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A weekly look at Wyoming business questions from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center, part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.
By Elizabeth Parks, Wyoming Market Research Center researcher
"I struggle with my Web site. I just assumed that my developer would put it together and I would have this fabulous Web site and customers would flock to my site, but it is not turning out that way. What can I do? Susan, Wright
One of the services we offer at the Wyoming Entrepreneur Market Research Center is Web site optimization. The reason we offer this service is that, although Web sites are supposed to function as marketing tools, they often miss the mark.
As I review Web sites, one of the biggest problems is that there is too much unorganized, meaningless content on pages. Paragraphs that go on about nothing are the worst culprit. Customers scan Web pages like they scan billboards while driving 70 mph on the highway. They read only about 20 percent of what is on a page. It is important to give them what they want in easy to scan, bulleted sentences.
People are opening Web site for a reason. They need information or products -- give them what they need. Do not chase them off with unnecessary, hard to read dribble. Simplify things and they will respond positively.
Read the content on your pages, which should be developed around a theme with a goal. What is it that you want people to glean from this page? Once a theme is developed, think about what type of words that people will type into the search box to find information. Include them in the page's text.
Google AdWords (http://bit.ly/cwszID) has a free keyword tool that is helpful. Experiment by putting words into the AdWords search box. Study the phrases searchers are using to find information. Once you have selected your theme, start writing and keep in mind content should reflect what it is you can do for customers or needs you can fill, not just a description of products and services.
This same strategy should be applied to any of your page's articles. Give people concise, useful information that will make you shine as an expert in your field. If you use someone else's article, do not just paste it into your page. Synthesize it by taking the most important points out and summarize them then link to the full article. Give full credit to the original author.
Internet users are more knowledgeable at searching for exactly what they want. They are getting better at using specific search terms and are relying less on home pages to direct them where they need to go.
People are landing on internal pages of Web sites more often. Statistics show that home pages are being by-passed. Google searches take users directly to the pages they want. Having well-developed pages makes it easier for searchers to find you.
A blog version of this article and an opportunity to post comments is available at
The WSBDC is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY 82071-3922.