Search Engine Listings
What is a search engine listing? When you
go to www.Google.com or
www.Altavista.com, for example, and
perform a search at one of these websites, these search engines show you a
list of websites that contain information relevant to what you're looking
for. The results that are returned are commonly referred to as SERPs or
Search Engine Results Pages.
When someone performs a search for a
product or service that you sell, then you should be at the top of the
list of SERPs.
What is a search
To understand what a search engine listing is, let's begin by looking at
the business to business B2B sales cycle. When someone identifies that
they have a need for a particular product or service, they usually perform
research on the internet. They open their web browser and either use their
default home (this may be set to MSN.com if they have a Windows-based PC,
for example) or they go to their favorite search engine to perform a
According to recent
statistics, Google at www.Google.com
is the preferred search engine of choice when it comes to business
In the search field,
they type in the something they're looking for (the terms they use differ
greatly depending on the status of their need). The search engine then
returns a list of web pages, complete with the title and description of
each web page, to them. Search engine listings are these results that are
returned to the user after they perform a search. To get the best return
on the investment in your corporate website, it is imperative that your
website show up in the top 10 listings of these search engine results.
How do you get your corporate website to show up in the results?
There are two ways to get your corporate website to show up in the search
engine results. Both ways, though, require some investment.
- Pay to be listed in the search
results. Essentially, this is paying for advertising on a search
engine. You open an account directly with the search engine or a third
party and visitors are sent to your website when they perform a search
that's related to your website. In this case, the ROI can be very
measurable. You pay a set price for each visitor that is delivered to
your corporate website. By determining how many visitors came to your
website and how many sales you made from these visitors, you can
determine how much it cost you to get one sale. This method can get you
to the top of the search results in as little as 3 days. Usually, the
person who pays the most per visitor gets to be at the top of the list.
You determine which terms you want to be "found for" and you bid
(auction-style) on terms relevant to the products and services you sell.
This is commonly referred to as PPC or pay-per-click. Some search
engines refer to this as sponsored
- Hire a search engine optimization
specialist to make subtle changes to your website (optimizing the
web pages) so you appear at the top of the search results without having
to pay to be listed in the search results. Ultimately, this is the
preferred method as some searchers look at paid search results
differently than they look at non-paid results. There is a fee involved,
however, as you must pay the search engine optimization specialist to
optimize your corporate website. It also can take longer to show up in
the search results as there is a significant amount of work involved in
optimizing a corporate website, and the search engines don't always
update their indexes often.