Email signatures are an incredibly powerful, yet under-utilised, tool for driving traffic to your website. For those unfamiliar with the term, this is what one looks like:
Internet Marketing Consultant
Email signatures are your way of signing off an email message and automatically appear when you hit the 'new' or 'create' message from programmes such as Outlook Express. Email signatures have the following benefits:
1. They are free
2. They are easy to set up
3. They can be modified to suit your audience
4. They can convey as much or as little information as you want
It is suprising how many companies fail to place even the most basic contact information at the end of their emails. Just think about these questions:
? Have you ever clicked on a web address in an email signature?
? Have you ever clicked on a promotional message from a client/potential client?
? Do you ever use emails to quickly identify someone's contact details - be it phone or email address?
Most people will answer 'YES' to the above and if you're not using email signatures, then you should look to start using them now.
I read an interesting news article today which said that Yahoo! may be about to drop Google as its supplier of search results and will look to Inktomi to fill the gap. One Internet pundit reckons that companies may see their search engine traffic drop by up to 50%. So now may be the time to look at investing in Inktomi's Search Submit inclusion programme.
Search Sands Shift as Yahoo! Prepares to Drop Google
The last article discussed ways of identifying websites that you could target for links. Here, we'll look at how to go about requesting links.
Step 1 – Try and identify either the ‘submit URL’ or ‘submit site’ button on these sites. If you have to submit to a category, take your time to find the most suitable category.
Step 2 – If there are no submission pages, locate the 'Contact Us' section or email button.
Step 3 – Craft an eMail to the site giving a brief overview of what your company does (to reinforce the fact that your site belongs in their directory); copy out the page description from your meta tags and make sure you include your URL (with http://).
Step 4 – Make a note of the URL on a spreadsheet and make sure that you go back to check if the link has been included.
Step 5 – Look at creating a links section on your site, possibly as a text link on the base of the web pages (hidden away), so that you can put all the reciprocal links directories may ask you to place on your site.
The first part of developing links identified a number of ways that you could generate links within your current circle, be they suppliers, business associations or chambers of commerce. The next phase is to look ‘outside the box’ and this will certainly include analysing links to competitor web sites.
Identifying your known/unknown competitors.
1. Make a list of the competitors you know of. To help jog your memory, you could look at Yellow pages, local business directories and other similar sites.
36 pages of this blog have now been picked up by Google. Having finally been picked up on the 10th November, this is great news, indeed. If you would like the full list of pages, type this into the Google search box: site:www.marketingtom.com inurl:www.marketingtom.com. I recently added a short navigation bar on this site, which puts a 'Home' link on every page, and have started to actively 'put the name about' on a number of Blogs (see previous entry). These may well have had an effect. Let's just hope Google indexes them all soon.
Why is it important to develop links?
1. You can reach some of your target audience that doesn't come in through the search engines
2. Search engines tend to rank web sites higher if they have decent links coming in to the site.
Following on from my previous posting, I'm going to follow Jeremy Wright's advice, of Ensight, and learn how people can discover this site through my discovery of other sites!
SEO: To Get Discovered: Discover Others!
In a previous posting I detailed the search engines which offered free submissions to their index. Inktomi, which powers some of the major search engines, offers a paid inclusion service for visitors.
Which ones? Here is a list of them from one of Inktomi's resellers - Postion Tech
As it can take some time to get listed (up to 6 weeks) with Inktomi, it may well be worth forking out the $39 to get your site listed within 48 hours. Payment includes a subscription for 1 year, with your page being refreshed every 48 hours. Inktomi doesn’t sell this service directly to clients but through resellers. These resellers offer pretty decent control panels which will display how effective your site has been over a given time period.
These are some further tips on how to better use your meta keywords and meta description:
1. Only use relevant keywords
2. Keep your description succinct, around 200-250 characters
3. Ditch superlatives and in some cases unnecessary adjectives, for example, sweeping countryside, beautiful brochures, high quality marketing communications solutions
4. Talk in a language that your target market uses
5. Keep revising until it is perfect