Organizations that aren't pursuing an online marketing strategy in the current economy are going to lose business to competitors that are.
Shrinking advertising budgets make businesses focus extra effort on the online marketing strategies, and one element vital to their online campaigns is a search-optimized Web site, according to advertising and marketing agency Adamus Media.
Technique of Search-Engine Optimization
Search-engine optimization (SEO) is a technique that makes a Web site rise near the top when prospective customers do a search of the products or services. Since most people who conduct a Web search are actively seeking a provider for what a company offers, this is the most vital time to capture their attention.
"A customer looking to buy a trailer for his boat is actively searching online for your product, and at the same time, you are ready to give that prospect the content he needs," says Sylwia Majewski, president of Adamus Media. "Marketing online helps you serve desired content to the buyer at the right time - precisely when they need it and are ready to buy."
SEO aids in what is called "organic rankings" - those that appear from search without paying for any keywords. Usually, SEO entails peppering a Web site with common terms and phrases often typed into search engines by prospective customers. Higher search ranking can also be achieved by strong page titles, descriptors and meta-tags, additional information included in the Web site's HTML and which are visible to search engines but invisible to visitors. Above all, SEO is based on a Web site's written content.
"When optimizing your site for search engines, it's important to think about what keywords your customers use while searching on the Internet," Majewski says. "If you make an environmentally friendly product, for example, you'll want to include a variation of key terms such as 'green,' or 'environmentally friendly.' That's exactly how Adamus Media helps [its] clients move to the top of search engines - we identify keyword lists, create appropriate content and improve tags contained within the Web site's code."
More Planning Tips
Adamus Media offers these additional tips for planning to optimize a Web site for search engines:
• Avoid too much flash content. Flash is a great tool but should be skillfully implemented into the design of your site, since flash content is not yet searchable by search engines.
• The most economical way to do search-engine optimization is during the design process, not after. The cost is higher after the Web site is done because often the design structure has to be adjusted.
• Don't transfer brochure content straight onto the Web site. Make sure the Web site editor is familiar with writing specifically for the Web and the content is reviewed by a search-engine specialist for keyword density, links and HTML tags.
• Web sites with dynamic content should use static URLs so that search engines understand how to index your pages.
• If a company is about to design or redesign a Web site, it needs to make sure the Web-development company it is working with is capable of not only designing an eye-pleasing Web site but also is experienced in creating search-engine-friendly sites.