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GROWING WHEN THE ECONOMY IS NOT

May 22, 2008

Leading Provider of Internet Business Solutions Offers the Ultimate Tips for SMB Web Site Success

Vancouver, Wash. — With economic slowdowns, it is critical for small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) to employ the most powerful, unique and effective Web sites to maximize sales. Dotster, Inc., a leading provider of Internet business services, offers SMBs keys to success with 10 cost effective tips for upgrading their Web sites

"No matter the economic climate, SMBs always need to provide their customers with a dynamic yet simple to use on-line identity," says Cas Falkowski, head of Dotster's Web Design Services. "SMB Web site design must be easy for consumers to navigate while providing logical access to all content and products. This design model is critical to on-line business success. The Internet experts at Dotster offer the most important tips to design a successful SMB Web site."

1. Simple navigation is an essential SMB Web site design element. Is your Web site navigation easy for users to understand? Is it prevalent on the page? If not, a simple update to the design of the navigation can help users better access an SMB Web site's content and information. It is also very important to properly group the navigation and content on a SMB Web site. Too many navigation items can be challenging for users to understand. It is often better to group common pages together into a sub-navigation model.

2. Page word count is crucial for SMB Web sites. It is important to limit the number of words on a Web page. Pages that are 10,000 words long are not very user friendly when it comes to finding content. Dotster recommends analyzing the existing content and creating a structure that best organizes the information.

3. Key word usage is critical to SMB Web site design success. SMBs should identify key one- to three-word phrases relevant to their business and incorporate them into the content of the Web site. This helps search engines to identify the Web site when consumers are searching for relevant businesses. SMBs must ensure the key words are focused to their type of business, target audience and include a local niche.

4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a great way to increase exposure for an SMB Web site. Reviewing the keywords and descriptions used on each page is essential for keeping the Web site listed in the major search engines. Proper page titles are also of major importance and are often overlooked. Creating meaningful page titles allows for better indexing by all search engines.

5. Images really are worth a thousand words — when used correctly. SMB Web sites must optimize the images used on the site. Optimizing the images will help drastically with page load times. Shaving off a few 100kbs will save users' bandwidth while allowing the Web site to open faster. By adding text descriptions to the images, search engines will have more data to index on an SMB Web site.

6. Take advantage of Google Analytics and Google AdWords. There is no better package for analyzing the traffic that comes to your site. Google Analytics offers a very robust package of reports on all Web site traffic. The paid option of Google AdWords will list a Web site on additional Web sites that advertise with Google AdSense (a market standard). Implementing this capability on an SMB Web site takes some effort and Dotster's Web design experts can help increase a Web site's exposure to new users and generate additional traffic.

7. Ensure an SMB Web site is xhtml/css 2.0 compliant. Redesigning an SMB Web site to be Web 2.0 compliant will ensure it is viewable across all Web browser platforms. The Web design industry has come a long way since the days of designing Web sites in Frontpage and your business needs to be on the leading edge of design. Web 2.0 standards separate the content from the layout, making it easier for search engines to index the site's content.

8. A Blog is one of the best ways to open up communication with business prospects and customers. A blog is a Web journal that is an important tool for SMBs to communicate with consumers about the latest news, products and services relevant to their business. It can also identify the business as an industry leader and expert. Blogs are indexed more quickly than other pages by search engines, especially blog search engines, and can point search engines to other content on the SMB's site via links. To maximize the power of a blog, SMB owners should provide interesting and thought-generating information; ask for reader comments, questions and opinions; and comment on readers' feedback.

9. An Internet newsletter can help maximize your overall communications efforts. SMBs can provide consumers with an expert e-mail newsletter that offers interesting, timely and entertaining information related to their businesses. Newsletters that feature tips and advice are especially helpful. SMBs should give consumers the ability to register for the newsletter on their Web site. This also provides an effective way to obtain valuable contact and marketing information that can lead to future sales.

10. User-friendly sites ensure maximum use and profit. SMB Web sites should be designed to help visitors to find key information. It is important to clearly identify ways for customers to contact the business for more product information, obtain customer support and buy products. If an SMB Web site offers direct sales, it must feature an easy to use commerce system that makes it simple for customers to purchase products and services.

These 10 tips are simply a starting point. There are many more ways to increase SMB Web site traffic and conversion regardless of the economic climate. Dotster's design team has the expertise to help a SMB grow whether it's just starting out or in need of Web site remodeling.

About Dotster, Inc.
Dotster is a leading full service provider of essential resources for businesses to get online and grow online. It has helped nearly 1 million businesses and individuals establish their web presence, build their Web sites, and drive revenue. With millions of domain names, Dotster is also one of the world's largest ICANN-accredited domain registration and Web hosting companies. Dotster's mission is to provide the widest range of innovative and easy-to-use Internet solutions and back them with the unprecedented, personalized support that has earned the company superior customer loyalty rates.

Dotster's expansive lineup of intuitive online offerings allows customers to quickly get on the Internet and get started with maximum visibility. Dotster's specialized team of Internet experts understand the online marketplace and the needs of small and medium sized businesses. Dotster offers its customers a complete set of services including the ability to get online with a domain name and e-mail address; build a major Web presence with hosting and a custom Web site; and generate traffic with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and local site promotion. For more information, please visit www.dotster.com or call (360) 449-5900.