By Enzo F. Cesario
Advertising should be part of any growing business. Regardless of what your business does, customers have to know about your product or service in order for them to use it. As the Internet becomes a primary source for consumer knowledge and increasingly, purchasing, it’s imperative that your company gets its message out through this medium. However, advertising on the Internet works differently than traditional advertising in that the customer must find the business instead of a business coming to the customer.
Copywriting is the creation of text used in advertising, regardless of medium. This covers every aspect of an advertisement: promotional flyers, jingles, slogans, billboards and Web pages. All of these strive to put your product or service in the best light possible and are aimed directly at the consumer; except for Web pages. With Web pages there is another audience your advertisement must also target: the search engine.
What’s a Search Engine, and Why Isn’t it Finding Me?
Think of a search engine as being a giant phone book: customers looking for a type of business will often look up that category and start by calling the first listing. Because phone books are indexed alphabetically, almost every category will have a business with a name beginning with “a,” or even “aaa.” Likewise, Internet users who aren’t familiar with the category they’re looking at will start with the first link they see when they search for something. However, dozens or even hundreds of factors determine the placement of these pages. This is where SEO comes in.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Like naming your business “AAA” for placement in a phone book, SEO techniques match Web pages with the criteria that search engines use so that they are placed as high on a search as possible. Web pages are placed on search engines through the use of a Web crawler. This is a program that systematically searches for new Web pages and categorizes them. Because the Internet is so massive, these crawlers are designed to weed out useless pages and concentrate on unique ones that will be useful to people who are doing the search. Search engines use dozens of factors in their algorithms to find and place Web pages. They are very secretive about the specific factors so that no one can cheat their system by writing a Web page just so it will be placed on top. While the specifics are unknown, there are a few things all search engines use to categorize pages: the number of links to a page, its ranking on Web site traffic sites and keywords in the page.
Use SEO and Play By the Rules
We all depend on getting accurate, useful results from search engines. Search engine companies actively modify their criteria to keep spam from showing up on their pages and to keep their users happy. Therefore the best way to use SEO to get people to your Web page is by playing by the rules; pages that have useful information will stay on top of searches, while those that don’t are quickly removed.
So What CAN I Do to Get My Business Noticed?
Many search engines sell ads, but any reliable service will not sell search placement, nor does advertising with them influence your place on their searches. There are three things you should be concerned with to ensure a good ranking:
- 1. Keyword indexing: HTML pages can use meta tags that tell search engines what topics a page covers. It is important to include as many words related to the subject of a Web page in its meta tags. However, placing popular but unrelated words, such as a celebrity’s name or hiding keywords behind backgrounds or images on a page to generate search results will quickly get the page ignored.
- 2. Good linking: Links are very important to getting your page noticed, but only if they’re from reliable sources and are written to emphasize keywords. Links from known link sellers will not improve your page rank and will cause consumers to distrust your site. Linking within your site to appropriate pages and getting others in a related area to link to you will help your page ranking immensely.
- 3. Limited Web crawling: This may seem counterintuitive, but there are some pages that you may not want to show up on a search engine, like temporary pages or login screens. Most search engines consider internal search pages to be spam, and allowing them to be crawled will lower your search ranking. This can be prevented using the robots exclusion standard: a text file named “robots.txt” placed in the root directory of a domain will tell crawlers which parts of your Web site to skip.
SEO is vital in copywriting for Internet-based advertisements. Properly implemented, it will help keep your page on the top of search lists. By creating good links, using accurate keywords and limiting Web crawling to useful pages, you can ensure customers can find you.
About the Author
Enzo F. Cesario is a Copywriter and co-founder of Brandsplat. Brandcasting uses informative content and state-of-the-art internet distribution and optimization to build links and drive the right kind of traffic to your Web site. Go to www.Brandsplat.com or visit our blog at: www.brandsplatblog.com.