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Survey Says: First Three Pages Matter Most

April 17th, 2006 - by Brett Derricott - Salt Lake City, Utah

A survey by Jupiter Research and iProspect reports that most users give up on a search after the first 3 pages. Additionally, many of the users surveyed said they associate the first page of results with top brands.

If your clients’ websites are showing up after page 3, chances are good that potential customers aren’t clicking to that 4th page to find them.

According to Robert Murray, president of iProspect, “It should be clear that to be effective, marketers need to take action to ensure that their company is found in the top search results on a broad range of search terms and not just single word generic terms.”

“It’s time that companies that are refreshing, re-designing, or launching a new website start with the end in mind. If no one can find it, no one will use it.”

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) isn’t something for the faint of heart. SEO practitioners spend hours and hours keeping up with trends, keywords, and tricks of the trade. If you’re serious about getting your client onto the first page for any significant keywords be prepared to spend some bucks.

Whether you hire an SEO expert or not, here are a few tips for getting better search engine rankings.

  1. Use a Content Management System (CMS) to ensure your content is always fresh, up-to-date, and relevant. Search engines love fresh, frequently updated content.
  2. Use keywords consistently throughout your content. If you’re trying to rank well for the keyword “mobile phone” then use that exact keyword throughout the website. Using the keyword “cell phone” throughout the site won’t work.
  3. Avoid images for important content. Although designers love to use images to control font size and appearance, all of that great text is locked up in a bunch of pixels that are meaningless to the search engine.
  4. Avoid Flash for important content. Macromedia is making progress in this area, but in general putting important text into a Flash movie isn’t recommended for optimal ranking success.
  5. Get relevant backlinks from reputable websites. The more links you have to your site the better. Ideally, get links from important, high-power websites. Try to make sure the links to your site are relevant to your desired keywords. If your keyword is “mobile phone” get the other website to create a hyperlink to your site with the phrase “mobile phone” in the link.

SEO isn’t easy but it’s absolutely worth the effort. Focus on creating good, fresh content for your client and you’re well on your way. To read more about the survey mentioned above, click here.