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Search Engine Optimization In An eCommerce World

Before one can fully understand the importance and necessity of implementing a search engine optimization program into their marketing mix, it is important to look first at the phenomenal statistics regarding Internet use. For example:

  • There are 7 new people on the Internet every second.
  • Every 4th person online is buying something right now.
  • One billion dollars in e-commerce transactions will be conducted this month.
  • Over one trillion dollars in e-commerce business will be generated this year.
  • 1 out of 8 dollars spent by consumers is spent on online transactions.

Furthermore, according to glreach, there were 649 million Internet users online worldwide in March 2003—a 14 percent increase in just one year! That comes out to be about 88 million new users in that year alone.

There can be no question that the Internet is continuing to grow at an amazing pace. While the fact that so many consumers are online is important, it is even more crucial to understand what these consumers are doing while online. The two most outstanding reasons people use the Internet is to communicate (e-mail) and to research (using search engines).
Again, here are a few statistics regarding how people spend their time online.

  • 88% of all Internet users use search engines
  • 37% of online shoppers used Google to search for online retailers. The search was used by 25 percent of consumers searching the Web for holiday purchases
  • For car buying decisions, search engine advertising proved itself a stronger influencer (26 percent) than TV ads (17 percent)
  • Virtually all affluent adult shoppers (HHI $100K+) use the Web to make or research their purchases. For automobile, computer, and travel purchases, Internet use is extraordinarily high (over 90 percent of those surveyed)

When consumers go to the Internet, they use search engines because they can find the products they want, reviews, descriptions, consumer ratings, and the best price possible. Consumers are less concerned with where they buy their products as much as they are concerned with how much product they can get for their dollar.

Thus, each day millions of people use search engines to look for items they want to buy on the Internet. Those businesses that appear on the first page of these searches are getting 50% to 70% of the business from these customers. There is little doubt that potential customers are currently using search engines to search for the products and services your company sells. The only real question is, What are you doing to help them find you, instead of your competitors?

There are two ways to have your website appear on the first page of any search. The first is to engage in a pay-per-click campaign. The second is to appear on the first page due to free or natural search results. Getting high, natural rankings in major search engines is one of the most efficient and cost-effective ways to market and sell your products on the Internet.

Search engines use complex, mathematical algorithms to determine which websites are ranked high and which are not. If your website matches the criteria, you’re ranked high. If it doesn’t, then you’re not. It’s that simple.

Search engine optimization, then, is designing your website and all of your eCommerce actions so that when consumers search for keywords that are central to your company, your website will appear at the top of the search results.

For example, if your company sells running shoes (a keyword that receives 127,575 searches per month), it would be very beneficial to be one of the top websites on the search engine. If you received only a small percentage of new visitors each month from that top ranking, it would still result in a significant source of revenue.

It might help to think of it this way: At least 10 million Internet searches are performed every month within each major business category. If only 1% of those searches found your website, you would have over 100,000 new visitors to your site each month. If only 1% of those visitors purchased your products or services, you would be making more than 1,000 new sales per month. (The worldwide average is 2.5%, making these conservative estimates.)

The scope of this article is not to look at the methods behind search engine optimization. Instead, it is to look at the importance the Internet is playing in business development today and in the future. The traditional marketing schemes of the past still have their place, but advertising dollars must be allocated to Internet marketing.

Five And A Half Ways To Amp Up Your Search Engine Optimization

Statistics show that 85% of pages visited on the Internet come from people who have gotten there from a search engine. Statistically, people look first at the top of the first page of the regular search results, then the bottom, and then they go to the sponsored listings.

There is an art and science to being ranked highly on search engines. The science is formatting the pages with the right meta tags and submitting them in the right way to the search engines. The art is to make the site look and read normally despite filling it with keywords.

Here are five and a half ways to get a higher ranking and more visitors:

  1. Pick the right Key Words and Phrases
    These are the words and phrases that people will put into search engines to try to find your product, business, or organization. Having good keywords and phrases is foundational to good optimization. This takes research using such tools as Wordtracker and Overture’s Keyword Suggestion Tool. They give you a good idea of what people are searching for and what you should focus on.
  2. Use Good Header Tags
    Header tags are hidden in the code within your Web page. The most important one is the “title” tag, which isn’t considered a META tag. It tells what’s within your page and it’s important to have your keyphrases in it. It is also good to have keyphrases in your “description” META tag, though it doesn’t rank nearly as high as the “title” tag.
  3. Use Keyphrases in Your Visible Page Title
    Provide a unique title for each page on your site that is chock full of keywords and phrases. Search engines like this because it means that there is a higher probability that your site is a good match for what people are looking for. This is should be placed within the H1 tag (top heading) of your page and is visible to the visitor. It also pays to have your keyphrases in subtitles on the page.
  4. Provide Plenty of Content on Your Site
    Shoot to have at least 450 characters on your page. Concentrate on putting keywords and phrases in the first paragraph and last paragraphs.
  5. Secure a Lot of Related Incoming Links
    The more sites linked to your site, the higher you will be ranked by the search engines. These links can be from strategic partners, vendors, directories, or other types of sites with whom you exchange links.

If you are a website developer, put in your contract that you are going to put a developer’s link at the bottom of the site, such as, “Website design by Green Chair Marketing Group,” with an active link to your site. This will help your site grow in its link popularity.

5.5 Keep Optimizing Your Site
The more content on your site, the better. I suggest adding a couple of pages a month, whether it’s case studies, more product information, testimonials, articles, press releases, etc. If you add just five new pages a month, you will have 60 new pages by the end of the year, and over 100 pages by the end of the second year.

You are bound to catch some people you would have missed because there is more content to choose from. And your site will be more highly ranked by Google because they highly weigh sites that have more content.

While you’re at it, continue to get relevant links coming to your site. Google loves incoming links. And you might have people click through to your site from these other places.

If you don’t have time to work on the optimization or would feel more comfortable having someone else do it, consider strongly hiring a professional to do your search engine optimization. That way you can focus your energies on sales or creating more and better products.

One caveat, I would stay away from companies that initiate contact with you through emails or phone calls. They often use techniques that can get you severely penalized by search engines. Ask people you know who have been successful in their search engine positioning who they use.

Search Engines Are Doomed To Fail

A very provocative title, isn’t it? Based on the latest news it is not far from the truth. Over the years search engines were the target number one on the hunt for visitors and traffic to millions of websites. In an attempt to keep the search results accurate and still deliver what the user is looking for, search engines cracked down on spammers and other sneaky web masters who wanted to beat the system with some very innovative tricks.

Not only did these tricky web masters skew the search results, but they also forced the search engines into some drastic measures that were not very effective and many innocent bystanders found themselves as a victim of this. From one day to the other many webmasters watched their 200+ pages on the website completely vanish from the index. Not a trace is left of a once high-ranked website. How could this happen?

Like no other media, search engines are pressed to deliver the most accurate and recent information available at any point in time. This means that their robots have to crawl more web pages in a shorter period. To fight spammers they introduced some smart code that will detect fraudulent webmasters and ban their websites from their index. This saves time because they don’t have to revisit this site ever. However, there’s a huge catch. Web pages that look perfectly normal to the human eye will be wrongfully flagged as an attempt to trick the robots.

We all know how successful computers are to mimic the human brain. This might be possible in the future, but for now, this is wishful thinking. Until then more and more innocent webmasters will fall victim to a questionable practice, which by the way didn’t improve the quality of the search results.

This whole game was created by webmasters who wanted to achieve top rankings in record time and search engines who didn’t like this at all. They declared war on these webmasters and that’s why we are facing a major problem with search engines today. To make matters worst. This is not the only problem every webmaster has to be aware of these days.

Did you notice that the search results page of every major search engine looks more and more like a billboard ad? Ever since they realized that webmasters are willing to pay for top listings, they increased the space of their sponsored ads. Google places them on the top and right, and Yahoo on the top, right, and bottom sides of their results page. Sooner or later the majority of the search results will be paid inclusions, which completely contradicts the original intent of the search engines, accurate results.

Don’t get me wrong, search engines will always be a part of the internet and they will play a vital role in accessing information. However, I don’t think that they will remain the gatekeeper of global information transfer. Both Google and Yahoo build their success on this assumption.

Seven Web Site Tips To Attract Search Engine Crawlers

Search engine positioning is the most important online quest both for beginners and professionals. Why? 85% of internet people rely on search engines to find something they want.

The fact is that we can’t live without search engines. It is so easy for us to find what we want on the internet. According to Netcraft (2002), there are approximately 38,118,962 websites. So imagine if we don’t have search engines to find things for us.

But to get indexed in search engines especially staying in the first 5 search engine results from pages requires a continuous process of website optimization. Here are some tips that are useful to make search engines find your web pages and rank them well:

  1. Search engine crawlers love content web pages:
    Always put some text with your main keywords. Say you are offering a search engine optimization service. See the difference between these two lines: “Our service comes with 24/7 support”

“Our search engine optimization service comes with 24/7 support”. Get the point? But repeating the same word unnecessarily may not be good.

  1. Text in images can not be read by search engines:
    Image-only pages usually get poor ranking. Try to cut down the number of images. If you want to put images put them on web pages with content and ‘ALT’ tabs.
  2. Links from the already indexed website:
    The most important tip is to keep a link to your new website from a website that is already listed in search engines. Search engine crawlers go from page to page through these links finding new websites.
  3. Links between page to page of the same website:
    Search engine crawlers move from one web page to other through navigational links. So don’t forget to keep links to your main pages from all pages. That means all important pages of your website are reachable from each other.
  4. Text Links:
    Try to keep text links instead of a button or image pointing to a web page. Make sure this text link has one keyword that pertains to your business.
  5. Javascript on your web pages:
    Minimize javascript effects and the search engine crawler doesn’t get the content in between … tags if you use the javascript to include content on web pages.
  6. URL of pages:
    Not all search engines don’t crawl pages with special characters generated dynamically by CGI scripts. So try to avoid presenting your web pages
    as CGI-generated pages.

Easy And Simple Steps To Get Listed In Search Engines

Search engines are one of THE best resources for free advertising. Better your website’s search engine position better be the traffic generation. 85% of internet users go to search engines and find the information they want.

So you better hurry to follow these simple tips to get a guaranteed listing and good positioning in search engines.

  1. Put a link to your new website from an already indexed website (s). If you don’t have a website that is already indexed then propose a joint venture with other website owners for link exchanges. Needless to say that the website you are going to exchange links must be indexed already.

Search engine crawlers love to follow links from one website to other. So there will be more chances of your site crawling through these links.

  1. Put some content on every page. Minimize graphics. Search engines can not read graphics. Only ALT tags (not all search engines). So if there is a graphic don’t forget to put the ALT tag.

Try to sprinkle some important keywords that pertain to your website all through the content. Search engines give weight to the pages where the keyword appears more often. Again DON’T spam the search engines.

  1. Links: Put links from every page to other important sections of your website. Your home page may not contain details about your products. But make sure to insert links to other product pages.

Most people keep buttons and graphics to links. Instead, put text links. Though they don’t look attractive to human eyes, give weight to your pages. For example instead of a button with ‘search engine tips’, you can keep a text link with ‘search engine tips’ and link to that page. Certainly, it is a very important keyword for a website that sells an ebook on search engine optimization.

  1. Metatags: The title tag is very important. Especially for Google. If you get a good position in Google means, your website traffic will be staggering. It is worth it.

Search for your web site related keywords and use them for the title, and keywords and to keep them in your content.

  1. Update Your Website: Most webmasters neglect this part of search engine optimization. Do it regularly like every 3 – 6 months.

Adding some content, changing keywords according to popularity and updating the present content, etc. will do the job.