These days, most businesses have a website and understand the importance of being online, but many are asking how to get the most out of their investment.
It’s one thing to have a website, but it’s a challenge ensure your customers can find it when searching for your products or services online.
Having previously worked at eBay in Australia, many small business owners ask me how they can increase the visibility of their website. One insight is that your customers will rarely remember your web address, instead will often type your business name (or the products/services you offer) into search engines such as Google. Take for example a recent study by Yahoo which indicated that four out of 10 prospective automotive customers research cars online via search engines before choosing which car to buy. For me, the next step beyond having a website is to ensure that consumers can find your website via search engines. Here are some tips to start making this happen:
- 1. If you haven’t already done so, it’s useful to submit your website to Yahoo, Google and MSN. That way when consumers are searching for your products on either of these search engines, your business is indexed and has a chance of being matched to that search.
- 2. Undertake keyword research. Keyword research should form the foundation of any search marketing efforts because without it, we cannot know what our customers search for. Again, using the example of an automotive dealer, would customers search for “Used Car” or “Cheap Car”? “Car Dealer” or “Car Dealership”? It’s important to target keywords that your customers are using to describe what they are looking for, be aware that these may be different to what you’d use to describe your business.
- 3. Sustained efforts will yield the best return. Search engine optimisation (SEO) enables your content to be found where and when searchers are looking for it. The caveat is that SEO is an ongoing process; it’s not a once off solution and usually takes three to six months to achieve stellar results.
* Scot Ennis is the director of Switched On Media, www.switchedonmedia.com.au
* The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and don’t necessarily reflect the opinions of DYNAMICBUSINESS.com or the publishers.