You worked with your
web designer and between the two of you, you've come up with
a great site... if you do say so yourself. By carefully
taking advantage of the latest information on search engine
optimization techniques, and a judicious budget for announcing
your site, you have reasonable placement under your keywords.
You took some of our marketing
tips to heart, announced your new site to anyone who'd
But your site just isn't providing you with the business
you expected. In short, your Return On Investment
(ROI) is not up to snuff.
If you realize your site isn't performing as you
expected your first action should be to check your
traffic report. Your traffic report will tell you how many
people visited your site, where they came from, and where
they left. Your traffic report will also provide you with
a list of the keywords the viewers searched under to reach
Your traffic report may provide you with some rude shocks.
You may have a lot of business coming to your site... but
leaving on your first page and never seeing the rest of your
site. In which case, you need to rethink that front page.
You may discover people are not coming to see you based on
what you think your core business (and keywords) are. For
example, you are a country inn. So your keywords, and your
site, are skewed toward people who are looking for country
inns in your area. But you're not getting traffic based on
Well... you know what you do. You know who you are. What's
the problem? Why aren't people finding you?
It could be that what you expect people to be searching on
isn't, in fact, what they are searching on. You need to know
what people are looking for. You need... Overture. Overture
is a bid-for-placement service, and we do think that anyone
with a budget for their website should include such a service
in their planning, but more than simply bidding for business,
Overture provides the tools you need to see what people are
searching on, and how valuable your competition thinks those
Paying for traffic has two side benefits rarely discussed,
even by the services themselves, which in and of themselves
are worth the monthly fee. These services allow you to see
what your competitors are bidding for their placement, hence
creating transparency in the marketplace. And they allow you
to see how often your keywords were searched on in the month
Let's take our little B&B. After signing up with Overture,
decide to see how often people actually searched on their
keywords "Judevine Bed and Breakfast." They discover
that this search isn't as frequent as they though it was,
but that people do use it. Using the bidding tool they discover
that six of their competitors are bidding for placement...
no wonder their site isn't being noticed!
Now, they could stop here, and decide to enter the bidding
too. But instead our little site is curious to learn what
other searches might dovetail with their site. They're interested
in snowmobiling, so they look under "Judevine Snowmobile
Trails." Nothing. How about "Vermont Snowmobile
Trails?" something. How about "Vermont Snowmobiling?"
Bingo! Jackpot. And there aren't any bidders in this category
Our Bed and Breakfast could reoptomize their site to take
advantage of this information, and re-announce it to the search
engines. But by the time they do all that, winter will be
a distant memory. So instead they quickly build a page for
their site which outlines the snowmobiling opportunities around
Judevine. They add a link to their front page, and put their
new snowmobiling page up on the Overture bidding system.
Now they're fielding inquiries from snowmobile enthusiasts
who are interested in coming to Judevine, because there is
this nice bed and breakfast right off the trails. This is
targeted marketing based on an understanding of what your
target demographic is interested in and searching on.
Think of optimizing your site for the search engines (see
as painting with a spray gun. You cover a wide area but you
don't have a whole lot of control over the paint. Target marketing
is a small brush, carefully filling in the detail work.
Advertising your Web site with Overture
search listings will allow you to set a budget you're comfortable
with (minimum $20/month), and then places your URL in any
search germain or relevant to a page on your site. You can
target specific pages which drive back to your main page,
or target your index page. You pay only for those
that actually click through, making this one of the most affordable
long term methods of increasing traffic available. Sign up
now and get a $10 credit, equivalent to 200 free sales leads.
Advertising on LookSmart is a little less
expensive, $15/month, but doesn't allow you to bid for placement.
Still, $15/month buys you 100 click throughs, on your choice
of keywords, which don't have to be your "main"
keywords. Such as our B&B, who would choose among their
keywords "snowmobiling." Less flexible, fewer tools
to work with, but less expensive too. Click
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