First you have to have a website, then before you go to step two it’s best if you have some understanding of how the Internet works.
Imagine a huge spider crawling through out the Internet; its job is to determine what each website is all about and which are the most important to the overall Internet. With over 300 billion websites the spider has to organize them in some manner. He decides to create categories; Financial, Medical, Shopping, etc. The spider looks for keywords, examines the site title, its description and its page content.
Once he gets his 300 million sites categorized he has to come up with a system for determining which of the sites in each category are the most important to the category and to the Internet overall. So he gives a site points for other sites linking back to it, more points for having other sites referring back to it in its content, and more points if the content on the original is updated on a regular basis thus keeping current on the subject matter of the category.
Those sites with current content, and most relevant back links are then ranked highest and appear highest in search. That’s a simple explanation of how Internet search works.
If you build a beautiful website to promote your business and it’s not appearing on the first page of search, it’s like building a beautiful billboard and keeping it in your basement.
To find out where your website is living, type your business and location in your search bar (Orthodontist Omaha), just like someone who needed your services would do. There are usually ten listings on each page; are you on the first page? Now ask yourself, when you’re searching how deep do you go? If you’re not on the first page 80% of the searchers will not find you.
If you’re an Orthodontist in Omaha there were 1290 searches last month that you could be just what the searcher was looking for; that’s over 15,000 information searchers a year. How important is it to your business to be on the first page? You could pay for one of those “Sponsored Ads” on the top and right hand side of the page, which would put you on the top.
Did you see that map on the top of the page with pinpoints showing where your competitions offices are located; are you in that picture?
Do you currently know how many visitors come to your website each day and how they found you and how long they stayed? If someone does come to your website is it easy for them to get information from you? You know, get on your newsletter mailing list, or sign up for your next seminar; or do you offer anything like that on your website? These are the questions you need to address if you want to turn your website into a marketing tool. If you decide that you do want to make your website a part of your marketing program you have several options.
You can hire a full time IT person to oversee your Search Engine Optimization, link building and implementation of conversion strategies or you can contract with a company to do the work for you.
Before you do either you need to consider your potential Return on Investment (ROI); what is a new client or patient worth to you a year? How many new clients would your website have to bring on to justify either expenditure?
It’s easy to find out how many searches there were last month for your profession in your city, the Internet industry claims to have a 2% to 5% conversion ratio. That is for every 100 site visitors 2 to 5 buy the service or product offered. Using the 2% conversion rate and the anticipated traffic, based on 5% of the searches in your city what can you spend to get new clients or patients?
A professional in the field of Search Engine Optimization can help you get your website to the top of the page. Today you’re probably going to find national companies, local listing agencies, and general information site competing for first page positions. It’s not hard to displace them on a local level. If you do find one of your competitors up there you’re behind in the fastest growing segment of business marketing. Check their Google Page Ranking if it’s 5 or above you’ve got a steep hill to climb, if it’s 2 or below you can challenge them in short order.
As you’re a professional in your field you need a professional if you want to add Internet Marketing as an effective tool to market your business. Building a website is step one, build traffic to your website is step two, converting that traffic into prospects is step three, and converting those prospects into client is step four.