Maximizing netiquette

2 10 2009

In the world of information abundance that is blossoming online, it is amazing that so many websites have managed to survive. Do not misinterpret this to mean websites do not fail. Oh no, some absolutely do fail. More specifically what I mean is how certain websites are able to carve out their own niche and present information in ways that attracts attention. Looking at this scenario, it is the cumulative effect had from employing numerous little tricks and tweaks that make a website a dominant force online. We centered much of the class discussion on Thursday to the ways and means by which this can be done.

One such technique is ensuring the alt tag for your website is a mirror for the underlying purpose or intent of the entire site through the posted images. If your website discusses the health benefits of salsa, do not place the word “Mexico” in the alt tag representing the image or else this gives the impression that the content throughout the site is relating only to Mexico! Plus, search engines regard these tags highly in helping to quickly sort and distinguish which search results hold relevance to what a user is looking for. Along similar lines, syndication can open up tremendous possibilities for your site when it comes to people looking for specific topics. I love the idea of syndication online. My opinion of it in broadcasting is a complete 180-degree shift, but that could be a whole different blog post. Anyways, syndication is a tremendous means of building your brand and showing that you are a heavy hitter, you know what you are talking about if other websites and their operators are willing to showcase your work within their online real estate. Assuming now that you have attracted viewers to your site, either directly or through syndication, peoples’ eyes are exploring what’s there. How do you know what is the most popular page on the website? Sure, you could made a guess based solely on comments people leave on each page but this may not be an accurate accounting for how users are dividing their time while visiting. This is where the tremendous advantages of Google Analytics data can come to the rescue. Seeing real quantitative data reflecting how people maneuver around your website can go a long way in future content development. In a sense, it is similar to getting inside the user’s mind and studying a snapshot of how users see your website and the intent behind their visit. Websites can be made much stronger and more relevant due to the use of this information.

The aforementioned techniques are only a sampling of what can be done to make a website garner attention. But, each one can pack a powerful punch when used effectively. I like the idea of maximizing your website, even if it is just using one powerful technique at a time.

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