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Making the Most of Your Website
~ Ideas to improve website traffic

These ideas will be done with a certain business in mind - I'll use a financial company.
It is a ficticious company. We'll call it Big Money Financial.

Add your URL [web address] to everything! Don't forget to make it your complete address - for example: http://www.comportone.com/BigMoney. You won't need to add the http:// nor will you need to add index.html as the way the Internet is set up it doesn't require it. Add this address to all correspondence, business cards, flyers, brochures, posters, mailings, TV ads, newspaper ads, radio ads, etc. People who visit your site will think of you when they consider applying for a loan. They may visit many times. They may not even be considering a loan when they first visit. But who do you think they'll think of when the time comes? Big Money, of course.

Make your site interactive. - Add in a Mortgage Calculator link so visitors can use. Since Big Money also give car loans, adding a car loan calculator is also a good idea. If fact, a basic loan calculator that one can put in the purchase price, interest rate and length of payment - is a great idea. Again, make your site interactive and useful to the visitor.

Add email / online forms for customers to fill out if they need more information or want to prequalify for a loan.

Add your email link. It should be posted on all pages. No visitor should have to look through your site to find a way to contact you. You never know exactly what page they entered your site on or which one they will leave by, so add email to all pages.

Submit your URL to search engines. [Check often to see if they are moving up or down on the list. Repeat again whenever the pages are updated.] Make sure the META statements [explained below] are accurate.

Provide information for META statements. These are the words one might type in when looking for your business. Up to 25 words are allowed. For Big Money we would use words uch as; loans, Rockford, Illinois, IL, business, mortgage, interest, consolidate, ARM, balloon, automobiles, autos, cars, trucks, RV, etc.

Don't worry about not getting feedback. For instance, in our earlier years, on the week ending 8-8-99, we had 13,779 hits on ComPortOne, yet only received 3 to 5 qualified emails a day. The important thing is that THEY ARE VISITING.

Don't add a web counter. If you are visited often, counters appear to others as bragging. If you are visited less often they can be devasting. It is not how often you are visited but the quality of those visits that counts. Your hosting service can give you some statistics without putting it on the site. [...Besides, those in the business refer to them as IDIOT COUNTERS - that must mean something.]

Articles - As far as articles, Big Money could write some on descriptions of the various kinds of loans - pros and cons; how business and personal loans differ; credit scoring; who qualifies for loans; how to get a loan if one's credit isn't A+; etc. Basically, anything and everything having to do with financing is acceptable. They can be carried on the Big Money site in an articles section and/or on sites that share information like ComPortOne. Articles should always provide a link back to the home page of the site that donated them. Visitors to the Internet can find articles by searching google, yahoo, altavista, etc. [All articles must be original or have copyright permission from the source to adhere to Internet Copyright Laws.]

Special Pages - ComPortOne is planning on setting up a more complete Financial Page; such as its Health & Fitness, Education, Government, Wedding, Landlord-Tenant, etc. pages. This is where ComPortOne's articles will be listed. We just have to have enough articles to get a special topic page started. This will be a bonus area for Big Money articles to be listed. We strive at ComPortOne to make sure our websites are linked from every possible logical connection.

INFO PAGES - ComPortOne now has INFO PAGEs. Local and area businesses can submit their information to be included on ComPortOne's Yellow Pages. Since ComPortOne exceeds 240,000 hits per month, being included on our website with a link back to your own would be a great advantage. For more on INFO PAGES click here.

Choosing a domain name. - Although having a domain name is not necessary to have a website it is an advantage, if you have a name that is easy to recognize and remember. It is easy to find a large company that is well-known such as Kraft, IBM, and Disney on the Internet. Most of the URLs can be found by typing http:// and their name usually followed by .com. If you are not well known or your name is already taken, you will have to think of an abbreviated or a variation of your name. In this case, a domain name is not an advantage for you. [For instance, Noah's Ark had a home page on our site at http://www.comportone.com/noahsark, which is not difficult to find. A year after their website on ComPortOne was designed they decided to buy a domain name. The name they chose [since Noahs Ark had been taken] was noahsark2by2.org. Unknown and not easy to guess, some patrons couldn't find them. So Noah's Ark had to rely on a search engine for visitors to find their website.] Basically, whether to go with a domain name, it comes down to a personal and financial decision. It won't affect your traffic, but it is somewhat impressive. You can also design your website and later buy a domain and move the files to the domain. This idea will save you money at the initial construction of the website.

While individual companies may have slightly different needs, the aforementioned ideas, with very little alteration, will cover most businesses.

Connie Eccles,
CEO of ComPortOne

For information on other types of business advertising read -
How to Get the Most Out of Your Advertising Dollar
For more website hints, see also,
Web Stickiness

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