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Online Marketing: Keep Your Website Healthy

Mar 1, 2008
The Internet has made it easier than ever to run your own business and be self-employed. Running a traditional "brick and mortar" store can cost thousands of dollars per month even if you do not make a single sale. You have taxes to pay and hefty advertising expenses. With the advent of the Internet, you can run a profitable business with virtually no investment at all and few ongoing expenses. The cost of a domain name is about $10 per year, and hosting plans are available for as little as $3 per month. That makes running a business affordable for just about anyone.

While it is easy and affordable to build an online business, it is far from the automatic process that it's often made out to be. Many people create their Website, list their products for sale, and adopt a "set it and forget it" attitude, thinking that once they set up the site to make sales, everything will run automatically from that point on. This is a shortsighted viewpoint, as a number of things can happen over time to a Website that might hurt your business without it even being obvious.

Here are a few things that you should check on regularly in order to make sure that your business Website is doing all it can for you:

Make sure that all information on the site is current, including copyright information. Did you have a sale last year and forget to take down the "Sale prices good through May 5" banner? Does your site still say "Copyright 1998" on the home page? Keeping these things updated tells your customers that your site is up to date.

Do your e-mail links or forms work? There is nothing more frustrating for a customer than to click on a "contact us" link only to find that it doesn't work. If the customer wanted more information about a product that he or she was interested in buying, that sale will go right out the window upon the discovery of a dead link.

Working order forms. The same thing that applies to your contact link also applies to online order forms. If you have a shopping cart system on your site, does it work properly? It's quite frustrating to try to add an item to your shopping cart, only to receive some sort of odd database error message. You need to regularly check all working parts of your site to make sure they still function properly.

Dead links. If you have links on your sites to other Websites, make sure that those links remain active. If one goes dead, you either need to remove it or replace it with another one.

These things may all seem rather simple and obvious, but all kinds of problems can show up over time. It only takes a few minutes per month to check your site to make sure that it continues to provide your customers with the best possible experience. Failure to do so can cost you both time and money.
About the Author
Copyright 2008 by Retro Marketing. Charles Essmeier is the owner of NicheAnnihilationMethod-Exposed.com, a site that reviews Rob Benwell's Niche Annihiliation Method , and AffiliateMarketingMall.com, a site with a review of David Wilkinson's Affiliate Defined.
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