Small Biz News is your FREE Newsletter offering up to date tips and trends for Marketing your small business on the Internet.

March 2006

In this Issue

Are You Tuned In?:  Search numbers are up again

Local Searches:
Don't Miss Local Marketing Opportunities

First Things First:
Writing Effective Copy for your Audience is the first step in Internet Marketing and SEO

Small Business Resources:
Resources for Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs

Readers' Corner:
Feedback, Ideas, Questions & Answers and more...

Past Articles:
Small Biz News Archives

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Here is your FREE monthly issue of SmallBizNews - a brief and informative Internet Marketing Newsletter offering up to date tips and trends for effectively marketing your Small Business on the Internet. To manage your SmallBizNews Newsletters, ask questions or change your subscription status simply see the subscription details at the bottom of this email.

Be sure to check out past issues of SmallBizNews for other Internet Marketing ideas as well. We invite your ideas, comments and suggestions.

Are You Tuned In?

Search Numbers Continue To Climb

Search Numbers Are Up


The writing is on the wall and for those who see it clearly - it reads, "Tune & Optimize your site and see increased traffic/leads/prospects." For years I have touted the value of organic search engine optimization and good content. There has always been quantifiable and empirical data to support my suggestions but at the risk of being redundant - here we go again.


WEB USERS CONDUCTED A RECORD 5.7 Billion searches in January of 2006, marking a 39 percent increase from last January's 4.1 billion, according to new data from Nielsen/NetRatings. Search activity in January 2006 also increased by about 12 percent from December of 2005, when users conducted about 5.1 billion search queries.


Searches Continue to grow at an amazing rate



The breakdown

Search giant Google accounted for 48 percent of all searches (up from 47 percent last year) while Yahoo captured 22 percent, an increase from last year's 21 percent. MSN garnered 11 percent of search activity, marking a slight decline from last year's 13 percent.

AOL Search was the fourth most popular engine with 368 million searches, (or 6.5 percent) while My Way Search, powered by IAC/Interactive's Ask, garnered 155 million searches (or almost 3 percent). The company's Ask Jeeves brand which was renamed simply "Ask" drew 131 million searches, or around 2 percent.


For those who went with pay-per-click campaigns - over $420 million was spent in 2005 on local search advertising alone. Seem like a lot of money? I predict those who use pay-per-click to promote their site in local searches will pay over One Billion dollars in 2006.

If your company isn't tuning in and optimizing for search engines you are probably leaving a lot of leads and prospects to your competitors. Get tuned in for a measurable return on investment.


David Williams Provides Organic Search Engine Optimization


SEO Using Only Approved White Hat Tactics


Local Searches - Are You Missing Local Customers?

I can't stress this enough - In May of 2003 we wrote, "Local Searches are the untapped resource to drive local customers to your business." And in October of 2003 Google debuted their local search and launched local pay-per-click campaigns.


Local Search Marketing provides you, the business owner, with the most targeted and cost effective customer acquisition opportunity.

Your prospective customers are searching more frequently for businesses and services just like yours on the Internet. Studies show that these customers have a serious buying intent.

As a local business you need to figure out how to cost effectively reach out to these customers and start the business relationship. You need to do this even if you don't have a web site yet!

The Internet has changed the way that customers are looking for your business. 11 pound phonebooks are a thing of the past and while people are still letting their fingers do the walking - it's on a computer keyboard.


Face it - even cell phone users are performing searches for goods and services on the fly - It is time to adapt our thinking.


Be Sure to Capture Local Traffic on Your Web Site

Optimize your site for
Local Customers

Writing Effective Copy

Effective copy writing is the first step to promoting your web site in your internet marketing endeavors.


We have recognized an increasing trend in search engine behavior that will one day change the way web pages are written and developed. Pages that used to rely heavily on keywords and metatags to lure traffic will soon become a thing of the past.


Trust me on this one as I go on the record to say that soon, the search engines will look at and

review the written copy of the page to determine the page relevance and value to the search query.


When this happens - Effective SEO will become what we have been encouraging since day one. Always write for your clients first - Content is Crucial and Content is King.


The Kelsey research group published these statistics and trends:


  • 74% of households use the Internet as an information source when shopping locally.

  • Approximately 45% of local searches had a buying intent.

  • The percentage of respondents who used yellow page directories decreased from 75% to 62%. (If you have a yellow page ad, it is time to consider buying a smaller ad and shifting your marketing dollars to the Internet.)

Writing Effective Copy for Your Clients

As local business owners you need to take action now. You need to keep your existing customers, and gain new customers, so you need to be found where they are searching. Local Search Marketing is where your future clients and customers will come from.

So where do you start?


Well, go back to the first paragraph of this article and you'll notice that Local Searches are now over two years old. It is still free to modify your listings with:

  • Google Local

  • Yahoo Local

  • and so on...


These complimentary features of local search and a little initiative on your part and you'll be well on your way.


Write for Your Prospective Clients First

Small Business Resources

US Small Business Administration What's New? has been incorporated into Before launching your business, be sure to check on specific laws and regulations in your area.

Small Business Administration

A wealth of FREE information, regulations and forms for Small Business Owners every where. Small Business and Self-Employed One-Stop Resource.

Readers' Corner


"Over a year ago I was told to remove all the alt tags on my site because I would get penalized for spamming. Now I am being told I need to put them back. Why?" Anon - Alfred, New York


Dear Anon,

Short answer is, put them back.


The long answer is...

Alt tags or "alt attributes" are text elements developers put in the HTML code to describe the image you're using on your web page.

In the early days this was of value because people had slower connections. Then, someone came up with the SEO stance that alt tags were evil and should be avoided at all costs because their site was penalized and the word spread like fire. Unfortunately, many site owners completely dropped the alt image attributes rather than cleaning them up to be descriptive (not spam) and now they will need to re-deploy them to be effective again.


Why? Because for people who browse the web on their BlackBerrys and other PDAs (which were in use when the false warning word spread like fire) can easily read text formats and the alt image attributes.


Another reason is that for surfers with images off, browsers will show the alt attribute text visibly on the page.


And, finally, for those who are visually impaired and are using a voice screen reader, the alt image attribute text is read out loud so the person would know what the picture was about.


I'm sorry for your lost time and money, but there is a lesson in here that will pay long term dividends:


Don't be too quick to jump on-board when someone screams, "The sky is falling! Let's get out of here!" Take your time, do some research and measure the possible outcomes before you spend a penny.


I had inquiries about removing the tags for customers and we advised them to stay the course. By doing say - we saved our customers a considerable amount of money.


All the best,



We offer two great FREE Whitepapers for you to download and employ as brainstorming tools. You can get your FREE Web Site Planner and Getting Started Guide from DavidWilliams.Biz on our Free Whitepapers Page


And I would be remiss if I didn't at least extend you an offer to serve as both your Web Developer AND SEO Firm. If I've already put this much thought into it - imagine how hard I would work for you if I was paid :)


Thanks Again for visiting us!


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