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Search Engine Optimization
Advertising, Sitemaps, and Website Traffic

Many people build a website, submit it to a few search engines and directories, mention it to a few friends, and then sit back and wait for the customers to show up.

Unfortunately, it doesn't happen that way.  Learning and applying a few Internet marketing secrets and search engine optimization techniques is the minimum required for Internet marketing success.  Some of these techniques to help increase website traffic involve the relationship between advertising and sitemaps.

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To understand the value of a sitemap on your website, it may be of benefit to place internet marketing and advertising in perspective.

Before the arrival and ascendence of the Internet, before there were Internet businesses and Internet marketing, the main means of getting your message in front of the public was by several standard advertising venues.  First there newspapers, then came radio, and then there was television.  For each of these media, the marketing techniques became stylized and solidified.  Each practitioner learned what worked best for their particular means of expression and target market.

Then, along came the Internet:

Whether it's an Internet business, or a more traditional venture, however, the goal has remained the somehow get the message to the consumer.

Once you strip away all the high-tech trappings, that single goal remains the focus of Internet marketing just as in the older, apparently simpler, and less technical settings.

Another thing which time has NOT changed is the advertisement itself.  The best advertisements offer a solution to a problem the reader might have.  Written in a clear and concise manner, they make sense, or perhaps they amuse.  The message can be approached from several different angles, and the writing of advertising copy is an entire field in its own right...which we will not pursue at the moment.

The same criteria apply to the headline used as well. 

The headline is the hook, which when properly crafted, gives just enough information to pique the curiosity of the reader while making the image of the answer to the problem of the moment seem to be lurking just a little further into the copy text itself. Entire books have been written just on the subject of writing the right headline.

While the similar arts of writing good advertising copy and alluring headlines are much the same, the means of getting the advertisement into the hands of the reader, or onto the screen of the reader's computer, has changed.

This is where the Internet has thrown the marketer a curve.

A newspaper was once delivered to the door, or was hawked on a street corner...the newsboy yelling out the headline as a hook to get the passersby to want to read...the rest of the story.  The reader might have bought the paper to read the news and, in the process, see information about a new car sale...or they might have bought the newspaper specifically to find out what cars were on sale, but in either case the advertising was at least in their hands..  Whatever their motive, however, newspapers were easy to get hold of, and everybody knew how to find the classifieds or the obituaries, depending on their interests. 

Since newspapers tended to be regional in nature, someone in San Francisco did not have to worry about whether or not the car in the ad was in New York or Boston.

Radio and television essentially followed in the newspaper's footsteps at first, and much the same was true of them as has been said about newspapers.

The globally accesible Internet has changed a lot about advertising!

First of all, the product offered by an Internet business is not necessarily regional any more.  Someone in San Francisco CAN read about, and possibly buy, a car that is located in Denver, New York, or Boston.

Secondly, people from places scattered all over the earth can now create an online business and sell many of their products and services to the entire world.

The result of this is that there are millions, perhaps billions of people trying to sell or buy on the Internet at any given time.  Each has their own major advertisement posted online, and this advertisement is usually their website.

This is how people make money online, but it is no longer merely sufficient to just have good advertising copy, a good headline, and to place the advertisement in some local paper or have it shown on the local TV station.  Not only must the website/advertisement meet all the requisite criteria for success, but now the advertiser must figure out how to get THEIR advertisement read as it floats in that sea of websites created by  Internet marketers, all seeking to sell the same thing to the same people.

The good news for the would-be Internet marketer is that anybody with a computer can put up a website, but to get people to visit that website, and perhaps make a purchase, requires more.  This is also the bad news.  There are literally thousands or even millions of websites offering the same thing that you have to offer, or at least an alternative product. 

In order to make your website stand out, one thing you can do is use the Internet marketing techniques of SEO or Search Engine Optimization.

Search engines are important to an internet business because it has been estimated that about 85% of website visitors arrive through a search engine listing.  Performing some sort of search engine optimization to a website will enable search engines to more efficiently find, index, rank, and present all the websites floating in the vast sea called "Internet".

There are many possible Internet marketing techniques involved in search engine optimization, such as proper use of meta tags, use of valuable content laden with keywords, and linking from relevant sites to name a few. 

One other technique is the use of a sitemap.  The more pages your site has, the more important a sitemap becomes.

Simply, a sitemap is a listing, or table of contents, of all the pages on a site, together with their links.  A link to the sitemap should be placed on the index page at a very minimum.  A sitemap may be structured as a list of simple links, or may contain a description of each page with the hyperlink to it.

At the moment, there are two particular types of sitemaps, defined by the type of coding used. 

The XML structure is really directed at search engines such as Google. Here is the XML Sitemap for this site (opens in a new window).  It is a series of clues to search engine spiders as to the structure of the site. Upon accessing the sitemap, the search engine's spider will follow the links on the sitemap, gathering data about each page in its normal manner. 

A sitemap which is laid out in HTML format tends to be more for the sake of humans and sometimes contains descriptive text in addition to the link and title of the page.  For these reasons, you may encounter sites that contain both types of sitemaps. Here is the HTML Sitemap for this site (opens in a new window).
A well-constructed sitemap serves two main purposes:

1.  It allows a human visitor to look at the entire layout of the site and perhaps find the page that addresses his or her concerns more rapidly than following links from each page.

2.  It allows search engine spiders to more rapidly and completely access, index, and evaluate all the pages of the site.  This last feature can contribute to a higher site ranking in some cases, and, at the least, provides the search engine more possible pages to attract and lead visitors to the site.

While a sitemap can be constructed using basic html, there are free sitemap builders or generators available.  These can be found simply by performing a search under one of those terms.

Search engines such as Google, and some directories, such as Yahoo, permit the webmaster to submit sitemaps directly.  This tends to cause a more rapid indexing of the site and is a more effective way of getting all the pages of a site into the search engine than normally happens as the spider wanders around the Internet following links.

You can build a sitemap for free at I assume that if you are reading this little article, you are probably planning to do some SEO (search engine optimization) yourself, and a good place to start this Internet marketing technique is by adding a sitemap to your site.

Most Internet marketers, yours truly included, acquired the Internet marketing tools currently in their toolkit at great personal cost...both in time and money.  However, if you know how to go about it, you can access an Internet marketing course which teaches genuinely successful Internet marketing techniques at a cost far less than the thousands of dollars many of us have spent!  In fact, as I write this, the foremost company in this field is providing a trial of their highly acclaimed Internet marketing training online for only $2.95!

There is much to learn when it comes to the role of domain names in a search engine optimization strategy.  Strategy and technique can be confusing, of course, but there is also training available at reasonable costs.  Nobody entering the field today needs to suffer for lack of understanding when it comes to Internet marketing techniques.

Click Here for more information about how to acquire a vast education in Internet marketing and how to learn the same array of Internet marketing techniques that I have used for years to help build an online income of $100,000 a year.

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Page Updated 19:48 Wednesday 09/21/2010