By Mike Mills
Web sites are beginning to put the consumer at the centre of attention, so web surfing is more fun than ever.
However, now there are more distractions than ever, Twitter, EBAY, Myspace, YouTube, Blogging, Second Life, just to mention a few.
The internet continues to grow at such a rapid pace that content is king and will always be.
To take advantage of this, your marketing plan must contain an extensive on-line component. Many of my clients are dropping print media in favour of the internet. Site owners, both small business and corporates, are evaluating their ad buys and shopping for high-quality targeted visitors.
Their aim is to draw more traffic.
There are a many online options for web site owners with on-line marketing budgets. For example:
- search engine optimisation by web specialists
- pay per click and pay per impression advertising
- e-mail marketing
Whether you buy banner or text ads, you must carefully plan your strategy to optimise your campaign. Time is also another key investment which requires a focus on optimising your organic search engine listings.
Why? Well, there are two reasons to consider this approach.
- search engine optimisation is results-oriented.
- research indicates that over 80 percent of web site visitors come from search engines
If you have the in-house resources you may wish to continue with your efforts, although outsourcing can provide you access to a much broader range of expertise. The experts use the latest tools and services available to make this tedious role into a pain-free, no hassle, turn-key operation.
To be number one on page one requires multiple keyword phrases on multiple search engines to accumulate any volume of quality traffic. In the early days of search engine listings, meta tags were very important. As the web has grown, so have the systems for measuring the value of a web page. Google uses over 100 different criteria to rank a web page. This means the techniques are complicated to derive a good position and best left in the hands of an experienced web developer.
To attain the best results with search engine optimisation you must take the time to develop your most appropriate keyword phrases. Selecting keyword phrases that are commonly used in your industry may not serve you well because your clients often will use a completely different set of search terms.
However, none of this is possible without a well defined key phrases. This is paramount for your success. Like life, getting results is hard work. Choose the right keywords, and you’ll receive pre-qualified visitors.
Steps to identifying your keyword phrases.
Be empathetic. What words will your customer use when looking for you on search engines?
Separate yourself from your product, service, or home page.
Think outside the square to generate a list of up to 50 keywords without worrying about whether or not they are right. Prioritise and edit the list down to 20-30 keywords. Drop those that don’t fit and add any that come to mind.
Now group your keywords into 6-10 sets of 2-4 keyword phrases.
Combine your keywords with other qualifying, more specific or descriptive terms.
For instance, marketing becomes web search marketing ; hardware becomes corporate network hardware.
Do not use keywords that are too generic. Use broad terms with something more specific. If you service a specific region, use something like ‘network hardware melbourne’. With a dental clinic, it might be ‘dentist sunshine coast’.
You need to be specific to pre-qualify your visitors!
Concept keywords help qualify visitors.
Specify the concept in your keywords, such as adventure holiday, if that’s what you provide, but also be specific so that the keyword phrase is not too broad, such as ‘island adventure holiday’.
Do not use trademark names, unless you have permission from the owner. A Toyota dealer may be able to use toyota corolla. Well known companies should include their own company name in the key phrases.
Avoid individual common words in favour of more specific terms, such as hardware, web, mobiles, cars, etc. These terms are too general and compete with millions of other web pages.
Once you have identified your best keyword phrases, test for effectiveness with customers, colleagues, friends, and spouses. Listen to their feedback.
Now that you have confirmed your set of targeted key phrases, contact your marketing manager, site developer, ad agency, or in-house web guru. Request that you are seeking an improvement in search engine position. Otherwise, use your content management system to do-it-yourself.
Finally, do it and do it now! Getting your site recognised on the major search engines is one of the best ways to drive pre-qualified traffic to your site.