How to get noticed on the InternetWritten by Ieuan Dolby
The World Wide Web was an enormous step for mankind, a step not seen since Neil Armstrong sullied surface of moon. The idea behind WWW came across as a veritable information highway where documents, data and info could be rapidly sent and accessed by millions world over. The potential behind web is enormous and even now scope is not fully utilized. The possibilities for growth, for extended usage, are available and enormous yet system is stagnating and it is very possible that people will soon turn away. The average person seeking information may well return to old-fashioned libraries and good old book to find information that they require if face and image of WWW is not altered very soon and in-line with customer demand.
The ability of any user to gain information from Internet is enormous, simple and with positive results. But information received is increasingly becoming that which a paying body prescribes and thus is advertisement biased or pointed towards end purchase of a product. Hotels advertise a city or holiday resort with point of view of potential tourists coming to stay. A detailed description of moon cakes in Taiwan although complete and detailed would certainly be with aim to make people buy some from store hosting website involved.
Initially Internet was heralded as a one-stop point for gaining any type or form of information with click of mouse. This is certainly true except with regard to loose information that has no affiliation towards an end purchase or a users change of heart. Certainly this type of information is available and millions of websites exist but unless a user has prior information on how to access this site then chance of it being found amongst masses is minimal. Most web users find or locate information by using a search engine. Most web users input their request and wait for results to come up as prescribed and ordered by search engine system. If for example a request was entered for “travel tales on sea” many, possibly thousands of choices will appear in return. Number one in pole position will probably be Amazon.com who feels certain that anybody looking for a story would probably find it amongst their collection – naturally obtainable at a price. The next on list might be Ebay who feel that certain travel products might appease searcher or it might be goarticles.com an articles selling service who would assume that travel tales of sea would be somebody looking to buy such from them and for their own use.
Certainly each and every result that is produced on first page would point user towards large companies who are selling an item of one sort or another. The user though may in fact just want to read some Travel Tales of Sea without having to fork out cash or to issue his/her credit card information over Internet.
In bowels of search results in pages that are covered in dust will reside some very comprehensive and useful websites, eg: http://www.seadolby.com a website that is filled with free and in-depth Travel Tales of Sea. The possibility of any user keeping interest long enough to get to this web site listing is minimal and long before it is reached user has either fallen asleep or entered another search on a different note. In short average user does not get past first page of a search engines results and probably not past first three that come up: e.g. amazon.com, ebay.com and goarticles.com
Although not-for-profit informational web sites are many and filled with amazing and detailed info these sites ability to gain attention on world stage is difficult unless money is poured in to boost their ratings and rank positions on search engine results. Nowadays many search engines have entered pay-per-click arena with companies putting forward money to buy keywords that will most likely be used to boost their website. Some company buys word “Travel” and this word is then basically lost forever to lone free-for-all info site who cannot afford to pay money to boost their popularity.
The art of advertising and paying for positions on search engines is only available to sites that can afford exorbitant fees. Should a lone site owner who has built his site-up decide to fork out of his own pocket money to boost his ratings this will only be achieved on one or two search engines or directories and amount required to compete with mega-sites is far beyond any hobbyist can afford. Naturally ability to submit ones site on free inclusion pages and directories is available but as webmaster and author behind Seamania found out, so much energy and time is spent on advancing ratings of his site that not enough time is given to writing of travel tales of sea, which of course is basis and sole point behind website in first place.
Reaching the Unchurched in Your TownWritten by Toby Wolf
Webs 4 Christ has been providing Church web hosting, Church web design and Church Internet Marketing Campaigns to Churches for over 4 years. During that time we have discovered some sure fire techniques for not only getting your Church excellent placement in search engine results pages for people who are actually 'church shopping' on Internet, (SERPs), but in helping you reach unchurched in your community. Those people who are not searching for a Church at moment, but who are looking for some other information about your community.
First question some of you will ask is "Why do I want to do that?" It's simple really. Its a matter of building name recognition for your congregation and, if you have designed your web site in such a way that you have exciting things to show a casual visitor, visiting your website may stir first longings within someone who has either fallen away from church or never been churched. (But that is a topic for another article *smile*)
Another reason is that by bringing in visitors for information related to your community, you are also laying foundation for a link program that will help your church gain ranking with search engines. Why? Because if you provide useful information to community, others will link to you for that.
So what can you do to help gain exposure? Stop right here! I will tell you it is a lot of work, but well worth it if you have time and/or assistance from others in church. Our latest marketing campaign is for a fairly small congregation of 165 average attendance in Palatine, Il, called St. Paul United Church of Christ. We designed their website and, in June, began to slowly build site to attract casual visitors.
The first thing we did was capitalize on upcoming 4th of July celebration in Palatine. The church was participating in parade, providing parking for attendees of 4 day festival, and also having a church picnic and fireworks watching fellowship gathering. We will list things we did here step by step and then tell you what results were:
- First we did a search on major keyword phrases that we assumed people looking for information on Palatine 4th of July Family Fest. We took a look at sites that ranked high for Palatine IL combined 4th of July Parade, Fireworks, Home Town Fest and parking.
- Then we created separate pages on our website for each of those items. Being sure to optimize pages for search engines.
- On our home page, we have a prominently placed "What's Happening" area. In this area, we placed links to those pages. At this time, Google et al were only hitting St. Paul website about once a week, so we had to move fast.
- Within 2 weeks, St. Paul was ranked #1 in Google, Yahoo and MSN for search phrases "Palatine 4th of July", "Palatine July 4 Parade", "Palatine Home Town Fest", "Palatine July 4th Fireworks" and "Palatine Fireworks Parking"! Even sites sponsored by city itself did NOT outrank us!