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 concept of a search engine. There are over 5 billion documents on 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 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 entire URL into command line of their browser. This option requires that your URL is already well known. (And 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 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 links that are closer to top of search. So it would stand to reason that Web sites that will do well on search engines are those that rank in top 30, and better yet, top 10, for keyword phrases that have been selected for their site.
Search engine optimization is 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 product or service they need more information about. The search reflects a definite level of interest by a potential buyer.
Search engines are most important tools for locating companies and their products on Internet. Over half of all Internet users search Web every day, and searching is second most popular Internet activity. (Email is # 1!)
NOW let's focus on why your Web site doesn't get noticed by 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:
SERVER DOWN Search engines don't notify you before they visit your site; they simply send 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 search engine spider came while you were experiencing downtime. Your web host should be able to provide you with information on their server downtime.
DYNAMIC CONTENT 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 visitor's particular interests. Webmasters love these types of pages because they don't have to maintain them. The pages appear only in visitor's browser and then vanish when 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 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 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 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 search engines that there is nothing to see on your site.
FRAMES 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 spider will leave your site without indexing it.
TIME 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 new sites being submitted and 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 ranking criteria of 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 major search engines is a necessity for your success on Internet!