Search Engine Marketing
By Tom Shivers
Is your website ranking in the top 10 or 20 on the major search engines for a particular key phrase? If so, you'll be treated to a steady stream of targeted traffic! A well designed website that ranks in the top of the major search engines is a powerful one--two punch. To accomplish this, your site must be designed to deliver the most wanted response from your visitors, and attract targeted traffic from across the Internet. Combine these with a great product or service and you have a business that taps the vast resources of the Internet!
The potential of search engine marketing
According to Media Metrix in August 2001, the top search engines had over 345,000,000 unique visitors each month, and the number continues to increase.
It goes without saying that your web site must be search engine friendly.
Maybe you are asking yourself, can a business-to-business Web site benefit from increased search engine visibility? Will search engine positioning really work over the long term? Will search engine positioning help to make your Web site successful? The answer to these questions is yes!
Brent Winters, editor of MarketPosition Newsletter, explains in the October 2001 issue perhaps the most important benefit of search engine positioning: dominating your competition online. When your Web site comes up more often than your competitor's, you take away from his market share. You also drill into the prospects mind that your name is immediately associated to those keywords. If all searches that your prospective customers conduct on a variety of keywords and phrases bring your listing in the top results, they quickly learn that your company is an important player in that field.
The search engine as your salesman
Let's say you go to an art deco store. There are so many paintings in the store that you have no clue where to begin so you browse. Then, the store salesman comes up to you and asks, "What can I help you find?" You reply, "I'm looking for moose paintings"; and the salesman escorts you to their collection of moose paintings.
Now replace the salesman with a search engine. Instead of being shown the moose paintings in the gallery, the search engine brings you to all relevant sites that sell moose paintings.
With the correct use of keywords, search engines only send you qualified visitors. Potentially lots of them, month after month! When visitors come to your website from a search engine and your site meets or exceeds their expectations, you gain a valuable source for new customers.
Attracting targeted traffic to your site
Selecting the right keyword phrases is very important, so think like your customers. What keywords would they use to find a product or service like yours? Make a list of these keywords and pair them up in a way that your customers would likely use on a search engine.
After developing your list of keyword phrases, give your list to colleagues, friends and maybe even your clients for review. Make necessary adjustments to your list. Next, list your keyword phrases in the order of priority, the first being the most important.
- Do not put keywords in your list that have nothing to do with the content of your site.
- The more keyword phrases in your list, the less each one will become emphasized. You have a better chance of ranking higher in the search engines if you take a more targeted approach.
- Think about where the competition is for keywords. Avoid using common or generic terms in your list. If you are a real estate agent, the keyword phrase "real estate" may be hard to capture; but if you use something like "atlanta real estate" or "real estate metro atlanta", you have a much better chance.
- Use common misspellings in your keywords list.
- Make sure you use your keywords in the body text, title tag and meta tags of your main page.
- Unless you are a well-known company like Microsoft, it is generally less important to emphasize your company name. Ideally, your web site will attract customers who are not familiar with your company but who are searching for products or services that your company offers.
- Do not hide keywords in the text of your document by using a font that is the same as the background color.
In summary, choose the right keywords! Target the wrong keywords and all your effort will be in vain. Choose the right keywords and you will see an increase in traffic.
I wish you success in building your business online!