Making Communications Buzz

Friday, February 02, 2007

Google's Success Can Mean Web Marketing Success for Your Website and Your Business

Google is a wildly successful company. The New York Times and many others reported yesterday that Google's fourth quarter revenue rose 67% over last year. In the two and a half years since the company went public, its stock has risen from $85 a share to just over $500. (Not only are they profitable, but they recently ranked #1 on Fortune magazine's list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For.)

Most of Google's revenue comes from its brilliantly simple business model of serving up advertisements along side free search results. This model would not work if the search results were no good. The supercharged minds at Google are constantly improving their search engine's ability to crawl and index the Web. The search engine is so good, Google can actually show fewer ads with their search results than they did when they first began doing so, "but those ads are more relevant to users, are clicked on more frequently, and hence, generate a better return for both Google and for advertisers." (New York Times, Feb 1, 2007)

Here's why Google's success is good news for anyone who wants to do marketing and PR for their business using their website.

Google can offer more relevant ads to its users because it "knows the meaning of a web page." The better you and I are at putting detailed content on our websites - and at getting other sites to link to ours with instructive links, in a format that search engines like Google can read - the better Google is at bringing the right traffic to our websites.

For the same reason Google excels at placing relevant ads next to search results, it excels at giving search users results that are highly relevant to the terms or "keywords" they plug into the Google search box.

The thing to keep in mind is that bringing the right traffic to your website may not be as difficult or expensive as you think. The "right traffic" is site visitors that want what your business or organization offers, as opposed to what your competitors or peers may have to offer.

You can differentiate your product or service from your competitor's by doing three things:
1. Figure out exactly what sets your product or service apart. This is a critical part of any business plan. There are many resources available to help you with it, including the U.S. Small Business Administration.
2. Write it down using clear, descriptive language. (If you are not a writer, you can have someone give you a hand with this.)
3. Put this language into your PR and marketing materials, including your website.

Some of your competitors are not actively improving their website on a regular basis. If you are actively improving your website, then you automatically win that race hands down.

As for competitors that are actively improving their websites, you can gain an edge by using plenty of descriptive language - and putting it where Google can find it. The goal is to attract searchers using 3 or 4 words in their search: for a pet sitting website, "pet sitting Wyndmoor PA" rather than just "pet sitting" or even "pet sitting Wyndmoor".

The best way to do this is to use a blog or other form of content management system (CMS) on your website so that you can get new content up on your site quickly and frequently, without having to know HTML or other code. There are plenty of blog software and CMS packages available for this purpose - many of them free.

The other part of this equation is to foster links to your website from other websites - preferably links that say something about your product or service. For example, a link that says, "Learn more about Philadelphia Pet Adventures pet sitting services" is far more instructive to the Google search engine than a generic "click here".

It's also important to use the same language your customers use whenever you talk about your products or services, because that is the language they use when they do a search. This point is fitting material for a follow-up post.

As Google continues to improve its search capabilities, you can benefit by giving Google plenty of rich text on your website to work with. The beauty of this approach to web marketing and website success is that you are already creating the kind of content you need for your website every time you create a brochure or newsletter, or write a press release, or even when you write an e-mail to a client or prospective client talking about your products or services.

Leverage the power of readily available, easy-to-use blog or CMS software to get that content up on your website the very same day.

The Google "crawler" - Google's automatic text reading and indexing machine - will come by soon enough to see what it is that sets you apart from your competition, and the next time anyone does a search, Google will let them know about you.

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2 Comments:

  • I'm sort of a non-geek as the case may be when it comes to software. Since I use an easy, non-techy, website (godaddy.com) can I still add my blog to the site?

    What do you recommend?

    best,
    Peggie

    By Blogger Peggie Arvidson, at 7:05 PM  

  • Peggie,
    Great question. I plan to answer in a series of posts as soon as I get my new blog/website online. (http://mcbuzz.blogspot.com/2007/02/mark-mclaren-mcbuzz-communications-and.html ) Thanks for your patience. It will be worth it!

    By Blogger Mark McLaren, at 8:24 PM  

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