Tuesday, November 08, 2005

It's Tuesday...Where's your website?

When you ask most people, they're not quite sure. Am I getting the exposure that I need? Do I need to resubmit my site? Is it really required to resubmit my site as often as people tell me? Interesting questions, let's take them one at a time:

Q. Am I getting the exposure that I need?

A. That depends on why you have a website. When I teach at IBI's Free Enterprise Forum (www.ibiglobal.com) I get people to ask themselves some simple questions. Why do I have a website? Why do I need a website? What's the purpose of my website? Who's my market for my product or service? When you find the answer to these questions, you can answer the exposure question very easily, and generally the answer is NO, you're not getting the kind of exposure you need. Why do I say that with such assertion? Simple. If you did, you'd be out enjoying life and not worrying about it :-) But seriously. Let's examine what a website is, what it's for, and why people use them.

Websites themselves are like newspaper ads. We use them to convey a message to an audience, sell a product, express a viewpoint or position on something, tell a joke, show a movie...the list goes on.

We have to determine our market place to see if our voice in the website is correct. Not the spoken voice, but the written one. Did not know you had a voice when you write did you? You do. How you inflect written words is as important as how you speak them. DO YOU WRITE IN ALL CAPS??? IF so, you'll lose 50% of your audience very quickly as this is the same as YELLING YOUR MESSAGE. If you write in correct structure of upper and lower case the text flows, and as long as the subject is interesting, people will read, they'll tell others and so on and so on.

If you're selling a product, then you have to have a market for this product. You want to sell at the right price, you want pictures that appeal, colors that excite, and a message that works to entice your viewer to buy your product. Sounds easy right? It is, but it all has to be done in the first 3-6 seconds of their arrival on your site. If you have a site that takes too long to load...you lose them. Too many flashy graphics...you lose them...to high of a price...you lose them. This is handled by doing research on your market and doing what some others do, but differentiating yourself from others is a beautiful thing as well. If this is not your genius, seek out someone who does this for a living and they can help you refine your message. Get them on your team, pay them someway and have them be a part of the greater success of your company.

Q. Do I need to resubmit my site to the various search engines?
A. If you want it to gain in popularity the short answer is YES. How often? That's answered in the next question, but the answer here is a number of times. All search engines want you to resubmit your site. Why is a question that many of us in the field are asking ourselves, but we find time and time again that resubmitting the site will actually help it gain popularity on the search engines. The problem is how often, and that is not an exact science, but it's one that's always being studied.

Q. Is it really required to resubmit my site as often as people tell me?
A. Depends on who those people are. If they're in the field, this will vary widely. Some will say every month. Some will say twice a year. If that was truly the case, they would not make submission programs or prune recommendations to tell people that in order to gain visibility on the search engines you need to actually schedule your submissions, and doing them automatically all the time will hurt you, where doing them manually and automatically will help you. Let me elaborate on hurt due to strictly automatic submissions. You can get around the hurt by alternating and targeting your submissions, but I can't give you an exact schedule on these. See I do this for my livelyhood and that's part of my success plan. Let's just say that I have found a way to not get hurt doing strictly automatic submissions, but I do both manual and automatic as part of my services package called MAX.

That's all I have time for at this moment. Have a great day, and remember, if it's not your genius, it's not your job. (gleaned from an IBI instructor who I admire greatly, Mr. Barry Spilchuck)

MM