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SEO Wallflowers, It's Time To Hit The Dance Floor

By Michael Pedone
Posted Saturday, June 14, 2003

If you’re new to online business, you’re likely just discovering search engine optimization (SEO) and its happy offshoot, targeted web site traffic. Deep down, you know that eventually you’ll have to pay more attention to them but you’re just too busy at the moment.

Or maybe you’re the designated optimizer in your workplace. You’ve stepped out onto the floor and learned a few basic steps to improve search engine rankings. But you’re finding it hard to keep up with your dance partner. The Googles and Yahoos are, after all, constantly changing the rhythms and algorithms of the search engine boogie.

So, after each crawl you hold your breath to see where you rank and how that’s going to impact on your bottom line and how much more time and effort you’ll have to expend to get the kind of targeted web site traffic that will keep the boss from breathing down your neck. It’s enough to make you want to sit out the next number.

But don’t. Because now more than ever, effective, professional search engine optimization is a necessity, not a luxury, for online businesses.

Why We Need This Aggravation

An overwhelming majority of Internet users use search engines to find what they’re looking for. In fact, the only time we don’t rely on the engines is when we already know the web site address we want.

Add to that the fact that an estimated 56 per cent of all searchers don’t bother looking at more than two pages of results and only a quarter of them reach the third page, with the numbers dropping sharply after that... well, the importance of good search engine placement starts to become clearer.

If the raw numbers don’t impress you, here’s something that should. The people who use search engines to find vendors aren’t just generic, faceless traffic. They are ‘targeted’ web site traffic.

Aiming for the Target

Why is the word ‘targeted’ so important? Let me illustrate by using two traditional offline advertising methods and their online parallels.

First, we have a direct mail flyer, say for carpet cleaning, distributed to hundreds of thousands of homes in a metropolitan area. A small percentage of recipients might actually read the thing before deep sixing it.

A small percentage of that small percentage might coincidentally have dirty carpets. They might eventually contact the advertiser and initiate the sales process.

A lot of leakage there.

You could say that in the online world, unsolicited commercial email (spam) is the direct mail flyer of the medium. Widely cast. Untargeted. Low response rate. High annoyance factor.

Now, let’s look at advertising in the yellow pages. When somebody looks up your carpet cleaning company in the yellow pages, takes the time to read your ad, and calls you up or comes to your location, THAT is targeted traffic. They already want what you’ve got; it’s up to you to close the deal.

Search engines are the yellow pages of the web economy. They are your ticket to highly targeted web site traffic.

Going Pro

So if the boss has designated you the company SEO expert, it’s your job to take the lead in the rankings > targeted traffic > conversions bossanova. And it can be done, but only IF you have the motivation to learn the fancy footwork of search engine optimization, the time to practice it, the light-footedness to keep up with its changing moves, and the energy to keep on dancing from now until... well, forever.

However, if you have two left feet or just aren’t interested in learning the SEO boogie, don’t give up on optimization. There are several professional search engine optimization companies out there that actually seem to enjoy the long hours and hard work, and can produce verifiable results that you can take to the bank.

To learn how to seek out a good SEO company, please read our previous article, Seeking a Search Engine Optimization Company? You Better Shop Around.


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