Search Engine Marketing: Internet Gardening Tips For 2005
With the major elections now behind us, we can once again concentrate on getting back to business. In Canada, we don’t even have Hockey to distract us this year. Here are a few gardening tips to help you prepare for marketing your business online in 2005.
Microsoft will have the bugs in their new search engine ironed out sometime in 2005, so be prepared to have your web site optimized for it. This may be an ongoing process for the first while, so planning a little more money into your web site marketing budget would be prudent.
I strongly suggest you begin to gather quotes from search engine optimization companies as soon as possible. Many of the reputable firms will stand by the quote they give you now for a period of time, some up to ninety days. Getting the quotes now also allows you to ‘gear up’ for next year.
Take stock of where this year’s online marketing dollars went. Did that paid advertising or pay per click advertising truly deliver a good return on your investment? Drop the campaigns that are not bearing fruit. Fall is the best time to prune your trees. There are literally hundreds of advertising programs and venues out there. Do a little research and pick a few new ones for 2005.
Learn as much as you can about Blogs and RSS feeds. These tools will be all the rage in online marketing in 2005. They are sprouting like dandelions out there right now and show no signs of slowing down. Blogs are great for letting your clients and future customers know what you are up to and they provide many links for your web site. Blogs and blogging will be a bumper crop next year.
Go organic. The trend in online marketing is swinging away from entirely paid programs to the much more functional and “organic” search engine optimization. Concentrate on getting the best listings and rankings in directories like DMOZ and Yahoo! and aim for good placement within Google and MSN.
Plant more seeds. Spread the good word about your web site through various Ezines and article posts. Join a discussion forum. Plant as many seeds as you can in as wide a path as you can. Plant them everywhere, all the time. Never miss an opportunity to put your web site’s address in front of people’s eyes.
Always include your full URL in your email signature file. I wish I had a nickel for every time someone sent me an email with their web site address starting with the www. A complete waste of time. Most email and word processing programs do not recognize this as a ‘live’ link, thus if the recipient wishes to visit your web site they must cut your domain name from the original email you and paste it into a browser window. Bottom line? You’re making them do way too much work. Your making them do the weeding in your garden. Adding your entire URL like this http://www.yourdomain.com/ activates the link within browsers and email programs. Now all they have to do is click on it. Viola! Instant traffic for your site. It’s amazing how a single small change like this can increase your traffic and help your business grow.
Plant your full address on your web site. Make certain your entire street address, city state, and postal/zip code is included on nearly every page of your web site. Search is going local these days. The engines are gearing up to offer local searches to locations all around the world. For example, “Italian Restaurants in San Francisco.” People will be entering these types of search queries by the millions, into hand held computers, laptops, cell phones and cameras next year. You want them to find you if they are visiting your location. Plant your full address on your web site.
Plant a local community garden. There are bound to be other people in your community who share your passion for business. Find them and start a breakfast (or dinner) club. Discussing your experiences with others expands your garden and brings in brand new varieties of ideas. It also feels good to find like minded people. Give these relationships plenty of water and sunshine, they will often last for years.
Watch your garden grow. Follow these simple internet marketing gardening steps and watch your online business bloom and grow.
Guest Columnist Robert K. McCourty is a founding partner and the Marketing Director of Metamend Software and Design Ltd., a cutting edge search engineoptimization (SEO) and web site promotion and marketing company.Scores of Metamend Client web sites rank near or on top of the searchengines for their respective search terms.