Get the most of your company Web site, part II

How To Get the Most From Your Company Web Site, Part II

4/6/2010

Continuing last week’s “how to,” CIE offers some additional tips to designing and managing a Web site that attracts new customers and keeps existing customers coming back again and again.

  • Generate a sitemap. A sitemap is an index to all the content, pages and links on your Web site. Sitemaps help Internet search engines lead your customers to the most up-to-date pages and information on your site. Paired with search engine optimization strategies, a sitemap ensures that your newest products and services, business news, and the most recent discussion forums are what your customers see first when they visit your site. Visit www.xml-sitemaps.com for information about how to implement this important tool.

  • Use Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a free service from Google that provides you with information about what people are searching for when they arrive at your site, when people access your site, how long they visit your site, etc. With this information, you can prepare more effective advertisements that appeal to new customers. Google has posted many helpful videos on their Youtube channel that further describe their Web site optimization tools.

  • A note about using analytics: Although analytics provide a lot of useful information about how your Web site is accessed, it cannot personally identify who accesses it. Subsequently, it cannot distinguish between when your customers visit your Web site and when you do, unless you install custom scripts on your Web site. This might not matter much if your business is quite small and only one person routinely visits the Web site to perform maintenance. But if there are dozens of people within your business who visit the Web site, this can interfere with the usefulness of the data. However, it is possible to filter out internal staff so they won’t be counted by Google Analytics. How you do this will vary depending on the way your business’s computer system is set up. Check with your Information Technology support team on how to address this challenge.

  • Incorporate landing pages. Landing pages are specific pages on your Web site that people are directed to from various marketing materials. When someone clicks on a link or types it into their Web browser, they are taken to, or “land” on, a page that measures visitors coming from a specific advertisement, e-mail or brochure. This helps you track the success of individual campaigns to promote your business.

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Tags: web site, tips, sitemaps, landing pages, how to, business, analytics,