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What can I do to ensure that my website appears on the first page of a Google search? 
That is, by far, the question that we hear most often from our customers. It is no surprise that, now that the economy is getting tight, we are hearing that question more often. SmartSite Technology has a somewhat unorthodox view of Search Engine Optimization.  I will share our views with you in this month's  Roadmap section. 
Next month I will address the best ways to be recognized by the search engines. Yes, it is important to be recognized by search engines, in contrast to being listed on the first results page, which we do not believe is important.  I will discuss the best ways to structure your website so that it will be found and catalogued by the search engines.
Our prayers go out to our readers in the midwest who are experiencing the unbelievable flooding, and to those on both coasts experiencing wildfires.  Be safe, everyone!!  Have a wonderful summer!!

Marketing Alternatives to SEO RoadMap





How important is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?   Is it really important that your website appears on the first page of every Google search?  Is SEO really the most important marketing tool that you have at your disposal?
In most cases, webmasters waste a lot of time trying to improve their website search ranking, believing that being in the top 10 is going to magically improve their bottom line.  That just won't happen for a number of reasons. 
  1. Your website has millions of competitors on the World Wide Web.
  2. Many of these competitors believe that a top SEO ranking is essential for success.  They are constantly tweaking their websites and trying to outsmart the search engines to get higher ranks.  If you decide that you are going to compete in this arena, you are going to waste many hours of your valuable time trying to get to the top and staying there.
  3. If you are basing your business model on having a top SEO rank, the top 10 won't really do. You will have to be in the top 5 or 6 to appear "above the fold" and to have maximum visibility to the searching audience.
  4. Searchers do not always click on the first entry on the search list, nor do they click on every result that shows up on page 1. How many times have you clicked on every single website that appeared on the first page of a Google search?
  5. Very few customers buy a product the first time they look for it on the Internet, unless they are buying from a company that they have a previous relationship with. This is especially true when they are looking for services.  You have to develop a relationship before you can expect to make a sale.
So, if SEO is not your silver bullet to Internet success, and you have to develop a relationship before you can make a sale, how can you make the best use of your website in marketing your business?
  • Make sure that your URL appears on your business card and all of your marketing materials so that prospects can access your website easily.
  • Make your website as content-rich as possible. Change or add to your content often to keep your website fresh. Content that is updated often and is valuable to your customers will keep them coming back to your website and keep you top-of-mind.
  • If you sell a product, use your website to catalog your products, using up-to-date specifications and pictures of your products. Make it easy to purchase your products from your website.
  • If you provide a service, clearly describe the services you provide.  Be especially careful that your website content is error-free and grammatically correct.  Your website shows the quality of work your customers can expect to receive from you.
  • Use authentic testimonials from current customers on your website.
  • Publish an electronic newsletter and put a sign-up button on your website. Provide valuable content and publish regularly.
  • Give your visitors free advice in your newsletter and on your website. You are an expert in your field. Share your expertise. You also want your potential customer to know that you are concerned about their needs, and not just about the money that they are willing to spend.
  • Give potential customers multiple ways to contact you.

By using these tips, you will have control over your Internet marketing efforts. Your website will be an efficient and cost-effective marketing tool for your business. You will not be subject to the whims of the search engines nor to the actions of your Internet competition.

SmartSite Technology is the virtual IT Department for small and medium sized businesses and non-profit organizations.  We provide all of the information technology services that a business needs to compete in today's marketplace.
Our goal at SmartSite Technology is to help each of our clients to be a success!! We know that technology is not a core competency for many small business owners and non-profit professionals. We believe that every organization benefits when they automate their business processes. We work closely with all of our clients, even those who are uncomfortable with computers and technology, to help them introduce automated processes into their operations. 
Contact us today to discuss your technology needs.
Dixie Groutt
SmartSite Technology 
June, 2008
In This Issue
Alternatives to SEO RoadMap
Your Tech Tutor Says...
Free stuff!!
tutor pic number 1
Give Away of the Day is a new initiative in the software distribution world.  One software title is the Giveaway title each day. The software is available for download for 24 hours (or more, if agreed by software publisher) and that software is absolutely free. That means - not a trial, not a limited version - but a registered and legal version of the software --and it's free!! 
In addition, there is a game title which is available free each day.
The software is downloaded and installed following the directions given in a "read me" file.  I have downloaded numerous titles and have not had any problems with spam. 
TIP--Use the comments made by others who have already downloaded the software and tried it out to decide whether the software will be useful.  Comments are usually made by young techies, who seem to be vying to be the first person to make a comment after the Giveaway is posted, but by reading between the lines you can usually determine whether a certain title will be useful for you or not. 
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