Now more than ever, it is vitally important for your business to have a strong Internet presence if you expect to be noticed. The days are long gone when your potential customers look for the products and services they wish to purchase using the Yellow Pages or the newspaper. The majority of your prospects will naturally go online first and use their favorite search engine, usually Google, to research businesses that can provide the products and services they wish to buy.
If you don’t already have a web site, it is critical that you get one immediately.
Having a website establishes you as a real business in the eyes of your prospects since almost all companies are online to some degree. Even if you are just a one-man operation, having an attractive, professional website can put you on a level playing field with businesses that are much larger than your own. That is important for your survival in today’s competitive marketplace.
Even if you have a website but you are not realizing much traffic or revenues from that site, you’re really not much further along.
If your site does not appear on the first three pages of Google for your main keywords, and realistically on the first page, you may as well not be listed at all. Most people will never go beyond the third page when looking for a desired product or service. In fact I have read several studies that state approximately two thirds of your potential visitors will not go beyond the first page of results when searching for something. So as you can see it becomes a matter of survival to not only have a website but have a site that ranks well for your most important keywords.
Ironically, many business owners are confused as to what their most important keywords really are.
Often times the most obvious key words in a business owner’s mind are not really the keywords or phrases that a potential customer would use when searching Google for example. This is one example where the service of a skilled professional, experienced in such matters can pay for itself many times over.
Once the most important keywords have been determined, it is important to make sure that the content on all of your pages is visually appealing, easy to read and is relevant to both your visitors as well as the search engines who periodically visit your site. By their very nature, web pages have a great deal of information hiding “behind the curtain” so to speak, that is very important to the search engines but invisible to most of your viewers. This hidden data helps the search engines determine what your pages are about and how relevant the content is with regards to the title, for example. This type of optimization is what is known as on-page factors with regards to how a search engine analyzes and ranks your web pages. Having all the right elements properly matched on your page is certainly a start for having your web page appear higher in the rankings, however it is only the beginning.
There have been significant changes recently in the way that search engines, most importantly Google, rank your pages.
No longer is it good enough to have relevant content just on your pages alone. This is what’s known as on-page factors. More importantly, the search engines now place an even greater relevance on what is called the off-page factors. These include such items as the number of inbound links you have to your site, the relevance and search engine ranking of the sites that link to you, the anchor text used to link to your site (the actual linked word on the page), the age of the domain of the site that links to you and many other factors as well.
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The Rise of Social Media
Additionally, there has been an explosive growth in social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Squidoo, Hubpages and hundreds more. Having a presence on these types of sites as well as corresponding links to your own site from these pages is an essential part of a well rounded strategy to compete in today’s online marketplace.
With the ever increasing number of new businesses coming online, as well as new users, the Internet has become a very dynamic and highly sophisticated battlefield that one must constantly monitor in order to maintain a viable position in the marketplace. This requires very specific strategies tailored to your specific business as well as timely and consistent implementation of these strategies. Without this consistent effort on a monthly basis, your site will eventually lose its rankings and the number of visitors to your site, and the corresponding income will also decline accordingly.