Search Engine Optimization

How can I get my website listed on search engines?

SEO, website marketing, website promotion. They are all terms for the same process used to help achieve higher search engine ranking. Higher search rank means that your website is found by more potential customers looking for your product or service. Search engine effectiveness is the single most important indicator of a website's success.

How do new customers find your website?

You have a great website design--functional, attractive, and ready for business. Now it's time to sit back and wait for the increase in sales and profit. Unfortunately, it doesn't work like that - having a website does not mean that potential customers can find it.

The Big Three Search Engines...and AOL If your customers know your exact web address--wonderful! But what about potential customers who are not familiar with your business, but are looking for the very products you sell?

Search engine optimization is the process website developers use in order to gain favorable search engine positioning--generally the "top ten"-- when performing searches for your business or product on Google, Yahoo, or other search engines.

How can you assess your website's performance? Try acting like one of your customers!

Take Your Website on a Search Engine Test Drive

First, try searching for your product geographically by entering your product or service along with your city and state. If you can be found for your geographic region, congratulations! But don't rest on your laurels! There is an entire state of potential customers, so now try measuring your results for a statewide search. After assessing your geographic search results, remove the geographic constraints and search for your product or service using various terms to describe them. Here is where you will use the same terms that your customers use when they call your place of business. (Note: You may want to try our own search engine analysis tool, ThunderBot, to help expedite your searches.)

Rare is the company that achieves top ten performance for most criteria, but all companies can consistently grow search results over time. If you are not performing well on search engines, it is time for a consultation.

Improving Search Engine Effectiveness Brings Visitors to Your Site

Search engine optimization (SEO) focuses on internal code enhancements and other exterior factors such as back links to gain better search placement. If the original code for your current website is valid, standards based code, SEO and the addition of some functional aspects like a shopping cart or feedback forms may help achieve immediate results. Occasionally, we will suggest website redesign when an existing website is so poorly coded or designed that SEO efforts may prove ineffective.

There are several factors that we take into consideration when deciding if we can effectively optimize a web site.

  • Where is your market? Are your customers geographically constrained? Can your business serve the nation, or even the world? Geographically defining your market generally allows for faster results.
  • How competitive is your market? If you perform a search for your service in Google, you can get an idea about competitiveness by looking at the possible results returned. This number is displayed on the blue horizontal field in the upper half of the page reading, "Results 1-10 of about 1,000,000". If you search for "online poker", one hundred million results are returned, while "snowshoeing in Timbuktu" yields less than 1,000. The higher the possible pages returned, the greater the competition.
  • What key phrases or words define your product, service, or market? Sometimes, we must first narrow our search terms to the least competitive or define our market to specific geographic regions.
  • We'll examine your existing code. Does it validate in W3C--the World Wide Consortium on website design standards and protocols? Good, clean code is an essential first step to search performance.

It's a neat feeling when you hear from a customer who says, "I found you on the web!" And few sales are as satisfying as those waiting in your Inbox when you sip your morning coffee. Let's draw up a plan that helps you achieve higher search rankings and increased sales. Call us toll free at (877) 252-8369 to learn more!

Posted by:
Stacy Chapman
Internet Marketing Coordinator
 

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