There are millions of Web sites, selling millions of products on the Internet every day, and they are all competing for viewers; many of them are competing for the same viewers you are! How do you get the results you’re looking for? When asked if they are marketing on the Internet, many people and organizations say, “Yes, we have a Web site.” However, having a Web site and marketing on the Internet are two very different things. Yes, usually you need a Web site to market on the Internet. However, a Web site is simply a collection of documents, images, and other electronic files that are publicly accessible across the Internet. Your site needs to be designed to meet your online objectives and should be developed with your target market in mind. Internet marketing encompasses all the steps you take to reach your target market online, attract visitors to your Web site, encourage them to buy your products or services, and make them want to come back for more.
Having a Web site is great, but it is meaningless if nobody knows about it. Just as having a brilliantly designed product brochure does you little good if it sits in your sales manager’s desk drawer, a Web site does you little good if your target market isn’t visiting it. It is the goal of this book to help you take your Web site out of the desk drawer, into the spotlight, and into the hands of your target market. You will learn how to formulate an Internet marketing strategy in keeping with your objectives, your products or services, and your target market.
Before you even start to create your Web site, you must clearly define your online objectives. What is the purpose of your site? Brainstorm with people from all parts of your organization, from the frontline clerks, to marketing and sales personnel, to customer support, to order fulfilment and administration.
Generate a comprehensive list of primary and secondary objectives. If you’re going to build this Web site, you might as well build it to achieve all of your online objectives. If you don’t brainstorm with your stakeholders, document the objectives, and discuss these objectives with your Web developer, it will be impossible for the Web developer to build you a Web site that addresses all of your objectives.
When Internet users are looking for a particular product, service, subject, or information pertaining to an area of interest to them, how do they do it? The most common research tool used is the search engine—85 percent of people doing research online use search engines to find what they are looking for. Because search engines can bring significant volumes of traffic to your site, you must understand how the major search engines work and how the design of your site can influence the indexing of your site by the search engines. You must also know about the elements that are included in the search engines’ algorithms, or formulas, that are outside your Web site and what you can do to ensure that you earn maximum points for those things you can influence.
When people conduct Internet searches, they rarely go beyond the first couple pages of results. If you want to be noticed, you need to appear in the top 10 or 15 search results—ideally, you want to appear on the top half of the front page of search results. But before you submit to the search engines, you have to be sure your site has been designed to be search engine friendly.
To make your site search engine friendly, you have to:
- Decide which search engines are critical for your success.
- Learn as much as you can about their ranking criteria and the weighting given to each criterion in their algorithm. It is also important to know which databases they are using.
Then you must:
- Determine the keywords that your target market is using in the search engines to find what you have to offer,
- Assign those keywords to specific pages throughout your site, and then
- Populate the pages with the assigned keywords in the appropriate places given the ranking criteria for your targeted search engines.
Registering with search engines is fairly simple. In most cases, you simply have to submit your URL or Internet address on their submission form. Even if your URL is not registered with search engines, a number of the major search engines will eventually find you, as their bots are continually roaming the Internet looking for new sites to index. Your odds of being indexed increase significantly if you have a well-developed links strategy. There are millions of sites out there, so I suggest that you be proactive and register your site to ensure a speedier listing. Once you are registered, some of the bots will periodically visit your site looking for changes and updates.
Many search engines and directories either partner with or license the use of the search technology of another search engine or directory. If you submit your site to a search engine that uses Google’s index, then the design of your site influences how you’re indexed in all search engines that rely on Google for their search results. For example, Google’s results can be found on AOL, Netscape, HotBot, Lycos, and more. Google’s paid advertising results appear on many other sites as well.
By Susan Sweeney, CA, CSP, HoF
Maxpress | English | 391 pages | PDF | 16.839 KB | Download | Password : 101