Escape the Web Wasteland
Ask a few friends with websites if their site help them sell,
and the answer is usually something along the lines of "some".
Asked why their site fails to make a real difference in their
business most have no idea why.
Digging deeper, most businesspeople fume at the mention of their
Google and Yahoo rankings. They paid big bucks to get their
website "just so", spent weeks of effort, then tossed it out
into the wild and expected it to rank high in Google. A week or
so later, they type in their business name, and voila, they have
a #1 Google ranking! Success!
Well, not really... Truth is, soon they discover their shiny new
site isn't bringing in any new business. What they don't know
is their site's living in The Web Wasteland Land - a place where
old and new websites go to die.
"All politics is local" - when Tip O'Neil said that he was
describing Web search, too. What's this mean? It means that
(almost) all web searches are geographical.
Let's take Sue, a Miami resident who wants to buy a new scooter.
Invariably, Sue goes to Google, Yahoo, MSN, or her favorite niche
search engine and types in the search term (you guessed it)
After a few milliseconds the search engine presents Sue a page of
listings for scooter companies - in Guatemala, Anchorage, and
Dubuque. She also gets results listing .pdf files about scooter
batteries, scooter videos - but nothing relevant to buying a
scooter near her.
However, Sue searches again. This time she uses the phrase
"scooter Miami". Voila! Now Sue gets more relevant scooter
listings in Miami. Still, for some reason she doesn't see the
scooter shop (Bill's Scooter Emporium) her uncle recommended,
and unfortunately she can't remember their name.
That's because "Bill's Scooter Emporium" and many other Miami
scooter retailers still won't show up - because they think
they're scooter stores, while in fact they're really Miami
Simply put, the text on their website pages isn't saying scooter
+ Miami to the search engines.
The truth is, unless you're a national retailer or service
provider, you probably serve people who seek your particular
product or service within their local geographic area. Few people
who need their car windows tinted are going to drive 300 miles to
get it done. Whether you consider your business to be
geographically focused or not doesn't matter, people who seek
your product or service will want to buy it within a particular
geography (Miami scooters) - and that's how they'll always
search for it. They ARE geographically-focused, so you MUST be.
That's why your website must talk to the search engines in terms
they understand. If your pages don't talk product + geography,
your site's likely going to end up in The Web Wasteland Land -
or at best, on the outskirts.
Going back to the Miami scooter example, Sue used "scooter +
Miami" as her search term. Grossly oversimplified, search
engines process her search looking for web pages with the
strongest appearances of these two search words (how often they
appear on a page and how close together they are), and serve them
up to Sue ranked 1 to x zillion (high to low) based on that
strength (and some other lesser factors).
So, if you're a scooter store in Miami and want to show up at #1
when Sue searches for you, the pages on your website need to
contain some phrases like these:
* You just can't find a better scooter in Miami...
* Scooters for Miami...
* The best scooters in Miami...
* When you need a new scooter in Miami, call us...
* Scooters for Miami, Dade County, and South Florida...
* And so on...
The closer "scooter" is to "Miami", the better. The key is to
demonstrate to Google and Yahoo a tight geographic and product
(geo-product) linkage. You connect the product (scooters) with
geography (Miami) to create a geo-product linkage the search
engines then use to your advantage.
How do you know when your site is in The Web Wasteland land? Test
it! The very best way to test you website visibility is to use a
tool specifically-designed for the task. WebPosition, WebCEO, and
others are available as are vendors who are more than willing to
run the test for a fee. Short of that, write down some logical
search phrases (geography + product) and search for yourself in
Google, Yahoo, and your other favorite search engines.
Some example search phrases Bill's Scooter Emporium would use to
* Scooter Miami
* Miami scooter
* Scooter shop Miami
* Miami scooter shop
* Miami scooter dealer
Escaping The Web Wasteland. If your business shows on page 2,
you've got work to do. If it shows up on page 3 (or is a
no-show) - you're in The Web Wasteland. The key to breaking out
of The Web Wasteland is to understand that there are three basic
areas you need to address; your page text, META page
descriptions, and META keywords.
1. Page text can be easily modified to achieve a geo-product
focus by whoever maintains your website. And, if your business
serves multiple geographies, you can include multiple phrases, or
select pages to have a separate geo-focus (a Miami page, a Punta
Gorda page, etc.).
2. META Descriptions are short paragraphs within the HTML code
which describe the content of that particular web page. Though
you never see that HTML on a page, if you right-click on the
background of a web page and select "View Source", notepad will
pop up with the underlying HTML code from the page. Using our
scooter example you should expect to see something like this:
3. META keywords are words and phrases located within the HTML
code at the top of most web pages that talk to search engines.
Near the top you should see something like this (again, using our
While there are dozens of additional tweaks and nuances which can
help or hurt your search engine placement, these three areas can
make a huge difference in how well you web pages and website
shows up in a search engine. An experienced search engine
optimization (SEO) company can get these right quickly, handle
the endless additional nuances, and keep an eye on things on an
However, whether you fix your site yourself or hire it done, you
should constantly check (monthly at least) the placement of your
site to make sure it stays out of The Web Wasteland Land.
Regardless of your product or service, it's clear that if you
achieve a better tight geo-product linkage, over time Google,
Yahoo and the other search engines will reward your work with
increasingly better placement and more customers.
Leave your competitors in The Web Wasteland, and sell more today!
Learn more about how the Web can help you sell more. Visit Ty
Shewmake at www.RetailSalesSystems.com Retail Sales
Systems helps small and medium B2B and B2C businesses create the
perfect storm of e-sales success using the web, SEO, drip and
nurture, and more. We specialize in implementing world-class
ACT and www.SalesForce.com drip marketing systems.