Last month, we discussed how to design a website to support your sales process. Now that you’ve created a sales-oriented site, it’s time to make sure you get found by your prospects. More than 85 percent of “clicks” go to the highest-ranking websites. The key search engine ranking components are Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and traffic building. In this article, we’ll take a look at two fundamental areas of optimization: SEO and Multi-Channel Optimization. In next month’s article, we will discuss traffic building, or search engine marketing, as the final installment of this three-part series on Internet marketing.
To begin, remember that search engine ranking is a dynamic process. It’s affected by not just direct market competitors. Ranking competition can come from any direction: a competitor’s business partners, lead services and list services, to name a few. Someone has to come out on top; let’s make sure it’s you.
What is Search Engine Optimization? In English, Please!
Search engines like Google promise users they will receive the most relevant data requested by a search. Before a search engine can tell where a document is located, it has to sift through hundreds of millions of Web pages. The engine employs special software spiders that crawl the Web and build lists of words found on websites and then index them so that, later, these sites can be accessed quickly. The objective of SEO is to show the search engine that your site belongs at the top of the list. SEO is a collection of techniques that webmasters use to create search engine-friendly websites. As a generalization, search engines tend to categorize Web pages based on keywords and links.
Keywords — a One-Time Charge?
Keywords are important terms that are relevant to the content on website pages, and these are what the software spiders analyze. These keywords are most commonly located in headlines and within body copy. Years ago, SEO was in and of itself an art form. Today, the process is often accomplished by software that does the job quickly and efficiently. Now, instead of paying thousands of dollars monthly for SEO, it’s common to pay one-time fees capped at $500 to $600. (It should be noted that the search engines continuously refine ranking criteria; therefore, your site’s intended functionality should determine the frequency of updating your SEO.) Regardless of how they are incorporated or how they are judged, keywords continue to hold an important priority in the search engine ranking algorithms.
Multi-Channel Optimization (MCO) Can Turbocharge Your Ranking
Multi-channel optimization most often refers to improving search engine visibility by linking videos, blogs, directories, email and social marketing campaigns, and reputation management to a website. When viewers find and share valued information on your website, the sharing process can help catapult your site’s popularity. Whether the content is in the form of information, controversy, entertainment, instruction, humor or inspiration, your links should be compelling enough to make the viewer want to share with others. The more shares, the better your overall online presence.
Let’s look at a how MCO works within your website. You may already have a blog, educate your customers via YouTube videos, list your company in directories, respond to Yelping customers or post your views on Facebook and Twitter. Taking an email marketing campaign as an example, your email might contain links that tie back to your website for coupons, event sign-up or special offerings. Another example could be encouraging other marketers of similar content to employ reciprocal links to your educational video series that is located on your website. In these examples, you are using different channels to leverage different marketing communications techniques to improve the ranking and visibility of your website.
When it comes to Internet/digital marketing, you want to beat your competition. Page One of all search engines should be your objective. The first step is SEO, making it easy for the search engines to find you and classify your content. Next, MCO, integrating your marketing communications tools to help the search engines confirm your popularity. Search engine optimization and multi-channel optimization will help improve your ranking and increase visitors. But if you want your sales to explode, you’ll want to consider target marketing next. We call it “strategic traffic-building for qualified leads,” and we’ll talk about that next month.
Thomas Beyer is president of Beyer Management Consulting, Inc., located in the Deer Valley Airpark. BMC assists business owners and executives to quickly increase sales and profits through cohesive integration of traditional and digital marketing strategies and tactics.
The Internet Marketing Series:
October: Base Website Design on Your Sales Process
November: Visitors Wanted – Get Your Website Found on the Internet
December: Explode Sales with Targeted Online Marketing