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5 Easy Steps To Reclaiming Your Website's Hidden Traffic

Well, you've designed and redesigned your pages. You've written and re-written your content. Your meta tags are fine tuned and your search engine rankings are great! You are getting traffic, and lots of it.

You have done just about everything you can to get, and keep, visitors on your site.

As all web site creators and promoters know, targeted traffic is the *ALL IMPORTANT* key to success on the net. If you get visitors to your site who want what your site offers you should have it made!

Now then, I'm here to tell you that you might well have a traffic leak you didn't even know about!!

As a sensible webster, you are tracking your traffic. But wait! There is a whole section of traffic you never get to see, and never knew wanted your products or services!

What! I hear you cry. How?

The dreaded 404 page, that's how!

There is a way to change all this, and I will show you how to not only keep this traffic from slipping out of your part of the net, but allow you to track them as well. Never loose a customer by redesigning your site again.

I spent the best part of a year reading every article I could find on web site promotion, and came across this topic only ONCE. Actually the process is very simple, but for some reason is rarely talked about in newsletters and sites. To save you this time, I will now share what I learned with you.

Step 1:

Create a new blank HTML page in the style of your site, without any content. Save it as '404.HTML'.

Step 2:

Ensure that you include the following line of code between the "HEAD" and "/HEAD" tags...

      meta name="robots" content="noindex,nofollow"

... which will ensure that your new 404 page is not going to be listed in the search engines. This also implies that you don't need the KEYWORDS or DESCRIPTION tags.
NOTE: (be sure to add the "< >" tags at the beginning and end of this line)

Step 3:

Now add in the page content, something to the effect of -

"We recently redesigned our website, replacing many of our pages, updating information and making it more convenient for you to find what you are looking for. It seems that the page you are looking for is one that has been replaced.

Please visit our new Home Page, or use the links on this page to find your way around our new website.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused you"

While you are working on the text of the page, don't forget to *** ADD YOUR TRACKER *** to the code too.

Step 4:

Now your page is complete, create a blank text file and call it '.htaccess.txt' (notice the dot at the beginning of the file name!)

Now, add the following text to this file...

      ErrorDocument 404 /404.HTML

... and save it

Step 5:

Upload both the '404.HTML' and the '.htaccess.txt' files to the root directory of your site.

That's all folks! Simple as that.

From now on if someone tries to access a page that doesn't exist from your site, they will receive a friendly welcome and access to your site through links - not that '404 - Page not found' warning!

You will be able to tell where the misleading links to 'missing' pages are coming from due to your tracker.

Of course, your text could be anything you like, you could even make it a copy of your home page, but the most important thing to remember is that you are inviting people in to your site who are probably feeling a bit perturbed at not finding what they wanted. Make it easy for them to get back on track, and keep this otherwise lost traffic on your web site!
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