It happened again.

Almost every day I hear the phrase, “I want to be at the top of the search engines”. What does that really mean?

Unfortunately, most people say that phrase without actually thinking about what they mean by it. Do they want more visitors to their sites? Do they want more money to come into their businesses?

Simply being at the top of the search engines does nothing for your business. I can send thousands of people to any site on the web. But if I send a thousand vegetarians to a site selling steaks, is it going to be of benefit?

Instead, what people really are asking for is to get noticed. To have quality people come into their site for the opportunity of creating a sale some time in the future. People want leads.

Good quality leads can come from a variety of sources. Just like with traditional marketing methods, you’ll find clients in a variety of different methods. If you take a look at your last five clients, you’re likely to discover they came from a variety of sources. From places like:

  • a referral from a past client;
  • an ad in a niche targeted magazine;
  • a direct mail postcard;
  • a meeting at a local networking group; and
  • a friend of the family.

The key to traditional marketing methods is not putting all of your eggs into one basket; instead relying on a number of different sources.

But up until now, the Internet has been somewhat different. People are still putting up websites, and expecting people to magically find them. Or they expect to be placed on a search engine in the number one position (out of millions) and be instantly recognized.

A good Internet strategy takes its cue from a traditional marketing plan. It realizes there are dozens of ways to reach a potential customer, and finds ways of capturing each of those methods. So a well marketed site might receive visitors, and ultimately purchasers, from things like:

  • a banner ad on a complimentary site;
  • a click from a pay-per-click ad;
  • a referral from an article on an association site;
  • a link from an ezine; and
  • yes, a top placement on a strong keyword within the search engines.

Having a clear vision for your business allows you to market your business directly to your ideal target market. The same applies to your website. The clearer you are on your ideal client, the easier it is to reach out to them.

With the Internet, a lot of your marketing strategy relies on searches – what are your customers searching for when they reach your site? Different people search for different things, yet all wind up on the same site making an identical purchase.

How do you capture those visitors?

It’s a matter of thinking like your customers. Why do they come to you? If you don’t know, start asking how they found you. Did they see you in an advertisement, or was it a referral from another company? What were they searching for when they found your company?

As you find different techniques, concentrate on building advertising methods using those techniques.

While many business owners have the belief that a top ranking placement of one keyword will bring in the traffic, in truth concentrating you efforts on multiple, less searched keywords is an easier task to accomplish.

Instead of being at the top of the search engines for a strong keyword such as “marketing”, concentrating on a more targeted phrase such as “small business marketing for health spas” may in turn help you gain more business.

The word “marketing” is huge, and can contain hundreds of different meanings, depending on the searcher. Yet when you narrow your focus to “small business marketing for health spas”, your focus becomes clear, and you have a much greater chance of gaining the attention you are seeking.

And when you have focused on key phrases, it will open up other marketing opportunities. You may find a directory to place a banner ad, or an ezine that is looking for quality articles. Your focus leads you to better quality contacts.

And isn’t that the real reason to be at the top of the search engines?

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Lori Osterberg has created three successful businesses in the past 10 years, and along the way discovered the secrets of taking a local small business and turning it into a worldwide success. She now shares this passion with people all over the world, and speaks, writes and mentors on using technology to grow your business – and stay small at the same time! Receive her FREE ezine at www.VisionOfSuccess.com.