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Forget Search Engines; Focus on People
Posted on August 3, 2010 by Cheyne Rood

Every day, more customers in electronics distribution are turning online to do their research and find their suppliers. A business presence on search engines like Google or Yahoo! is absolutely crucial to connect with new customers. Positioning your website to appear in search engine results should be a top priority. In this newsletter, I will talk about methods to gain presence in search engines, and how the game has completely changed over the last decade.

Many business owners think search engine marketing is all about tactics. They think there are tricks to the trade; ways to fool Google, Bing, and others into putting your website at the top of the list. To be fair, 5-10 years ago that largely the case...there were tricks that could catapult a website to the top. But everything has changed. The reality today is that search engines are very smart and businesses that rely on tricks are going to be left in the dust.

Today, search engine marketing is about content. Modern search engines understand what information *means*. Search engines relate connected pages, and determine whether the information is actually useful. All of this adds up to one novel idea: The single most effective way to make a website more relevant in the eyes of a search engine is to make it more relevant in the eyes of a human. After all, search engines are built for the end goal of delivering quality content to people.

So how do you make a website more relevant to a person? Well, you start by concentrating less on technical optimization, and more on what you would want to see if you were the customer. In other words, build a useful website, and the rest will fall into place.

But still, you ask, where do you start? What exactly makes a website "useful"? An effective website clearly states its purpose, provides detailed and helpful information, and helps people easily navigate to the information they seek. For a B2B distribution website, this means:

  • Provide inventory information on your website, and organize it by manufacturer and category.
  • Create effective landing pages for customers at your website. A landing page acts as a starting point for customers with a particular interest, like a specific category of products or a certain supplier. These areas clearly explain customer options, and provide guidance to help customers make decisions and find more detailed information. Search engines love landing pages for the same reason your customers will -- they are clear, useful, and connect people with the other pages on your website that contain the more detailed information they really seek.
  • Provide as much detail about products as possible. Include images and datasheets.
  • Routinely update a news section on your website to announce new lines, products or anything else you'd like to share with the world. Each post should contain links to any relevant landing pages or product pages throughout your site.

Here's the bottom line: You can build a website that is useful for your customers, while also increasing your search engine reach. These two objectives are more aligned than ever before. Of course, there are still very important technical aspects to consider when creating an effective website, but content is more important than ever before.

DistiSuite is a provider of websites and website solutions for distributors in the electronics industry. Contact us for more information about creating a new website, or expanding your existing website to enhance your online market presence and services.

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