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Search Engine Strategies, Much Ado about Nothing or Something?

Aug 17, 2007
After three days of search engine emersion therapy last month at the Search Engine Strategies event in NYC followed by three weeks to work it all out, the answer is clear, it is both!

If you are an Internet entrepreneurs, you already know this stuff. You are already tweaking your Web sites constantly, you are jumping on and off the latest sure-fire bandwagons, attending seminars and conference calls all the time. Sorry, you'll find nothing new here.

If you with a large company with plenty of resources; human, technical, and financial - there's not much for you here either.

But if you are a mainstream established company - one that was successful before the popularity of the Internet made you wonder if you are missing the opportunity of a lifetime if you don't get with it - get your company's web site optimized, updated, and submitted - you're in the right place.

Danny Sullivan, Editor of Search Engine Watch, provided the framework for the following comments in his introductory session. I am taking the tec-talk out and substituting some of my thoughts about what's important, from the perspective of Main Street companies entering cyberspace.

Established mainstream business owners told me, when I was interviewing them for profiles on our web site, that what they want the Internet to do for them is to increase their market share in their current marketing area. They want to extend their marketing area further and further away from their base of operations. They want to increase their "share of customer", through affiliations and advertising, to create or increase online sales.

And they want to be in business 24 hours a day seven days a week.

Effective Search Engine Strategies offers the key to each of these.

This article, like all of all of our content, was created to provide you with "evergreen" information. I will stick to ideas, concepts, and observations, leaving the ever-changing technical details to others.

Danny focused on the different kinds of search engine listings from free to paid. He extensively described search marketing which, according to him, is a combination of PR, search engine optimization, and the purchase of advertising. Search marketing seems to be the optimum route for many of you - as it combines what the search engines control with what you control - balancing the ongoing investment against roi.

He also developed ideas around local search listings, vertical search, pagerank, linking, and submission strategy. It was an ideal program for people new to search engine strategies (40% of the audience) and the rest of us as an update and refresher.

Rather than write an article about the above, the sort of things almost anyone else is better equipped to discuss, I want to help you think about why and how search engines are important to you and your company specifically, so you'll know what steps to take and when to take them. I am confident when you isolate the why - the how and who will be easy enough to figure out.

What's most important to you in your company?
When considering your search engine strategy consider how it dovetails with the rest of your Internet strategy.

Is it important to make money online by selling some or all of your products, position yourself in the marketplace so you'll be found by strangers, or is it to automate processes that allow your existing customers to do business with you more easily? What is most important? Maybe you should focus on just that.

What is it about your company that makes you unique? There had better be something or you are likely to be going out of business - with the Internet accelerating the pace.

Is your uniqueness something you can better articulate with keyword phrases? Can you leverage existing content in order to exploit your uniqueness, or is there a difference motivation entirely? What is motivating you and what part of that is urgent, if any?

Leveraging Your Content to Make The Most of What You have.

The simplest method for attracting a wider range of strangers immediately, is to differentiate in each of your web site's pages-make each one of the into the little magnet. Using the content that you already have to attract "low hanging fruit", people for whom your content is relevant and who are already looking for it, is a quick and powerful strategy.

Immediately upon retuning from the event, using this one of the idea alone, we increased our targeted traffic by 25% in three weeks.

This was content to been on our web site for quite some time, because no attempt was ever made to differentiate the title tags, page headlines, or HTML descriptions, etc. the search engines had not done so either.

With minor changes to pages of excellent content that had been lying dormant, pages that I had never seen as having been searched - began to show up only a few days later.

So what's the bottom line? I listened to a dozen presentation over three days-seeing what a few "obvious" changes could make allows me to conclude that while we should not obsess with the process we should certainly pay attention to it.

If we strive to develop relevant content, position it with keywords, title tags, etc. that allow the search engines to see it uniqueness, and do so in a way that causes people respected by our prospects and customers to link to less-will have the same sort of reputation with the search engines as we do with the people with whom we want to do business.
About the Author
Wayne Messick is the author of dozens of articles for mainstream businesses. His search engine strategies optimizations articles are here.
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