Ask the consultant: How to improve visibility on the Internet

  • Updated: January 13, 2013 - 11:21 AM

Question

Being in the wig business since 1969, we have seen many changes in our business. We find the Internet the most challenging. To promote our website (www.jacquelynwigs.com) we have been doing search engine optimization and pay-per-click. We have tried in-house and freelance companies to do the work for us but we still feel we are not getting enough qualified leads. Any suggestions?

GEORGE MAYER, JACQUELYN WIG CO., NEW YORK, N.Y

Answer

After looking at the source code for your website, I put the first keyword from your meta tags into Google (natural hair wigs). The Jacquelyn Wig site was not represented in the premium (paid) listings or the organic listings on at least the first 10 pages of the search. In those 10 pages, dozens of other firms were represented. This says you have significant competition, but, more important, that whatever search support you have gotten so far may be less than optimal.

In looking at all your meta tags and the copy on your site, the keywords and messages represent a pretty generic take on the wig market. It is hard to tell if you have a specific niche in the market. As long as you remain as another provider in a commodity-like marketing environment, Jacquelyn will be just a wig company, way down the list of any online search.

By adding the word "cancer" to my next Google search, a much more narrow list of providers shuffled to the top of the results. In viewing the meta tags of these firms, it became immediately clear these firms were actively pursuing the market of women experiencing hair loss because of chemotherapy. It was also evident in the approach to the copy and the overall look/professionalism on the websites that these firms were not selling a commodity, but a valuable resource for specific people. One in particular, selling many of the products you offer, uses the tagline "Headwear for Hardtimes."

In the case of your site, it is obvious the search advisers wrote copy for your home page to highlight search criteria identified. But it reads as cold and mechanical, neglecting the marketing or selling of your products. Search engine optimization will find synergy by integrating the necessary (and appropriately targeted) search terms into compelling messages that highlight the benefits of the offering.

MIKE PORTER, DIRECTOR, MASTER OF BUSINESS COMMUNICATION PROGRAM, UNIVERSITY OF ST. THOMAS, OPUS COLLEGE OF BUSINESS

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