Search Engine Tunnel Vision

SEM Tips“I want our site to be number one on Google”

The number of times a client has uttered those words to us (or a close variation on the theme) is somewhat staggering.

Sure, we all want it. And for certain parameters, we can get it for you. But while Search Engine Optimization is a very important component of both web development and your overall marketing platform, it cannot stand alone.

Like anything worthwhile, coming up in the fiercely and tirelessly competed-for number one spot for any search word or phrase requires work. It requires quality setup work upfront, and it requires consistent maintenance work down the line. What many people don’t realize, is that it also requires support.

Imagine a scenario in which you’ve invested countless hours and considerable expense into getting your site into the number one spot on Google, to the exclusion of other online marketing endeavors. That’s fine, but now Google has decided (as they often do) to change a simple filter in their algorithm. Poof. Your site has fallen to page number two thousand or so. You’ve put all your eggs into one basket, and the basket’s fallen.

How will people find your company’s website now?

It’s always best to take a multi-faceted approach to marketing your services or business… an idiom as true in the virtual world as it is in the real one. You wouldn’t take out a single ad on one street corner and trust it to bring in all of your business… would you?

It’s more important to build a strong brand presence that people will recognize and trust than it is to simply be visible on page one. We all know there’s just as much garbage on that page as there are quality sites. In addition to building a strong search engine presence, you should spend an equal amount of time pursuing partnerships with other non-competitive sectors of the internet.

Supplementary Internet Marketing Options

  • Press Releases
    While these are reserved for newsworthy purposes (new product/service announcements, acquisitions, events and trade shows etc.), they are a great way to introduce visitors to your website who are looking for information directly related to your product or service. Press releases also an excellent way to build your brand name, and to establish yourself and your company as an authority in your field.
  • Directory listings
    This is one of the easiest ways to get your site indexed by search engines. There are many free directories that you can get your site listed in, and there are many fee-based directories that are worth the price of adding your site. The added value is that since your site is listed categorically, it helps to re-enforce what your site offers, since it will be found with similar sites.
  • Articles
    Share your expertise. While writing quality articles can be time-consuming and challenging, it is an extremely valuable asset to your site. In so doing, you are creating unique content that isn’t found anywhere else – a very specific criterion that search engines will reward you for. It also gives you an alternative method for explaining your product or services, without putting on the hard-sell. Finally, writing relevant and unique articles on a regular basis will naturally grow the size of your site, and will establish it as a hub of relevant information within your industry.
  • Newsletters
    This is an often-neglected approach that requires a bit of work, but pays off consistently. Your site should have an option or area in which visitors can sign up to receive a newsletter from your company. The people who do sign up feel that your site is worth their time, and that you are offering something interesting and valuable. Your newsletter is an outlet to promote new products and services to interested users without the risk of being intrusive, so if combined with the right amount of valuable content, it is one of the best places to make a sales pitch.
  • Blogs & RSS Feeds
    While sharing the same benefits outlined in writing your own articles, having an up-to-date blog with RSS on your site gives people a reason to check you out, and enhances your visibility since RSS keeps your prospects in sight without requiring them to find you first. RSS lets you initiate contact. There are many areas to get your blog listed, and in addition to the SEO benefits a blog offers, it also provides an insider’s point-of-view into your company or personality, offering yet another way for users to identify with you or your site.

It’s safe to say that search engines will always be around, and will likely remain the primary source of direction for people on the hunt for information, but for your company to focus on them exclusively could be a costly business mistake. Just remember there are a variety of marketing resources at your disposal that will not only better establish your brand online and bring you quality leads on their own, but will also contribute in a significant way to achieving and keeping that number one spot we’re all fighting for.

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