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The Search Engine Tango

By: Anne Marie Baugh

Are You Dancing To Someone Else's Tune?

There is quite a dance going on in the world of E-commerce. Basically it goes like this; one side insists that great search engine rankings bring in most of the online business. While the other side says, "Get real', search engine rankings take too much time and effort to bother with and offer too little control to make a difference!" I say, "get a perspective before you decide which side to take". The fact is, as an online business owner you can live somewhere in the middle where there is a place for the search engine ranking as long as that place is put into perspective!

The search engines are equivalent to having the standard brick and mortar business listed in the telephone book. In the Yellow Pages, display ads work better than plain listings. Top ads work better than bottom ads. So it is with the search engines. These locators of web pages are similar in nature to the phone book, which is also separated by category. However, if you were to rely completely on the phone book to get your brick and mortar business advertised you would basically be waiting to go out of business.

Of course, you take the time to get listed, but you don't open the phone book daily and worry about how you are listed, where you are a listed, and what the listing looks like. Before the advent of the Internet, statistics might have told us that when consumers wanted something, say a pet store, they would first open the Yellow Pages to locate options in their area. Some would then say that those statistics proved that the Yellow Pages are the number one advertising avenue for bringing in new business. However, I'm sure you can readily see how this example does not illustrate the value of more direct marketing methods. The Yellow Pages, in effect, waits for the customer to come to the business. Other marketing avenues allow you to put your product in front of the customer. In other words you don't wait for the customer to get the idea, you give them the idea. The same applies with search engines. Yes, they have their place, but the important point is to understand what that place is and reserving the time necessary based on it's relative value.

Yes, spend time getting listed in the search engines. No, don't become obsessed with the hype being sold to you that this must be your number one focus. Always look at the hidden agenda of anyone selling one small marketing aspect as the only solution when in fact a huge arsenal of marketing tools are available and should be utilized. More often than not, it is their bottom line they are most concerned with, not yours. Any highly successful online business owner will tell you the truth, that the search engines play a minor part in their overall strategy. They have learned the basics and they spend some time applying them, or they hire someone to deal with it for them. They then go on to other more lucrative tools for pushing their business forward.

Your competition would love for you to become obsessed with the search engines, it gives them a huge advantage. Do you really want to make life that easy for them? Be smart, be diversified, and plan your marketing agenda utilizing as many of the tools as are applicable for your business. Tango to your own tune and enjoy a more profitable business.

Anne Marie Baugh is a noted publicist for cyber-stars such as Mark Joyner, Rick Beneteau, John Harricharan, Marty Lund, and more. She also owns and operates Write-Promotion, an online business that works hands-on with businesses looking for promotional avenues to cyber-success!

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