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  • Increase Your Sales By 25% By Implementing One Small Change
    Copyright 2002-2005, Bill Platt

    How much would you be willing to pay to learn how to implement 
    a guaranteed 25% increase in your online sales? Given the 
    current sales situation on your website, how much would that 
    25% increase in sales add to your bottom line? $250 per month? 
    $500? $25,000?
    
    The good news is that I am not going to charge you for this 
    information. I am just going to give it to you. 
    
    Granted, it may require some work on your part to implement 
    this little jewel, but you already spend untold hours searching 
    for new business, right? While implementing this suggestion 
    might require a few hours work on your part, it will continue 
    to pay its dividends through the long-term future.
    
    If instead of building your own site, you employ a web designer 
    to do your HTML work for you, this suggestion will cost you a 
    few dollars to get the additional website work done. 
    
    Let me reiterate. This step will result in a 25% increase in 
    your sales. As far as I am concerned, your web designer should 
    do as you desire him/her to do, or he/she should be replaced 
    with someone who will. If I am paying someone to do a certain 
    type of work for me, then they should do it as I require it to 
    be done. 
    
    As you begin to undertake this task, you may discover that you 
    may need to find another web designer. Even when you are paying 
    money for web design work, many of you will find your web 
    designer fighting with you as to whether this step is important 
    to your success or not.
    
    Let's put this into perspective. Your web designer knows how 
    to build websites. Knowing how to build websites does not 
    necessarily lead to knowing how to market a website or how to 
    sell products. 
    
    You will shortly understand why web designers fight this 
    suggestion with assertions that it will not make a difference 
    for your online sales. No matter how strongly they may argue 
    their point of view, 25% is a big chunk of business to give 
    up to let them have their way.
    
    Nearly every web designer I have ever talked to uses software 
    to build the websites they build. If you are building your own 
    website, you likely use software as well. 
    
    There are many packages these folks use including: FrontPage, 
    Dream Weaver, Home Page or dozens of other variations of this 
    software. 
    
    While the software may be efficient for building What You See 
    Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) web pages, quickly and easily, these 
    software packages have many disadvantages as well.
    
    One disadvantage is that the software creates dirty HTML, which 
    in effect is the act of placing too many HTML tags in the code. 
    Often times, dirty HTML is best understood by looking at the 
    code with an educated eye and seeing sets of HTML tags where 
    they are unnecessary. 
    
    Though this is ugly for editing and can take additional seconds 
    for your viewer to download, that is not the real source of the 
    problem we seek to repair. But, do remember this point as we 
    move on. Dirty HTML is "ugly for editing." 
    
    It is now time for some Bill Gates' bashing. 
    
    Back in 1996, Bill Gates finally pulled his head out of the 
    sand and realized the future for the software market was on the 
    Internet. In a mad dash to catch up, Microsoft created Internet 
    Explorer to compete with Netscape Navigator. Until this point, 
    Netscape dominated the Internet browser market. 
    
    As part of Microsoft's strategy for gaining market share, they 
    soon began to offer their browser for free to compete with 
    Netscape's $25.00 price tag. And secondly, but most dastardly, 
    Microsoft began to create their own set of HTML codes. They 
    wanted to be sure their browser could do things that the other 
    browsers could not, and they wanted to make sure that web pages 
    would not be completely compatible among the different browsers. 
    
    The idea was that if people needed Internet Explorer to see 
    certain web pages, then surfers would decide to give up their 
    Netscape browsers for the Internet Explorer browser. 
    
    Today, Netscape exists as the red-headed step child subsidiary 
    of AOL. Netscape exists only as a bargaining chip in AOL's 
    pocket when negotiating deals with rival Microsoft.
    
    So, here we come to the point of this story. Prior to 1996, 
    Netscape was loved the world over. Today, Microsoft's Internet 
    Explorer basically owns the market and has done so since about 
    1998.
    
    Folks who have come to the web since 1998 generally use 
    Microsoft's Internet Explorer as their browser of choice. 
    Folks who have been on the web since before 1996 generally 
    stay with Netscape browsers. 
    
    Remember how Microsoft began to create their own set of HTML 
    codes that would not be easily compatible with other browsers? 
    Ah, we are to the meat of this deal.
    
    Web designers and their web page creating software focuses on 
    being compatible the dominant browser in the marketplace. What 
    this means is that a great many web pages cannot be read or 
    seen in Netscape browsers. 
    
    In a recent month, one of my domains had 6604 page views. Only 
    5285 of those page views were seen by Internet Explorer users. 
    The remaining 20% were seen through another browser!
    
    No matter the domain visited or the month viewed, these numbers 
    seem to hold up to the test of time. 
    
    If your website is not viewable in non Internet Explorer 
    browsers, then 20% of your current traffic may not be able 
    to view your site and must move on to another site to find what 
    they are seeking. They were at your site --- you have already 
    successfully attracted their attention --- but they could only 
    see a blank page when they arrived. 
    
    It is like taking a $100 bill and breaking it into twenties and 
    then flushing one of your twenties straight down the toilet! 
    Getting that $20 bill back is the same as increasing your 
    income by 25%. 
    
    So how can we fix this quickly and easily? I have fixed many 
    such pages in times past and in nearly every case, the problem 
    can be quickly identified in the table HTML code. Yes, Microsoft 
    does in essence use the exact same HTML as does Netscape, with 
    a few extras thrown in. 
    
    Where Internet Explorer differs from Netscape is actually pretty 
    clever. Netscape browsers require that all tables are presented 
    with accurate opening and closing HTML table element brackets. 
    Internet Explorer differs from Netscape by not requiring 
    perfection in the HTML code. Leave off a closing table bracket 
    and Internet Explorer will show the table perfectly. Leave off 
    the closing table bracket in Netscape and Netscape will deliver 
    a blank page!
    
    Nearly every web designer on the planet utilizes table elements 
    in their design. Remember the point about Dirty HTML? Now you 
    know why web designers get very frustrated when you tell them 
    that your web page must be cross-browser compatible. If a web 
    designer wants my money, he had better be prepared to give me 
    a cross-browser compatible web page so I do not have to lose 
    access to 20% of my market because of incompatibility issues.
    
    Do yourself a favor. Get a copy of a Netscape browser and 
    make certain that your website presents its contents to Netscape 
    users. If you cannot see your website in the Netscape 
    browser, the time has come to fix your website so that it will.
    
    If you do not believe that the 20% of us who use Netscape 
    browsers are worth much to your bottom line, I have a 
    suggestion. Fix you website because I asked you to and then 
    start sending me the $20 bills that you have been flushing 
    down the toilet. 

    Bill Platt is the owner of http://www.LinkAndTraffic.com . When you are tired of the struggle of the link building process, it might be time to consider our "Links And Traffic" services. When you are ready to employ more Natural Linking Strategies in increasing your link popularity, "Links And Traffic" can help. When you are ready for your links to actually generate click-through traffic, we are here. This is not a link rental system or a reciprocal linking scam. We guarantee our results.



    This article was originally written: April, 2002


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