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January 2009
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Your Website is NOT Just a Store

Many of us are guilty of believing that our websites are just online stores where we should neatly arrange the products that we have for sale.  We forget, or maybe just don’t realize, that it is the non-product content that actually draws visitors to our site.  Content is also one of the biggest factors in search engine ranking since search engines are in the business of helping people find information, not necessarily products.

The good news is that adding content to a retail website is surprisingly easy!  Simply write an article that’s in keeping with your site – if you sell custom quilts, write an article on the history of quilting; if you create dolls, write an article on how to display and care for a doll collection.  Think about providing free information, such as a quilt block pattern, or other information that will attract visitors.  For example, I have a website that highlights my “Nursery Room Projects” book, and the site draws lots of visitors because of the extensive list of baby names and their meanings.  This is free information that is geared toward the same audience that is the market for my book.

Another alternative is to reprint other people’s articles on your site.  There are many article submission directories available online that allow you to search for articles by topic or keyword, and then you can select any you like to place on your web pages.  The articles typically come with an author information paragraph at the end that identifies the article’s author with a link back to their website.  This type of arrangement benefits you by giving you free content for your site, and the link back benefits the author.  Some article directory sites to try – Article-Content-King.com,  ArticleBlotter.com, ArticleFeeder.com, and Talkinmince.com.  You can also find thousands of new articles each month on a variety of topics in the Article Announce group through Yahoo.

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Author, Instructor & Pattern Designer

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