How Online Search Is Becoming More Like Offline Search

newsBefore the days of the internet, we learned about businesses, products and services from newspapers, magazines, television and radio. We associated a business name with what it offered. We didn’t type in a keyword and come up with a name. If you pay attention to what’s happening in the search world now, Google is moving away from favoring websites that vehemently pursue rankings through anchor text and towards the websites that establish their brands. This is evidenced in the decrease in backlinking strategies that are effective and the increase in rankings of big brand names. You can see this in the move towards more natural backlink building and in local results presented by proximity to the searcher. New websites should take their business building cues from what works offline; that is, establishing their brand’s reputation.

Social Media

One of the most obvious places to engage current and future customers is in social media platforms. Given the latest search feature “Graph Search” now offered by Facebook, your business pages’ activity and business location proximity to the searcher increase the chances of being shown to searchers typing in keywords related to your business page.

But, the most important use of your business page is to communicate with people interested in your products or services. There, people will see your response to inquiries, how you handle concerns and be more receptive to information about your business than they are by email.

Back Links

The focus of your backlinking strategy, especially when your website is just out of the gate, should be to let people know what you offer and associate those services with your website. Those links should contain more natural links, i.e., and yoursite than any other type of link. If you focus on link building as a way of sending traffic from related sites rather than building anchor text links, you will build higher quality links and build a reputation on websites where there are really people interested in your business. It’s like running an ad in a trade magazine; you would want to pay for the magazine related to your business, not any random magazine where the readers wouldn’t be interested in your services.

Press Releases

If done properly, press releases offer a great opportunity to create brand awareness. Focus not on the links, but creating something newsworthy that can be picked up by quality news sources and blogs containing readers who will be interested in your business.

Don’t Be Boring

If your website contains just a few pages and offers nothing different or engaging to the visitor, you’re not going to stand out from other websites offering the same thing. Find a unique way to engage people by being informative and adding new content on a regular basis.

Be sure to include your contact information, rather than a form, so people know they are working with a reputable company that doesn’t hide when a purchase goes awry. You might draw people to your website the first time, but to build your brand, you can’t give them reasons to go on review websites and complain about you. Your interaction and accessibility are essential.

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