Where is your website? Why is it invisible? We can help you be seen.

Written by malcolm james pugh

The Questions

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 forrepparttar all singing all dancing 15,000 ($30,000) site with animated pictures, frames and rolling pages. Butrepparttar 140405 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 trackrepparttar 140406 incremental business you have received forrepparttar 140407 investment you have made.

When you search on what you consider a key word or phrase associated withrepparttar 140408 products/services that you provide, where does your site appear inrepparttar 140409 page rankings? Try Google, MSN and Yahoo, and try and find your site. If you are not onrepparttar 140410 first page, ask yourselfrepparttar 140411 question - how many people searching for my key word/phrase will bother going torepparttar 140412 second page of results?

.Now look atrepparttar 140413 companies that are getting a high position inrepparttar 140414 results - do you know why this is? These organisations are your key competitors and are taking business off you every day ofrepparttar 140415 week, in fact its 24/7 becauserepparttar 140416 net is always available acrossrepparttar 140417 globe. The Answers

The answer to this problem is quite simple. You have paid for someone to design a pretty website, not get you ontorepparttar 140418 first page ofrepparttar 140419 results page. But its even worse than that, some ofrepparttar 140420 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 thatrepparttar Internet would revolutioniserepparttar 140334 way companies do business? Therefore, to ‘get withrepparttar 140335 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 fromrepparttar 140336 website. You then sat back and waited forrepparttar 140337 cash to roll in, right?
Now raise your hand if it didn't turn out to be that simple.
Inrepparttar 140338 mad rush to get something (and anything) ontorepparttar 140339 Internet, companies maderepparttar 140340 leap unprepared. Many businesses forgot to ask one simply question: How will customers actually find our website?
Since you literally sharerepparttar 140341 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:
  1. Learning it from traditional media such as TV, print, radio, brochures, business cards etc.
  2. Link from another website
  3. Recommended by someone
  4. Found using a Search Engine (SE) such as Google, Yahoo!, MSN etc.

You only have major control overrepparttar 140342 first method - throw enough money into advertising and everyone will know aboutrepparttar 140343 site. You can even buy links from other websites such asrepparttar 140344 Yellow Pages. For companies that don't haverepparttar 140345 marketing budget of a large multi-national corporation,repparttar 140346 fourth method isrepparttar 140347 only real manner of attracting new visitors.
To make SEs a viable method, your website must appear inrepparttar 140348 top ten search results. Why? Nine out of ten Internet surfers do not go pastrepparttar 140349 first 30 search results. Many do not even proceed further thanrepparttar 140350 top 10 results.
How do you get your website intorepparttar 140351 top 10? An industry has arisen withrepparttar 140352 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 arerepparttar 140353 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 inrepparttar 140354 fact that SEs are actually very limited software programs. They don't haverepparttar 140355 intelligence to understand everything they see onrepparttar 140356 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 breakrepparttar 140357 SEO process into three general categories:
  1. HTML code optimisation: The first stage isrepparttar 140358 checking, and re-writing if necessary, of navigation and content structures on your website. SEs do not understand objects such as images, Flash, JavaScript etc. They will simply ignore them. There is no point proceeding any further ifrepparttar 140359 SE cannot understand what it is seeing. Programmers undertake this category of SEO. A deep understanding of current web coding standards and techniques is necessary. Software packages often produce very poor results, and it usually takes a lot of human intervention to ensure optimum accessibility.
  2. 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 knowrepparttar 140360 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.

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