Keys to search engine visibility
MoreVisibility’s president explains that content, keywords, linking
and architecture are keys to getting a website to show up near the top
of a search engine result.
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Posted on Mon, Nov. 05, 2007 by Bridget Carey
Job: President of MoreVisibility
Residence: Boca Raton
Family: Married with three children
Education: B.A. in economics from Tulane University
Sites he has to visit every day: jambase.com and cnnsi.com
Good search engine results are vital to the success of a business. If a
company is struggling to get traffic to its site, perhaps there is a
need to seek out a firm that specializes in search engine optimization
for websites — which are natural results from a search engine — and
search engine marketing — which are the paid ad link results in a
Wetzler, president of Boca Raton-based MoreVisibility, spoke to The
Miami Herald about what businesses both large and small should keep in
mind in order to get the best possible search results for their
He explained that keys to a successful search are to
have strong content, the right keywords, other related sites that link
to your site and a site design that does not have too many ”bells and
whistles” such as Flash programming features, so that a search engine
can understand the site.
Q: What trends are you seeing now in search?
One of the most interesting things that is gaining momentum is the
impact of social search on how companies market online. We do a fair
amount of writing of blogs for companies and set the blog up and put
all the pieces together properly.
The reason that that is
important is that blogs by nature are content rich and very targeted to
what the subject matter is. The more content that is posted on a
continual basis, the greater the likelihood that the site will do well
naturally with search engines.
Q: What are things about search that people tend to misunderstand?
I think there is a tremendous amount of misunderstanding in terms of
the paid aspect of search. I think there are a lot of searchers that
don’t even know the difference between a paid result and a natural
result. So one of the things we try to communicate to our clients is
the importance of what we call honoring channel preference. There are
certain people out there who would never click on a paid link. There
are other people who believe if someone is willing to be there, then
they must have something good to talk about because they are willing to
pay for the traffic. And then there’s a huge body of people who I
believe don’t know the difference. I think you need to be in both
Paid search today has become very
competitive in that if you’re going to bid to be at or near the top at
a particular keyword, you need to be very certain that you are
converting an appropriate number of visitors to new customers. Whether
you’re a real estate firm that’s looking for buyers or sellers or
whether you’re a hotel looking for visitors or you’re a university
looking for applications — if you’re going to do paid search you need
to really have an understanding of the different variables of a
campaign and manage them carefully.
The narrower your keywords
are, the less the competition, and typically the higher the conversion
rate. And less competition equates to a lower bid price in most
instances. And the closer you are able to get what someone is actually
searching for, the greater the likelihood is that when they show up on
your website, they are going to do what you want them to do.
Q: What sort of changes have there been in the industry in the last decade?
Not only has paid search become more important but also things like
analytics, and that’s a real scary term for business owners, large or
small. It’s extremely important that you have an analytics tool in
place that can look at the traffic that’s coming into your site and see
which traffic is converting and which isn’t and modify campaigns
Several years ago, people could only measure by how
much traffic did I get and how much money is in the bank, how many
sales did I get. Today we can segment so much more efficiently than we
ever have before — which keywords are driving conversions, which
landing page is generating a better result, which engine converts
Q: Is it possible for a small business
to improve its search results without going to a consulting firm, even
if that business isn’t tech savvy?
A: I would
say it’s a function of how much time they want to invest. There’s no
question that if someone is willing to spend the time and make the
commitment to learn Internet marketing, search marketing, they can do
it. But it’s extremely fast-moving. There are so many different
variables involved in making a program successful, both on the
optimization side, as well as on the paid search marketing side. I
would certainly say it can be done, and you can do it yourself if
you’re willing to make the commitment.
Q: What advice do you give a business that is a beginner in search engine optimization?
I guess the first piece of advice is to make sure you have a website
that effectively communicates the message that you want to share with
others. Because if you don’t, very little else will work after that.
You may be successful in driving paid traffic to the website, but if it
doesn’t complement your offerings, you won’t be successful. If the site
isn’t in sync with the keywords, it won’t be successful. So having a
good website that is intelligently put together and is user friendly is
the starting point for anything that you will do.