Category

local search

Why Optimize for Search?

By | local search, Online Marketing, optimization, Search Engine, Search Engine Optimization, SEO | 3 Comments

Your business has a website and it looks great (or at least you think so). Customers say they like it as well. What is with this optimization thing?  Why should I optimize my business website? It all starts with what you want your website to achieve. Local business websites generally fall into two categories:

The website that serves existing customers.

The first requires little or no optimization. Existng customers know the business, they probably already have the website address from a business card or email. Generally the lack of competition for the search phrase that is a business name means that a “search by name” will bring up the business website. A website that serves existing customers is both easy to maintain and unrewarding.

The website that serves existing customers and generates new customers.

This type of website is different. It takes understanding and consistent effort. To understand some of what it takes you can review the lesson content in our online marketing training. In January 2007 there 106,875,138 websites on the internet. In January 2011 there were 273,301,445 websites. That is 156% growth in just four years. This growth makes it more difficult than ever to get found online by people looking for your products or services. The need to optimize is greater than ever and optimization is getting more complex.

Optimizing your website is essential for driving new customers. When a search is conducted for anything online, it causes the search engine of choice to query the database of billions of  web style documents. In truth it is similar to a standard database query just extremely more complex. From this query the search engines want to focus on three areas:

  1. Relevance
  2. Prominence
  3. Distance

The search engines use these matrix to return results that are relevant or useful to the searcher’s query, The results are ranked in order of importance. It is all three components that the process of search engine optimization is designed to influence.

If you want to gain new customers search engine optimization is a critical component of any local business marketing plan.

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Social Search: Its not just about rank!

By | Business Growth, Local Business, local search, Search Engine, Search Engine Optimization, SEO | No Comments

When I see search engine firms promise #1Rank in search results, I cringe. They are giving us all a bad name. Social search has made it difficult, if not impossible, to guarantee rank to any business. With search results so individualized, it is possible for two people to type in the same search term and come up with completely different results.

In the beginning, it was just about getting your information on the web. Then keywords were all the rage. Then we entered the world of content. And although content still reigns supreme, relevant content from your social connections is the new variable.

Google has made it possible to individualize search results. “Your Social Search experience is personal and the highlighted content that you see is unique to you and your social connections.  Your social connections could include people in your Gmail, public friends on sites like Twitter or Flickr and public friends of these friends. Google is not just giving you the best results, but they are giving you the best search results for you.

What does this mean for business? It means social media, reviews, social bookmarking and commenting are all effecting search and are all becoming increasingly important. To stay ahead of the curve, businesses have to incorporate their prominence in their social media strategy.

In my opinion, it not only makes search better, but it makes businesses better. The quality of your web content has to be better, you don’t achieve prominence with bad content. The product or service a business provides has to be better, reviews influence purchase.

So next time somebody promises a #1 rank in search results, ask them, #1 for who? And remember in the end rank doesn’t matter, results do.

Search Engines: Beginners Guide – Part 1

By | Bing, Google, Local Business, local search, Online Marketing, Search Engine, Search Engine Optimization, SEO, Yahoo | No Comments

It’s no secret; at Turn The Page Online Marketing, we are a bunch of nerds. We have a long standing rivalry of Apple vs Android. Our sales team has Stormtroopers. We communicate via Google chat, while sitting in the same room with each other. And I bet you right now, on a beautiful and sunny afternoon, I am not the only one sitting in front of a computer working. Or thinking about working.

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