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Internet Marketing

Steve Wilson has over 35 years as a senior level marketing professional and is the first San Antonio’s based Internet Marketing Consultant for Worldsites.Network. Worldsites is the world’s fastest growing full service Internet Marketing Company with over 300 consultants in 62 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.

Most website developers feel that a well-designed site with good content is all that is needed to have a successful website. This is evidenced by Search Engine Reports’ recent article that over 70% of the first generation websites do not use Meta Tags. Yet, according to Web Site Garage, close to 85% of users initially find sites using search engines. As you should have learned in Internet 101, having properly constructed Meta Tags is crucial to earning a high ranking on the majority of the search engines. Therefore, in my opinion, many website developers have fallen into the trap of thinking that if you build a better mousetrap the world will come knocking on your door. 

As someone who has been involved in marketing for over 35 years, I have come to believe that to have a successful website, the site has to be like a milk stool with three legs – marketed aggressively, good informational content, and well-designed. Let’s address the importance of the aggressive marketing leg and "being found" on the Internet. 

Aggressive marketing strategies to position sites high on search engine listings is actually much more important than design or content when considering relative importance to the website owner. Think about this. Ask someone, "How is your website performing? Are you getting results?" My company’s research shows that in over 90% of the cases they will respond, "Not very well, I’m not getting all the traffic I expected". The web owner’s ultimate expectations are more often focused on the traffic than design or content. 

Getting your website positioned high in the search engines ranking so the site is "being found" will only then make it possible for the well designed site with great graphics and wonderful content to enter into the business equation. 

 Search engines use "robots" (sometimes also referred to as spider’s or crawlers). Search engines robots are actually computer programs that search the Internet day and night for new information and then store this information in a database. Within days, or more likely weeks or months, of placing your website online the site will be catalogued/indexed and "ranked" by these robots and then become available for search on that particular search engine. Some search engines only store the first twenty-five words of your website, other search engines store your entire website, and each has unique characteristics of how they work. If a word or phrase used in your website matches the "exact" search criteria of a user, then your website will come up as a match for their search. The critical question is whether your site’s position is in the top 20 or is it listed in the top half million. 84% of users end a search if they don’t find what they want in the top 20, so it is vital to get your site into the search engine’s top 20 for your product category. 

To be positioned in the top 20 is not luck but is the result of using a multitude of techniques available to the website internet marketer. The most obvious is the Meta Tags portion of every web page. In web design, Meta Tags are "data about data" and serves as a micro-index to your site. The Meta Tags portion of a web page was specifically designed to assist search engines and is the first thing that a robot views when cataloging/indexing your page. Also, the Title and Description Meta Tags are what are shown when a search engine initially displays your site. 

More importantly, if you add powerful keywords and phrases to your Title, Description, and Keywords portions of the Meta Tags area, it will provide the search engines with the "critical" words that are important for matches, and if done right, will significantly raise your ranking. 

To complicate the issue, each search engine has unique characteristics and uses different criteria on how they catalog/index and determine the ranking on their search engine. There are several software packages available on the market that can assist you with dealing with search engines. Some will automatically generate your keywords and phrases and others will automate the search engine registration process for you. I suggest you go to <www.searchenginewatch.com> for information on the programs that are available. 

The following advanced techniques can be used, but they should only be undertaken once you are knowledgeable of how each of the search engines works. Otherwise, the search engines will consider these techniques spamming and either penalize or ban your site. 

Mirror pages 
Generate multiple copies of the same page and then getting these duplicate pages cataloged/indexed.  Instead of a site only coming up once during a search, it is possible that it may appear 4 or 5 times. 

Deep promotions 
Instead of just submitting your home page, submit each and every page to each search engine. You can even take it to a level beyond that and extract each and every linking page and submit them all to the search engines. 

Doorway pages 
A page that is specifically generated for a particular search engine based on what you believe the search engine likes. 

Cloaking/Phantom scripting 
Specially developed web coding that only a specific search engine can "see" and prevents your competitors from seeing how you are earning your ranking. 

Finally, not all "search engines" are search engines. Yahoo, AOL Search, Netscape Search, Lycos, Open Directory, etc. are actually human-compiled guides. You find an appropriate category/categories for your site, submit a short description to that category by the specific directory’s rules, and if the directory’s category editor likes your page only then is it categorized. The information in the description, rather than on your web pages, affects how you are ranked.

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