10/3/2008 11:16 AM
Make Your Website Make You Money
So, you have a website - but how often do you ask the following?
- How successful is your website?
- How many people are viewing your site and where are they coming from?
- How long do they spend on average viewing your site?
- Where is my website placed in the top four search engines?
- And, who are the top search engines these days?
(Google 61.5%, Yahoo 20.4%, MSN 9.1%, Ask 4.3% - April 2008)
The internet is continuing to grow. Both in size (number of site’s available via the internet) and in usage. There has been a growth of 69% in usage from Jan 2002 to May 2008 and in that time one of the greatest areas of growth has been in the use of searching via a search engine. Statistics show us that 50% of all internet users would use a search engine on any typical day, up from a 3rd in 2002.
|| What we need to consider here is the nature of our top search engines.
But what does this mean for my business?
Primarily it should affect the way we’re now marketing our businesses. Many of us will have heard of Meta tags and how they’re used by the search engines to rank pages, but what we’re not aware of is the dramatic changes that have taken place with those engines over the past 5 – 8 years. What we need to consider here is the nature of our top search engines. If Google was asked what business they were involved in, they would NOT reply with an answer similar to: “to help grow your business via top search engine rankings”. The fact is, Google and other top search engines don’t care about your business, nor any but their own, the way they plan on growing their business is by doing their business better. So what is their business? To provide relevant search results that BEST match a users search query. They’re information providers, not business builders and the fact that the spin-off of the referrals they provide businesses can make some companies millions of dollars is (initially) irrelevant to their business strategy.
So, how does this relate to how I utilise the services of the top search engines?
We need to consider how we’re using our limited marketing budgets to maximise any profit we might receive from dollars spent. In our industry, users might typically hear bandied around acronyms used in sentences such as “how do I increase my WCR’s by maximising my ROI through SEM ASAP by working on my WWW SEO?” an example of the technical jargon webmasters might use to confuse our clients as we attempt to sell them more web based services, and while we as business owners should utilise the services of marketing professionals, it’s important that we understand at least the basics of Search Engine Marketing and the part that it plays in helping our businesses reach their potential.
|| Despite a downturn in global economies, internet sales climb to reach $204 billion...
First we need to understand some general internet basics, such as:
- 79% of New Zealanders have access to the internet and 60% of internet traffic in NZ is broadband.
- Despite a downturn in the economy, internet sales have climbed in 2008 to reach $204B. A rise of 17% over 2007, with worldwide sales figures equating to $26.6B for Apparel, $23.9B for computers and $19.3B for the auto industry.
- Online retailers are statistically allocating 53% of their marketing budgets to acquiring new customers and 21% of marketing budgets to customer retention.
- Retailers report that search engine marketing remains the most effective way to reach new customers, with 35% of sales coming from search engine searches.
- 90% of all online retailers say they use PFP (pay for performance) search placement. 79% said they were going to make PFP an even greater priority this year.
- 60% of online marketers are planning on increasing their focus into social network advertising this year.
Next we need to understand how we can apply standard internet statistics to our own business use. Without going into the science of SEM, we can use this information to help make informed decisions on where we might put part of our marketing budgets.
|| ... ask the question, can I afford for this client to find our completion’s website in an internet search instead of our own?
First, Meta tags, how many of us are aware that search engines, or at least the top search engines, don’t even look at the keywords? We need to either take the time to learn about the search engines, which requires considerable time and a level of IT/HTML experience, or work with a company with a proven track record who can complete the process on our behalf. We then need to ask some serious questions, the foremost of which should not be; “how much does search engine marketing cost?”, but “how much will it cost our business to NOT have our website optimised?” An easy way to look at this cost is to consider the average turnover any one client might bring to your business and then ask the question, can I afford for this client to find our completion’s website in an internet search instead of our own? Looking at internet marketing from this angle then will help provide us with an idea of what we could justly spend in optimising our website.
In closing, I think we’re all aware that the internet and web usage in particular is booming, but this only makes it more important for us to note that the days of building a website and forgetting about it are well behind us if we really want to run a website that meets its potential.
In terms of the internet, no growth is actually negative growth, as your competition will likely be using techniques in an effort to propel their site above yours in search engine rankings. Remember to ask yourself the questions, am I doing enough? What is losing even one potential customer costing my business? And if you’d like some advise, remember, SPWD are only a phone call away!
Copyright ©2008 Spyders Play Web Design