Getting Found Online

You’ve invested countless valuable resources into starting your Web site. Your doors are open, and now you are just waiting to receive a flood of customers – but where are they? Many potential customers who are looking for the products and services you offer are searching for them at their favorite search engines, but unless your site is near the top of the search results, customers are not likely to see your listing or to learn about your business. In fact, 62 % of searchers click on a link within the first page of results, according to a report from iProspect and Jupiter Research.

You cannot simply build a Web site and wait for visitors to come. You need to market your site online – meaning you need to take action to make your site highly visible to search engines so it gets found by potential customers. The good news is there are many cost-effective steps you can take to improve your Web site’s search engine ranking.

"Organic" vs. "Paid Search"
Search engines provide two primary methods of displaying Web site listings on the results page: one is known as organic or natural, and the other as paid search.
When you enter a term in a search engine, you will see a list of results (10 at a time) displayed in the center of the search engine results page. These sites are called “organic” search results because they appear after search engines search and index the Web looking for sites that best match the keyword entered. These organic results are also sometimes called “natural” or “free” results, because you don’t pay for these listings; they appear because the search engine found and ranked your site as having valuable content in relation to the keyword entered. This is determined based on hundreds of criteria in the search engine’s “algorithm”, or search formula, that your site was a relevant result for the search term entered.
The other method for appearing on the search engine results page is to pay to have your site appear in the “sponsored links” section of the results. You’ll typically pay for each click that you get on these links, so this is often called “pay per click” advertising.