Sunday, July 1, 2007

Website Navigation, or, How to Make or Break Your Website

Hopefully, you have basic idea of what you want out of your website. The next step is to put it into some sort of order. Where do we start and where do we finish? It is a simple question, but the answer takes a lot of perspective and planning.

Assuming that you know what you want to include on your website, a simple organizational chart can put the layout into some semblance of order.

"Home" page is the front door or gateway into your website. One way or another we got the customer/client to open that door and come in. Now that they have taken that first step, we cannot afford to lose them due to confusion and not knowing where to go next.

A simple, uncomplicated flow of traffic from your major categories, to your sub-categories and from there, to each of your adjacent or lower levels makes it easy for the non-technical (and that happens to be most internet surfers), to get around your website and not become confused. On top of going from one category to the next, they must be able to maneuver with ease within each of those categories. You want to direct them to where, you want them to go next and not be jumping all over the place.

The layout that you see in this chart will become the basis for our navigation system. This is a major piece of the puzzle, which we need in order to put everything together. In essence, this will be your flow of traffic.

Organizational Chart.

This type of a Chart is as basic as can be. For all practical purposes, this is your road map. You are starting at Home and going to your first stop. This could be Products, Articles, Services, etc. Within each of these secondary categories, you have their own sub-categories, each of which should be relevant to its primary category. It is important to maintain the continuity that you want and not have the customer jumping all over the place.

No Excuse for a Poorly Planning.

A poorly planned website is one that does not permit you to navigate from one page to any other page on your site. For example, if you are on Page 4 of a site and want to go to Page 2, you should not have to go back to Page 1 in order to go to Page 2. There must be a smooth flow of traffic throughout the website.

If this is not poor planning and navigation, I do not know what is. There is no excuse for it. All it takes is a few minutes longer to properly layout your map. Regardless of the size of your website, assuming that it is more than one page of course, being able to move around your website easily is imperative. It is one of those little things that frustrate the customer and cause them to leave.

Think Like a Customer.

Just stop for a minute, sit back and think like a customer/client. When you are surfing through a website, consciously or unconsciously, you are thinking “how easy, hard, or confusing this website is to navigate”?

Usually in my talks, or articles you will hear or see me repeat, innumerable times, "Think Like a Customer". Very often we become so engrossed in what we are doing that we do not sit back and look at whatever it is through another persons eyes. A different perspective is imperative. Always get someone to give you an objective opinion and/or proof it for you. For a moment, you must stop looking at it under a microscope and give it a panoramic view. You will be amazed at how much you have either missed, left out, or should be corrected.

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How Niche Markets Can Increase Online Sales

One of the best ways to increase sales is by targeting specific audiences that are interested in the products you have to offer. This form of marketing is called niche marketing. In order to target specific groups, you will need to evaluate the types of people who will most likely buy from your site, where to find these groups, and how to market to them.

Evaluating niche groups

You can evaluate niche groups by first deciding who you want to cater your business towards. Knowing your products or the affiliate program's products should tell you plenty. If you have created an email list, sending a short survey to your customers asking them a little about themselves (average age, income level, purchase preferences, family, and hobbies) is a great way to learn more about the types of people who are buying from your site.

Niche groups can be determined in many ways. Customers may be found in multiple groups, which can make choosing a niche group more difficult. The best way to cater to these groups is to choose two or three at a time, market to them, and see what happens.

Finding niche groups

The great thing about niche groups is that they are everywhere! Niche groups include hobbyists, political groups, gender groups, career groups, artists, writers, and others. Niche groups are usually attracted to similar web sites, blogs, and open forums. For example, soccer enthusiasts usually shop on similar sports web sites and sports news sites.

When looking for niche groups, visit forums that cater to these groups and ask questions. You will be surprised by all the responses. People enjoy talking about their hobbies, careers, and lives.

Visit web sites that are offer products that are similar to yours and see if other businesses have posted ads. Chances are, these businesses are frequented by the same niche groups.

Marketing to niche groups

Marketing to niche groups is slightly different from marketing to everyone else who finds your ad online. You will have to be more specific about what you're selling and where you place ads. If you write articles that are going to be read by a specific group, you need to write on a topic they are interested in. The same goes for blogs and posting comments on forums.

Try marketing to several niche groups in order to get an idea of which ones are the most interested in what you are selling. Tracking where visitors are coming from is very important when marketing to certain groups.

Testing niche groups

Testing niche groups is the only way to see if they are the right ones for your business. You will have to allow some time for your marketing efforts to pay off, however. When marketing to specific groups, give it your all and try to boost sales as much as possible.

If, after a month, you do not see an increase in sales from a particular niche group, then focus your energies elsewhere. Focus on other groups until you find a few that show interest in your web site. Market more aggressively and enjoy the increase in sales.

joined AGLOCO

I recently joined AGLOCO because of a friend recommended it to me. I am now promoting it to you because I like the idea and I want you to share in what I think will be an exciting new Internet concept.

AGLOCO’s story is simple:

Do you realize how valuable you are? Advertisers, search providers and online retailers are paying billions to reach you while you surf. How much of that money are you making? NONE!

AGLOCO thinks you deserve a piece of the action.

AGLOCO collects money from those companies on behalf of its members. (For example, Google currently pays AOL 10 cents for every Google search by an AOL user. And Google still has enough profit to pay $1.6 billion dollars for YouTube, an 18-month old site full of content that YouTube’s users did not get paid for!

AGLOCO will work to get its Members their share of this and more.

AGLOCO is building a new form of online community that they call an Economic Network. They are not only paying Members their fair share, but they’re building a community that will generate the kind of fortune that YouTube made. But instead of that wealth making only a few people rich, the entire community will get its share.

What's the catch? No catch - no spyware, no pop-ups and no spam - membership and software are free and AGLOCO is 100% member owned. Privacy is a core value and AGLOCO never sells or rents member information.

So do both of us a favor: Sign up for AGLOCO right now! If you use this link to sign up, I automatically get credit for referring you and helping to build AGLOCO.


Sunday, May 20, 2007

Technorati Profile

Memaksimalkan Blog di Blogger

Memaksimalkan Blog di Blogger

Rekan-rekan mahasiswa dan masyarakat di India pelan tapi pasti sudah mulai rajin menorehkan tulisan di blog masing-masing, searah dg perkembangan rekan-rekan lain di Tanah Air. Umumnya mereka membuat blog dg provider blog gratis paling terkenal yaitu Blogger atau Blogspot.

Pada tulisan-tulisan lalu, sudah dijelaskan sejumlah tips untuk membuat blog kita menjadi google friendly, mudah ditangkap mesin pencari (search engine) google dan saudara-saudaranya. Tips berikut ini sebagian akan mengulang tulisan lalu secara lebih detail plus sejumlah tambahan bagaimana untuk memaksimalkan cara kerja blog kita. Saya urut dari awal.

Setting-an Blog

Setelah log-in dg id Anda, klik link blog. Setelah itu:

(a) Klik 'SETTING' dan klik 'BASIC'.

  • Title --> Isi judul blog Anda. Sebaiknya nama Anda sendiri. Contoh: Tasar-Zulfikar Blog
  • Description --> Deskripsi singkat isi blog Anda. Sebaiknya tidak terlalu panjang dan berisi kata-kata yg paling mewakili isi blog Anda. Contoh: Blog Tasar-Zulfikar GAM, Aceh. Dua saudara yg selalu rukun dan sepakat untuk berbagi dan bersaing dalam segala hal.
  • Add your blog to our listing? --> klik YES. Supaya setiap posting kita selalu masuk di daftar
  • Show quick editing on your Blog? --> klik YES
  • Show Email Post Links? --> klik YES
  • Show Compose Mode for all your blogs? --> klik YES
  • Klik SAVE SETTINGS dan REPUBLISH. Selesai.

(b) Klik 'SETTINGS' dan klik PUBLISHING.

  • Notify --> klik YES. Tujuan: setiap kita mengupdate blog kita, search engine khusus blog yaitu akan mengupdate otomatis databasenya.
  • Klik SAVE SETTING dan REPUBLISH. Selesai.


  • Show --> pilih posts (jangan days). Kemudian pilih angka posting yg Anda inginkan untuk tampilan di blog Anda. Contoh: Show: 4 posts, berarti posting yg tampil di halaman blog Anda sebanyak empat posting.
  • Date Header Format --> pilih model tanggal/bulan yg sesuai dg selera. Format tanggal/bulan ini akan selalu tampil di bagian atas posting kita.
  • Archive Index Date Format --> pilih model peng-arsip-an. Blog kita akan dibuatin arsip setiap bulan. Contoh: February 2006.
  • Timestamp Format--> pilih bentuk waktu yg Anda suka. Sebaiknya yg pendek. Contoh: 7.50 PM.
  • Timezone --> pilih zona waktu yg sesuai. Contoh untuk WIB: [UTC-+7.00]Asia/Jakarta.
  • Encoding --> pilih Universal (Unicode UTF-8). Ini adalah kode format yg dipakai kebanyakan search engine besar termasuk google, yahoo dan MSN. Dg kode ini, Google, dll akan lebih mudah mendata setiap update di blog kita.
  • Converts Linebreaks --> pilih YES.
  • Show Title field --> pilih YES.
  • Show Link Field --> pilih NO. Tapi andai dipilih YES juga tak ada pengaruhnya.
  • Enable float alignment --> pilih YES. Pilih NO juga tidak apa-apa.
  • Klik SAVE SETTINGS. Klik REPUBLISH. Selesai.

(d) Klik SETTINGS dan klik COMMENTS.

  • COMMENTS --> pilih SHOW.
    Who Can Comment? --> pilih ANYONE. Supaya semua pengunjung baik yg anggota blogspot maupun yg tidak dapat ikut berkomentar.
  • Comments Default for Posts --> pilih New Posts Have Comments.
  • Backlinks --> pilih SHOW. Supaya tahu kalau ada yg ngelink ke artikel di blog kita.
  • Backlinks Default for Posts --> pilih New Posts have Backlinks.
  • Comments Timestamp Format --> pilih format jam yg singkat. Contoh: 8.00 PM.
  • Show comments in a popup window? --> pilih YES. Supaya ketika di klik, blog kita pengunjung, blog kita tidak hilang.
  • Show word verification for comments? --> pilih YES. Untuk menghindari komentar otomatis oleh robot spam.
  • Enable comment moderation? --> pilih NO (sebaiknya). Kalau Anda termasuk orang yg "jaga wibawa", pilih YES (kalau YES, setiap komentar akan disensor dulu oleh Anda, baru bisa muncul di kotak komentar).
  • Show profile images on comments? --> pilih YES. Supaya gambar komentator yg punya id blogger, dapat menampilkan fotonya.
  • Comment Notification Address --> isi dg alamat email Anda, kalau Anda ingin dapat notifikasi dari setiap ada komentar baru di blog Anda.
  • Klik SAVE SETTINGS. Klik REPUBLISH. Selesai.


  • Archive Frequency --> pilih Monthly.
  • Enable Post Pages? --> pilih YES.
  • Klik SAVE SETTINGS. Klik REPUBLISH. Selesai.

(f) Klik SETTINGS dan Klik SITEFEED.

  • Publish Site Feed --> pilih YES. Supaya setiap memposting, blog kita memiliki dua database: versi website dan versi feed. (Untuk soal feed akan diterangkan di kesempatan lain).
  • Descriptions --> pilih FULL.
  • Site Feed URL --> ini adalah alamat feed Anda yg bisa disindikasikan di tempat lain seperti di, atau di Lihat contohnya di sini atau di sini . Jadi, sekali kita update blog, postingan kita akan tampil di dua tempat dalam waktu bersamaan dan ini akan menambah "daya tangkap" google pada blog kita.
  • Article Footer --> kosongin saja.
  • Klik SAVE SETTINGS. Klik REPUBLISH. Selesai.

Apabila selama ini blog di blogger atau blogspot Anda kurang di "lirik" sama google atau yahoo search, maka dg mengimplementasikan tips di atas, blog Anda akan lebih dikenal dalam waktu tidak lama lagi.

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