E-mail List Building Basics
The Power of Keywords
Keywords, those words and phrases picked up by search engine spiders to identify your site, must be strategically written into the copy, including your Web site’s title and description. Carefully choosing and implementing the proper keywords can make a huge difference in your search rankings, and your potential customer’s ability to find you.
“Be as product-specific as you possibly can,” suggests Siano. “Clients typically know their product better than anyone, and most are aware of their niche in the marketplace. If ‘widgets’ is a popular product and keyword, you’ll want to try to use ‘custom widgets’ or ‘stainless steel widgets’ or some other way of separating your widgets from all the other widget companies out there.”
Test your keywords in a 90-day window traffic estimate, he says, to get a rough idea of your keyword success. Then begin the process of adjusting those keywords in preparation for ranking. The only truly accurate test, of course, is to get the words ranked by search engines and see where you fall. And here’s where Siano offers a word of caution: Because there’s no instant gratification—in fact, it can take months to optimize keywords for top rankings—some marketers question whether the time and expense of search engine optimization is worthwhile. Patience, and careful monitoring and tweaking, he says, will yield a bountiful crop for those with the planning and patience to seed, fertilize and water.
Design for Success
In designing your Web site to get sales as well as capture contact information from prospective customers, it’s important to remember that the purpose is not to feed your ego with the coolest looking site, full of bells and whistles, but to drive people to your site and get them to stay awhile.
“Customers are less likely these days to work hard trying to navigate your site, and they don’t have to,” Siano says. “Disorganization or difficulty is not tolerated, and they’ll move on in a hurry. Make sure all your pages are linkable, and that products are cross-referenced and easy to find, easy to understand and, most important, easy to order.”