional. I've have A LOT of website customers come to me after practically pulling their hair out with all the problems they encountered trying to fix problems in their self created website.

I've also met very few non tech people who were successful at building a good looking website with front page or dream weaver. If you're a computer power user, that's of course a different story, but even for you, good web design is a very difficult thing to grasp. Use an online wizard, builder or template instead of a WYSIWYG editor, unless you have a LOT of time on your hands.

Contact us today for a free quotation or more information.

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Why Dot-Coms Fail - a Webmaster's Perspective

Everyday we hear that another company goes out of business.

dotbombDot BombWhen and why does a dot-com become a dot-bomb?

After checking a few dozen defunct companies, I think the main reasons for dot-com failure are:

  • Poor business plan. In the last years, a lot of investment capital was spent on poorly planned companies that clearly couldn't reach profitability.
  • Poor company promotion. This applies both offline and online. Two newspaper ads and word of mouth are not enough.
  • Poor financial management. Fancy offices, free food, does it ring a bell?
  • Poor Human Resources management. With lots of cash in their hands, many start-up companies hired too many people or, even worse, hired unqualified staff. The hiring of friends and relatives often returned no value on investments.
  • Errors in the company's Web site. Sometimes hundreds of errors could be found in one Web page. Yes, those Web site builders should go back to school, if they ever went to school for HTML at all.

    I'll focus my comments on the last reason:

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