Search Engine Marketing Made Easy: 5 Easy Mistakes That Will Hose Most Efforts to Increase Traffic

March 28, 2011 by  Filed under: Search 

Google is a river of traffic continuously rolling past your business. With good marketing you can divert customers from that stream into your business. Good search engine marketing is critical because more than 80% of all purchases (not just online purchases) now begin online, and 40% of all clicks go to the first link on a Google Search page. 95% of all clicks go to links somewhere on that page. People search Google for everything all the time, they even type domain names into the Google Search bar about 50% of the time. That means even customers who have been to your site, and know exactly where to find you, will still search for you on Google before going to your site. Crazy but true.

If you want to get access to those billions of customers on Google… you have to make sure Google can find you where your customers expect you to be found.

Sadly, almost every new search engine marketer makes decisions that make search engine marketing more difficult if not impossible. These mistakes look like good business decisions… because they make common sense. But Google isn’t a human, its a vast network of rather simple minded “spiders” and any complexity at all confuses them. If they don’t see what they expect to see on your site, they rank it badly.

Here are five mistakes you are probably making that are preventing you from seeing a good return on the time you spending search engine marketing.

Building your site on a “clever” domain name that doesn’t include the keywords people search for when they want to buy something is a bad idea. This is a mistake because no matter how many pairs of great shoes you have on a site called, Google is going to like better. How can you confirm this? Think of how many times you’ve clicked the top link after a search to find yourself on a page that is nothing but ads. That’s because Google liked that page’s domain name far better than any page with relevant content on it. If you’ve made this mistake, go buy a better domain name using keywords people search for when they want to buy. Rebuild your site there using those terms in the text of the site.

Building your site in Flash or HTML or anything other than an open source content management site like WordPress, Drupal, etc is almost always a mistake. This is a mistake because no matter how amazing something might look, it is more important that it can be read by Google and Google doesn’t read Flash sites at all well, and hand coded HTML has to be re-coded from time to time to keep up with changes in technology. WordPress & Drupal are free. Google can read sites created with them, and there are millions of people worldwide who work every day to ensure that the latest version of both is optimized to make Google happy and to support the latest tools. Spend your time on communicating the value of your product or service, not on code.

Putting content for multiple products, services or audiences on one site may seem like a good cost cutting idea, but really it just makes search engine marketing harder. Google is really stupid. Or should I say, it is really busy. The Google Spider doesn’t have time to figure out your site. So if you are a Chiropractor, and you have a big section of your site devoted to your practice, and another big section of your site devoted to shoes, Google is just going to rank you badly for both sets of search terms. Why? Because they want to put a site about Chiropractors up when someone searches for Chiropractors, not one about shoes and Chiropractors. So If you have multiple products or services, put them all on their own sites with domain names relevant just to them, then create links between those sites. That’s easy to do if you are using a content management system like Word Press or Drupal. The sites can look the same or similar, they just have to have different domain names and topics. This rule is also true if you are targeting multiple audiences. You can’t talk to film fans on the same pages as book fans. Google will only rank that page highly to people who search for books and films in the same query.

Building a site to sell something then filling your page full of ads that take people elsewhere is almost always a mistake. You are a baby sitter, and so you have links to books on your website, or Google ads for other things parents need. The problem is, when they come to your site they should buy what you sell. If they see ads for other things they don’t know what you sell. If you want to sell an isolated book, write a review of it and then post a link to it on Amazon. This sells you along with the book. Search Engine Marketing for a business only works when you actually get business from your efforts.

Sending people to a site you can’t monitor is a bad idea. Your website needs to have Google Analytics, GetClicky or some other realtime analysis tool running on it all the time so you can see what works to drive traffic and drive sales. Otherwise you’ll waste your time doing things that don’t work which is a fast ticket to the poor house. You need to know what search engine marketing techniques work for what you sell. It seems like a hassle to install and set this up, unless you are using Drupal or WordPress.

Search engine marketing can be easy, fast and straight forward if it is done correctly. I hope these tips prove useful. I’ve written a number of ebooks about search engine marketing everything from products and services to films. For more information, check out my websites.

Nancy Fulton is a writer, publisher and filmmaker. You can find more about her work by visiting

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Nancy Fulton - EzineArticles Expert Author

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