sat me down recently and asked me to explain what Internet marketing is. In one
respect, it’s marketing your site by getting exposure, but in another respect,
it means using the Internet to help people find the site–what we call search
engine marketing. I told her about improving the search results for her site,
about how the search engines work, and how page content was probably what
needed to be fixed. She was nodding all along, but then she asked “But why
spend money on the Web site when what I really need to do is increase my
This was one of those EUREKA!
moments. “You need more prospects to get more sales.” Suddenly, I
realized that she really didn’t understand how the Internet works, or that she
could literally drive prospects to her site. She simply didn’t know that this
practical, common sense approach–Internet marketing–is the most productive
marketing investment she could make, for the least amount of money, with the
fastest return on the investment.
By tapping into the power of search engines with a freshly optimized site, you
use the Internet to deliver prospective customers who are actively looking for
a solution right to your door, and can do so without ANY incremental cost. You
can also advertise on the search engines, paying only for people who actually
visit your site. It’s an exciting time, because search marketing can often
eliminate the cost of advertising.
Even a small business can be the #1 result when people search for your solution–and
today, 85% of people with Internet access find new products or services by
searching the web (even for well-established brands!). Here’s another
interesting (or scary) fact: if your site isn’t on the first page of search
results, 63% of people won’t find you…they just don’t look any further. On
the positive side, visits from top rankings are up to 4 times more likely to
convert into customers.
Making It To The Top
So, getting to the top of the search engine results list is important. On the
other hand, there are billions and billions web pages. What do you do to get
your pages to the top? Heres a quick overview of the search engine
The ABCs of SEO
There is a four-step process to search engine optimization (SEO), understanding
that search engines look at meta tags in the HTML document, page content,
internal link structure and external link popularity to determine your ranking
in the results.
1. Brainstorm, research and analyze the key words and phrases that will draw
profitable traffic to your site. Try wordtracker.com to do your research, and
use their keyword evaluator tools to select keywords with the highest Keyword
Effectiveness Index. These are the terms you can optimize effectively.
2. Optimize your content against these key words and phrases
a. Create pages specific to three or four terms
b. Include key words/phrases in title tag
c. Write meta descriptions around key words/phrases
d. Develop or improve headings and text tailored to key words/phrases
e. Incorporate links and alt image tags appropriately
3. Register site with directories, submit optimized pages to search engines
a. Free directories and search engines
b. Pay-for-inclusion on Yahooc.
Optional: pay-per-click to quickly increase traffic
4. Monitor the results, tweaking as needed to increase traffic and improve your
position in the search results. SEO is a long-term process commit to a full
year of activity. As you add content and continue your keyword research, you can
Do In The Meantime
Paid search, or pay-per-click advertising, can
be very cost-effective, especially if you target a single geography. Using
Google AdWords to gain experience and setting up a free Google Analytics
account to see where your traffic comes from and what terms convert well, you
can gain a lot of insight into search marketing. This data can help you make
good decisions about the why of your organic SEO work, at the same time it
drives customers to your site. I recommend you set your bids high enough to be
in the #1, 2 or 3 position. These are the positions that get the clicks.