The Importance Of Content – Adding A Weblog To Your Site

Continuing my theme of how as a small business you can improve your search engine results. In a previous article I extolled the virtues of article writing and in this one I shall consider the practicalities and usefulness of adding a weblog to your site in order to drive more traffic to your web pages.

I am presuming that you have optimised your site, added numerous pages of content and update or add to that content at least on a weekly basis. All of this I did with our own website but still the search engines only visited the site about every 4 – 6 weeks. So although our content was being added to sometimes on a daily basis I couldn’t induce the Google spider in particular to visit the site more often even though I was submitting sitemaps to Google.which informed it of these updates.

I then started reading about the benefits to businesses of having a weblog attached to the site. SEO’s were and still do wax lyrical about how search engines just love weblogs. On this basis I decided to give it a go and looked around at the various free blog sites and finally settled on as this site allowed the blog to be integrated into the website and offered a multitude of templates to choose from. So I chose my template and went through the process of integration with the website which is a very simple and easy process to follow. The next step was to start writing the blog. Very quickly I discovered that it was the ideal vehicle for announcing new services, new products and new branch openings as well as informing the readers of our day to day activities and experiences. All of it is excellent content and the SEO’s were quite correct in that the search engine spiders do love it. So much so that the googlebot spider visits everyday to update the web pages and the weblog. This now means that when my content changes or new pages are added they are immediately indexed by Google. This has done wonders for the search engine placement of the site.

The second benefit that SEO’s talked about was the increased number of links that having a blog would bring in. This part I didn’t quite believe as I couldn’t see how it would do this. I am still not certain of how and why it does attract links but the truth of the matter is that it does. The articles and the weblog seem to inhabit a world of their own and they certainly take on a life which you have no control over. However the combined effect is to boost your own content, attract search engines to visit your site frequently, increase the number of backlinks to your site and increase the number of visitors. All of which are of tremendous benefit to you as a business.

The latest figures I saw published for the number of businesses with weblogs was only 2%. So all you small businesses out there with a website, get writing articles and add a weblog to your site. Keep that updated, preferably on a daily basis, and you will soon see dramatic effects both on your visitor numbers and your search engine placement.


Top Tips for Web Design

Content is King. The most important thing to remember about popular web sites is that they are always rich in content.

Stick to your subject. Don’t try to be all things to all people. Keep your goal in mind. Creating a web site is challenging and fun. The temptation to put as many bells and whistles as you can on a page is almost overwhelming. But unless your site is involved with bells and whistles, don’t do it! The purpose of designing a site carefully is not to make it look cool, or win awards. It’s to accomplish the intended goal of the site. It’s a good idea to write down the goal of your the site before starting any design work. It will help you make design designs for the site as a whole.

First impressions count! Think about the message you are sending to your customer. The first page of your web site should be a concise description of the website. Don’t make this page too busy – entice visitors to dig deeper into your site through the use of inviting text and interesting graphics. If you are serious about your business, buy your own domain name and don’t use a “free” hosting service.

Design sites, not pages. Your primary concern should be the site’s overall design. When starting to design a new site from scratch, you should try to create a design that will make sense to users, has a consistent look and feel, and is not to difficult to extend in the future. The consistency of design of a site is one of the factors that differentiates amateur sites from professional ones.

Make it easy to get around your site. Your customer should be able to easily navigate to any page in your web from any page in your page. It’s important to link in a consistent, well thought out manner that users can learn to navigate. Have clear links to your pages and, if are selling a product, make it easy for people to buy it! Show your business name, address, phone number and E-mail address on each an every page. Invite customers to contact you with their questions or comments. Add links to other sites only when necessary, or on a special links page at the end of your site. You want visitors to go through your site before surfing off to another!

View your site through the eyes of a stranger. Once you have completed you site outline, view it in other browsers. Does it look like you wanted it to look?

Don’t forget to tell the world about your new site. Make sure that your URL is on all your company business cards, letter heads, brochures, phone systems, etc. Swap links with other related web sites and consider banner advertising. List your site with the major search engines, but read their rules of submission first!

Keep your site current. Come up with a reason for people to visit and revisit your pages and recommend them to their friends. This could be a series of articles giving tips, a daily cartoon, or other attention catching event. The words most likely to attract visitors are: Free and Special. Be sure you offer something of value if you uses these words!

Survey says… Ask users about your site. Create a survey and give a reward for responding. Ask friends to check out the site, then grill them on what they thought about it. This can be valuable input on what improvements are needed. Often, users can be thrown by things a designer might never see as a problem. Don’t ever stop looking for ways to improve your website. Subscribe to professional E-zines, and keep surfing the web doing market research. What are your competitors doing better? Ask for feedback from your friends, relatives and customers. They will often see things with fresh eyes.