by Tom Snyder on Nov 30, -0001


Top Placement in Search Engines… GUARANTEED!

You’ve gotten emails that promise this, right? We all have (and some of us get them every day)! Search engine “experts” will make all sorts of claims to place you at the top of the search engines using the latest methodologies and strategies. Do they work? Yup! And that’s the problem.

All of us in the web development industry do our level best to get our clients at the top of the list when their keywords are searched for. And when we displace one of our competitors’ clients, they do their level best to get their sites back at the top. It’s a game of perpetual leapfrog, and becomes a never-ending process.

So how do you get your Web site at the top and keep it there?

Banner ads!

You’ve seen them, and you’ve undoubtedly clicked on some. Next to targeted solicited email, there is no better way to reach potential visitors. Oftentimes, they simply appear in the search engines with no rhyme or reason. But more and more, they are appearing strategically. For instance, if you enter “Beanie Babies” in one search engine, a banner for EToys comes up. Enter “Books” in another, and up comes a banner for Amazon.com. By taking advantage of that strategy, you too can use this powerful tool to generate tons of traffic to your Web site.

Here’s how it works. You decide on a keyword you want to reference to your site in a search engine. The search engine companies will actually be able to have a banner come up at the top of the results page whenever that keyword is searched for. And what they charge will depend on how many hits that keyword gets during a normal month. That gives you a fairly direct correlation between the cost and the traffic you get. Obviously, they can’t guarantee that everyone will click on your banner, but if the banner is animated and contains a compelling reason to click, you’ll get plenty of traffic.

The cost depends on the individual search engine, but usually runs around $50 per month per thousand impressions. You can decide how much traffic you want and how much you want to spend. For instance, one of our clients (Great Lakes Rubber) sells Rubber Seals, Gaskets and O-Rings. The Excite search engine gets 44,000 searches for the word “rubber.” To guarantee banner placement at the top that search results page would run $880 per month… lots of hits, lots of money, but a lot of waste, too. Not everyone that searches for “rubber” is looking for seals or gaskets. However, “O-rings” gets 440 searches per month. That’s $22 per month, and guarantees a pretty qualified audience. Multiply that by the 8 or 9 top search engines, and you can generate a lots of traffic for a couple hundred bucks a month. The only other cost is the design of the banner itself… something that we can do for under $200.00.

If your desired keyword gets too many searches for you to afford, you can buy a percentage. Your banner will rotate to come up on every other, or every third request. You’ll miss some, but you’ll get some, too. And you’ll only pay for the percentage of searches you request.

We are helping several of our clients use this strategy. We’ll help you determine the best keyword for your Web site, and will contact the search engines for you to determine your estimated costs, and then place your order for you. After the banners have run for a while, we can use the referrer logs our server keeps to determine which search engines are directing the most traffic to your site. That way, you can adjust your mix to spend your money the most wisely.

The only downside is that once your competitor has taken the keyword you want, you’re out of luck. Just like domain names, the good keywords are being taken quickly. Snooze, and you’ll lose!