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Search Engine Optimisation advice from Nett

Stephen Murphy, Director, Pay Per Click. Photo credit: Anthony GeernaertNett’s editorial team offers Search Engine Optimisation advice to help you attract more people to your site, as well as analysis of the search players’ strategies.

Search engines have a massive influence over how internet content, services, and applications are found, used, and shaped.

They’re designed to deliver the most relevant content based on the words you give them – in other words (was that a pun?): what you put in will have a serious impact on what you get out.

Now here’s the challenge if you’re want to attract people to your business online: most people only use the online search on a very basic level. They enter the words that are top of mind when they’re trying to find something.

So you need insights into how your potential customers, suppliers, and partners think to help them find you and think of you positively.

David Hutchins, Director, Press Matters, comments on how his business communications company uses Google, search engines and Search Engine Optimisation

1. I have come to rely on Google search for almost all of my online searching, for me, it feels more practical and simple. I have had staff you have filled their entire desktop with Google options, and then hardly used them when the novelty wears off.

2. The internet is such a powerful tool, the challenge has really become finding the time and possessing the smarts to effectively harness it. Search engines like Google and Yahoo are increasingly offering services for Trend Spotting, which is an emerging business service that marketing and research firms are capitalizing upon. But you can, and should, start it in your own operation by ensuring your team spends some of their net time noting and highlighting items that are applicable to your business and/or your customers. The benefit comes from being aware and noticing relevant items for your business.

3. Many businesses react negatively when they discover their staff is spending time online, I actually encourage it and ensure each staff member raises relevant items to our business in our weekly company meeting. It has won us new business, improved our customer responsiveness, and boosts immediacy across the business.

4. Whether it’s noticing new developments, contracts, or market reactions, the internet has unparalleled immediacy. It alerts us to trends that are worth reacting to or even promoting, but it can also help us notice red flags, such as market fluctuations and dangers.

5. I reckon there are three different levels of Net usage: Non-Tactical Non-Strategic; Tactical No Strategy; and Tactical and Strategic. Businesses in the third category tend to be more agile, responsive, and informed and would be proactive in establishing trend-spotting as part of the routine. Those in the first category are probably not that intuitive and immediate and are suffering through workers only really using the net for personal use.

6. The way your website is put together, makes a difference… “Does it contain the necessary titles, descriptions, keywords, and other Meta tags required to be read and indexed properly by leading search engines, nor do they include the beneficial language in search results to entice customers to click through to their websites.”

7. Optimising your Search Engine presence, recognition, and subsequent click-through by a customer or a prospect requires that you know at least as much about your customer and prospect as you do about your preferred Search Engines.

8. Search Engine Optimisation is about creating a magnetic attraction for your customers and prospects, if you can achieve this you don’t want to obliterate the effect by having your customers click and land on a page that is under construction, slow, or worthless real estate

9. Also it’s about saving money. Are you going to plow your hard-earned marketing dollars creating a flashy information superhighway billboard that’s going to blink all day and night – or are you going to get savvy and engineer a campaign comprising primary market touchpoints at the peak times your targets are in the traffic?

10. Keywords are to search engines what bait and lures are to fish and perfume and pheromones are to mutual attraction. The click-throughs you catch are the click-throughs you attract. If your keywords don’t resonate with your target market you have got something drastically wrong.

Sue Blatchford, Head of Search, Payperclick, discusses how to make the most of natural search

Google currently holds the majority of the Australian Search Audience and it is easy to understand why. Google far exceeds Yahoo- not only in terms of Australian Market share, but also in their technology, products, services, and support.

Search Engines and Web Sites have a relationship similar to the paparazzi and movie stars. You may not like each other but may fail to exist without each other!

Natural Search traffic drives around 70 to 80% of all visitors to a site. Having no visibility in the search engines is leaving the “closed” sign on the door of your shop. No visitors = no sales!

There are three core issues that affect your reputation and privacy in relation to search.
1. Google knows what you search for
2. Google will publish information in the search results regardless of whether it is right or wrong
3. Google has access to data from every Adwords customer and every Google Analytics customer

(1) GOOGLE KNOWS WHAT YOU SEARCH FOR

Google knows which country you are from and your IP address. Different IP addresses get served different search engine results for both paid and natural searches. Google also collects all of your search data, and if you are using Google Gmail, Google Desktop (finds things that Windows can’t!), Google Toolbar, Google Search history, etc. Google has access to hordes of information. What will it do with the information? And what exactly is it that everyone doesn’t want them to know? It seems ironic that people are publishing their personal opinions and life stories on Blogs, Myspace, Forums, and all over the Internet, yet people are so quick to jump on Google collecting search data.

Generally, privacy is something that can be “fashionable” to protest against much like “freedom of speech”. However, in the United States, privacy has become an issue of National Security with the Bush administration announcing new laws that force Internet Service Providers and Google to retain data for Police convenience.

This brings us to the key questions: What’s the scope? Who will have to comply, and what type of data will be forcibly retained? It will be curious to see what action the Australian Government will take in the coming years.
More information about Online Regulations in the US 

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