Friday, March 16, 2007

Are You Invisible on the Internet?

Here's a good exercise. Create a matrix with five columns and five rows. Blank out the upper left cell, but label the other four top horizontal cells, "Google," "Yahoo," "MSN," and "Ask." Then place your Website's top four keyword phrases in the left column. Now, do a search under each search engine and list your position among the returns in the appropriate cell. For example, if one of my key phrases is "curved widgets," and my site came up on page 2 in the number five position when I enter that phrase into the Google search box, I would enter "page 2 - 5" under the Google column for that phrase.

If you do this for your top four keyword phrases, you will get a real good idea of how well your site is optimized for the four search engines that account for at least 98 percent of all Internet searches.

If your Website isn't showing up within the first three pages of search engine returns (for your strategic keywords or phrase), then you are invisible on the Internet! If your site shows up on page 1 for all search engines for all keyword phrases, you walk on water. If it's somewhere in between, you have some work to do.

For anything but the "walk on water" results, there are two things you can do to drive more traffic to your Website. First (obviously) is to improve your search engine optimization as necessary. This is a long-term solution that takes time to implement and show results. Secondarily, you can utilize targeted, local pay-per-click advertising to get economical leads while your organic search-engine ranking climbs a competitive ladder to success.

Go ahead - grab a pencil and perform this exercise. The results may surprise you. Need help?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Every Small Business Needs An Internet Marketing Strategy

It is almost impossible for a small business to survive today without a Website. If you don't have one, you are just not credible. Moreover, since most Americans go online to find goods and services, you will miss out by not being included in the world's largest virtual directory. Of course, this means that a small business must also have its site optimized for its keywords, or it will still be invisible on the Internet. And, as long as your business is online, why not leverage it to capture sales leads or boost your revenues by letting customer buy online?

Plus, it is easy and economical to employ local online advertising to boost awareness of your business. Free local listings are available from Google and others. Moreover, local pay-per-click advertising is very cost-effective. This is where your ad only appears to those in your local marketing area and you are only charged a small fee if and when they click on it.

So, if your business doesn't have a Website, get one! And if your Website is doing nothing for you, fix it. Contact me, and I'll give you a quick evaluation of your online situation and how you can turn it into a money machine.