Believe me or not, a business can survive and thrive on the Internet without good search engine placement. That does not mean that a Webmaster should not strive to get good rankings in the search engines, but it does mean that a Webmaster should not throw his or her entire advertising budget towards search engine optimization (SEO).
The SEO guys are rolling in their Ferrari's as you read this. I would have said that the SEO guys are rolling their graves, but they are not dead, yet.
There Can Be Only Ten
How many web pages will be listed on page one of the search results at Google? How about on Yahoo or MSN? That is right; there can be only ten web pages listed on page one of the search results.
According to the Internet Archive (http://www.archive.org), there are currently 85 billion web pages on the Internet. But, if you have ever used the Wayback Machine at the Internet Archive, then you know as I know that they have not archived everything that is out there, so that 85-billion number is actually smaller than the real number of existing web pages.
With only ten listings on page one of the search results, there are going to be a lot of disappointed people in the world. They cannot all be on page one of the search results.
First Things First
Search engine optimization is an expensive undertaking, so it shouldn't be taken lightly. I talk to people everyday who are building their first website for the very first time. These folks, bless their hearts, know just enough about Internet marketing to blow their savings on a website that may or may not deliver a profít to them.
There are steps that people should take when they start their website, and SEO is not one of those first steps.
Here is a checklist of steps that the new Webmaster should use in the development of his or her website:
Step One: Select the products or services that the website will sell.
Step Two: Determine if there is a market for what will be sold.
Step Three: Analyze the competition and determine the competition's weaknesses. Competition is about building a better mousetrap or reaching customers that another might be under serving.
Step Four: Build the website to sell the chosen products or services. Sales conversion is the most important element in any successful business model.
Step Five: Run test advertising to figure out what will generate traffic to your website, and more importantly, to figure out what one needs to do in order to sell goods and services.
Testing And Tracking Advertising Results Is Essential
I once sold advertising in my newsletter to a guy who paid a nice fee to have his advertisement run in my newsletter, but he did not invest any money in writing or testing his ad first. The advertisement itself was written very badly.
I asked him if he would like to tweak his advertisement before I ran it in my newsletter. He said he did not care what the ad looked like. He just needed me to run his ad.
I offered to rewrite his ad for him to enhance his chances of getting traffic from my newsletter. He agreed and I did.
As the newsletters I subscribed to began rolling in the following week, I noticed his bad advertisement ran in dozens of those newsletters.
I asked him later about his results, and he said he had spent $10,000 running that advertisement and closed four sales at $25 each. He spent $10,000 to make one hundred dollars. Needless to say, his website closed down just a couple months later.
The problem was clearly his ad, but his website may have contributed to his lack of sales conversion.
Starting Small Serves A Very Real Purpose
As we saw with the guy who spent ten grand to make one hundred, starting small would have been beneficial. It is all a matter of figuring out how to get traffic to one's website and more importantly, how to convert traffic to sales.
One should start small with his or her advertising to find the ad formula that will actually deliver traffic to the website. Once the traffic is coming to the website, the webmaster needs to tweak his or her sales copy to make sure that the copy will close enough sales to justify the expense of a large advertising run.
SEO should be treated in the same way. By using Pay-Per-Click advertising (PPC), a webmaster can get an idea as to which keyword phrases will actually generate traffic to a website, and with the right analytical software, the Webmaster can determine which keyword phrases generate clicks that will lead to a sale.
Google Analytics is a good program to help webmasters figure this out and it is free, but it has its shortcomings.
Popular paid programs include:
Another two-dozen web analytics applications are reviewed at Cumbrowski.com .
SEO campaigns shouldn't be undertaken until one knows exactly which keywords will actually generate sales for a website. To do otherwise, one runs the risk of optimizing a website for keywords that will not help the website convert traffic to sales.
Advertising Lessons Learned
While testing your advertising and your PPC advertising, a few very important lessons can be learned.
First, you learn how to tap into the Law Of Attraction to bring people to your website.
You learn what keywords you should target, if you decide to optimize your website.
You learn how to track your successes and your failures with your website analytical software.
And finally, you learn to tweak your website for the purpose of increasing your sales conversion.
All are very important lessons, because each will contribute to how much money can be earned from a website.
Building Links Is Not About PageRank
If you remember, the title of this article is, "Internet Marketing Without Search Engines." That should imply that this article is not about getting good rankings in Google. By extension, the title should also imply that what I am telling you has "nothing" to do with PageRank.
The fact is that every person using the Internet is clicking on links to take them from one website to another. Some links are in emails; others are in paid adverts on websites, or in informational web pages. Even social bookmarking websites have links to other web pages.
Building links to your website is about getting your sales message, with its accompanying link, in front of the people most likely to buy what you are selling, in a way that encourages your potential customer to click your link and visit your website.
Once you understand who your customers are and where you might be able to reach them, then you will know what steps you need to take to get your link within reach of their mouse.
You may need to buy advertising at that location. You might be able to write an article to give to them, in exchange for a link to your website. You might be able to participate in the website's forums and leave a breadcrumb trail of links for your potential clients to find. You can even create social bookmarks that will point to your website or to a page that points to your website.
The goal of linking is to give your potential customers more ways for them to find your website.
An Ironic Twist To This Tale
Although this article is about thriving on the Internet without relying on search engines, any person who undertakes linking for the sake of attracting customers will find their websites climbing in the search engine results, due to all of those links on targeted and relevant websites pointing to their own website.
Imagine that --- a link that will attract and deliver potential customers to a website AND influence how well a website might rank in the search engines.
About The Author
Bill Platt has been writing reprint articles for the promotíon of his websites since 1999, and now he has written an ebook to share what he has learned. His book is called, "Article Marketing For Traffic, Sales and Profit". Included in the book are many examples and the Five Essential Elements Of Creating A Successful Article. To learn more about Bill's business, visit thePhantomWriters.com .