Posted Thursday, October 21, 2004
Just how difficult is it to develop and promote a domain that will rank on page one or two of all the majors?
Well...like anything, that depends upon many factors.
You can buy your way to the top, of course, with pay-per-click SEs. That can get very expensive, and may well be beyond a person's budget. At the moment, however, there aren't too many pay-per-click SEs. (You can expect that technique, just quietly, to grow and get more expensive.)
You can get what's called a "sponsored" listing to appear at the top (or side) of page one when certain search terms are entered. That can cost, too.
A lot of sites, I'm told, resort to cloaking techniques i.e. presenting a certain page to each SE and then redirecting the prospect to the real page. SEs don't like that, I'm also told, and rightly so. When, f'instance, was the last time you looked in your Yellow pages for a certain business, called it on the 'phone and then found out that you were connected to something entirely different?
You wouldn't stand for that, nor would I. Nor would anybody. Ditto the SEs regarding cloaking (although, just quietly again, I understand that there are inherent problems in exposing those who cloak).
On the other hand, appropriate advertising is good - good for you and me, good for business. Too much, from the same source however, is tiresome. It batters the senses, sometimes to stupefaction, almost. Many sites seem to revel in that, with hundreds of doorway pages in areas you would not suspect, yet which lead you to the same old stuff.
Spammers delight in that tactic, so I understand, but SEs are developing techniques to root them out. And so say all of us, right?
So, let's put aside cloaking and zillions of cloned pages...bandwidths shouldn't be burdened with bandits, right? ;-)
So...getting back to the question: just how can any regular Joe or Jane develop a website that will rank high, without resorting to trick or treat tactics (or sponsored / pay-per-click payments)?
Actually, it's easier than you think - provided certain limitations are recognized and accepted:
1. Whatever you're selling, sell one product per domain name.
2. Have a domain name, if possible, that describes your product explicitly.
3. Have a TITLE for your main page that enhances and specializes your product even further.
4. Have a "killer" headline, as the first sentence in the BODY, that talks only to your targeted group of prospects. That headline is also the META Description you must use.
5. From the BODY of your sales copy, extract the most significant and repeated words or phrases as the Keyword META tags to use in the HEAD.
Do all of that, and you have a fighting chance.
If you can differentiate your product as unique, develop a website that targets only those people who would be interested in that product, and then construct pages that clearly demonstrate to SEs the quality of the content, I can assure you that your page(s) will rank very high.
You won't be on page one or two for every search for a product that is similar to yours. But, if your targeted prospect uses your specific keywords for your niche product, your chances of being on page one or two are very, very good.
And, it doesn't matter whether there are nine hundred or nine million pages out there, with similar products!
Now comes the really hard part...
Next time you punch in any set of search words or phrases and then follow the links to the sites on page one of your favorite SE, critically assess each page you view.
Do you "buy" from the first page you view? I doubt it - that would be very rare. Especially if you had my recent experience - I clicked on number one and got back a 404 Page Not Found! Sheesh, can you believe that (a problem with the SE's housekeeping, perhaps)?
Anyways, I persevered and finally got to what I wanted waaaay down in the list. Maybe my search term should have been more specific? Whatever...I had to look through a few sites before I got to one that was talking to *me*.
When you walk into a store, you expect the sales help to talk to you, and to answer your needs and wants. You would expect no less from any website that is trying to sell you its particular product or service.
In fact, you'd probably want more! And that's what you've got to deliver to your own prospects.
If you're good with words, you can construct your own sales copy. In fact, you should construct your sales letter before doing anything about a website page.
If not, hire a professional to do it for you. When you're satisfied with that, only then should you construct your web page(s).
If you do that, you have half a chance of actually getting the sale when your prospect finds your link on page one or two!
Now...if you don't have a niche product or service, then you'd better get one from some-one else or develop one yourself.
But, just remember the five points above when you've got your niche product and your sales copy ready.
About the Author
Roger Burke has been involved with computers since 1967, and has managed to break quite a few, over the years. He, and his wife Sherry, are now actively engaged in online self-publishing and promoting specific affiliate programs at (http://online-wealth.com) . If you have any comments or questions about this article, please send emails to mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org .
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