WEB SITE PROMOTION
It is often suggested that search
engine optimisation is the 'free advertising' opportunity
of the web, however many discover that the cost of getting
their website noticed can be substantial, not to mention unreliable.
And if your search engine
uses unacceptable methods then you could
that your competitors
will report you to the search engines and you lose your listing
In fact web site marketing may often be most successfully
carried through without using the web at all. It is all down to
characteristics of your business. I can help you or your own
marketing people sift through the options, weed out the false claims,
and make the best use of your budget.
Let's consider some approaches to using the web as a marketing
tool. As I have mentioned, you can invest in search engine optimisation
with a vague promise that you willl.....
GET A TOP TEN SEARCH RANKING
Unfortunately, in many sectors, only a tiny proportion of sales
on the web are the result of visits referred by free listings in
The fact is that once you are listed by the search engines, unless
you are very unlucky, you will achieve some top
ten search rankings.
Putting the appropriate skill into your
site design with real content (that is useful to human beings!)
number of these rankings. This site uses those skills (it
goes way beyond "meta-tags") but you
cannot see evidence of it when you view the content - and there
is no trickery like hidden text. Further effort
substantial budget) directed at more aggressive techniques can
yield precious little.
As mentioned above, some techniques could lose
your listing altogether, not to mention dilute your branding.
And even if you get a top ten ranking, what is its value if the
do not see something coherent that induces them to click through
to your site?
So a sound approach is not to
in terms of pure search engine rankings but far better is to
measure success in terms of how often you.....
GET YOUR SITE VISITED
I've already mentioned that you neglect the impact
of word-of-mouth and conventional marketing at your peril. But
are you doing the best that you can in terms of online marketing
maximise your visits?
Staying with search engines, one can consider
an alternative approach. You
can pay for listings in directories (here the example is the Yahoo
directory, as opposed to Yahoo search). There is also 'pay-per-click'
advertising - which can be a most effective and controllable
and pay per click banner advertising on other sites are also options.
What can be surprisingly effective (and cheap)
is to get yourself listed in free directories and to have an active
link exchange scheme with related businesses. And these routes
will have a beneficial effect on your Yahoo and
Google search rankings. If used effectively then you will get your
The real challenge that you have is to get the
visitor interested in your web site content to make them stay at
surf off elsewhere. It is easy to say, but harder to achieve. What
you need to do is.....
GIVE VISITORS WHAT THEY WANT
If you are running a business, then your web presence
needs to function in the same way as any well laid out High Street
store. You should want to maximise numbers through the door and
once customers are inside you need to keep them there long enough
to allow them to find what they want.
What needs to be done depends on the audience.
Some will crave functionality, some innovative design, some a
feel. But most will want to find what they want - quickly. At this
point I refer you to my usability page. Your marketing budget
be wasted if you do not get website usability right.
In conclusion I suggest to you that overall the
focus always has to be on....
WEBSITE SALES OPTIMISATION
It is curious
how easily the focus can be diverted away from this prime business
Once your site is found, what needs to be optimised
is sales from new and returning visitors. Web site sales optimisation
is a broad issue and is about optimising visitor numbers and
converting them to sales through effective content.
For broader advice on marketing, I can also draw
on the resources of my association with Fairburn
Click here to read
more on how I can advise you on giving visitors what they want.