So, your web-site is on-line and you are satisfied with its professional look and functioning. But, are you satisfied with its contribution towards your business ? How many new customers has it turned in ? What is the return on this investment ? is the web-site successful ?
Success of a web-site depends on three factors
Search Engine marketing is a great tool for attracting quality customers. However, extent of success here depends a great deal on how well one executes a search engine marketing plan.
Which Search Engine ?
Traffic to a web-site from a search engine depends on two factors:
However, there are some special kind of vertical engines or portals that have the capacity to send very high quality potential customers. Traffic from such engines and portals could be much less in number compared to Google or Yahoo! - but the conversion ratio could be much higher. Ignoring such quality traffic sources could prove to be fatal error in a search engine marketing program.
Your search engine marketing program should consider both the approaches and draw a balanced view
Top Search Engines Based on Raw Traffic
Search Engine Watch the highly respected name in search engine marketing recently published latest A C Nielsen Netrating survey.
The Nielsen/NetRatings MegaView Search reporting service measures the search behavior of more than a million people worldwide. These web surfers have real-time meters on their computers which monitor the sites they visit. This metered information is compiled to produce NetRatings results. Below are statistics about searching from NetRatings provided to Search Engine Watch:
The chart below shows the percentage of online searches done by US home and work web surfers in November 2005 that were performed at a particular search engine. Internal site searches, such as those to find material within a particular web site, are not counted in these totals. The activity at more than 60 search sites makes up the total search volume upon which percentages are based - 5.1 billion searches in this month.
Top Search Engines and Portals - based on quality of Traffic
There are some directories and portals that have the ability to send potential visitors to your web-site. Some of these are general purpose while others are subject specific.
Unlike spider-based search engines, Directories list only a few hand-picked web-sites under every category. They employ human editors and every web-site is included purely on merit. There is no scope for keyword distribution or content manipulation or some such trick to fool the spider.
There are many visitors who prefer such highly selected list of web-sites rather than a huge list. Such visitors, typically, are very specific about what they want and tend to act rather fast.
Examples of general purpose directories are Yahoo!, DMOZ etc.
There are many vertical directories that focus on a specific product or topic. Serious visitors find out about these subject specific directories from general search engines and then use it to contact suppliers, buyers, agents, distributors etc. Examples of such vertical directories are Vanik , The Great Indian Bazaar etc.
Imagine the effort a web-surfer has spent for finding a directory of his/her choice and then surf to your web-site from that directory - and you will begin to see the seriousness involved.
Your search engine marketing program should consider high volume horizontal search engines such as Yahoo! and Google as well as popular vertical directories in your product areas.
At the end of above processes - you should be able to draw a list of few selected search engines and portals that are capable of sending quality traffic to your web-site. In next articles, we shall examine how to actually use these search engines.
Happy and Productive Surfing
Dr. Amit K Chatterjee
FAIDA - Newsletter on Business Opportunties from India and Abroad
Vol: 6, Issue 28
; April 28' 2006