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Increase Website Income

Increase website income

Increasing website income is a technical and marketing process - but more importantly it can be a business matter in the first place.

Firstly, to increase website income for a site that is doing the wrong thing in the wrong way will be a really tough job. It's better (and simpler) to fix your business problems first. You need to be asking, "Is my business plan potentially successful or am I going in the wrong direction?"

By this is meant that your website must have a good chance of success in the first place: it must appeal to a large number of people, many of whom can be persuaded that they should deal with you rather than your competitors. There may be more ways, and better ways, to target your audience. Ask us today if you are headed in the right direction.

First steps to increasing website income

Stage #1 is to get the right domain name and the right website built. There are two ways to look at the purchase of a new domain: it will be a branding exercise; or, it should be a search term. It cannot normally be both, so you need to choose.

There are arguments for and against each one of course - so you must choose. Without a doubt, in Year 1 a search-based name will be better; and in Year 4 a brand name may be better. We would tend to favour a search-based domain name, but there are arguments for each type.

Getting the right website built

Selecting a website builder is much harder. This stage is critical to increase website income as if you fail here, there is no going back. There are two things you should know about this:

1. A modern standards-compliant CMS website (or ecommerce application) beats everything else hands-down.

2. Most individual website builders have no idea how to build a legally-compliant, standards-compliant and search compliant website.

It's an unfortunate fact that the majority of web designers haven't a clue when it comes to modern web design requirements. You can check this easily enough by seeing if their portfolio websites pass validation at the W3C (http://validator.w3.org).

A web designer's reference sites must all pass green at the W3C - by definition, since if they don't pass they cannot be considered as acceptable web code, and of course this is the basis of web design - or should be. This is just the simplest of all the tests that can be applied.

The problem is that the vast majority fail, and fail badly. It's OK if a page fails by a few points, a year after handover to the client, since they can often add content wrongly and cause problems. Though personally, if I were a web designer, I'd give the owners of my portfolio sites a free service and revisit them once in a while to clean up their index page code. Otherwise, all your portfolio sites are doing is advertising the fact you can't write basic web code.

Don't deal with website builders who haven't a clue as it will cost you a bundle in the long run.

Choosing the right website

There's a very simple way to avoid these problems and start out with a website that will automatically help you increase website income. You should choose a modern standards-compliant CMS application to run your website on.

It fixes 99% of the problems before you even start, since a team of developers built the CMS who understood legal issues, standards compliance and search issues. A good CMS can still be wrecked by bad implementation, of course, so the portfolio sites of your proposed CMS implementer need checking as well.

In my professional work I only know of one independent web developer who has a grasp of all the issues that modern web design needs to address. I know of thousands who can't cope. Take the easy way out and use an application developed by a team of people who have specialists in each area, it's the only practical way you'll get an acceptable result.

The next stage

Once you have your perfect website, the next step to increase website income is to have an expert audit your site. An Internet commerce expert can be hard to find, but you'd start with an SEO (search engine optimising) consultant since their basic task is to improve website results.

You might find you need a specialist in SEO for CMS, since you'll be using one of these modern web applications if you are sensible.

As long as you have a good basic website, you then need to employ either SEO or advertising in order to improve results. The best plan is to use both. There is no other way known to work for most sites; there are minority methods such as social campaigns, affiliate marketing efforts and so on - but you need to cover the basics first. The first thing you need is traffic and a site that performs, since it will be impossible to increase your website income without those.

Website statistics

Web analytics (or any of its dozen other names) are important for the owners of commercial websites. Eventually you will find you cannot progress satisfactorily unless you have a grasp of the stats.

Get your SEO people to install a suitable application for you, and learn how to use the invaluable data it provides for you.

The key to understanding your website statistics is that the data must be presented in an understandable fashion; it will be of no use to you if it is impossible to grasp. There is a huge variation in the way these statistics programs present the results, and you need to find one you can understand, since at first glance they are impossibly complex.

The primary task is to improve the visits per day and per month figures. You'll need to understand the details of top keywords, top referrers, and top pages at first. Then you should look at conversions, which is the route to sales. Site errors also need to be fixed, and the stats should give you the tools to do that with.

Don't bother with items like pageviews, hits, requests or clickthroughs. All these will be a waste of time and a waste of resources for you. Concentrate on visits and the factors that influence them.

You can learn more on our website statistics pages.

And finally...

Learn about marketing. You'll need to know more about this as you progress, and it will become more and more important to you.

Good marketing is the final answer when you have everything else covered. Marketing means testing, tuning and refining, as much as anything else. Your web analytics will help you here.

The path you need to take to increase website income begins with a modern, standards-compliant website that passes normal testing for websites; it goes through having an expert assist you and get your site performing; it includes learning about web analytics; and it continues with an increased knowledge of marketing.

Also take a look at our page on how to improve website results. It focuses a little more on the requirements of different types of websites.
Web Business Managers