Digital Media Insights for Business Owners

Internet Marketing Strategy at the SES Conference

Shari Thurow from Grantastic Designs was one of the speakers at the session on Chasing the Algorithm. Thurow describes herself as someone with programming skills who chooses to write content. She believes “Algoholic SEOs” see only the goal of page one positioning and that they don’t look at what occurs once a searcher clicks on that page one link.On the other side of the coin are the “Usability Experts” who are solely conversion focused. The trick to a sound Internet marketing strategy is to look at the big picture, balance business and user goals, says Thurow.

Good advice. Even the most perfect web site is no use at all if it is never found and seen by the right audience. Since a big chunk of traffic comes via a search engine, optimization is essential. Page one positioning is a valid business goal – 80% of all traffic from a search query goes to the companies listed in the top half of the first page of results. Very few searchers go beyond the third page.

However, once you get a visitor to your web site you have less than 10 seconds to keep their interest and get them to click into the site. On average, business websites lose 60% of their traffic off the home page and 80% within three clicks. Average conversion rates (turning visitor into customers) are a miserable 2%. So conversion goals are valid too.

Thurow said she likes to think of the balance between the two as ‘natural’ search optimization, where the goals are to increase positioning, quality traffic, page views and conversions. Now what business person wouldn’t want that? Search engine visibility, and good user experience once they come to the site, are linked at the hip. A good Internet marketing strategy has to be planned to achieve both goals. Search engine optimization has to start with the initial design and carry all the way through to the content.

Internet marketing strategy starts with keyword research. Find out what words people use when they look for a company like yours. Look into your log files and see what keywords or phrases are bringing visitors to the site now. Ask your recent customers what keywords they typed in to find your site.

Generate interesting content on your website based on these keywords. The more optimized content you have on your website, the better search engine visibility you will have.

Many businesses with which I have worked focus in bringing prospects into their sites, and the most effort is in SEO. I believe that as this article states, there has to be a balance between being found and converting prospects into clients. Having said this though I also think that the goal of bringing prospects into a site is a worthy one. Once you have the attention of an audience it is easier to speak than to speak without one.

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