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Are you sabotaging your site's visibility?

By Kalena Jordan kalena@high-search-engine-ranking.com)

15 August 2003

A recent study of New Zealand's Top 100 Companies by us here at Web Rank Ltd has revealed that every single one of New Zealand's leading companies have web sites that sabotage their ability to be found by Internet users.

How did this happen? The study reveals that each site belonging to the Top 100 contains design elements that in some way negatively impact their compatibility with and visibility in search engines. As a result, many of New Zealand's leading companies are not found listed in the search results of the most popular U.S. and New Zealand search engines, impacting their potential online revenue.

Most Internet users rely on search engines to find product and service providers. Unless they know the exact website address or search by the company or brand name, they will try to find what they are looking for by using keywords that describe a product or service's features, benefits or attributes. By ignoring the most important method used by people browsing the Internet, these companies are sacrificing an enormous opportunity to attract more traffic to their sites.

Websites are often a very large expense for these companies, ranging from a few thousand to hundreds of thousands of dollars. To invest such a massive amount of time, money and effort into an online presence and not ensuring it can be found is like constructing a storefront without any doors. After all, what is the point of paying so much money for a web site that will never be found?

Does your web site contain any of the same self- defeating elements? Let's take a look:

~ 25 percent of the Top 100 New Zealand Companies could not be found for their chosen search terms in either U.S. or New Zealand search engines. Are you targeting the most appropriate search terms for your site?

~ 62 percent of the Top 100 New Zealand Companies fail to utilise their site TITLE tags effectively. Are you including keywords in your web page TITLE tags instead of just your company name?

~ 13 percent of New Zealand's Top 100 Companies are using techniques that could get them penalised on search engines for "spamming". Are you avoiding techniques considered as "spam" by the search engines?

~ The majority (59 percent) of New Zealand's Top 100 Companies use little or no body text on their home page. Are you using plenty of text on your pages for search engines to index?

~ 42 percent of the web sites belonging to New Zealand's Top 100 Companies are inaccessible to the visually impaired. Are you using ALT IMG attributes for your graphics and image files?

~ 5 percent of the Top 100 New Zealand Companies are not listed in any of the most popular U.S. or New Zealand search engines examined. Have you submitted your site to the major international and local search engines and directories?

~ 63 percent of New Zealand's Top 100 Companies do not include a META Description Tag on their home page and 70 percent of the Top 100 New Zealand Companies do not include a META Keywords Tag on their home page. Have you included relevant META Tags in your site's HTML code?

~ 78 percent of the Top 100 New Zealand Companies do not use target search terms within their home page text. Do you?

Addressing all these elements will ensure your web site has the best chance possible of being visible in search engines and easily found by your target audience.

Copyright © 2003 by Kalena Jordan. All rights reserved under U.S. and international law.

About the author
Article by Kalena Jordan, one of the first search engine optimization experts in Australia and New Zealand, who is well known and respected in the industry, particularly in the U.S. As well as running her own SEO business Web Rank, Kalena manages Search Engine College, an online training institution offering instructor-led short courses and downloadable self-study courses in Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing subjects.

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