03 Jun 2010

Web Traffic – Easy as 1-2-3

Learning Center No Comments

Everybody wants to be #1 — 1st in line for the movies, 1st to buy the latest and greatest from Apple, the 1st place team in the league and of course, 1st on the search engine results page. Being in the 1st position is certainly a great way to drive new leads and make more sales, but with so many places to be 1st on a search engine like Google, which is best and how do you take advantage of each of them?

There are 3 important sections on the Google Search Results Page. Showing up in all 3 of these different sections gives you a significant advantage over your competitors and makes your website highly visible to people actively searching your product or service.

1.     Local Business Results

So many searches today are conducted with “local intent”, meaning the person doing the searching is looking for a business in their local area. In fact, estimates show that 30-40% of all searches have local intent. Wow, what a great opportunity! Any business that serves a local clientele deserves to be found in the local business results.

This section highlights local businesses with a map, a locator, and a local phone number.  Additional details like reviews, photos, videos and directions help to draw in would-be customers. With a website link in this section, there is a good chance you will see an influx of highly targeted traffic to your website that converts into leads and clients.

Click here to see what it takes to get your listing to appear above the competition.

2.    Sponsored Links

This section is reserved for businesses who engage in Pay-per-Click (PPC). PPC ads are a real-time auction where you bid on keyword searches and strategically place business ads.   The order of the display (the ranking) is decided by which competing business bids the most and who has the ad copy and landing page content that is most relevant to the keyword being searched. When your ad is clicked on, you pay the amount offered in your bid. 100% targeted traffic at its best!

PPC is a great way to get immediate exposure and traffic to your website.  When this process is managed correctly it can be affordable and offer a measureable return on investment which surpasses that of any other traditional advertising methods.

3.     Organic Search Results

Offering more results than any other section previously mentioned, this area is the most competitive section in the Google search results page and the most difficult to master. When conducting a search, users are given various results:  Targeted Business Websites, Wikipedia Articles, Educational Articles, Personal Blogs, Books and more. For a business to appear here, one must have the knowhow to engage in Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of increasing the volume and quality of traffic to a web site or web page from search engines. These are natural search results as opposed to other forms of search engine marketing (SEM), which may deal with paid inclusion. The theory is that the earlier (or higher) a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, video search and industry-specific vertical search engines. All these types of search can help improve a web sites online presence.

As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO considers how search engines work and what people search for. The on-page optimizing of a website primarily involves the editing of content and associated HTML coding to both increase its relevance for specific keywords and to remove barriers in the search engine indexing process.  Also very important to the process are the off-page factors that include link building along with content creation and distribution.

So unlike a top level sports team or the winner of your local chili cook-off, in search engine marketing you really can be 1st more than once. Each of the three sections can provide your site with targeted traffic and when effectively managed, a reasonable return on your investment; saving you both time and money.

Where is your business ranked and are you getting all the traffic that you deserve?

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