Once your website has been developed and put online the harsh reality will set in that it won't receive any visitors unless people can find it. Let's consider how people search for websites: Typically, someone will visit one of the big three search engines, Google, Yahoo or Microsoft's Bing, type a few keywords and be presented with a page of results. Usually the top two or three results are sponsored results (in other words, paid ads) and the thousands of results below those are organic results (web pages that are displayed without payment, according to how relevant the search engine company deems those websites to be). The sites at the top get exponentially higher click-through rates than those below, in fact the top few listings typically share more clicks than all the other listings combined.
Only one site can rank first, so if you operate in a highly competitive industry, achieving the top spot can be quite a challenge. The fine details of how a search engine company ranks websites are trade secrets but Google for example has issued webmaster guidelines on what they consider good practise which fall in to the categories of Design & Content, Technical and Quality guidelines.
It therefore should go without saying that if you want to ensure a greater number of people visit your website, you need to aim for a high ranking and a company with search engine optimisation skills will be able to help you achieve this goal.
Achieving good search engine rankings takes time and if your website is new, this poses an immediate problem. However, you can always opt for the quick and easy solution - paid ads.
All large search engines offer comprehensive advertising solutions where you can fully manage your ad campaigns online. You can choose the keywords you want your ad to be displayed for and pay each time your ad is clicked.
With the phenomenal rise of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, a relatively new form of marketing has grown - social network marketing - where your website can be promoted by gaining a following among social contacts. Also, because these sites hold so much personal information about their users, it's possible to specifically target your ads to a degree never possible before. Want to display your online clothing store to women with an interest in fashion between the age of 18 and 30 in the Manchester area? - Facebook has the tools to do that.
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