10 No-Cost Ways to Generate Site Traffic

Whenever business dies down a bit or you find yourself with some time on
your hands, take advantage of the lull by going through your site with a
fine-toothed comb. The simpler and more user-friendly your site is, the
more sales it will generate. It's as simple as that. So you should
always be thinking about how you can remove any unnecessary clutter,
confusing links or visual eyesores to let your sales copy stand out.

Next, choose smart places to POST ATTENTION RIVETING lead-ins, so people
come to your website! I go to CRAIGS LIST, under TALENT: I put, "are you
an amazing beauty? If so, come to THE BEST SHOW BIZ CAREER WEBSITE!"
http://home.earthlink.net/~loveguru/holywodbound.htm

They go there, find articles on how vain and tacky show biz is, and how if they're
really that gorgeous, to to get married to a billionaire while they're young and do
some international import/export artisanry biz with starving villagers in the third
world as a charity. I say if you're beautiful you can do that, and go in in detail
about why to forget about show biz! Try a double wide full of your 8X10's.

I also have GUERILLA CAPITALISM websites, with articles on starting a
COTTAGE INDUSTRY. I supply the URL at CRAIGS list, in the ad! Thusly I
get dozens of readers a day! SO DESIGN A SITE and HUSTLE THE SITE!
Those are the two gears!
http://home.earthlink.net/~anitaastrologer/

In order to figure out what works and what doesn't, below you'll find a
list of the 10 critical elements your site should include:

Essential Element #1: An Attention-Grabbing Headline.

The first thing people see when they visit your site should be a
compelling headline that describes the most important benefit your
product or service offers. The headline is the key element of your site.
It's what will persuade visitors to stick around and check out what you
have to offer.

Your headline should be well-written: It should be clear, concise and to
the point. It should also be enticing—you want to pique your visitors'
interest and make them eager to learn more about what you're selling.
You can do this by emphasizing what your product or service can do for
them.

Once you've crafted a compelling headline, format it so that it stands
out from the rest of the text. It should be the first thing that catches
your visitors' attention. Use a large font size, bolding, italics, a
different color—whatever suits the style of your site.

Essential Element #2: User-Friendly Navigation. Nothing will drive
customers away faster than confusing or complicated navigation! Your
customers should be able to know where they are on your site at all
times, and should easily be able to find pages they've already visited.

Make sure your navigation bar or menu is clearly accessible and easy to
understand. It should be exactly the same on every page of your site,
and be located in exactly the same place. Your customers shouldn't have
to hunt for it. Remember: When it comes to navigation, consistency is the key!

Essential Element #3: Effective Salescopy. The words you use to describe
your product and its benefits are the key to the success of your
business. Your salescopy is the only contact you'll have with the vast
majority of your visitors. That's why you have to make the most of it!

Your salescopy should: Immediately draw the reader in with exciting
benefits and enticing copy so you can lead them toward the sale.
Establish your credibility—nobody will buy from you if they don't feel
they can trust you. Describe the benefits of your product or service
and explain why your visitors need it.

Essential Element #4: A Clear "Call to Action." If you want people to
buy your products or services, you have to tell them how to do it. Don't
leave them guessing. You have to explain exactly what you want them to
do, and you have to make it easy for them to do it.

If you want them to buy a product, present them with a call to action
like this: "CLICK HERE NOW to order your six-month supply of Product X."

Provide your customers with clear, easy-to-understand instructions on
how to make a purchase, and let them know what they can expect when they
click on the link that leads them to the order page.

Essential Element #5: Well-Chosen Images. Images can really help people
visualize your products or services and their benefits. Be sure to
include photos of every product you sell. Attractive product shots can
really boost your sales.

If you have a lot of products for sale, use "thumbnails" that link to
larger images. This will make your pages load more quickly. If you're
selling electronically delivered products such as ebooks or software,
you may want to create simulated product shots to represent them. This
makes your product more tangible to your visitors.

Essential Element #6: A Strong Opt-In Offer. Most first-time visitors
don't make a purchase. However, the fact that they've come to your site
in the first place means they're at least curious about what you have to
offer.

In order to pursue a relationship with these potential customers, you
should collect their e-mail addresses by encouraging them to subscribe
to a free newsletter or a free download. This will give you the chance
to send them updates and information, develop relationships with them,
and enable them to trust you enough to buy from you.

Opt-in offers like this are a great way to turn visitors into customers
and really maximize your sales. Your opt-in offer should be clearly
linked to each page of your site or, if possible, actually included on
each page. One less click means losing fewer potential subscribers.

Essential Element #7: Testimonials. The best way to establish
credibility is to provide evidence that your product or service really
works. And the best way to do that is to include testimonials from
satisfied customers that explain how your product or service has helped
improve their lives.

Be sure to include the names of your satisfied customers as well as
where they live. You should also post a small picture of them beside
their testimonials. This will personalize their messages, add
credibility to their statements and demonstrate that they're real people
who've enjoyed real benefits from your product.

For instant credibility, it's a good idea to have a few of your best
testimonials featured right on your homepage. However, you should also
have a separate testimonials page as well. The more satisfied customers
you can show to reluctant shoppers, the better.

Essential Element #8: An "About Us" page. People are often hesitant to
buy things online because they miss the personal interaction of doing
business face to face. The best way to overcome their reluctance is to
include an "About Us" page that provides information about you, your
staff and your business. Be sure to include pictures of yourself and
your staff members. This shows your customers they're doing business
with real people and will help ease any worries they might have.

Essential Element #9: An FAQ Page. It's a good idea to include a
"Frequently Asked Questions" page on your site. This is where you'll
list the questions most commonly asked by your customers and provide
answers to them. It allows your visitors immediate access to the answers
they need before they'll consider buying your product or service.

Essential Element #10: Your Contact Info. In order to close sales and
establish your credibility, you have to provide full contact information
on your site. This includes your mailing address as well as fax and
phone numbers. Businesses that only post e-mail addresses on their sites
come across as unprofessional and possibly even disreputable.

And make sure your contact information is clearly visible on every page
of your site. This will make it easy for customers to know how to reach
you if they want to get more information or buy a product.

Final Thoughts: To keep your site in top form, it helps to review your site every now
and then and create a list of "must do" actions you can take to optimize
its performance. Figure out where you can get rid of nonessential
clutter and simplify the sales process. Don't forget, streamlined sites
generate more sales.

Also take the time to browse through other sites (including those of
your competitors) to see how your site compares and get ideas for
improvement. What do you like about these other sites? What do you find
annoying about them? These visits will help you get an idea of what to
include and what to avoid on your own site.

After you've made some improvements to your site, ask some friends to go
through it. How hard is it for them to get from page to page? Can they
easily find their way back to pages they've already visited? Are they
confused by any aspect of your sales process? Do they find your site
appealing? Remember: You can never do too much testing.

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