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October 2009
New Approaches to Search Engine Marketing
By Kip Cozart

Last year, Google announced that it had traced links to over 1 trillion unique, active Web pages (URLs). Today, more and more customers rely on the Internet as their first (and sometimes only) source to locate and select which company gets their business.   With ever increasing competition, it has never been more important (and more difficult) to uniquely position and promote your Web site online so that customers and prospects alike will find and connect to your business quickly and easily. If your Web site is getting  lost in the shuffle, perhaps it is time to update your approach. Think “Smart Search.”

     Start with a plan… Before composing your Web content, make sure that you have first clearly defined your “5 Ws.” What are you really selling or promoting? Who is your target audience and what attracts them? Where are your markets located? When are customers most likely to purchase your services? Why should someone buy specifically from you?

     Answers to these fundamental questions will help identify the online information that is most needed, determine page structure and titles, guide navigation decisions, highlight critical search phrasing (keywords) to represent your services, and suggest what descriptive text will best convey the most compelling story.

     There are no short-cuts… Establishing productive and sustained search engine rankings is directly tied to the amount of precise, relevant, consistent and desired content that is presented and maintained within your Web site. Questionable practices involving the use of unrelated meta tags, excessively duplicated content, links from unrelated third party Web sites, and overly frequent site submission, rarely improve and often damage search engine performance. Even with the purchase of pay-per-click advertising, which can temporarily push Web site links near the top of designated search results pages, ads must accurately reference your true Web site content in order to really generate a meaningful customer sales and marketing response.

     Page-by-page promotion… For best results, every page within your Web site should be individually optimized for search engine promotion, complete with topic-specific page titles, detailed and germane text, matching keyword meta tags, supportive links and other relevant content. In other words, if the information is important enough to be posted on a page in the first place, it should also be specifically optimized for search engine inclusion in its own right. Duplicate sets of generic page titles and meta tags that are simply copied throughout the entire Web site are ineffective.

     Kip Cozart is CEO of CC Communications, a Web design, programming and Internet media company. Contact him at 704-543-1171 or visit www.cccommunications.com/bizXperts for more search engine marketing suggestions.

Kip Cozart is CEO of CC Communications, a Web design, programming and Internet media company.
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