11. Contact Information
A number of the websites I have visited over the past year have had either no contact information or incomplete information. I believe that this is a real mistake! When someone visits your website they are looking for answers. Most websites are designed to give as much information as possible. However, there will always be someone who has a question that is not answered on the site. When this happens the person will want the question answered. If they don’t get it an answer they will likely become frustrated and not visit the site again. A lost opportunity! This is why I always recommend that a website contain complete contact information. For me this includes telephone numbers (phone, fax and, where possible, cellular), a mailing address and, most important, an e-mail address. An e-mail address is important because, after all, the question is coming as a result of your Internet website. Communicating via the Internet only makes sense! Finally, it is imperative that once a question has been asked, no matter what mode of communications, that it be answered as soon as possible!
When it comes to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), search engine companies (especially Google, Yahoo and MSN) are attaching more and more importance to websites having quality, compatible external links! Before search engines “smartened up”, Search Engine Optimizers use to “load up” websites with questionable external links. Most had no relevance to the sites they were linked to. This was all in the name of optimization! Fortunately search engine companies have become more sophisticated and are now recognizing when sites are trying to trick them. As a result, websites who use this practice can be penalized by Search Engines and have their rankings reduced or eliminated completely. When this happens it is very difficult to earn your ranking back! In a word, Search Engine managers don’t like to be tricked or taken advantage of! It is important, right from the start of Building Your Website, that you and your web designer create a plan for attracting compatible, quality external links. This process may be time consuming, but doing it right, from the start, will pay huge dividends in the future! Remember that the object of all Search Engines is to provide quality and accurate searches for their customers. So if you plan your website accordingly, you can’t go wrong!