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Search engines (SEO): It is not enough to enter the top 10 of

most of us now know, positioning the company to make big money through their own websites so that users in search of certain phrases (or keywords), the top 10 will be able to Find them in the list of names.

What most of us don’t know is that this is not enough. You might come up with a phrase that suits your product or service. You did all the necessary things to get your website to list those search terms and WHALLAH-you are in the top 10. After a while, you realize that you are not in business. Why? Well, first of all, chances are that not many people actually search for the keywords you decide. You have to do research to make sure that quite a few people are actually searching for these words. Guessing is not an option.

So you found a set of very popular keywords. Thousands of people are searching for them. But-in order to save your life, you can’t make your website into the top 10. You can’t just find a set of popular keywords. You must find a “niche”. The ratio between the number of searches performed and the number of sites matching the keyword location is important. The number of searches for the keywords you want is high, but the number of websites that meet these keywords is low. That’s not easy. In fact, when you find them, 500,000 websites (their owners also found them) pop up in less than a few months, filling up search results.

Even if you find a set of “hot” keywords in which the ratio of search volume to the number of eligible websites is very good, you still probably won’t do much business. In fact, in all searches conducted on the Internet, the proportion of direct sales is far less than 10%. However, the key word here is “direct”. Consumer analysts are learning that although search results may not “directly” lead to sales, in general, search results do help consumers decide what to buy, how much to buy, and where to buy.

Yahoo and comScore recently conducted a study on searches involving the automotive industry. In this three-month study, 716 million website visits involved some car information queries. The study found that among these people, “only 6% of them have actual shopping behavior”*. Of these 6%, only 32% actually asked for a car quotation. The conclusion of this study is that although only a small percentage of searches involve buying a car “directly”, most searches clearly involve buying a car indirectly. These users are searching for information about available cars and options, as well as pricing and dealer information.

To really make money from search, your website must be positioned so that your target audience can find it when performing searches. From then on, for them to actually buy, your website must be the one they go to after they have completed their research and are ready to buy. This means that your keywords must match those searchers who have completed kicking tires, completed research, and are ready to buy. Another way to solve the problem may be to let potential customers visit your website, and then design your website to let potential customers buy, even if they have not made a purchase decision.

All in all, if you want your search engine marketing efforts to really do business, you must: find keywords that match your goals, are actually searching, and there are not too many websites that meet the search criteria. As if this is not challenging enough, your keywords must also match the search results of your potential customers, who are at least ready to buy your services and/or products. (Source: “New Research Shows How Search Drives Auto Buyers” by Chris Sherman, Executive Editor of SearchEngineWatch, July 27, 2006)

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