Purpose of Website

Purpose of Website  – again another old forum post resurrected:

I believe that a site has to have a purpose, and from there, that defines the structure. There are 5 major types of site (probably more, but I will focus on 5), these being info site, sales/signup site, Blog, online store, and membersite.

An info site is designed to provide the best and easiest source of information for the visitors. The visitors are usually repeat, and have already developed a relationship with the site owner and are coming to the site for information. A good example of this is Internet Based Moms.

A sales/signup site has a specific purpose to either get a sale, or a signup for a newsletter/report/ezine. It should not have anything else to distract the visitor. All items on the site should push the visitor towards that end goal. This is usually the beginning of the relationship with a new visitor so this is often the first site the visitor sees.

A Blog is a relationship building site, building that intergral trusting relationship between the visitor and the site owner.

The online store is designed to offer products for the viewer to come, pick and purchase.

Membership sites can be varied, but are usually less attractive and more business like.

Now most people first start with an info site, and try to work all the other sites into that info site. And then the problem is that visitors come to the site and get too distracted to actually do anything. Then site owners get frustrated as they are not getting sales or signups or product sales as people just come and go, never getting into the site.

My advice is to build two sites. The first is a sales/signup site (I prefer a signup site to start a list) that will get your visitors to do one thing, and one thing only. After they have done that, you can then move them on.
The second site would be your info site and/or your online store (or at this point you could try a combo as long as it is not too cluttered and the layout is direct to each area).

Many very successful online marketers just build sales/signup sites and nothing else. (or possibly a online store after they have enough of their own products to offer that). They just focus on building their lists and driving traffic to first sign up, and then purchase their product.

Back to your site. As an info site, I actually like your site as it is. It give good organization in your links on the left, and I like the what’s new at the top. I think the main part of the page is a little busy and could use some improvement to keep the clutter down.

I would suggest adding a signup site and give away some free info. Use that as the first page that you drive traffic to. Then in subsequent emails you can highlight various areas of your info site to show people what a great resource it is.

Lastly, an info site is a great source of long term organic traffic that will sustain your business for years if the pages are set up correctly.

SEO Basics

I posted this as a reply to a post in a forum a while ago, but thought I would actually add it as it’s own post here in my blog so that everyone could read it:

Always make sure your site is optimized for the search engines so when the spiders follow those links to your site, that everything works and makes sense.

If you think about the search engine spiders logically, they are really just checking out your site, and being sure that everything is logical. It is like a person checking out a new brick and mortar store. First you hear about it from a friend (the link to your site). So what your friend said has to match the stores name on the front (your title). Then when you look in the window (Keywords), again that has to match what your friend said and what the name said. Then when you walk in and look around (site description and keyword density) that again has to all be in tune with the referral from your friend, the name on the front and what you saw in the window. Also the main items on display or on sale(H1 and H2 tags and bold words) at the front of the store have to relate to everything else.

If a friend told you to go to a great restaurant for seafood, and when you got there the restaurant was called Fred’s House you would not know it was a seafood restaurant. And if the signs in the window were pictures of steaks, you would not know that they had great seafood. And if you walked in and the special was a cheeze burger, you still would not be sure this was a great place for seafood. And when you looked at the menu and there was 20 dishes and only 2 for seafood, would you really think that this was the best place to go for seafood.

Compare that to another restaurant that another friend recommends to go to for Seafood. You drive up and it is called Shrimp – Lobster – Crab Specialty Cafe. You see very tempting pictures of seafood in the windows as you walk up. You walk in and the specials are Alaska King Crab and Garlic Shrimp. You sit down and open the menu and you have 3 choices of Lobster, 2 choices of Crab, and 4 shrimp dishes. The waiter walks up and says welcome to the best seafood place in town.

Now which place – if you were a search engine – would you recommend to someone searching for Seafood, Lobster, Crab or Shrimp. The search engines just want to make a very relevant recommendation.

I hope that this helps to make SEO a little more relevant to your site. I just wanted to make a point about what search engines are looking for and that it is not that difficult when you get down to the basics.

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