Too often companies claim to be Internet Marketers, but fail to deliver. This usually refers to web development and design companies that do nothing more than create pretty websites. While a visually appealing site might be fine, if no one visits it then there is no point, and your marketing dollar has been wasted!
Getting nothing more than a website is like getting really well designed pamphlets for your business and placing them at the front door hoping passers-by will pick them up. To make effective use of you web marketing dollar you need to drive traffic to your site. 7 in 10 web sessions start with a visit to a search engine. Remember that over 65% of all web searches are with Google. So, it makes sense that if you are going to spend your valuable marketing dollar it should reach half the internet, or more, before they spend their dollars elsewhere.
Although there are several ways to achieve better results in the search engines, how you place in search results directly effects the amount of traffic your site will receive. Ideally you want to be in the top 3 results for you market space. Most people will visit one or more of the top 3, glance at the first page and occasionally look to the second page if they haven't found what they are looking for on the first page. There are two ways to effect your placement in search engine results. These are usually termed as passive and active marketing.
Passive marketing refers to SEO (Search Engine Optimization) which is a design methodology for creating web pages and structuring your website. These changes are important as they will directly effect you conversion rate from the search pages by controlling what is actually displayed in the search results for your page. It also effects how the search engines categorise your pages. If not done correctly you pages won't be listed for the correct searches.
Active marketing involves creating quality links to your site. One-way links to your site are referred to as back-links. Each link to your site counts as a 'vote' for your site. The more votes, the higher your site appears in the search engines. Unfortunately not all 'votes' are equal. This is where quality comes into play. The search engines also look at the type of site the link comes from. It judges whether he sites are related by their content. Also, how many other links are coming from the source site, as too many links from one place water down the quality of each link. Additionally, search engines look at the authority of the site the link comes from. This generally refers to how the source site ranks itself. Finally, most search engines throw in some magic numbers to balance it all out and make to hard for fraudsters to cheat the system.
The process of getting you site ranked well in the search engines is not a simple one. This is why it is important to find someone who actually specializes in Internet Marketing as well as web design and development. Good luck and take the time to see not just how a companies sites look, but how they rank for their targeted market space.