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Internet Marketing
How to get visitors to your site through search engines, etc.


Some web sites are designed as customer support sites and so don't need to attract site visitors but of course most do want to get as many new visitors to their site as possible so we need to address the best way of going about that.

You need to understand that the major site search engines only actually index some 16% of web pages.  In addition, there is a whole industry growing up devoted to getting your web site to the top 30 links of major site search engines.  In many ways this is actually detrimental to the web user as so often the links presented do not give them the information they are looking for.  As an illustration, last year I put in a search term "Scotland" onto the lycos.co.uk search engine and it took me over 300 links to find any of Scotland's top 5 web sites. If that result was mirrored over other search terms then that search engine is doing nothing for me as a web user.

For this reason many experienced web users are now deserting these major portals and finding themselves more focused vertical market portal sites. So what we are really seeing is the inexperienced web user still using the big portal sites while experienced web users are only rarely using them.  In business terms it's likely the experienced web users that are your most valuable resource and so while getting good listings on the top search engines might have been achieved and site hits are going up you might well not be seeing much in the way of increased business. That's because the wrong people are visiting your site.

All this means is you have various options open to you...

  • You can pay a small fee to places like Submit-It, Recommend-It, etc and for less than $50.00 they will get you listed on the top 400 or so search engines. These services usually offer an extra cost item for special services and on the whole are excellent value and well worth using.
  • You should then look for synergy links where you get your site listed on major sites that focus on your industry.  For example if you were in the chemical industry you might find it valuable to be featured on the Chemical Week magazine site. Similarly, if you were in the tourist industry you might find it valuable to be listed on your local community site.
  • Electric Scotland is of course a major portal site so if you were trying to get business especially from North America and you are playing the Scottish angle as part of your marketing mix then it would be valuable to have a link or feature on Electric Scotland.
  • When launching a new site you should also look at getting listed on "What's New" sites as many look to them for interesting new sites to visit.
  • Another method is getting your mailing list onto sites like Topica rather than running your own as sites like that automatically give you greater exposure and will feature new mailing lists.
  • You should also strive to get your site listed on sites that have good synergy with your own and a way of finding such is to use the search engines to search for key words that apply to your own industry sector. So when presented with a list of sites take time to visit them and where appropriate email the site to see if they will give you a link.
  • Another method is getting your site featured on some of the large mailing lists and some of them have 100,000 or more members so by being featured on one of those targeted at your industry sector you could do very well indeed.  You might also consider writing an article offering special advice which they may publish as part of the newsletter.

Getting listed on sites can be the most powerful way of increasing site visitors but it is also a somewhat time consuming task and one that you may even wish to outsource.

Finally do note that a reliance on search engines is not a good idea.  One company told me they got around 10,000 visitors a day to their site.  Due to a change they made to their index page they were delisted by Alta Vista and as a result their visitor count halved!  Also many search engines now take into account how many other sites link to your site when ranking your site.  This means it is now harder to get good listings and means you need to get more web sites linking to yours.

Setting up your web pages for the Search Engines

Many search engines use meta tags to index your page on their search engines. Meta Tags don't display on your page so you need to add them manually to the .html code of your page between the </title> and  </head> part of your page.  Here is an example of how they should look...

<meta NAME="description" CONTENT="enter your description here">
You can use up to 200 characters and you would be wise to include as many of your key words as possible.

<meta NAME="keywords" CONTENT="enter your keywords here">
You can use up to 1000 characters.

<title>enter your title here</title>
You can use up to a maximum of 100 characters.

<body>enter keywords here</body>
It is important that you use at least 5 of the keywords in your meta tag within the body of your page and the higher up you do this the better. Often search engines will rate you on the relevance of the words on your page to the keywords you have listed in your meta tag key words.

Graphics
Search engines don't use graphics so it's important that you use the ALT= within your graphic code to enter a description for the graphic and then the search engines will pick it up.

Following these simple rules will improve your ranking on search engines.


 


 


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