Sunday, January 16, 2011

How to Get the Most Out Of Internet Marketing

  1. Know your audience's words or phrases used in the search engines when looking for information on businesses like yours.
  2. Make sure your website shows up in the first two pages of some of those search results.

If this seems both simple and vague, it is purposely so. Every business is unique in some way and it would be difficult to cover all the specifics with one article.  These questions are quite important though because they help us focus on what marketing has always been about reaching the right audience.  The internet not only allows us to reach people who have proven that they want what we provide (because they searched for it); it allows us to reach them when they decide they need it!

Anyone who sells anything; insurance, autos, health care, vacuums, etc. has had moments when they meet an excellent prospect who recently bought from someone else!  AAAGGGHHHH!  We hate that!  If only we had known they were looking.  Well, now we do. And that is what this article is all about.

Relevance is a buzzword in our industry.  It is bantered about with careless abandon.  For our purposes, relevance relates to how well the web site offers up information on the keywords (or phrases) that were searched.  Relevance is important because when we search for “butterscotch pudding recipe” we don’t want to get “used car transmission”.

Relevance also counts when it comes to building links.  Directories are easy places to build links because there are many free and low cost directories with decent PageRank (a Google method of grading your website – the higher, the better).  Directories line out their relevance by titling the sections and only allowing you to link into the section related to what you offer.  Fair enough.

Link building through articles, blogs, review sites, etc. is a bit trickier.  Here we have a body of text, and within the search phrase we have a hyper-link, or “anchor text” that should lead us to a corresponding website.  Many link builders do not care about relevance they care about speed.  Alternatively, plenty have no grasp of the language they are using.  (That is certainly true about many Americans).

This means that occasionally I will roll my mouse pointer over a bit of “anchor text” concerning, say forensic anthropology and the underlying link will open up a website for real estate.  Not helpful to me, not helpful to the real estate broker and not helpful to the link building company that is using this shoddy method.  Eventually they will be busted.  Even if Google doesn’t catch it, some enterprising young SEO Services Company will find it and call the website owner in a bid to get his business.  (Yes, I have done it and it works).

Links built with anchor text need to be within content that is related to the anchor text and the website also needs to be dealing with that same subject.  If I read an article about “birding in North Carolina” and I see some anchor text that looks like this: North Carolina bird calls, I won’t mind if it’s a website selling me bird calls, birds, bird seed, binoculars, feeders, squirrel guards, wildlife conservancies, homes in the country in North Carolina (or anywhere I could listen to bird calls), etc. There are dozens of websites that could be considered “relevant” to birds and bird calls. I wouldn’t want to be directed to restaurants, porn sites, car dealers, etc.

I realize that a lot of my focus here is on outside websites and directories linking back to your website.  Maybe that is because it is still one of Google’s and Yahoo’s points of reference for where in the search results page to place your website. If we start with a well organized website, ensure that it is easy to navigate and clearly marked for the new visitor, then we optimize our title tags and descriptions, add content that includes our key search phrases, we will have built a “derby car” of a website. It’s ready to roll but it needs some momentum.

Links are the fuel that propel websites up the ranks. Think of it as a toy submarine. We have to constantly adjust the “ballast” (anything unnecessary or cumbersome for visitors to interact with), pump in air to make it float upwards (links), repair leaks as they occur (remove dead dangling and broken links) and watch for trends in how customers search.

The easier it is to find, navigate and take action on your website, the more business you will do through your website.

I am currently the National Sales Manager for a Virginia SEO company in the field of Search Engine Optimization and Link Building. I am dedicated to helping clients find the most effective SEO Services for there brand.

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