ACTION INSIGHTS : CUTTING THROUGH THE CLUTTER

Competing Against Big Budget Web Sites

 Is Easier Than You Think?

Take The Low Hanging Search Engine Fruit with Regional Search Engine Listings

Millions of Web sites are elbowing each other every day for search engine position. Many of them belong to big businesses with big marketing budgets. How do you compete with that? By grabbing some of the lower hanging search engine fruit they’re too big and busy to notice. Our company, Visionefx, is located in Virginia Beach, Virginia and helps businesses in all Hampton Roads cities to rank high among major search engines. One of our methods is to collect quality content for our clients’ Web sites. The content can be regional or local, and we recommend using as much as you can. If you sell lady’s jewelry, talk about local jewelry shows, local trade shows, fashion shows and events. Don’t know of any events? Try calling the Virginia Beach Convention Center or browse the shows and events section of The Virginian-Pilot or Pilot Online. Quality content is king! And your regional online market is valuable.

Utilize Local and Regional Search Engine Listings

If you have a business in Virginia Beach or any other Hampton Roads city such as Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake or Suffolk, get a local listing in Google. Yahoo offers local listings as well. To see how local results differ from general results go to Google and type “YOUR BUSINESS in virginia beach”. At the top of the page you’ll see “Local results for YOUR BUSINESS near Virginia Beach, VA”. If you click this link you’ll see 9 to 10 companies listed for Virginia Beach, VA. This type of list is very popular and powerful when it comes to consumers looking for services or products on the Web.

Get Results With Regional Search Engine Listings

Customers prefer doing business with local businesses. But you need to rank high in their Web search, or you’ll be buried on page 10, where few customers tread. How do you get there? Sprinkle your Web site with the correct keywords. If you’re a Virginia mortgage company, figure out how customers will search for mortgage services or loans over the Internet if they live in Virginia. Will they type, “loan companies in Virginia”, “Virginia mortgage companies” or “mortgage loans in Virginia”? One good way to know what phrases people are using to search for your product, service, issue or cause is through Google Suggest Tool. Not many users, including search engine professionals, know about this great Google tool. But it works and it’s a great tool for getting into the consumer’s mind.

All Politics Is Local — So Is Good Web Site Content

If a business with a Web site in Hampton Roads is based in Virginia Beach, then it’s a good idea to tighten your Web site copy and keywords to contain the words “Virginia Beach”. But make sure you walk the fine line between legitimate use and overabundance. Search engines will spot the later and ignore your site. Your success or search engine position will also depend on the competitiveness of your business. For example, “firewood in Virginia Beach” versus “dentists in Virginia Beach”.

Write For Visitors – Not Search Engines

There is no magic formula or special software to get you listed at the top of search engine results. However, there is a golden rule that will do the trick — Content is King. Good content generates great search engine results – period. So go ahead and chat it up, tell people what you do, what you sell, what you provide. Talk about your competition. Yes, you heard me right. But make sure you’re doing this in a way that “informs” your Web site visitors instead of intentionally piggy-backing on the popularity of another Web site.

Be careful when you’re using a competitor’s name. For example, if you’re a moving company based in Virginia Beach and you fill your Web pages with name-brand, popular moving companies in Virginia Beach, Virginia for no other reason than to ride on their popularity in the search engines, you could get penalized by the search engines. Remember, it’s all about relevant content – relevant to your Web site.

 

Optimize Web Site Headings Too

Another way to optimize your Web site is to use your keywords in headings, subtitles, page titles (found in the blue bar at the top of your Web browser), bold face and hyperlinks, because these stand out to the search engines.

How To Be Invisible

Many Web sites were built by hobbyists or built with old software that is no longer recognized by today’s sophisticated search engines. That means these Web sites are “invisible” to major search engines, which means thousands of “eyes on screens” will be looking at someone else’s product, service, issue or cause. I went to Google and searched “plumbing company in virginia beach”. I did not find any local plumbing Web site results on the first or second pages. What does this tell me? It says there is not one single plumbing company in the city of Virginia Beach that has a Web site that is properly optimized. It also tells me that there are not very many (if any) Web sites for plumbing in Virginia Beach. Too bad… a small plumbing business could rule local search in the major search engines for “plumbing”. Try this with search terms related to jewelry, real estate or auto sales and the results will be much different.

Web Sites Don’t Cost, They Pay

If you provide services or products in Virginia, Virginia Beach or other Hampton Roads cities and you don’t have a Web site, get one. It is quickly becoming the primary way our younger, as well as our middle-aged, generation search for information, products and services. To find a professional Web design company, shop around and request quotes. A bulleted list of what you want your site to do will be helpful in your search. Submit this via email to a Web design company in your area and comparison shop.

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Visionefx, knows its important to keep your Web site, contact forms and database humming along 24/7. We support and maintains your business web site as your very own 'personal web master'.

ACTION INSIGHTS