Your Business Has An Unlisted Telephone Number??
1. Have an unlisted business telephone number?
2. Pay for a storefront sign and never hang it up?
3. Pay to have a print ad designed and never run it?
Then why would you . . . Invest in developing a website that your prospects can't find?
What, exactly, IS Search Engine Optimization anyway?
To understand why search engine positioning is so imperative, you must first understand the concept of a search engine. There are over 5 billion documents on the World Wide Web today. You use search engines such as MSN, Google, or Alta Vista to help sift through this gigantic collection of documents to find the specific information you need.
An Internet surfer will likely choose one of 3 routes to get to your Web site:
1) The Internet surfer types the entire URL into the command line of their browser. This option requires that your URL is already well known. (And the URL should also be easy to spell!)
2) The Internet surfer clicks on an advertisement or link that sends him/her to your Web site.
3) The Internet surfer locates you by typing certain keywords or your company name into a search engine.
Internet surfers typically go to their favorite search engine, type in words that pertain to what they are looking for, and wait for the search engine to return its results in a list format. This is easy and effective.
To give you an example: go ahead and search for "women's shoes" on Google. This search will return thousands of Web sites!
No Internet surfer will scroll through thousands of results! Instead, they are going to pick from the links that are closer to the top of the search. So it would stand to reason that the Web sites that will do well on search engines are those that rank in the top 30, and better yet, the top 10, for the keyword phrases that have been selected for their site.
Search engine optimization is the way to go if you are looking to INCREASE TARGETED TRAFFIC to your site while complementing and improving your more traditional marketing and advertising efforts. Search engines work better for promoting your site for a number of reasons.
A top search engine ranking often translates into hundreds and even thousands of new qualified visitors each month. It is reasonable to anticipate a steady stream of qualified traffic when your Web site achieves continuous top rankings on multiple search engines.
When an Internet surfer types a keyword into a search engine, they have already identified the product or service they need more information about. The search reflects a definite level of interest by a potential buyer.
Search engines are the most important tools for locating companies and their products on the Internet. Over half of all Internet users search the Web every day, and searching is the second most popular Internet activity. (Email is # 1!)
NOW let's focus on why your Web site doesn't get noticed by the Search Engines.
While having a quality website with a good design and good content is key, it is not enough to get your site noticed by a search engine. There are many factors that can hurt your site's search engine placement. Let's take a look at some of them:
Search engines don't notify you before they visit your site; they simply send the spider. If your server goes down or your web host is providing you with unreliable service this can have an impact on whether your site gets spidered or not. Imagine if the search engine spider came while you were experiencing downtime. Your web host should be able to provide you with information on their server downtime.
A trend in e-commerce today is to use programs like Cold Fusion to generate dynamic pages. These pages are generated based on a database containing information pertinent to the visitor's particular interests. Webmasters love these types of pages because they don't have to maintain them. The pages appear only in the visitor's browser and then vanish when the visitor is done with them. Sounds nifty doesn't it? The catch is that most search engine robots can only index static pages. If you want to generate traffic for your site, make sure you have pages the robots can read.
SPAMMING WEB HOSTS
Another possible problem could be your IP address. You may share a web host and IP address with sites known for spamming. There are some search engines that block sites hosted by free website providers because of spam problems. If your web host also accepts adult-oriented web sites this can cause problems for you as well since Adult sites tend to be the worst spam offenders. If your web host provides hosting for adults sites their IP may be blocked, preventing your site from getting placement. Your web hosting company should be able to tell you if they host adult sites or not.
SPLASH / FLASH PAGES
While splash/flash pages can be very nice and aesthetically pleasing to the eye, they are not very helpful when trying to place your site with search engines. Because splash pages are heavy with graphics but light on content they are difficult for search engines to spider. Search engine spiders are looking for links and content to evaluate. If your homepage is a splash page with no content you are basically telling the search engines that there is nothing to see on your site.
Search engines don't really know what to make of frames. If your site uses frames it is a likely cause of you not getting placed. Search engine spiders can only see top-level frame code. Unless you include links inside your NOFRAMES tag the spider will leave your site without indexing it.
You may have to wait months for a spider to visit your site. Additionally, just because you get spidered doesn't mean you get immediately listed. There is a holding period from a few days to several weeks before their database is updated. Keep in mind that in addition to the new sites being submitted and the old sites being resubmitted each day, there is also a huge backlog of sites waiting to be spidered as well.
What Are Advertising Pages?
Advertising pages are individual Web pages that attract a search engine for one individual keyword or keyword phrase. These pages are designed using a computer-generated analysis to conform to the ranking criteria of the top search engines.
The goal of building Advertising Pages is to get your Web site noticed by major search engines. Let's face it; every person who visits your Web site is not necessarily going to be a return visitor! The best way to handle this issue is to make sure you generate a steady stream of unique new traffic to your Web site. Being found through the major search engines is a necessity for your success on the Internet!
How Are Advertising Pages Different From Doorway Pages?
There are significant differences between doorway pages and advertising pages. Doorway pages are also designed to highlight keywords, but they have very little content and serve no purpose other than to fool the search engines into thinking that something is there. Since search engines do not like pages that lack significant content, they have a negative attitude toward doorway pages.
Communicating Your Targeted Keywords
Designing pages to agree with top search engine placing pages is a valid optimization technique. Many search engines even have help sections on how to design pages specifically for their engines. Communicating your targeted keywords with advertisings pages is an effective way to improve your site's search engine placement.
Successful Internet Marketing Strategies:
An affiliates program pays a commission for incoming traffic that leads to sales. One of the most well-known affiliate programs was introduced by Amazon.com in 1996. Amazon.com pioneered the affiliate program model, paying commissions when Amazon banners, buttons and links placed on their sites resulted in sales. Their program currently has over 500,000 affiliate associates. Every time an affiliate sends Amazon a customer from their site the affiliate earns up to 15% of each sale.
An affiliate program can be an inexpensive way to increase traffic and sales for small businesses too. Traffic Power will soon be launching an affiliate tracking program that small merchants can use to implement their own affiliate program.
Viral marketing describes any strategy that encourages individuals to pass on a marketing message to others. Tell-A-Friend promotions aren't new, but they have become more powerful on the Internet because e-mail makes it so easy to pass the word along. One of the early leaders of viral Internet marketing was Blue Mountain Arts. This company provides electronic greeting cards people can e-mail to friends and family. To pick up the card the recipients are required to visit the Blue Mountain site. While there, visitors are encouraged to send their own greeting cards. Thus the electronic greeting card spreads like a virus as the new visitors send multiple cards. Viral marketing like this can be a highly effective method for bringing traffic to your site if you can provide something of value that will entice visitors to pass your message along.
BUILDING CUSTOMER LOYALTY
Fostering customer loyalty is another strategy successfully used by major Web sites. The travel site Expedia, recipient of a Customer Loyalty Awards from Brand Keys Research, is an example of a site that has been praised for its customer loyalty efforts.
Expedia works to increase customer loyalty by providing personalized services for its customers. The Web site provides traveler tools such as a currency converter, driving directions, and the current status of airports and flights. They also offer e-mails based on the customer's preferences and purchases. Weekly updates are sent through their Fare Tracker service detailing current ticket prices to the three destination cities chosen by the member. A few days prior to departure customers begin receiving emails that are specific to their travel plans. They receive links to weather reports, schedules of entertainment events, and locations where they can purchase tickets to specific venues. These highly targeted emails along with the user friendly services on the site have helped Expedia to build customer loyalty.
Mastering Search Engine Placement:
With changing business models for search engines and an ever increasing number of Web sites on the Internet, Webmaster submission techniques are no longer adequate for getting search engine placement. Today's newsletter will focus on the importance of employing a complete placement strategy with the right professional search engine optimization firm.
Submitting Ain't What it Used to Be:
It used to be that having your Webmaster periodically submit your site was enough to get placement on the major search engines. The Web Position Gold software widely used by Webmasters to submit sites worked amazingly well. The success of Web Position Gold made it a high profile target for search engines who saw its success as direct competition for a limited pool of profit. The search engines attempted to counteract that success by devising strategies to undercut Web Position Gold's effectiveness. As a result, Webmasters using the manual submission process or Web Position Gold are no longer able to obtain good placement results.
Are Search Engines Our Friends?
In today's competitive Internet marketplace, submission alone just isn't enough. The search engines are strapped for cash and many have set up senseless toll gates for submission. For instance Yahoo charges a $299 non-refundable, reoccurring fee to merely review your site. This yearly payment provides no guarantee that your site will actually be included in their database! Search engines like Google actually rank a site lower if it is submitted rather than if it is found by their spider. This, coupled with the exponentially growing number of Web sites in the search engine databases, is making it more and more difficult to get good placement.
Search engine placement today has moved from simple submission by the Webmaster to the highly technical methods. Since Webmaster submission is no longer enough, it is important to find the right search engine optimization firm to guide your placement efforts.
The days are gone when you could rely on the advice of search engines or rely on a part-time search engine specialist who was simply submitting your site using keywords.
Make no mistake; search engines view optimization tools like Web Position Gold as the enemy because they are competing for the same dollar volume. Listening to the rhetoric of search engines presents distorted views. Pundits who trumpet the search engine party-line fail to realize the adversarial position the search engines have taken against Search Engine Optimization. Search engines view ranking criteria as a proprietary secret and protect it fiercely, and they are quick to give disinformation to those who blindly follow their recommendations.
Need professional SEO help? Contact SEO@jscmarketing.com or 1.888.435.5156
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
With over 20 yrs holding executive level positions in the corporate arena, Jill St Claire discovered that most organizations produce viable products, but they fail to identify who their "best" customers are and how to effectively reach them. St Claire