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Apprentice fever has hit our TV screens again and is likely to dominate office chat in the weeks to come. In this series candidates are competing for an investment in their own business rather than a 6 figure salary as Lord Sugar aims to show that despite the current economic situation there is still the opportunity to make money. Continue reading

The clash of the Titans

It is always a topic of conversation in any website meeting: ”where are we in Google?  We need to be top of the first page.  We need to be above our competitors!”  Companies are becoming obsessed with search engine optimisation and being top on the first page of Google.  And quite rightly so, with Google accounting for over 50% of Internet searches, it is a powerful marketing tool.

However, Microsoft is now bidding to overthrow Google’s search engine supremacy with the launch of Bing, a new search engine it says will give more useful results and end its rival’s dominance.

The search engine will allow users to target their searches more accurately and do away with the millions of irrelevant results that many searches retrieve on Google. Microsoft calls it a “decision engine” because, it claims, it refines your search more carefully and offers a list of topics of related interest — something Google doesn’t do.

Bing went live in the US on the 2nd June, and is currently under development at Microsoft’s headquarters in London.  Ashley Highfield from Microsoft says, We have what we think are a series of Google-beating features.” ”We are trying to move from a world where people are generally frustrated with their search, to one where people are genuinely pleased with their answers.

“For example, if you enter Nikon D80, Bing will know you are looking for a camera. From that moment on, a lot of things happen differently. With Google you get 500,000 search results in decreasing relevance. With us, because we know it’s a camera, we immediately open up categories on the left hand side. It starts with where to buy Nikon D80s, the next one is instruction manuals, or how to use Nikon D80s. Anything you put in it will recognise and start to categorise.”

Bing is an exciting new bit of kit, but it surely faces an up hill struggle to surpass Google.   But one day we could just be adopting the phrase ‘Bing it’ in preference to ‘Google it”

Everywhere you go – it is SEO!

Only a couple of years ago SEO seemed to be a mysterious form of ‘black magic’.  It was believed, somewhere out there, existed powers which would help to position your website within Google and other search engines.  People realised SEO existed, but paid little attention to it. 

Now things have changed!  SEO is the new marketing meeting buzz word.  We can no longer go to a client marketing meeting without mentioning Search Engine Optimisation.  Everyone wants to know more about SEO. 

Why is my website not on the first page of Google? 
My competitor’s website is on the first page? 
How do I get my site onto the first Page of Google?
Question: Why are people now paying more attention to SEO?
Answer:  Because they can’t afford not too?

With over 38 million people in the UK using the internet (over 60% of the UK population), and with 80% percent of these people using search engines to find the service or product they need, companies can no longer ignore SEO.  A company’s website must feature highly in the Search Engine’s - especially Google. 

Company directors and marketing managers are now spending less time worrying about web design and more time worrying whether their website is being built in a search engine friendly manner.

Statistics taken from Hitwise and Nielsen/Net Ratings

Web design is important – but so is website traffic!

Web design is crucial; no one wants a 2nd rate, pedestrian looking website.  However, there is little point in having an all singing, all dancing website if no one is accessing it.

 

Without a method of directing traffic to your site, it will achieve nothing.  No matter how informative the website is, or how great the design looks, your website will be unlikely to generate new business or sales enquiries.
Website Traffic can be generated in 6 main ways:

1.  Search Engine Optimisation
2.  Online advertising
3.  Press Advertising and PR stories
4.  Pay per Click Advertising
5.  Email Marketing
6.  Internet Users directly accessing your website

Search Engine Optimisation is considered by many as the most important method in getting traffic to your website.  To maintain an effective SEO strategy, it must be performed on an ongoing basis.
While press advertising is seeing a decline, online advertising is proving more popular.  Web banners and skyscrapers are important digital marketing tools in getting the internet user to jump onto your website.
If you are looking to get your website onto the first page of Google and generate instant traffic to your site then Pay Per Click Advertising is often a good answer- however this can prove expensive in the long run!
Email marketing is good at getting repeat visitors to your website.

Emailing your database and directing people onto your website from their inbox, often through special promotions is an excellent way of generating site traffic.

Remember people won’t just stumble across your website.  You must actively market it.

Web Design is important.  But so is website traffic!!!

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