Lost In (Cyber)Space

I have had my small business Website since January. However, I have had very few hits and seem to be invisible online. My site hosting company has been of very little assistance for search-engine optimization. I would like to leave, but my domain name is registered with them until December 2007. –M. Burrows, Rochester, NY

I have examined your site and consulted with business optimization specialist David Bullock, managing director of White Bullock Group (www.davidbullock.com; see “Profiting from Consumer Behavior,” March 2007). There are several issues that affect your Web business. But first, know that you are absolutely not tied to your host–you can move your domain name at any time. Before you do, however, be sure that you carefully research hosting providers and read the terms of service.

Second, because you have such heavy competition in your particular retail space (affordable plus-size clothing), it is important that your site appeal to potential customers aesthetically and functionally; it might be a good idea to consult with a professional about a site redesign, and consider using high-quality images with real models.

Further, a quick look at Google, Yahoo!, and MSN reveals that you are not listed in searches, which is one of the reasons you are not getting traffic.
For additional information on site optimization, see Cyberwise, July 2007.

Mail your technology questions to Cyberwise, BLACK ENTERPRISE130 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10011or send an e-mail to donaldsons@blackenterprise.com.

ACROSS THE WEB
  • Max Smith

    Google and other search engines put a lot of importance on online media reports. If a website was featured in CNN.com, WSJ.com or other major online publications, it will rank much higher than the sites which have hundreds of link-farm-generated links. Does anybody know of a good list of PR firms specializing in online publicity? Publicity Guaranteed (PublicityGuaranteed.com) looks like an attractive option, as they only charge for the results, without any retainers or hourly rates; however they don’t do online-only publicity. AllPublicits.com seems to be the most comprehensive database of publicists and I posted there my RFP for publicists to bid on, but all resulting bids included traditional media. If I had a larger budget, I wouldn’t mind good coverage in traditional media, but I only seek publicity for my SEO campaign, so I need online publicity only