Wondering how to get your website seen? If you are a small business with big plans you probably had a website built and expected the orders to roll in. You may have already tried some Pay Per Click advertising and even paid to be listed in some online directories.
Let me just say, “Been there, Done that.” Unfortunately, the old commercial that led us to believe that all it took was building a website and orders would automatically start flowing in was more than a little misleading.
Hopefully you have figured out that people shopping online don’t go through a directory to find you. They go to a Search Engine, like Google, Yahoo and now Bing. They type in a keyword or phrase describing what they want and the Search Engine gives them a list of websites, starting with what the Search Engine believes are the most relevant results.
It is these results, rather being found in the first group of them that drives traffic to your website. No matter what you have to offer the key to success online is to be found on the first page of these search results when someone is looking for what you have to offer.
The great thing about those search results is that they are working twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, three hundred sixty five days a year. The down side is that if you can’t be found in those results, your neighbor across the street could be looking for what you have to offer and you’ll never know.
If you have tons of traditional business experience the things you have used in the past to promote your store are going to be pretty much useless online. For instance, before launching my online business, I spent about ten thousand dollars per month on Yellow page advertising. When the internet went public I made sure that those ads pointed to my website. Now I could still be doing that except most households don’t even know where their phonebook is anymore.
If you have a traditional store, say sports equipment, you may have a few selections for athletic shoes. In your store you may display these shoes according to cost. The typical online shopper is not looking for every shoe you have to offer. They are searching for one brand and one style at every store that offers that one shoe.
A local sporting goods store owner who complained that he would typically get one of the high end shoes from his supplier and it would never sell until he discounted it at the end of the season. Where that same shoe would have customers lining up around the block in the big city, hoping to get a chance to buy that pair of shoes as soon as it was delivered.
Putting his inventory online allows the kids in the big city to find the shoes they want regardless of what small town store has them. It takes a bit to wrap your head around the concept, but suffice it to say that the online shopper is going to be more specific about what they are looking for and they don’t really care where your store actually is as long as you can get the product they want delivered to them.
If you are a traditional store that wants to sell your products online, it is going to be vital to your success to offer your products from the top down rather than trying to use your website to sell the stuff you could not move in your store. The structure of your website has to break down products and categories and present those images in an appealing way. A good Search Optimization Team will be able to research the products you have to offer that match up with the hottest searches performed and help you to target your campaign.
Again, just having a cool website is not enough. You are going to need to build that website in a Search Friendly manner. Let’s use the shoes one more time. Say you put a great picture of the latest shoe on your website. It is the very one that kids across the country would go get a job for. But if all you have is a picture, the Search Spider can’t read your picture. It is not human. It searches for text. Text in the form of Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML) and in the form of content on your page. These are spider food.
The Search Spider goes through your site, following your linking structure, recording what it finds and takes it back to the Search Engine Database. The Search Engine runs that data through its algorithm to determine what searches your data might be relevant to and how relevant your data is compared to other websites it has recorded. Confused?
Time for a history lesson. I was fortunate to be able to watch Neil Armstrong take the first steps on the moon with my Great Grandfather. Here was a man that had gone from horses and buggies, being the standard mode of transportation, to autos, to planes, then jets and rockets.
The first computers I worked with were as big as a building and had less computing power than my laptop does now. When I started in business just about every household in America had a telephone, a television, a record player and a few radio. Now every household has several televisions, several cell phones, mp3 players, a video game console, microwave, and at least one computer with broad band internet access.
When I was in High school the way we would communicate with friends was to hurry home after school and call the other person at home. If you missed the call you would never know where the party was that night. Now kids are texting ten of their friends from ten different party's deciding if they want to stay where they are or go to another one. They talk to each other online ten at a time.
What’s it all mean? The world has changed my friend. Changed in ways we could not predict. I’ve heard it said that if we had computers in the eighteen hundreds, they would have predicted that every city in America would now be twenty feet deep in horse manure.
Your website is proof that you are trying to be a player in the new way of doing business. But now you have to index your site in the way that can be found by the Search Engines, your products can be identified and produced as relevant when a search is done.
Rather than showing a picture of your product and writing a caption under it that says something like “This is a very popular item this year,” use the terms that someone would type in when they are looking for this exact product. This will more than likely take some effort and refining but diligence and persistence pay off.
The other thing that takes some understanding and patience is to know that the Search Spider does not live on your website. He has other places to go too. You have to allow him time to get around to checking out your changes.
Don’t be afraid to do some investigative work on your own. Check out your competition. See how they describe the products on their site. A little homework on your part will also help you get an understanding of what you’re up against.
If you are using Pay Per Click advertising they will provide Keyword Suggestion Tools. But please use caution. These tools are really focusing on getting you to pay to show up in as many searches as they can. Although that might sound like exactly what you want too, the truth is that aside from being expensive, if your site does not exactly match to what the searcher is looking for, you are wasting money.
A Search Optimization Service will be help you focus your energy and resources in the areas that will get you more conversions because you will be showing up for the most relevant searches all the time rather than just when you can afford Pay Per Click advertising. Give us a call right now and we'll help you get noticed in all the right places. 800-789-0017
Resistance is Futile