Are you a believer? For years experts have told us you can't do
better than get your site listed high on search engines. Get in
the top five listings and you will pull thousands of visitors,
Naturally, thousands of visitors should produce at least
hundreds of sales. Or, even on a bad day, you should get a few
But search engines rarely deliver what we expect. In this
article I tell you why and show you simple ways to fix the
Strike one: Let me give you a recent example from my own
experience. I got one of my sites listed high on Yahoo, the
number one search engine. Friends told me you can expect a giant
flood of visitors. Yup, if you consider twenty hits a week a
flood, I guess I was all wet.
Strike two: Next, I decided to purchase a high ranking on some
of the top pay-per-click search engines. The bid rates were low
on NetFlip.com and my site had no problem ranking number one for
several popular keywords my customers use most.
Yikes! The hits poured in. I got 400 visitors a day. That's not
the thousands of visitors larger sites get daily, but 400 people
searching for a site like mine should contain at least a few
Not so. After several weeks of being the welcome mat for
NetFlip's hordes, my site didn't sell a single thing. Could be a
case of lackluster copy or a bad product. But an identical offer
using the exact same copy was selling like gangbusters on my
Strike three: Ok, so the smaller pay-per-click sites just don't
deliver PAYING customers. Maybe they're all folks trying to earn
a penny to two by surfing from one site to the next, I don't
I figured if you want the BIG results you have to get on the BIG
search engines. GoTo has a deal where if you get in the top
three listings on their site, you'll be listed at the top of the
page on such major search engines at AltaVista and HotBot.
By hook or crook, that kind of listing is as good as it gets.
Expensive, but probably good. The plan produced a steady trickle
of visitors. Once in a while one buys.
The problem. Here's what I firmly believe is the problem with
search engine traffic. People search for a site like yours and
get a list of 10, 20, or 200 links. Even if they click to your
site and like it, the visitor knows there are dozens more
waiting for them back on the search engine page.
It's like going to the giant Mall Of The Americas and finding
everyone of the hundreds of stores sells the same thing, only
some have more items, or more selection, or cheaper prices.
This involves a principle well known to the people who produce
commercials for politicians. If your politician is the only one
on TV tonight, a lot of voters are going to believe what he
says. But if there is another politician on TV saying the exact
opposite of what your politician is saying, nobody is going to
believe either one of them. The opposing views cancel each other
On search engines, the opposing sites cancel each other out (one
of the reasons a lot of people get frustrated using them and,
according to a recent New York Times report, fewer and fewer
people are turning to search engines.)
The solution. Recognize the limitations of search engines.
You'll attract a lot more BUYING customers from the articles you
write and send out, from the print or TV ad you run, the ezine
ad you place, or from the good word-of-mouth former customers
send around the Internet.
In these situations, you are reaching people who may not know of
other sites like yours. They find your site, figure you are just
what they have been looking for, and buy. They struggle with the
cognitive dissonance (remember that term from Psychology class?)
of having too many choices.
You also don't want to give up completely on search engines.
Figure that when a person finds your site, they aren't nearly
ready to buy. For that, you have to give them more time. You
must be there again and again to remind them about your
expertise in the field and the great deals you offer.
Do this with your own email list. Do everything possible to get
the search engine visitor to put her email address in your
subscribe form so she can receive your clever tips or product
updates on a regular basis.
If you've been advertising your business in a variety of ways
for many years, you have already discovered I'm not reinventing
the wheel here. Once we get past all the new visitors a fresh
advertising method can bring, we start to focus on the QUALITIY
of those visitors.
Recognize the true quality of search engine traffic, then plan
to groom, convert, and train those visitors to be buying
About the author:
Lisa Lake has created a list of top promotional methods on her
http://MyAdBlaster.com Lisa also writes ad copy that sells for
DrNunley's http://InternetWriters.com Reach her at
mailto:email@example.com or 801-328-9006.