by Terry Young
How to stay ahead of the game
As business tightens, often the first questions we are asked by prospective clients are about how they can achieve better search results than their competition.
Many business owners are told by designers that by paying them to add a few tags on a page, they will be top of the searches. Of course, if it were that simple, everyone would be number one. For a start, there are thousands of search engines (Yahoo, Google, AOL, Ask, to name the larger ones) and each look for something different in a site. Also, many searches can take between six weeks and three months to even list a site.
As I have said recently, successful sites are 'works-in-progress,' and once your site is recognized by the searches, the real work begins.
It is essential that you have the means to observe your site traffic; a counter is not enough. You need to see how many hits you are getting, and also where people came from, as well as the search engines and keywords they used to find you. Every few months, you and your designer(s) need to analyze your traffic stats, search results and placement. You need to know which search engines are working for you and which aren't. Also, which keywords are working and which aren't.
Regular updates are necessary, rewriting your pages and coding as needed (more than just changing 'tags'), then resubmitting the site to the searches. This continues until you reach that perfect mix of keywords and you start seeing favorable search results.
Even if your site reaches the first page, you cannot rest.
First-place results can easily slip away almost overnight. If someone else's site emerges with similar or better keywords and coding, it can quickly overtake yours.
If you are ready to take your business to the next level, now is the time to research newer web technologies, such as our own WebUpdate4 system, which includes many advanced features designed to give your business the best competitive edge online.
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Terry Young is the founder and CEO of Internet Marketing and Design. Since 1997,