Knocking Out your Competition

Many website owners want to be in the e-commerce business. They want to sell their products and services on the Internet. After they have their website built, some even have some initial success in selling, then they find they are no longer ranking on Google. There is a large amount of competition for their products and services.

We can’t use traditional methods to beat the competition. Lower price, better service, these things are not a factor to Google. We have to play by a new set of rules. And Google makes the rules.

So, in order to beat the competition we have to build a better website in the eyes of Google. Google has stated many times that they will reward the best websites with the best position. So how do we make a great website?

It starts with understanding what people want. What do people want from a website? The first thing they want is information. Lots of information. The more the better. People have become information junkies. They want to know about the product or service, about the people who are selling it,  what other people are saying about it,  how it impacts environment in some cases they want to know the social policies of the company offering the products or services. It’s gotten far more complex.

So if we want to beat our competition, we can’t just create a shopping cart site and expect to rank on the top. We need to have a site that’s loaded with information. Information that people can use to learn about whatever niche we are working in. If we are selling used cars, then we need to have detailed information about the process, about the individual cars, about many things as possible. We can’t just put up a picture  and price of a car. We have to become a resource for the visitor.

When we provide a complete information system, then we have more value to Google. When someone is searching looking for information on used cars and we provide all kinds of information about used cars in addition to our offerings, Google will rank us higher. So our first customer is Google. We have to do things that are outside of our profit center. We have to invest in additional content that makes our website the best resource on this topic.

What we’re talking about is content, written content, audio content or even video content. But were talking about publishing a large amount of content. A minimum of 50 pages of content. So whether we like it or not, we are in the publishing business. In order to be successful and get the rankings from Google, we are going to have to publish quite a bit of content. Those are Google’s rules. In fact, Google has rules about how often we publish. Those who publish more get more points.

To make this even higher stakes game, Google will measure the quality of the content based upon the viewers behavior. So our content has to be good. It has to be what people want to read. What people want to see. If they want to know the Consumer Reports on that used car before they buy it, we better put it on our site. Because if we don’t, our competition will, and Google will rank them above us.

Some people just want to come and buy a used car. They know what they want, all they need to do is look and see if we have the model, and a reasonable price, and then they’ll buy. The problem is those people never see our site because Google hasn’t given us good rankings. So, in order to get the good placement in Google were going to have to be in the publishing business.

We have to determine what people want, that means research, time and energy spent on getting to know our customers better. Once we determine what they will like, what they want, what they’ll buy, what they’re looking for in search, then we can create a content plan, and produce content.

This is the reality that we’re in 2012. We work in the E-publishing business. Just like a magazine only we’re publishing on the web. There are those who resist this. They will say, “I’m not going to invest this kind of money”. There must be another way. And while they’re looking for another way, their competition zooms past them, and establishes themselves as the King of the Hill.

So, the way to knock the competition dead, is to build a better information site, which is much information as possible about our niche. So that Google will reward us with top rankings and people will find us. This is a formula that works. It’s been proven over and over.

Some people really do understand this. They start from a base of information. They build their whole website as a tremendous resource. And after the traffic flows in, then they monetize it. This may mean ads, products and services that they sell. These kind of websites are doing very well. Because their foundation is that information resource website.  A good example is stackoverflow.com . They built the site as a great resource for computer programmers, with no ads. They continued to modify and monitor the website. When they had it as the de facto standard for programmers who need tips or help, then they placed the ads on the site.

So the plan for any new website, must include this resource base. Without it, Google will not send traffic. So, a business owner has to decide where his leads will come from. Some think that preparing a site for Google search is too expensive. But a recent study published by Hubspot showed that inbound marketing through to search was 60% cheaper than other outbound marketing techniques.

So the initial cost is high. But the returns are better. All over America budgets are shifting to inbound marketing over outbound. That means more publishing. It’s as simple as that.

In the hub spot survey an outbound lead cost $346 compared to $146 for an inbound lead. Other surveys have shown that the conversion is much higher on inbound marketing compared to outbound marketing. The reason is that, people are more likely to buy a product that they’re searching for, then someone contacting them.

So the first step in publishing, is to develop a content plan. This is where the SEO and marketing comes in. From keyword tools and analytics and the marketing plan the SEO will create content plan. From that writers can be hired and content can be produced.

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