The Business of Search

October 9, 2008

Just got back from the Search Expo at the Javits Center on Tuesday. The event took up just one corner of the of the convention hall. But the 50-plus exhibitors there seemingly had a unified theme — namely that your busainess needs to have its own Internet marketing campaign and that monitoring SEO and SEM are as important as paying the utility bill each month.

There’s a lot of competition for your ad dollars and how to use them. That’s a good thing. If you have a product and aren’t selling it with the aid of an Internet ad campaign — what are you waiting for?

In fact, there’s an arguement going around that a strategic SEM (Search Engine Marketing) campaign makes spending regular money on SEO (Search Engine Optimization) a moot point. That’s because many people try to fake their way to the top of the search rankings. It’s far simpler to buy an ad on the first page.

I will say that most small businesses don’t have web sites properly configured for SEO. In that instance, spending some money for one-time search engine optimization is a smart investment. Many firms can do the job. (Gratuitous sales pitch) My company, Build N Click, offers a $300 SEO package. If you want to talk, drop me an email:

But the point of the Search Expo was to sound a warning. If you aren’t investing in online advertising, you better have your web site positioned for maximum results. Neither is a luxury anymore.

Blog originally posted at LI

‘My Son Built Our Web Site’

June 28, 2008

Talking to several small business owners in recent months, I get the occasional cringeworthy line thrown my way: “Oh, we’ve got a web site. My son built our web site.”

Well, excuse me for being a pessimist. As handy as your son might be with html code and Photoshop, if he doesn’t run his own web design business, then your web site likely is missing several key features to help it stand out in the crowd.

For starters, search engines regularly crawl sites. And if yours doesn’t have all the alt and meta tags in place, then you are in danger of being marginalized. Choosing the right key words to put in the tags is just as important as the tags themselves.

And then there is SEO. Few people properly understand search engine optimization. You son almost certainly doesn’t. If your site is stuck on Page 8 of Google rankings, no wonder! Pay a professional to optimize your site and you should see real results.

The bottom line is you get what you pay for. Little Joey might be able to whip together a functional family genealogy page. But when it comes to your business, why leave something as important as a web site to an amateur?

Blog originally posted at LI