by Adrian Bold
So, you're a business that has just invested in a brand new website. You want to grow your business and make money through your site, how do you get started? The purpose of this article is to show how just having a site and getting it listed on Google is not enough to effectively use it as a business tool.
In order to make the most out of your website, people using the Internet need to be able to find it; they can't buy unless they can find you. If you want to be found on the Web, you need to start doing online marketing.
Whatever it is that you wish to market and sell, there are several steps that you can take to improve your online presence:
If you want your website to be easily found by people using a Search Engine, you need to prepare it for SEO or Search Engine Optimisation. This means engineering your site to respond to the way that users search for your products or services online. Search Engines such as MSN, Yahoo and Google rank your website, based on a complex set of criteria.
The criteria changes regularly and only a few people are aware of the algorithms used to create the rankings. However, experts use tried and tested techniques to improve their client's ranking position based on their experience of SEO. The problem is that many amateurs try tinkering with their website for SEO and this can often lead to some fairly costly errors.
One of the best ways to gain presence on the web is to advertise through Paid Search opportunities such as Google AdWords or Yahoo! Search Marketing. Pay per Click (PPC) offers a cost effective way of advertising online. PPC involves choosing the most effective keywords for your product or service and writing a short advert with a keyword rich headline and ad text.
When an interested user types your keywords into the Search Engine, your Ad appears. When they click on it, the user is directed to your website and you pay an agreed fixed amount to Google et al for each click. The performance of your PPC Ads can be compared, and their effectiveness tested through feedback on the all-important click to conversion data produced by the Ads.
The Internet is a text driven medium. The words that are placed on your website not only attract Search Engines but also human visitors. If your visitors find poor quality content, they are unlikely to stick around to find out what you have to offer them.
SEO copywriting involves using a professional copywriter, trained in SEO techniques to create the content of your website. SEO content engages potential customers/clients and leads them towards taking your desired actions, whilst keeping your site well ranked by Search Engines.
Articles can be used for two purposes. In the first instance, they can be used to demonstrate your knowledge and improve credibility in your area of business. In the second instance, articles can be submitted to optimised article directories. Someone visiting those directories and reading your articles will be impressed by your knowledge and expertise and will click through to your website via a link at the bottom of the article.
Internet Marketing is not an area for the amateur or dilettante. The success or failure of your business could rest on your ability to conduct your own online marketing. Unless you're willing to learn, or run the risk of damaging your potential income, maybe it's time to call in an expert.
Adrian Bold is Head of Search at Impact Media Ltd, a specialist SEO agency based in the UK. They work with a wide range of businesses helping them to save money and make more sales with professional SEO services.