Click Are You There?

John Geiger
 


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Business owners and managers often ask “How can I make sure people find my site when they search on the web?” The best answer depends on the particular business and marketing strategies of an organization, but a quick overview can be a great start to helping understand the business of marketing your website.

It should not be the primary strategy of every website owner to be stumbled upon by web surfers of all persuasions. Factors such as intended audience, and intended interaction with that audience, weigh heavily when planning a good strategy. Selling products, building a database, and providing a support service all require different marketing strategies. Having said that, let’s look at some variables to consider when integrating website marketing into your overall internet and business strategies.

1. Search engines are only one of several key pathways to your website. Including your site address (URL) on business cards, stationary, advertisements, telephone messages, vehicles, signs, other websites, and word of mouth can be more effective than being on the first page of a particular search by keyword or phrase.

2. Search Engines such as Google and MSN as well as directories like Yahoo are registration based. If you do not register your URL with a particular search engine it will generally not show up at all. Site registration is a conscious and specific activity that must be executed, whether by site developer or site owner. The registration process is similar to announcing your presence, and invites review by human and/or electronic “judges” that accept or reject each request for registration. Listing can take up to 90 days unless fees are paid for expediting. Mere registration does not guarantee rank, but in many cases this listing in conjunction with the methods described above makes up the critical mass of a good internet strategy and costs little to nothing.

3. For those businesses marketing products or services across geographic boundaries, or when the internet is your primary or exclusive channel to market, it may be cost effective to tweak the design of your site and/or pay search engines for positioning by way of a technique much like advertising. Known collectively as Pay Per Click (PPC), major search engines allow you to buy position on the top pages of search results for specific search words and/or phrases paying a fee only when each surfer clicks through to your site from the listing. This can be cost effective when your success highly depends on exposure and volume and can be an excellent jump start to a new business but can be dangerously expensive without a carefully thought out plan.

John Geiger owns and operates the local affiliate of WSI Internet Consulting and Education, a Toronto based global network of consultants, developers and production centers providing turn-key internet business solutions for small and medium-sized enterprises to include web-site design, development and hosting; site maintenance and upgrades, full e-commerce solutions, on-line training and education, and other cutting-edge internet technology and solutions. For questions, comments, free consultation, or ideas for future articles contact John at (828) 328-5929 or http://www.webmasters-wsi.com

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