One of the simplest, and yet most misunderstood aspects of online marketing is how to make sure your website comes up in the first two to three pages when someone uses a search engine to find out about your industry or product. The confusion is made worse by the search engines themselves because they want you to throw gobs of money at them, buying “sponsored links” tied to key words and phrases relating to your business. That’s great if you have a huge advertising budget, but if you’re doing things on a shoestring sponsored links just aren’t an option!
Enter the world of “organic listings”…
Unlike paid listings, organic listings have nothing to do with pay-per-click (PPC) marketing, banner ads, or anything else that makes you pay a fee every time your site or link is displayed. Instead, organic listings reflect how well you have crafted your website, and whether or not you have a decent grasp of what your customers really want.
Think about your own mindset when you use a search engine to find something. You probably have a pretty good idea of what you are looking for, and you type words into the search form related to your ultimate goal. When you click the “Search” button, the search engine takes your query (the words you typed in the form) and compares those words to what it has in its database of websites. The exact manner of matching your query to its data is different for each search engine, but all of them will make their best guess at what it is you want to know about. Then it is up to you to pick one of the sites listed in response to your search, or to refine your search and try again.
Now let’s turn it around. The key for you, as the person or company creating the website, is to make sure you have put enough information into your website so the search engines can match your site to what your customers or clients want. That means you have to provide them with content, and lots of it!
The best way to provide this content is through periodical articles relating to your industry, product and/or service(s). By infusing your websites with a steady feed of informational articles you not only provide more goodies for the search engine robots to gobble up and take home to the “mother ship”, but you also expand the number of ways and reasons that people will find you courtesy of a search. Think of it like casting a wider net for your potential customers.
Another benefit of these articles and updates is that once search engines pick up on the fact that there is new content being posted to your site on a regular basis they will increase the frequency of their visits in order to keep their information current. A busy site also increases the trust factor because the maintenance implies stability, and that trust factor is a big issue with Google! Trust me!
Further, each article provides an opportunity to demonstrate credibility in the eyes of the public. If there are 30 different articles addressing conditions or issues that can be improved by using your product or service, you have 30 unique opportunities to generate a sale by capturing the attention, interest and desire of a potential customer, inspiring their conviction and finally the action of buying your product or services.
Add to this the fact that each unique article is a new opportunity to include variations on your dominant themes. If one article focuses on home improvement and another article addresses energy efficient appliances, each one of those articles is targeting a slightly different audience and will contain key words and phrases appropriate to those audiences. The more varied these articles, the better and deeper your search engine saturation becomes and the more effective your website will be at attracting customers.
There are some very important tips and tricks to making your content “tasty” for search engines, but the most important thing is for you to start thinking about what your customers want.
Your homework assignment is to take a pad of paper and write down the 10-15 most common questions you get asked by your customers. Start with that, and next time we’ll go over how to turn that simple list of questions into gold!