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SEARCH ENGINE TRICKS

Owning your business category online is more than just a few keywords... Is your website broken?
By: Developer Shed
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    2004-08-10

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    Owning your business category online is more than just a few keywords... Is your website broken?
    by Scott Sedwick

    Let's face it, the Internet is a crowded place... and it'sbecoming even more crowded as you read this.  Your business can't standstill online, and you can't afford to look backwards. Qualified, targeted trafficgeneration is what we all desire.  Owning your category online goes a longway in providing just that.

    It's not about just looking forward, but movingforward and taking some ownership.  Every business online today isworried about being found in the Top 10 Search Engines and Directories fortheir products or services - and they should be!  Statistics still makethem (search engines) the number one stop for all surfers.

    But, just for a moment let's imagine that these searchengines and directories provide the most relevant results.  That's right,let's just say for the sake of this article, that they all work extremelywell. O.K?

    Now, since we believe that our products or services are waymore relevant than those companies listed above us in (today's) searchengines results - we have to admit something is wrong... but remember, the search engines are perfect.

    We all know you can buy your keywords in Google™ andOverture™ right?  Does that make you the best? (not.) Do surfers know this? (Yes.)  Does it make your business (your website)any more relevant? (No.)  It does put businesseswith a larger budget at the top of the pile again, that's all.  Is thiswhy many of us don't click on sponsored links? (Ahem...)

    If the search engines were (are) perfect, then let's getback to something else being wrong.  Hmmm, my website must bebroken!  Wow, somebody is actually staying with me here..My website must be broken?

    Why else would all those "other" websitesbe showing up ahead of my business when people searchfor my products/services/information?  Don't these people know we are theexperts? (nope.)  Don't they know our productsare superior? (nope.)  Can't they see the skillwe employ and our dedication to employee and customer service? (nope.)  Haven't they read the reviews? (probably...)

    So, in an effort to help you "own your categoryonline", here's some suggestions to assist your business in getting aheadof those "other" websites and putting your business where itrightly belongs!  If you already employ all these practices, we commendyou.  But if you find yourself behind, these tips can help your companywithout having to become a Webmaster or a Search Engine MarketingProfessional.  Pass these on to your Marketing Team and get better resultsand recognition starting today!

    Do: Research the search terms (keywords) that people woulduse in seeking out your offerings.  You can start with Wordtracker and the search terms youfirst come up with.

    Wordtracker will help you locate terms that are similar toyour terms in meaning and search.  It is a tool that gives you an *idea ofwhat the general terms people are using, and how many searches are taking placeon these terms... * that's another book though.  This is a great startingpoint and the trial really is free!

    Tip: Do not just 'look-up' your company name, -prospective customers or vendors or partners are not looking you up by your'company name' in Google - they don't know it yet...? Surfer's have become quite goodat 'searching'.  Be specific and general.  You can also learn who youhave to beat online! - Who's kicking your butt when people search for yourproduct or service online?  That first page of results is your marketshare online!

    Do: Make sure you have a *keyword specific "Title"for every webpage that's relevant to the content on that page (*keywordspecific, not keyword stuffed).

    Page Title; Top of the screen, blue 'title'bar (in explorer).  I still see thousands of websites with"Homepage" in the title bar, or "MyOneHotBusiness.com" andjust that phrase or 'Title' is repeated throughout every page on theirwebsite!  Each page in your website is (content) unique - make it's 'Title' unique too! Or call your webmaster with new"titles" for each of your website pages. Different values are placedon this "page title" from the different search engines anddirectories.

    Tip:  Add "Chicago, Chicagoland, Illinois" to the end of your Title(your city, state). This helps in regional search queries.

    Do: Have at least 200 words of (content specific) text onthe pages of importance (homepage, category pages, etc.).

    This is what the engines and directories DO read, these words and links are how the engines interpretwhat's on this page.  Images or pictures of words or"ads" are not "read" so-to-speak.  Make thistext content highly relevant to the topic (product or service) on thispage.

    Tip: Put your fancy Flash commercial on a link from yourhomepage and put up a content relevant page of your best text instead! Visitors will still look at your commercial if you tell us it's cool, but don'tforce us to watch it! - That's not what we came for.  This Flashfile does almost nothing for search engines and directories.

    Do: Have yourself or your professional staff write articleson their specific area of expertise in product or service.  Make thesearticles a webpage with relevant links to the product or service directly.

    Short of hiring a Search Engine Marketing Consultant or aProfessional Copywriter, these detailed articles if rich and full of relevantcontent, are the exact pages that will generate you the most qualified andtargeted visitor to your business!  Once these 'article pages' are crawled(indexed) by the search engines you will be pleasantly surprised to see that (now)you are a more relevant search result.

    (Not to be confused with 'links' or 'reciprocal linkingprograms' - your (article) webpages are much more "read" and effectivein sending the reader to your site, or keeping them there, not to mention thebranding opportunities)

    These articles not only show your business as an authority,they prove it in words and information for the reader, me, a human.  Theseconcise type articles are an excellent way to gain exposure, recognition(branding), traffic, and yes, even sales.  You said you were an authority,now prove it.

    Tip:  Submit these articles to other online and offlinepublications and Ezine's. You make them available to other websites just forleaving your Author and link intact.  There are businesses craving thistype of content for their website's success!  Your business website willbegin receiving quality traffic from every website that posts your company'sarticle(s)!  Now there's a strong statement.

    Do: Include your URL (www.) inevery piece of material you print - every piece of traditional advertising youalready pay for!

    Every week I read through different newspapers and magazines- I can't believe how many businesses  forget toput their web address in that Advertisement they paid for.   You paybig bucks for a quarter page ad or whatever, and then never mention yourwebsite!?!  Which is open 24/7/365 - and that Tribune is just around fortwo days!  Start your marketing return on investment right there!

    Tip: Offer a website only promotion or coupon in your Ads togenerate further interest and traffic to your specific offer web pages!

    Do: Ask visitors to "Bookmark your site" or"Tell a friend" or "Send this article to a friend"...

    Your visitors don't always think of it, so just askthem?  Bookmarks not only increase return visitors, but they also give youa vote of confidence in providing something worthwhile... even if that's areturn trip! This does not have to be bold and obnoxious either, a simplebutton saying "Bookmark Us" will do on anybusiness website.

    Do: Be Patient.  All search engines and directorieshave different timeframes for updates, changes and new submissions. 

    After making changes or additions to your site, allow 90days after initial submission for realistic results to begin showing in themajor search engines and search directories. 

    Owning your category online is more than just a fewkeywords.  Don't just say you do all these things!

    Do: Go and check!
    Tip: Go and check again!

    Because if you do your best with these fewsuggestions - your website will show up higher in the search results for thoserelevant terms you selected.  You'll be hundreds of websites ahead, andgetting more qualified visitors too.  There's much more to owning yourcategory online, but every business should be employing these "levelone" marketing concepts.

    There, now we can stop imagining that the search engines areperfect.

    Good Luck,

    Written by and Copyright © Scott Sedwick
    www.hyperformancemedia.com


    Hyperformance Media offers a number of their Copyright©articles forre-publication.  You can reproduce these on your website,or in your Newsletter or Ezine provided that the following statement remainsattached.

    Written by and Copyright© Scott Sedwick
    www.hyperformancemedia.com


     


    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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