Godfrey provides tips on search engine marketing

MUMBAI: Submit to major search engines like Google, Yahoo, MSN, and Alta Vista. Encourage other sites to link to yours, thereby increasing its 'popularity' ranking.

These are some of the tips that US based Godfrey, a business-to- business marketing communications agency has in its white paper on search engine performance

What B2B Marketers Need to Know about Improving Search Engine Performance details the critical link that search engines play in today's rapidly changing online world. The white paper outlines the key factors that B2B marketers need to consider to optimise their companies' performance: organic search, paid search and offline communications.

Godfrey executive VP and director of business development Curt Hitchcock says, "Search engine performance is the proverbial moving target of 21st century marketing communications. Search engines have been successful at honing their search criteria, and, in fact, providing a better search experience with more accurate results.

"As a consequence, the battleground is littered with techniques - a good example is meta tags - that were once valuable for search engine optimisation, and now are more or less a curiosity, with little impact on search performance."

Most true search engines offer users two types of searches. Organic searches match users’ keywords to giant databases created with an engine’s proprietary spidering technology. In Paid searches, a portion of the results returned are from sponsors who pay to appear each time those results are returned and clicked.

The Paper notes that there are three key ideas marketers really need to be thinking about in optimising web site performance in organic searches. These are content, keywords and links Content is king for a good reason. The modern Internet is distinguished by its content. Not commerce, not IT infrastructure, content. Words, pictures, movies, data, blogs, personals — they’re all content. And they’ve all flourished on the web.

Many B2B companies, unfortunately, have missed an important part of the content story. They’ve posted reams and reams of product data, usually in PDF form. But that content is not very accessible. Sometimes, because it’s hard to find on the site. Sometimes, because that PDF content cannot be found by the search engines. And sometimes, because of both. As a result, the site has usable content that no one can find.

The first step in having good content involves having the product data available on the web, as page information or content, and not simply PDF. The second step requires helping the user navigate through that information with specifiers or configurators — automated decision trees that help them decide what they need for their application.

And that’s just product information. B2B marketers also need to take the opportunity to show a prospect —someone who doesn’t know them or their product line — the value they bring individual applications or industries. And connect that information to the products. Because ultimately, the search engines are designed solely to look for relevant content. And they do that by looking for keywords and phrases, and charting how many other sites find your content valuable enough to link to.

At a very mechanical level, search engines look for some very specific items in the content. These include Descriptive page titles, Page size — smaller is better, Page linkage and keywords in page content. What hurts are high keyword density compared with competitors, fewer backlinks than competitors. Also your site should not be slower to download compared to the competitors.

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