You have a website and need to know how to “get in the search engines.” Or, you are just starting a website and need to know the same thing. The bottom line is, whether you have a website or just beginning, you need visitors.
Conventional wisdom says get listed for some search terms (often called keywords) and you’re all set.
This isn’t necessarily the case, however. Search engines have a business too. Their business is in giving their users the most relevant results for their search. That means the role of the search engine is not about marketing your website. It’s actually about meeting the needs of their customers – everyone who is looking for something on the internet.
I often tell my clients, don’t expect help from the search engines. And certainly not right away. You won’t begin to see much traffic from the search engines until your website (and your business) have a level of relevancy on the web for your products or services.
So how do you gain relevancy? By getting lots of visitors to your site.
I know, I can hear you saying, “Wait a minute! If I’m going to get no help from the search engines in getting visitors until my site has some relevancy, but most people use the search engines, how will I ever get rankings? And actually, I’m not even sure what ‘relevancy’ means.”
Well, being a relevant website first means that the content of your website is consistent with your business focus and that you’re using key terminology in your content to describe what your business. Secondly, it means that within your business niche you are mainstream enough to be important to potential clients while being unique enough to set yourself apart from the mainstream.
Robert Middleton and www.actionplan.com do this very well. Robert is a marketing consultant, for the most part and yet he sets himself apart by offering a very specific approach to marketing. His website uses ‘mainstream’ marketing terminology while at the same time using terms more unique to his niche. And, since Robert’s been doing this for a while, he’s built a large following of clients that have helped him gain high relevancy, and high rankings, with the search engines for his business.
And, you can do this too.
But know that it takes time. Just with actionplan.com, it takes time to ‘convince’ the search engines that your site is relevant to their user’s searches. So how do you ‘convince’ Google, Yahoo, MSN and the others. Here’s some beginning tips…
- Content – Make sure your content is consistent across you entire website. Use similar terms throughout the site. Whether you have high search rankings or not, having great content is vital to your potential clients.
- Freshen it up – Along with great content, update and refresh you content constantly. The more pertinent information on your website about your business and services, the more relevant your website will appear. Plus, it keeps visitors coming back.
- Link it – Frequently check links to other websites to be sure they’re current. Broken links is one way that search engine will consider your site less relevant.
- Link up – Get reciprocal links from other relevant websites. One great way to raise in relevancy is to have links from pages in your business field that already have high relevancy. This shows the search engines that you have an importance with other websites that they find relevant. And, the more sites link to you, the more likely you’ll draw traffic from those sites as well.
- Write Away – Write articles for other websites. Everyone needs great content. Write and submit articles for other websites and newsletters. This is a great way to not only market but to network as well.
- Blog it – Starting a blog is a great idea…but not the only way to gain relevancy. Get other popular blogs to link to your site. Or better yet, write posting with your links that point traffic back to your website. You can do this by submitting comments and also by writing blog entries.
- Opt-in – Of course, a great strategy, if you’re not already doing this, is to offer an email newsletter from your website. Visitors sign up and regular installments of your newsletter. You then post your newsletter articles on your website, giving you more site content – which is great in making you relevant. Newsletters are great ways to keep your content fresh.
All of these options are available to you with little or no cost. You find other sites to link to by using the search engines and writing to the owners (free). Update content using content management system (free – if already setup). Newsletter list (free or little cost, if already setup). Subitting articles to other websites (free).
Of course, if you need to add features to your website, such as content management (giving you the ability to make your own content updates) or adding a newsletter sign-up form, there will be some initial cost – which usually pay for themselves very quickly.
While I’ve listed here a number of things you can do yourself to gain relevancy and draw more visitors to your website, you may want to discuss your specific situation. Or you may need a service added to your website. You can contact me at any time for a FREE 25-minute phone consultation to get a quote on site updates.
Good luck, and have fun.