Where is your website? Why is it invisible? We can help you be seen.Written by malcolm james pugh
Its amazing how many businesses have spent good money on website design and still are getting little or no return on this investment. Try answering these simple questions.
How much have you spent on you website? Maybe £5,000 ($10,000) or have you gone for all singing all dancing £15,000 ($30,000) site with animated pictures, frames and rolling pages. But question remains - what business benefit are you deriving from your site?
How much more business are you getting because you have your website? Can you quantify and track incremental business you have received for investment you have made.
When you search on what you consider a key word or phrase associated with products/services that you provide, where does your site appear in page rankings? Try Google, MSN and Yahoo, and try and find your site. If you are not on first page, ask yourself question - how many people searching for my key word/phrase will bother going to second page of results?
.Now look at companies that are getting a high position in results - do you know why this is? These organisations are your key competitors and are taking business off you every day of week, in fact its 24/7 because net is always available across globe. The Answers
The answer to this problem is quite simple. You have paid for someone to design a pretty website, not get you onto first page of results page. But its even worse than that, some of techniques they have used to make your site look nice may actually reduce your ability to be seen. Yes, that's right you have paid good money to become anonymous to your customers!
Why is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) important?Written by Samer Shami
Did you get tired one day from everybody's continual insistence that Internet would revolutionise way companies do business? Therefore, to ‘get with times' you hired a company to produce a tasteful, professional and up-to-date website. You integrated it with your backend accounting and financial systems so people could order products directly from website. You then sat back and waited for cash to roll in, right?
Now raise your hand if it didn't turn out to be that simple.
In mad rush to get something (and anything) onto Internet, companies made leap unprepared. Many businesses forgot to ask one simply question: How will customers actually find our website?
Since you literally share Internet with another million websites, it is an important question. Being a perceptive marketing person, you realise there are four ways Internet users typically locate your site:
- Learning it from traditional media such as TV, print, radio, brochures, business cards etc.
- Link from another website
- Recommended by someone
- Found using a Search Engine (SE) such as Google, Yahoo!, MSN etc.
You only have major control over first method - throw enough money into advertising and everyone will know about site. You can even buy links from other websites such as Yellow Pages. For companies that don't have marketing budget of a large multi-national corporation, fourth method is only real manner of attracting new visitors.
To make SEs a viable method, your website must appear in top ten search results. Why? Nine out of ten Internet surfers do not go past first 30 search results. Many do not even proceed further than top 10 results.
How do you get your website into top 10? An industry has arisen with means and knowledge to answer this question. The process they employ is generalised as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
SEO is a methodology (some would argue art) employed to improve a website's rank in SE results given targeted ‘keywords'. Keywords are phrase(s) your target market uses to limit search results to locate your product or services. For example, you want your website to have a high rank when someone searches for ‘ipod accessories'; but you don't really care if it rates highly for ‘tropical fish' - that is not your target.
The key to this industry lies in fact that SEs are actually very limited software programs. They don't have intelligence to understand everything they see on Internet. They use ever-evolving rules to score and rate a website's ability to answer a particular question. Armed with this knowledge, we can break SEO process into three general categories:
- Content tailoring: A SE rates web pages according to their relevancy given a set of keywords. You must therefore tailor your content with these keywords in mind at all times. Fundamental to determining which keywords are relevant is an understanding of your target market. You must know typical questions they ask to find answers. There are websites such as WordTracker (www.wordtracker.com) that can help you to determine commonly used keywords.