marketing & sales: Optimal Power
When people are searching on the Internet for companies, products or services such as yours, the vast majority start their searches with one of the leading search engines.
Is your company's website found near the top of the list of the search results? Does your website include relevant keywords and phrases that people actually use when searching?
If not, your site will never reach the top of the organic search results. With that in mind, consider these questions:
• Have you asked your customers and prospects which words or phrases they would use to search for companies, products and services such as yours?
• Did you research which of those words and phrases are actually used most often when people are searching?
• Did you include the more popular keywords and phrases in your URLs, page titles, headlines, body copy and text links?
Did you consider that today's search engines probably can't read and index the text in your graphics, Flash animations, PDFs or dynamically built pages?
Think about that as you ask yourself:
• Are you loading your text before your graphics and Flash animations in the source code of your various web pages?
• Are you giving your graphics file names that include relevant keywords?
• Are you including keywords and phrases in tags for each of your graphics?
• Are you including indexable text in the source code of your dynamically built pages?
• Are you using the latest version of Adobe Acrobat to make your PDF files indexable for the search engines?
• Have you included a site map on your home page, pointing to all of your site's individual pages?
• Does your site map include a lot of keywords and phrases in the page links and descriptive copy for each page of your website?
Do you keep the content on your website's pages fresh and up-to-date?
If nothing has changed on your web pages, the search engines will skip them. However, if the search engines see that your pages have changed, they have a reason to re-index them, and you get a new chance to move your web pages to the top of the search engine results. Therefore, are you tweaking your various web pages regularly, making minor changes and updates where needed?
Are you adding new pages to your site that include in-depth content related to the most popular relevant keywords and phrases?
Are you avoiding the dirty tricks of search engine optimization?
The search engines want their users to find relevant results when searching. So they frown on—and usually figure out—the sneaky tricks some companies are using to try to get their web pages to appear at the top of the search results.
When the search engines do figure out the tricks being used, and they will, they will change their search results criteria or remove the offending websites from their directories altogether.
So play it straight, focusing on including relevant and popular keywords and phrases on your website, getting links from other relevant and popular sites, and refreshing your content frequently.
By M.H. "Mac" McIntosh, CBC
M. H. "Mac" McIntosh, CBC, is a business-to-business marketing consultant and publisher of the newsletter: "Sales Lead Report." McIntosh also teaches university-level courses in sales and marketing, direct marketing and telemarketing, and conducts seminars and workshops for leading corporations and associations around the world. He can be reached at (800) 944-5553, firstname.lastname@example.org and by visiting www.sales-lead-experts.com.