1: If you have a website and no one can see it...does it really
I have had no end of clients come to me
as a last resort telling me that they have spent a fortune
on their website but that it 'does nothing', and
that '‘this time' they want to see a return
on their investment…
I hate to be the one to break the
news, but websites do not bring in business by themselves.
Like any offline business, a website needs publicity in order
to attract visitors. You wouldn’t open a shop
and just hope that someone might wander in. Even
if they did eventually find you and wander in, there is no
guarantee that they will buy from you, but you are weighting
things in your favour if you have a steady stream of targeted
customers, and are selling exactly what they are looking for
at the precise time they are looking for it.
how DO you get noticed online?
With an increasing number of online purchases
originating from search engines, website visibility
is vital, and with thousands of businesses competing
for the top spot, you are going to need some help to get noticed.
Terms like 'Search Engine Optimisation'
(SEO) and 'ALT tags'’ may have you
running to the hills, but are definitely the place to start.
Basic optimisation involves identifying the most popular 'Keywords'
or '‘Keyphrases' (i.e. what people
actually type into Search Engines), then placing them within
the content and code of your web pages. For example, typing 'Adwords
Training Course' into Google will bring up a set of listings
that have been optimised for this keyphrase.
There are many companies that can provide
an SEO service for a reasonable price, but be aware that optimisation
is no guarantee of getting the coveted number one spot in
the Google listings. Often in highly competitive areas, you
need to employ more than just a few well placed keywords.
New domains can take months to be listed, and if you do not
continue to promote your website after it has been optimised,
your search engine position will soon drop.
A Full SEO Audit is recommended to find out precisely what to do to achieve high ranks.
else can I do?
Well... while you’re waiting for your search engine optimisation
to kick in - and before you pay over the odds for advanced
web strategies, you may want to consider cost-per-click advertising
such as Google AdWords. AdWords adverts (also known as 'sponsored
links') surround the 'natural' search listings at the top
and on the right hand side of every results page. These adverts are
triggered when a user searches for any of those keywords earlier.
An AdWords campaign can provide you with
an instant stream of the targeted customers you seek, at the very point that they are searching for a product or service,
and can help you get straight to the top of the search engine
listings, no matter how competitive the market.
Of course, if your website it giving the
wrong message or doesn’t explain in plain English why
your product or service is better than anyone else’s,
your online advertising could still be a waste of time and
Part 2: how your website message can make all the difference
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