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 Welcome to OrbWeaver's Business Resource Lab

 Marketing, Demographics, and You.

You worked with your web designer and between the two of you, you've come up with a great site... if you do say so yourself. By carefully taking advantage of the latest information on search engine optimization techniques, and a judicious budget for announcing your site, you have reasonable placement under your keywords. You took some of our marketing tips to heart, announced your new site to anyone who'd listen...

But your site just isn't providing you with the business you expected. In short, your Return On Investment (ROI) is not up to snuff.

If you realize your site isn't performing as you expected your first action should be to check your traffic report. Your traffic report will tell you how many people visited your site, where they came from, and where they left. Your traffic report will also provide you with a list of the keywords the viewers searched under to reach your site.

Your traffic report may provide you with some rude shocks. You may have a lot of business coming to your site... but leaving on your first page and never seeing the rest of your site. In which case, you need to rethink that front page.

You may discover people are not coming to see you based on what you think your core business (and keywords) are. For example, you are a country inn. So your keywords, and your site, are skewed toward people who are looking for country inns in your area. But you're not getting traffic based on those keywords.

Well... you know what you do. You know who you are. What's the problem? Why aren't people finding you?

It could be that what you expect people to be searching on isn't, in fact, what they are searching on. You need to know what people are looking for. You need... Overture. Overture is a bid-for-placement service, and we do think that anyone with a budget for their website should include such a service in their planning, but more than simply bidding for business, Overture provides the tools you need to see what people are searching on, and how valuable your competition thinks those searches are.

Paying for traffic has two side benefits rarely discussed, even by the services themselves, which in and of themselves are worth the monthly fee. These services allow you to see what your competitors are bidding for their placement, hence creating transparency in the marketplace. And they allow you to see how often your keywords were searched on in the month past.

Let's take our little B&B. After signing up with Overture, they decide to see how often people actually searched on their keywords "Judevine Bed and Breakfast." They discover that this search isn't as frequent as they though it was, but that people do use it. Using the bidding tool they discover that six of their competitors are bidding for placement... no wonder their site isn't being noticed!

Now, they could stop here, and decide to enter the bidding too. But instead our little site is curious to learn what other searches might dovetail with their site. They're interested in snowmobiling, so they look under "Judevine Snowmobile Trails." Nothing. How about "Vermont Snowmobile Trails?" something. How about "Vermont Snowmobiling?" Bingo! Jackpot. And there aren't any bidders in this category either.

Our Bed and Breakfast could reoptomize their site to take advantage of this information, and re-announce it to the search engines. But by the time they do all that, winter will be a distant memory. So instead they quickly build a page for their site which outlines the snowmobiling opportunities around Judevine. They add a link to their front page, and put their new snowmobiling page up on the Overture bidding system.

Now they're fielding inquiries from snowmobile enthusiasts who are interested in coming to Judevine, because there is this nice bed and breakfast right off the trails. This is targeted marketing based on an understanding of what your target demographic is interested in and searching on.

Think of optimizing your site for the search engines (see "search engines") as painting with a spray gun. You cover a wide area but you don't have a whole lot of control over the paint. Target marketing is a small brush, carefully filling in the detail work.

Advertising your Web site with Overture search listings will allow you to set a budget you're comfortable with (minimum $20/month), and then places your URL in any search germain or relevant to a page on your site. You can target specific pages which drive back to your main page, or target your index page. You pay only for those that actually click through, making this one of the most affordable long term methods of increasing traffic available. Sign up now and get a $10 credit, equivalent to 200 free sales leads. Sign up now.

Advertising on LookSmart is a little less expensive, $15/month, but doesn't allow you to bid for placement. Still, $15/month buys you 100 click throughs, on your choice of keywords, which don't have to be your "main" keywords. Such as our B&B, who would choose among their keywords "snowmobiling." Less flexible, fewer tools to work with, but less expensive too. Click here

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