Let us assume for a moment that your web site is a store. Not a piece of virtual property, but a real one. Standing behind the counter, you notice where customers flow as they travel around your carefully constructed displays. Taking note of this behavior, you decide to put the latest special offers along the most visited path through the store.
Each offer, of course, placed strategically alongside competing products. Then, you sit back and watch, as visitors decide to stop and stare at the displays, ignore them and walk off, or pick up a product and put it in their basket. Very quickly, you learn which offers work, which do not, and which never even get seen. Now translate this into the virtual world. Your customers navigate by clicking on links. So, the question is, do you know the links being clicked? If not, you will miss out on sales, and hence profits.
One of the most innovative schemes to date has to be the Google AdSense project. It works so well because the adverts presented match the surrounding content. Trapping which adverts are clicked, and which are not, will put you in a position to optimize the presentation so that you maximize the click-through ratio of each AdSense block. This works in so many different ways that you could be multiplying your sales by simply reusing the same techniques and wording presented by AdSense in the rest of your site.
Links serve two purposes; providing navigation to areas of interest within the site, and pulling potential customers in so that they take the plunge and purchase, sign-up for, or merely show interest in, your offer of the day. Since you can't actually see your customers, however, and follow them around; you need another method by which you can gauge the success of your link placement strategy and link phrase content. Measuring the success of certain areas and navigation paths will lead you to choose to make certain items more prominent or even remove areas which take time to update, but hold little interest to visitors. All serious webmasters should take the time to build up a spreadsheet of where customers have been active, and where they have 'clicked out' of the site, so that the placement of links and their phrasing can be adjusted properly.
Specialist tools are much more effective, chiefly by cutting the amount of time spent analyzing logs leaving more time for the creation of new sites, and business relationships to present on them. After all, as Bill Gates himself points out, the Internet is the embodiment of 'Business @ the Speed of Thought.'.
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How to Use Link Placement Analysis to Maximise Profits