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3 Key Points in Online Marketing to Avoid Tanking Your Results

With all the changes in Google AdWords and the increased competition these days, organic SEO looks more and more attractive to most of us.

The key is for your website optimization to out-perform your competition, without over spending with an online marketing consultant (or without taking up too much of your time if you're going the do-it-yourself route).

Remember, affordable Search Engine Optimization is about increasing quality traffic, then * converting * that traffic to a sale or a sales lead.

If you miss these points I describe below, your SEO goals of increased conversions will tank, even if you have a Number 1 Google Ranking.

I often notice these missed areas when I'm Coaching a business owner about their Web site and their need to increase sales and sales leads.

So, here are 3 points for you to review that I hope will help your SEO goals of increased conversions.

What's Above the Fold Counts Most, so Consider Monitor Resolutions

Living in the world of TV remote controls and browser back buttons, we have to capture our website visitors' attention ASAP. Our visitors aren't going to give us much time before making a decision to stay or to leave our website.

As much as this subject is discussed these days, it's amazing the number of sites I review that have critical information missing from "above the fold", in that area visible before your visitors scroll down.

This is the area to briefly summarize what people can do on your site and make your best case for your guests staying on your website and not clicking away. This may also be the area to place your contact information.

Keep in mind that what's above the fold on your monitor will likely be different from what's above the fold on the monitor for someone visiting your website. Browser resolution is set differently for various computers.

For instance, on my website, I know the top resolution of my visitors is 1280 by 1024 (53%) and the second most popular resolution is 1024 by 768 (37%). I get this information from my site's analytics script, although not all analytics programs provide this critical information.

Since I make sure my site looks great for these 90% of my visitors and make sure I communicate reasons to stay on my site above the fold (my value proposition), I draw more people into my site, encouraging them to scroll down.

Remember to cross test your site with recent versions of the most popular Web browsers: Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari and maybe even Google's new Chrome.

These steps raise my conversion rate and they will raise yours, too. And increasing traffic and conversions is the whole point of affordable search engine optimization, whether using an online marketing consultant or d-i-y, right?

So, don't miss this important step.

Carefully Select Your Type Size and Font and Remember that White Space is Your Friend

I'm astounded by the improper text choices made by so many website owners today. Is there really any good reason to make people squint at your website, struggling to get the information they need?

Consider reviewing The Easy to Read Standard at Information Architects (you can Google it). I would encourage you to review the size of your text, the white space between your letters and words and between your paragraphs and headings.

Designers often believe whitespace is your enemy; if you want people to understand your message and stay on your website, whitespace is in fact your friend. :-)

Also consider that fonts with serifs are easier to read than fonts without serifs.

If you want to successfully convey your message to as many of your site visitors as possible, then make it as easy for them as you can. When we're talking about increasing conversions, it's all about the numbers and appealing to the largest number of people possible.

Use Opt-in Email or Blog Postings to Maximize Your Sales

All website owners would like for people to buy from their website the first time they visit. But is that realistic?

Consider these statics from the National Sales Executive Association:

* 2% of sales are made on the 1st contact; * 3% of sales are made on the 2nd contact; * 5% of sales are made on the 3rd contact; * 10% of sales are made on the 4th contact (and) * 80% of sales are made on the 5th - 12th contact.

For most businesses, if you don't offer an opt-in contact, like a regular email newsletter or blog postings, you're missing out on most of your potential sales!

When setting up an opt-in Internet marketing campaign, you should offer incentives to subscribe. To entice people to opt-in, you can offer:

* special pricing for email list members * a first look at new products * ability for customer to select subjects and emails they receive (controlling the frequency of contact by choosing which of your lists to be on) * promise not to share email or other personal info with other companies

Using opt-in contact allows you to significantly increase conversions by introducing yourself over time to your potential customers, in a soft-sell manner.

Website optimization is important; the goal is increased Internet traffic, sales and sales leads. But whether you've hired an online marketing consultant or you're doing the process yourself, Affordable search engine optimization by itself doesn't accomplish those last points of increased sales and sales leads.

You've got to remember to design your website to alleviate visitors natural apprehensions and make buying from you as easy as possible.

Properly mapping out the above the fold area of your Web pages, using appropriate size text, using adequate whitespace and offering an opt-in process to nurture your buyers will all help you accomplish the real goals you have with SEO and website optimization: increased sales and more sales leads.

Marketing online since 2004, Paul Marshall can help you market on a budget. You can learn about his affordable Internet Marketing Coaching and Consulting Services on his home page: strategicwebmarketing.net/ He also offers Affordable SEO services (and d-i-y Coaching), which you can learn about here: strategicwebmarketing.net/seo.html

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