Articles - Optimize Your Websites

Articles to help optimize, troubleshoot and repair your websites. You can subscribe for more at "Wise Little Tidbits" newsletter.

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Check Your Site in a Browser
Check Your Statistics – It Can Save Your Traffic!
Finding the Errors on Your Website
Get Listed on Google!
Redirect URLs
Check Your Site Statistics for Errors
Keep Your Old Websites Up
Are You Killing Your Website Sales?
Places to Search at and to Submit Sites

Any article written by P. Roe may be reprinted as long as the resource box and the article are kept intact. Formatting changes are allowed - other changes must be approved - email to discuss.

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Check Your Site in a Browser
By P. Roe
http://doubleii.com/WiseLittleTidbitsNewsletter.htm

If you've not seen what your website looks like from a browser (not just your site editor program) as you've uploaded to the Internet - you might be in for a surprise. I haven't had much time to maintain my sites or keep up with things, having recently moved, and when I pulled up my site from the Internet on a browser I immediately knew why I wasn't getting any business from it!

I found that a script I was using, a simple script, had gone bad. It had caused my content to look like a bunch of characters - not at all anything readable. It also popped up a "download" that might put who knows what on someone's computer. I didn't know what the problem was at first, but I had to redo the scripted part anyway, so once I got it taken out, I uploaded to the 'net and none of the problems appeared anymore - my site was cleaned up. Whew!

Sometimes links and pop-ups go bad as well - they might direct to a sleazy site, or to an expired program, or set up an automatic download. In some affiliate programs, the links have changed to new domains, or new linking methods - the old links may still lead to the right area, but you no longer are tracked for credit. Always take the time to make sure your links are working and log in to your affiliate sites to see that the links you are using are current. If there is an office ability to check for bad links clicked but not giving you business - use it!

Also - your graphics may haphazardly disappear from your sites. Banners, photos, etc. may just be empty boxes - does not look good on your site.

Check your site after you upload, as well - sometimes the uploads do not happen without mishaps, and you will only know this if you check it. Maybe only half of your page uploaded, without the contact information from the bottom. If you are running ads for your website, you can lose lots of money.

Be smart - look at your site from a browser, on the Internet. Not from your computer. See what is actually out there on the Internet.

~~~~~~~~~~

P. Roe writes "Wise Little Tidbits" – how to optimize your website and your computer. To subscribe for free, http://www.doubleii.com/subscriptioninfo.html
http://doubleii.com/WiseLittleTidbitsNewsletter.htm
More articles at
http://doubleii.com/articlesreports.htm


Check Your Statistics – It Can Save Your Traffic!
By P. Roe
http://doubleii.com/WiseLittleTidbitsNewsletter.htm

When I check my website statistics – I get a WEALTH of information – you need to check your stats out, too – you can reclaim lost traffic, find out the sites people go to most, and better your traffic.

For instance, when I look at the "errors" information, I see sites people "tried" to go to but found there to be no site, or perhaps tried to send an email to a wrong address - you can now make a copy of a real page and save it as the error page, or rename it on FTP and then upload the real page back. If people try to hit a site called www.domain.com/subscribercount.html- but your site address is supposed to be www.domain.com/subscribercount.htm or www.domain.com/subscriptioncount.html then just make a page with that name – using the same site as the real one they were supposed to go to. It is likely that there was a typo in an ad, or someone linked to your site and made a typo, or in some way it's easy for a surfer to make the typo. You can also create a new email address using the wrong addresstors better. You may be able to see the search terms that people input to find your site – that will tell you if people are looking for the right things on your site. I'll go into this with my next example.

I see plenty of hits to our birthday and themes websites, - from people looking for something like "Veggie Tales posters" or certain types of theme cake pans or piρatas – which are not exactly on the websites – but hey – I can now go search for a source of those and add them in as more items for visitors to choose from, and to perhaps make a sale when the next visitor drops in with a similar search. Or an even better idea – set up an interactive search box or email form so people can ask for a specific type of item – and let me get back to them when I find it! This is an invaluable tool to let you know what people want when they come to your website – somehow our website is listed as providing Veggie Tales posters – but no wonder it's not making sales if the site doesn't offer them! I still need to find a source for Veggie Tales posters, but I can then offer them to the visitors who come again via the same search topics. If the site is listed as a provider – become a provider of that.

Find out your website statistics and get a better handle on website visitors and searches – and increase your sales, plus save traffic that was leaving!

~~~~~~~~~~

P. Roe writes "Wise Little Tidbits" – how to optimize your website and your computer. To subscribe for free, http://www.doubleii.com/subscriptioninfo.html
http://doubleii.com/WiseLittleTidbitsNewsletter.htm
More articles at
http://doubleii.com/articlesreports.htm


Get Listed on Google!
By P. Roe
http://doubleii.com/WiseLittleTidbitsNewsletter.htm

The major players are teaming up – Yahoo! will be pulling searches from Google and they will apparently appear to blend seamlessly within the Yahoo! searches. This means you should try to get your site listed in Google in order to take advantage. It could be a free way to get listed in Yahoo!

However – if you look at Google search sites – you will notice they are listed in ways that are not optimal. The text that Google pulls off the websites may not be what you want it to pull off your site – so your Google listing may look awful. It might still be wise, if you can afford it, to list your site on Yahoo – since the human touch is involved. People hand-index the websites on Yahoo! – making them read in a much more relevant manner.

Before you submit your website to Google – check other sites within your keyword categories, and see how they are listed. If you can figure out how to get your best text pulled out of your site, then put your keyword-rich paragraph (1-2 sentences, actually) in its optimal placement. Place the wording at the top of your page.

Make your TITLE reflect what your website offers. And if you can, try to include the keyword in your url.

I don't have a feel for the reasoning of how Google pulls the text off the site – I have a #9 listing for a certain term (I have a lot of listings on Google but I am trying to optimize this particular page) and it pulled very relevant text from my site – some other sites had horrible descriptions (like "contact webmaster if there are problems on the site" – which has NOTHING to do with the topic). I tried to figure out where the text was on the other pages – mine was at the beginning of the page. The text descriptions were pulled from all over – 3rd paragraph, lower down, from the top – I could see no pattern. All I can suggest is to have your best keyword rich statement which accurately describes why people should come to your page – and place it at the top so no need to hunt for it. The meta tag description wasn't used at all in Google, in any instance that I could find.

I looked at another term that showed my website as #1 for the term "attorney loans" – we fund attorneys on their cases won while they are waiting for their payments to come in. The description is pulled up from a couple areas, still somewhat relevant but not the best description. It does tell someone looking for it that that is what we offer. The other sites offered other types of loans, and presumably with an attorney present – not an "attorney loan" – so chances are pretty good that a search will see it as what they want. The site does not show up in "attorney loan" however – so it will lose a large search audience in that case. I will have to mull this one over….

Before you submit your website to Google (at www.google.com), be sure to link to it from various sites of your own, and see if you can form linking partnerships with other sites to increase your ranking from being linked to. Google does rely on how many places your website is linked to from other pages.

If you can get a good, relevant placement in Google for free, then you don't even have to pay for a Yahoo! listing. If your site lists as muck in Google, then you might want to pay to have the Yahoo! crew submit it with better wording.

~~~~~~~~~~

About the author: P. Roe troubleshoots and repairs computers and websites. Subscribe free to "Wise Little Tidbits" to help you troubleshoot, repair and optimize your computer and websites.
Subscribe at http://www.doubleii.com/subscriptioninfo.html or visit http://doubleii.com/optimizesite.htm
More articles at http://doubleii.com/articlesreports.htm


Redirect URLs
By P. Roe
http://doubleii.com/WiseLittleTidbitsNewsletter.htm

You should redirect URLs if you want to keep commissions for sales you have made, or to look more credible to buyers. People drop off the end of the URL with your affiliate link, or other programs on computers switch out your affiliate links to their affiliate link. To redirect your affiliate URL, you can use a services such as www.tinyurl.com or you can use your own site if you own a domain. This is done by using a certain HTML code (or other) – here is one example:

(html)
(head)
(title)Program Name(/title)
(meta http-equiv="refresh" content="0; url=http://affiliatesite.com")
(meta name="ROBOTS" content="noindex")
(/head)
(body link="#0000FF" vlink="#000080" alink="#FF0000" bgcolor="#FFFFFF")
(p>If this page does not redirect please click (a target="_blank" href="http://affiliatesite.com")here(/a)(/p)
(/body)
(/html)

Be sure to change ALL "(" into "<" and ALL ")" into ">" - plus change Program Name into whatever you want to call it. Change http://affiliatesite.com into the affiliate URL you want to use. Change the body and link colors to match your site on your domain. Change the 0 into another number if you want someone to sit on your page a little longer, as in if you have a message or banner you want them to see while waiting – put your message or banner in front of /body Put this code as the only code on your new page, and save it as a name of the affiliate program or whatever you want it to be, then upload to your domain. If you have any questions or need help, email pr@doubleii.com.

~~~~~~~~~~

About the author: P. Roe troubleshoots and repairs computers and websites – both online and in person (in the Denver area). Subscribe free to "Wise Little Tidbits" to help you troubleshoot, repair and optimize your computer and websites.
Subscribe at http://www.doubleii.com/subscriptioninfo.html or visit http://doubleii.com/optimizesite.htm
More articles at http://doubleii.com/articlesreports.htm


Check Your Website Statistics for Errors
By P. Roe
http://doubleii.com/WiseLittleTidbitsNewsletter.htm

When I took the time to look into the error pages that showed up, using my website statictics tools at my domain, I saw that people were trying to access pages that were not set up! I was losing traffic that was looking for me!

This is because they did not use capital letters – I had a couple pages that broke the words into a phrase – by using capital letters to break up the words. They also tried to access a page using .htm instead of .html – I don't know if was due to a typo or if it was due to some other reason. Perhaps someone made a link to it with a typo, or perhaps I promoted it in an ezine ad that dropped the "l" – either by my mistake or by someone else's oversight. In any case, it was costing me visitors.

I didn't get panicky – I just decided to fix it. I saved the page.html page as page.htm and uploaded it. I changed the letters to all small letters and then in my FTP program, which will not take the same name – no matter if capitalized or not – I did a "rename" to the one with capital letters – and renamed it as all lower case letters. When that page which was named with some capital letters disappeared, I uploaded it again. I get less and less errors every day, and keep more traffic.

A perhaps better way to resolve this is to redirect your odd page to the page you want people on - to keep from being penalized by search engines that see duplicates of your website. Use the following code as the entire web page that you want people to hop from, to the correct page (the page to direct to will show "correctpage" - just change the name to your site name). Change all the ( to <, and the ) to >

(HTML)(HEAD)
(meta HTTP-EQUIV="REFRESH" CONTENT="8; URL=http://www.yourdomain.com/correctpage.html")
(/HEAD)
(/BODY)
(/HTML)


Keep Your Old Websites Up
By P. Roe
http://doubleii.com/WiseLittleTidbitsNewsletter.htm

When you abandon a page on your site, rather than deleting it, find some way to re-configure it and keep it up. It probably is listed in some search or ad, and people still may come looking for it – this has happened to me many times. If the page isn't there – you can lose sales and leads.

Go through your pages on your website, and rather than deleting those that have no value to you, check the links out to be sure they work, and add a little blurb about some related program or interest a visitor might have – perhaps directing them to go to another of your sites. Just try to redirect them to give you another chance to make a sale or keep a visitor.

You need not spend time "keeping up" the page – just update it to be useful to a stray visitor looking for something there. Try to keep his interest enough to convert him to a sale on another page.

~~~~~~~~~~

About the author: P. Roe troubleshoots and repairs computers and websites – both online and in person (in the Denver area). Subscribe free to "Wise Little Tidbits" to help you troubleshoot, repair and optimize your computer and websites.
Subscribe at http://www.doubleii.com/subscriptioninfo.html or visit http://doubleii.com/optimizesite.htm
More articles at http://doubleii.com/articlesreports.htm


Finding the Errors on Your Website
By P. Roe
http://doubleii.com/WiseLittleTidbitsNewsletter.htm

When you are building your website, and try to test it in a browser, do you sometimes (or perhaps more often) get an error message telling you that your site contains a script error, and would you like to continue running scripts on the page - yes or no?

If so, look at that screen before discounting it - it should tell you which line has a syntax error or whatever problem it tells you. You can now look for that line to correct it - but finding it might not be as easy as you'd think. Blank lines do count, and the count might piece some lines together which you would no expect. One way to find the line in question is to go near the line you think you counted to.

When you are there, see which line it tells you the error is at. For example, if your error is at line 33, you can go to about line 29 and then add a blank line. Again try to view the page - which line does it tell you the error is on now? Does it say line 33 again? If so, you have added the blank line AFTER the line with an error. Go up about 5 lines and try it. If it said line 34, then the line with the error is after the blank line. Sneak up on it by taking out the blank line and moving up a couple lines. Try it again. If it now says line 33, you know you just passed the line with the error. Look at the couple of lines you moved through. If it says line 34 had the error - move up a couple more lines and try again. You might not pinpoint the EXACT line, but you will get within 2-3 of it - look at it carefully and find the error in it. It can be a " where it should be ' - or an incomplete code that didn't close (no ) or a misspelling of a code - any number of things. Try making changes to it and see if that makes a difference in taking out your error message.

Now you can clean up your website, once you have found the lines with the errors. If you are fortunate enough to have a good HTML editor that will count out lines, then you need not hunt for them, but this is a good trick to try if you don't get an accurate line count.

~~~~~~~~~~
Paulina Roe is a Computer/Website Troubleshooter both online and offline. If you have been fighting with your computer, or hassling with your websites, subscribe to the FREE periodic "Wise Little Tidbits" newsletter. Get FREE Optimization tips and learn how to control your computer and Internet.
http://doubleii.com/WiseLittleTidbits.htm
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Are You Killing Your Website Sales?
By P. Roe
http://doubleii.com/WiseLittleTidbitsNewsletter.htm

Do people visit your website just to leave right away? Are you enticing them to look around further or to buy, or are you just turning them away and killing sales?

Look at your website – like it's some other site you do not know. Does it grab your attention? Is it too flashy and not focused? Does it tell you why you want to be there? Will you learn something, or benefit in some way? Is there a banner or other type of ad that directs people away from your website to another? Do you think you would buy from your site if you just discovered it?

Is it easy to order from you? Is the ordering information clearly presented and easily found? Do you have the price stated so people don't have to waste time to hunt it down? It is best to "pre-qualify" buyers prior to minimize either party's time to be wasted. Do you clearly state other bonuses and offers you will throw in with the order?

Are there too many choices given? Can people make up their minds easily or do the choices confuse them? Do you offer added value products that compliment yours?

Does your site have annoying colors or fonts? Can people read what is written or do they have to strain because of background and color choices?

Do you spend the entire top of the page showing your picture and putting the text below, where visitors need to scroll in order to find out what you offer? Does your site take a long time to load up because of graphics and background choices?

Do you use enough text with your important keywords in it? Do you write your text clearly and without errors – no misspellings, no grammatical mistakes?

Now that you have these thoughts to ponder, do a reality check on your site. Fix the problems that were flagged from the above analysis. If it's too much to fix easily – then it's best to scrap the site and start from scratch, trying to make it better on the above points. After all – why do you have a website? Don't you want traffic? Don't you want buyers?

~~~~~~~~~~~

P. Roe writes "Wise Little Tidbits" – how to optimize your website and your computer. To subscribe for free, http://www.doubleii.com/subscriptioninfo.html
http://doubleii.com/WiseLittleTidbits.htm
More articles http://doubleii.com/articlesreports.htm.


Places to Search at and to Submit Websites
By P. Roe
http://doubleii.com/WiseLittleTidbitsNewsletter.htm

Once you have your website organized and make it quite targeted to the theme you are trying to keep – full of the proper keywords, etc. – then you should start to submit your website to directories and search engines.

Some will not rate your website very high if you don't have some links on other complimentary sites – but that does not mean you cannot start submitting before then. You can still submit the site and in some cases it won't make any difference – it can get indexed for its content, and can show up in certain searches even if you don't have links built up yet – if there isn't a lot of competition.

I came across a fairly new search site that is growing in popularity and should be considered a site to get on. It's free to submit and it indexes your site into the search IMMEDIATELY once you confirm. You will need to have a separate email address for each site you submit, and you can re-submit about every month – so if your site does not come out on the top, you should tweak it for a month to get it more optimized for the next submission, when you will hopefully get it to climb in rank.

Check out this search engine – both to search in and to submit to (and it's run by the same group that runs the Amber Alerts):

http://biglocate.com

This site is refreshing in that it assigns immediate relevancy to your site and it gets indexed right away. Very useful – not based on buying your way in and getting ahead with money. Your site rates on its very own merits. There are no sites allowed that a child cannot look at. I applaud this group's methods!

Other important search engines and directories you should try to get listed in include:

Google
Yahoo
HotBot
Lycos
WebCrawler

There are others – but many are too small to worry about, and several others are powered by other engines and directories, so you really don't submit directly to them. Start out with these – and it might be good to submit them directly rather than with a bulk submission service or tool.

~~~~~~~~~~~

P. Roe writes "Wise Little Tidbits" – how to optimize your website and your computer. To subscribe for free, http://www.doubleii.com/subscriptioninfo.html
http://doubleii.com/WiseLittleTidbitsNewsletter.htm
More articles http://doubleii.com/articlesreports.htm.

~~~~~~~~~~~

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