The surge of consumers to the Web looking for information, shopping and social networking is creating a marketing opportunity for those who make their company and product information accessible to the buying public.
We’ve listed a few simple tools that can help you plot a course through the Web, increase searchability and reap the rewards that come with it.

(1) Link, Link, Link
Add links to credible sites and resources onto your site and ask them to do the same. Building a network this way adds to your reach and gains traction with the potential buying customer.

(2) Motivate with Compelling Content
Critically assess your Web copy to ensure that product and company information is written to address key audiences. Provide valuable information about your industry and the related trends that your potential customer can use to make a purchasing decision. A study conducted by Eyetools Inc., reported that the average time spent on news-driven Web site homepages is only 14 seconds, so cut the jargon and be to-the-point.

(3) Streamline the Design
Organizing the layout of your site improves searchability, usability and the overall success of the site including how long and how often your potential audience visits or even if they get past the first few seconds of clicking through. Use consistent and appealing logos, color schemes and easy-to-read fonts that show the personality of your company.

(4) Keywords Really are Key
Targeted keywords should be a part of every page of your Web site; even in file names, headings, tags and URLs. Having these words throughout your site increases the chance it will come up in a search, and it will increase the ranking and positioning on the site among others. Your keywords are the terms your customers or prospects are already searching for when they log on to the Web. Also, monitor what keywords your competitors are using on their sites. This is easy to do via Google and Yahoo!.

(5) Emulate the successful sites of others
Study other well-known and competitive sites to see what they do well. Notice the style, layout and mechanics of sites you like. Even if you are hiring a professional to do your company’s site, showing them what you like will save time and money.

Here are examples of sites we like:

Dove.Com – Easy to navigate, clean, easy-to-read fonts

Cork’d.Com – Caters to those who love wine via elegant simplicity and content

Energy Star’s – Valuable information in a straightforward manner

(6) Traffic is the goal

Traffic isn’t just about sheer volume. It’s about the quality of the click throughs you get and how many translate into actions such as requests for more information or sales. When a site is done well, it can become the main tool in your marketing tool chest. After all, customer interaction is the key to customers taking action.