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Search engine optimization
Internet marketing

Steve Wilson has over 35 years as a senior level marketing professional and is the owner of the local Worldsites.network franchise. Worldsites is the world's largest and fastest growing full service Internet Marketing Company with over 400 consultants in 66 countries. Steve is focusing on helping clients to "Be Found", as well as website and e-commerce development, database integration, targeted marketing, and economical hosting.

Traditional forms of advertising are increasingly being used to help promote business websites. Nevertheless, search engines will continue to be important in determining traffic levels. Approximately 85% of the traffic to most web sites comes from the major search engines. 

If your first attempt at site optimization is only registering with any and every search engine available, you will soon discover few if any increases in site traffic. Upon closer investigation many of these hundreds of so-called search engines turn out to be somewhat ineffective FFA (Free For All) links. Beware; they are really after your e-mail address so they can send you junk mail. 

The key to obtaining excellent volumes of targeted traffic is by achieving high positioning on major search engines through effective web positioning. In other words, it’s not the “submitting” that brings you the traffic; it’s your ranking in the search engines themselves.

Web positioning
Web positioning is the art of getting your website positioned near the top in the major search engines' search results. If you want your website to “be found” you need to employ effective web positioning strategies. Once you understand the web positioning principles and begin applying them, your web site will get remarkable improvements in traffic and exposure. However, improving your rank with major search engines is a process that takes time and effort. I find that it takes me 8-12 hours to initially get a site positioned well on the major search engines and then monthly ongoing monitoring and resubmittal program to keep the good positioning. Plus, if you have a very competitive keyword phrase, be prepared to spend even more time and energy to get good results.

If you use a keyword that is used on a majority of your competitor’s sites, your site obviously will face much more competition. I encountered this recently when I was working on a site for a client who rents audiovisual equipment. If I had simply used the keyword phrase “audiovisual rental”, the site would probably have had to compete with thousands of sites that used those keyword phrases.

The client and I discussed the unique terms he used to define his business, conducted a surfer profile (described below), and then incorporated the resulting keyword phrases into the site’s content text and Meta Tags areas. I was able to form keyword phrases that described the site in a distinct way. The site placed higher because it was now grouped only with other sites that fell into these specific categories. After all, there is more of a chance of placing number one against 10 sites rather than 1,000.

Surfer profile 
As mentioned above, when deciding what keyword phrases to use it is important to do a surfer profile. Go through the text on your site and make sure that it explains what the business is about and includes terms that a surfer would use if they were trying to find a business that offered these product and services. Think of terms that describe what the business does. 

Try to make these keyword phrases specific to eliminate competition when indexed by the search engines, but also logical enough that most surfers would think of entering those keywords when searching for your business. It important to use your best keyword phrases in the top third of your page as some search engines give a lot more relevancy to this area.

Here’s an example. For a pest control site, think of the terms that would best convey what a surfer would require a pest control firm to do. Just using “pest control”, would put it in too much competition with thousands other sites. However, a surfer might enter a search for “termite baiting” or “carpenter ant”, services that the pest control firm offered and are logical enough that real surfers would use them. Since they are more specific, there would be less competition, and there is a better probability that they will get a higher spot on the results page.

Interior pages
Also, it is important to get interior website pages listed on search engines. This is particularly important if you have optimized them for high relevancy. 

You'll notice that when you submit your URL to certain engines only the default or home page gets accepted. If you try to submit interior pages, it seems to take forever to get a listing, if you get one at all. You may have optimized 5 or 10 pages for high relevancy to draw strong traffic, but what good is it unless you can get the robots to index those other pages? 

So how can you get your interior pages indexed? Simply create a site map page.

When the search engines come to visit, they will crawl to the site map page and also capture the links from your site map. The next thing you know your interior pages will start performing a lot better and pull additional traffic to the site. 

By employing these web positioning strategies, your site should be highly ranked but still may not capture an overly impressive number of hits. Although the number of passive surfers may be low, the surfers that do find your site through the search engine are more likely to be the kind of surfer looking to do business with you since they are specifying exactly what they are looking for. Since you created the site primarily to generate business, this is the kind of search engine optimization that you will be most happy with.

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