So you have a new website? Congratulations. It’s easy to navigate? Good for you. It’s full of wonderful information about your company, product or service? That’s excellent. It has amazing graphics and design? Wonderful, we are so proud. Millions of people view it every day? No? Really? It looks so good, has great information, easy navigation and functionality; but you can’t get high volumes of traffic to your site? What’s your monthly average? Hundreds? It appears that there is something about owning and operating a website that you are missing. What could it be? The answer, my friends, is a simple matter of how people find your website.
Look at it in a more traditional light. Your website is a marketing tool, a venue through which to sell products/services and provide valuable information to your potential customer. Imagine your website as if it were a brochure or sell sheet about your company. It looks great, has great information within and is organized in a very effective and easy to read format. You have three great components to a solid brochure but you are missing something huge. Have you figured it out yet? Yes, that’s right, the answer is you have a brochure but no one is looking at it because you have not given it to anyone yet.
How do you send someone a website? In reality your website is available to anyone who knows your URL (the www.website.com thing that is in your browser when you are on your site), or knows the name of your company. This is great for those five or ten people who are your employees and your current customer base who wants to check out your site, but these are not the people your website was created for. Your website is a venue to gain new customers and grow your business. Its time to use the greatest marketing tool the internet world has ever produced…Google.
What’s that? You already know how to use Google? This is most likely a statement full of error. Just because you appear as the number one slot on Google when you search for your business name does not mean you are a search engine success. As a matter of fact, even if you are on the second page of Google for more broad and generic terms, only 20% of Google users look at the 7th-10th search result on Google (the bottom of the first page), leaving less than 5% looking at the second page. So how do you get more traffic to your site and drive sales through search engine marketing?
There are two ways in which you can utilize search engines to increase traffic on your website. The first of which is utilizing Google Ad Words (or other search engine programs of the same function). Remember the days of old when you could pay people to put advertisements on TV, radio or even billboards? Well that same method still exists, except that your ad space is on a Google search result. If you were to go onto google.com right now and search “MP3 Players for sale” you would see a yellowish tan box on the top of the screen with one to five results inside of it. Also on the right side of the screen you would see several results on a sidebar. These results are advertisements that have been bid on by companies like you.
The benefit of paid search advertisement is that it is fast and easy to generate traffic to your website. This method allows you top positions for keywords without having to change your website. The more money you put in, for extended periods of time, the more traffic you will have to your site. The major downsides to this form of search engine marketing are that most users know the difference between advertisements and organic search results (the results that are normally seen on a Google search i.e. white background), and will choose organic results and ignore advertisements. The other disadvantage is that paid search advertisement does not increase your organic search engine results and it costs money to continue the process to keep your site on top.
The second method is ultimately the most effect search engine marketing form. This method is known as search engine optimization. Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a method of implementing keywords, generating rich content and building strong links to and from your website in an effort to get higher rankings on search engines such as Google or Bing. SEO is all about insuring maximum readability and relevance of your website in the eyes of search engines. The better your content, more use of targeted keywords and a vaster array of links leads to a stronger website and higher rankings on search engines. This method is used for long lasting effects that will ultimately save you money while increasing traffic. The ultimate plus of this method is that it is organic and thus has a higher traffic rate and a lower cost to you in the long run.
So you are now aware of two methods that will put your website on the map and increase traffic to your site. Paid search advertisement is incredibly effective is you want results now, however you money will not sustain your site, nor will it last into the future. Search engine optimization will get you results after you have optimized your sites content and built strong links. SEO is focused on longevity and will give you the best results for the longest time.
Want to find out more? Attend the Evolve Systems Seminar on September 20th 2011 and learn all about the application of Search Engine Marketing and how to grow your business. Visit http://www.evolve-systems.com/monthly-seminars/ to register.