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NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS FOR YOUR WEB SITE

It’s that time of year again. Time to start making resolutions that you hope will still be around through Valentine’s Day. Oh, these resolutions aren’t for you, of course, but for your Web site. After all, if 2007 is going to be a banner year for online sales and lead generation, it’s time to get crackin’!

Put Others First. Is your Web site–and your home page in particular–self-centered? If your home page talks about you, your company and all the fantastic products and services you offer, it’s no wonder you’re boring your audience to tears (or at least to their back button).

Your visitors didn’t come to your site to buy from you…they came because they had a issue or a problem they needed to solve. To paraphrase a famous sales quote, they’re not interested in your quarter-inch drill bits, they’re interested in their quarter-inch holes.

Your Web site isn’t about you or your business…it’s about your customer. Talk about their needs, their problems, and what they can expect from working with you. After all, people are generally self-interested on the Web (and elsewhere). Make your site about them and they’ll find you endlessly fascinating.

Try New Things. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut, staying in your comfort zone and leaving well enough alone. However, your competition doesn’t think like that. And if they do, it will be easy to surpass them by continually trying out new things on your Web site or testing new Web marketing projects.

Start a blog or try out podcasting. Give pay-per-click ads a chance. Contribute an article to an email newsletter that targets your audience. Set up a wiki to better collaborate with your customers. Add user surveys or a discussion forum to your site.

There are plenty of low-cost, easy-to-implement online tools that you can add to enhance the communication you’re having with your customers. If they fail you’ve learned an inexpensive but important lesson. If they succeed you’ve further bonded with prospects and clients.

Lose Weight. It’s time to shed those unsightly pounds…pounds of bulky code that are slowing down your Web site and causing strapped-for-time visitors to go elsewhere.

If your Web site is more than a couple of years old, the code is probably due for an overhaul. By using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) you can dramatically reduce the amount of code on your site, speeding up the time it takes for your pages to load. Even your dial-up visitors will feel like they’re on a high-speed connection.

Using CSS to style your Web pages can also make future updates and redesigns much less costly, saving you money in the long run.

Follow Through. Sure, it’s easy to say you’re going to update your Web site once or twice a month. You know that there are search engine and customer-retention benefits to keeping your site fresh. But after a few months you’ll get busy and the Web site will be on the back burner.

Set up time in your day-timer or calendar program now to generate new content for your site. Or, if you have the time now, write some copy that you’ll add to your site in the coming months.

If you’re using a Content Management System (CMS) like Joomla, you might even be able to create new articles and have them automatically go public on a certain date. That should free you up down the road when customers and clients are banging on your doors in reaction to all the positive changes you’ve made to your Web site and your Internet marketing.

Get a Personal Trainer. If you’re not sure where to start, or you need a spotter from a pro, consider hiring flyte. With insightful Web site audits and proven service plans, flyte can help you make your Web site healthy, happy and profitable in 2007.

Ready to start? Just let us know.

–Rich Brooks
President, flyte new media

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