When the editor of Vein Magazine asked me to write about internet marketing, the first thing that came to my mind was “SEO”. SEO an abbreviation for the newly claimed art of “search engine optimization.” Search Engine Optimization, a novel technique of altering the backend code a particular website so that it becomes “popular” in the eyes of Google, Yahoo, MSN, and other search engines.
For example, do a search on Google for “Vein Treatment”, a few highlighted results show up at the top and some non-highlighted results on the side of the page. These are not the results of search engine optimization. These are paid placements that one can purchase by signing up with Google. However, if you look closely, there are about 10 results that show up in the middle. These search results that show up in the middle of the page are the direct result of search engine optimization. And yes, they are free. “Free” because Google picks out its favorite websites for that particular term “Vein Treatment”. Also “free” because Google doesn’t get paid for these placements. Some folks call these “organic” or “naturally occurring” search results.
Picture (use screenshot of google for the term “Vein Treatment”). Use an arrow to show the difference between paid add and organic “SEO”…like our brochure.
Can you do SEO on your own? There are some changes that you can do on your own with your web designer. For example, you can make sure you have the correct meta tags and title tags on each page of your website. Meta tags and title tags are fields that need to be completed by your web designer for each corresponding page of your website. Please look at the diagram above. Sometimes I run into websites that do not have any Meta tags on their pages. This is a big “no no.” Without these tags, the search engines have no way of finding you.
Another tip is to reduce the amount of “flash” and heavy images on your home page. Image files and flash files are not picked up by search engines. I know that flash looks good and ads to the aesthetic character of your website. But take it from me, its better to be listed high on the search engines than for your website to look great and never be seen.
How long does it take for the changes to be seen by search engines? This is the most important question. Search Engine Optimization takes time. There are no immediate results. If any company tells you that they can place your website on the top of the search engines within a couple of weeks, they are lying to you. It takes months for the search engines to crawl your site and pick up the changes. Moreover, not every company that claims to do Search Engine Optimization can actually do it. Always look at their track record. Ask them, which websites they have optimized for and for which particular terms.. Before you are about to spend money on this, take it from me, do your homework. On a positive note, once you make it to the top, you sure save a bunch of advertising money!
Drop me an email if you have questions or comments firstname.lastname@example.org.