Whether you are creating your first company web site or evaluating the site you have had for years, it is easy to get confused by myriad of advice and acronyms that you find in books, webinars, and in talking to consultants. If you find yourself in this situation, you may find it helpful to take a step back and ask two fundamental questions related to your site:

  1. Am I getting found?
  2. Am I getting leads?

Today I want to talk about question #1, “Am I Getting Found?”. You want to make sure that your web site can be found by strangers as well as people who have already heard of you.

Certainly people should be able to find you if they search on your name and the name of your business. If you are not showing up in Google for your own business name, there is something seriously wrong and you should address this issue first. People who are searching for you by name have heard of you and are trying to learn more about you. Don’t derail your earlier marketing efforts by being invisible when people search for you on the web.

You also want to be visible to strangers – people who haven’t heard about you yet but are searching for solutions to the problems they are facing. This is where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes into play. At a basic level, SEO consists of things that you do on your site, as well as on other sites, to make it more likely that people using Google (and other search engines) will find you when they are searching for the types of solutions you provide. People often jump right into the technical aspects of SEO that I think they forget a fundamental point – if you want to be found by people searching for solutions, you have to be aware of the language they use to describe the problem. It doesn’t do you much good to rank #1 on Google for “widget” if all of your ideal prospect think in terms of “doodads”.

I should have started this post by stating that before you try to answer “Am I getting found?” and “Am I getting leads?”, you must have your marketing strategy (who you serve and your remarkable difference in serving their needs) in place. The more specific you can be about your strategy, the easier it will be to create content for your ideal customers and to attract them to that content.

Lack of strategy can also lead to another problem – getting attention (traffic) that never converts into sales. I’ll post more about that tomorrow.

Bill Brelsford Small Business Marketing Consultant