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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Increasing Exposure on the Search Engines



I recently posted an article about the importance of choosing the right keywords.  I hope you have had a chance to tweak your keywords in your articles and are using more of them in your newer postings.  I would be interested in knowing whether this is helping you.

The Internet is so vast that our little website might actually get lost among the millions of websites that are posted on the search engines.  One way to gauge how visible your website is, would be to do a search for it on Google, which is still the number one search engine.  After the search, your website should be listed at the top or near the top of the first page of Google.  Then, you want to look at the number in the upper left hand corner.  Typically, the higher the number, the more visibility the website would have.  You would want to see at least six figures there.  If you see seven or more figures, you have excellent visibility.  This number represents the number of links to the websites listed on the page.  It is called the Google index.

In order to get into the Google index, you have to submit your site to Google.  You can do this for free yourself, or if a webmaster manages your site, ask him or her to do it.  Then, as long as you have a site map on your website, the Google spiders will "crawl" the site to determine how many websites have linked to your site.  The higher the Google index, the more websites have linked to your website.  The next time you are search the internet, pay attention to those numbers!

How do you get other websites to link to your website?  There are several ways:

1.  Quality content - this is the most important reason for others to link to your website. That is why content is so important when blogging or writing articles.  If someone likes what you write about, they will share it and it could go viral, depending upon how useful or newsworthy the article or blog is.

2.  Linking to other websites which have a high Google index.  This would be a highly commercial site, like Google, or Twitter, or LinkedIn.  There are other highly commercial sites, depending on the industry to which you belong. 

For instance, I recently added some of my upcoming events to several event websites.  One was for an organization in my state and the other was a global event site.  Needless to say, I went from five figures to eight figures within a matter of minutes, because the sites I listed them on were already indexed and had tens of thousands of sites that were already linked to them!  This is the easiest way to increase your ranking by leveraging the power of another more powerful site.

3.  Another way to achieve a high index is to link directly to other highly indexed sites in your article or blog.  Your article or blog should have several links in it.  This would increase your credibility, if you can back up an important statement by referencing another article of an influential author who supports your position.  These links will bring you to a higher place on the search engine.  Be careful not to overuse the links.

4.  Share your website in comments on other blogs, in social networks, and in e-mail to your followers.  There is no telling where it could end up.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Challenge to Attract Prospects to Your Website



If you are a content creator or business owner and have a desire to drive traffic to your website, you probably know how difficult it can be.  There are so many factors that go into attracting visitors to your site. 
First of all, the content has to be interesting and meet a demand that customers want.  (Hopefully, we thoroughly researched that when we were in the planning stages of our business idea.)  If we lack the funds to hire a marketing team of experts, then we have to learn how to do this ourselves.   The Internet is pretty user friendly, to a certain degree, and if we are ambitious enough to do the necessary research, we can discover ways of driving traffic on our own.  However, because of the time involved, we may not have a desire, the interest, nor the time to devote to this task.

The Social Networks
We can join the social networks which promise to help us discover a market for our products among the many members.  We can register our websites and blogs, join forums or discussion groups, post advertisements, and attract our clientele through our network.  As we have discovered, working within social networks requires certain skills which we need to derive benefit from them.  We need people skills to communicate with others and develop relationships, and writing skills to convey our information about our products.  Both skills take time to develop and the technology changes on a yearly basis, if not sooner, requiring us to keep informed on the latest developments.

The Internet
In addition to knowing how to navigate our way through the various networks, we have to know how to use the Internet to promote our businesses.  As we all know, the Internet changes often, and we need to be informed of the changes that take place there, as well.  We have to know a little about search engine optimization and key words.  If we are spending most of our time on the social networks, we may neglect to market our businesses properly on the Internet.  So now it becomes an issue of time, for which we must plan.

How Prospects Use the Internet
The Internet is important to our businesses because there is where our prospects shop for products and services.  Before they go into department stores or other businesses to buy products or services that they need, prospects will conduct an investigation on the Internet to find the best products which fulfill their needs.  Most people today do this.  Therefore, it is extremely important that our businesses and products are placed very high and visible in the search engines so that customers may locate our products, especially if we are operating in a very competitive market. 

Placement on the Internet
Our businesses should be located on the first page of the search engine.  It takes knowledge and skill to get it there.  We do not always need a marketing or SEO expert to assist us in this area.
First, we need to make a list of the key words that customers use to find our products and services.  This requires asking yourself how you would search for your own product on the Internet if your needed it.  Write down as many words and phrases you would use in the search box.  Then use those words to see if your product or service appears in your search when you use them.  Also, make a note of the search terms that are listed under yours if you are using Google.  Write those words down as well.  (These are the words which appear in the drop down menu.) 

Pay attention to what page your business falls on.  Our first priority should be our local area.  Therefore, include your town state, and country in your search.  Your business should appear on the first page of products and service being sold in your town.  If not, then you have some work to do.  As you are conduction your search, be sure to take notes, such as,

  1. Is my business on the first page of my town and state, province, or country?
  2. Is it included in the top ten listings on the page?  What number is it listed on the page?  (It will not have an actual number listed, you will have to count the number of listings before yours.)  If it is not in one of the first three, then you have some work to do.
  3. Who is your competition?  (Your competition may not be the best provider in the town, but he/she may be listed toward the top of the page because they know how to optimize their site for the search engines.)
  4. While you are there, examine the page to see who your competition is and take a look at their website(s).  This will give you some valuable information about their businesses.
The Importance of Key words
After you have gathered your information and key words, I highly recommend that you consult a key word search tool to find more key words to include in your articles, blogs, websites, and advertising.  Compare what you have compiled against what you are finding in the key word search tool.  You will find that some, if not all of your words and phrases are they, and you will find a host of other words to choose. 

I would recommend choosing the most frequently occurring words on the Google Keyword Search Tool. as well as key word phrases, which will help in the search for your product.   We need to be very specific about the description of our product or service.   For instance, if I am selling dresses, I need to have key words for the specific type of dresses, such as evening dresses, gowns, wedding gowns, sequined gowns, maxis, minis, “moo moos,” etc.   These are the words customers use when searching for things on the Internet.

If these words are appearing in your content, then you are doing a great job of identifying and using keyword tools.  If not, then you would need to revise your content to include some of these key words, being careful not to repeat them in the same publication.  The search engines frown on and penalize for repetition.  It is also a good idea to target your content to your town by writing an article or blog post about your town, relative to your business.  After you revise your content, your websites and blogs should appear high on the search engine.  If not, tweak the words or write another article using key words which you may have overlooked.