One of the greatest challenges facing any international business today is being found on the Internet. The Internet has changed the fundamental means for how we conduct international business. It provides instant, real time answers to many of our daily commercial and personal questions. But now that you have a Website, can your site be found when one performs a search on Google, Yahoo, Live.com or AOL for your company’s product or service?
Chances are that when another domestic or international business seeks to find your products or services, they will not find you. Most Webmasters deal only with design and layout. They are graphic artists who have learned a little bit of HTML. They copy and paste written copy into a table and upload. They are not expected to be professionals in the art of international Internet marketing nor should they be.
The Internet is a big place. An expanding and creative digital universe which demands a variety of professionals in hardware, software, graphics, copy writing, international marketing, domain retailers, operations, finance, journalism, advertising and public relations. But where can we find that magician called an SEO or search engine optimization international marketing professional?
We find an avalanche of companies advertising themselves using Google AdWords as SEO international Internet marketing and Web promotion professionals. But sad to say, over 80 percent of these companies know very little about SEO Internet marketing and much about how to take your hard earned money.
In May of 2006 the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) announced that Internet advertising revenues reached a new record of $3.9 billion for the first quarter of 2006. The 2006 first quarter revenues represent a 38 percent increase over Q1 2005 at $2.8 billion and a 6 percent increase over Q4 2005 total at $3.6 billion.
Last year, AdWords alone generated $3.4 billion for Google.
With the Internet being the place to secure market share, many charlatans and wannabe international Internet marketing professionals are surfacing – thieves who know little more than how to cash your check and disappear quickly.
So how does one go about shopping for an honest and successful company which specializes in international marketing and public relations on the Internet?
You must ask several questions. Problem is, most companies seeking international SEO Internet marketing support do not know the questions to ask. Leyden Communications (Israel) provides below a list of questions for every company from Tel Aviv, London, Washington and New York, to Paris, Japan, India and China to ask the SEO or international Internet marketing company before they sign a contract.
First, if your target audience is New York, London, Manchester or Los Angeles, or any native English speaking market, be certain to hire a native from that country. One whose English is at mother tongue level and understands the marketing culture of your target market. If you do hire an Israeli, make certain that they have lived and worked in your target market locale for at least ten years.
Second, you want to know what experience and for how many years they have worked with international marketing, conventional distribution channels, sales, marcom, viral marketing, production of brochures, advertising and public relations?
Third, what professional experience do they have in copy writing, journalism and research?
Fourth, what practical experience do they have in programming?
And last but not least, how long have they been working on the Internet?
An international Internet marketing professional must wear many hats to succeed. The Internet SEO must be an experienced international marketing or PR person – one who understands how to penetrate and motivate a market outside of Israel without the Internet. They need to understand the basics of international marketing, branding, distribution and sales channels in order for them to integrate the digital world with the classic print, broadcast media and sales markets. The SEO must be an accomplished, creative and professional writer who can write for both the reader and the search engine.
This article is an example of how one writes for both the reader and the Google and Yahoo search engines. The English suffers a bit as the writer finds a fine balance between getting your attention and the eyes of the search engines. But what is more important? The search engine!
For if your customers in the UK, France, Germany, Brazil, Japan and South Korea do not find your Website, then having a Website with the best of conventional copy writing will find itself lost in cyberspace.
Can you find a Webmaster, Internet graphic design, Internet programmer, professional Internet marketing, international marketing guru and professional journalist and or copywriter all in one person?
Many in Israel will tell you yes. I say, you will be lucky to find a team with each one of these professionals in no more than perhaps three international Internet SEO marketing companies in Israel.
What then would be the real acid test for securing a professional SEO – search engine optimization Web promotion marketing company in Israel, New York, London, Paris or Beijing?
Simply perform a search on Google for “Israel Internet Marketing” or “Israel International Marketing.”
If the SEO company you are talking to in Israel is not listed in the top ten, you must ask yourself one question: “How can they rank you, without the continued use of an expensive Google AdWords campaign, in a top ten position?”
Google AdWords are a very powerful advertising tool used by SEO international Internet marketing companies in Israel, but they are not a substitute for having your commercial Website stand on its own digital legs. AdWords are not a substitute for getting out optimized news stories on Google News and PR news releases in to the many corners of the Net. AdWords do not substitute for creating blogs, professional rooms and forums in Google and Yahoo and the creation of videos for YouTube.
Can a native born SEO in Israel find, let alone professionally write the English, French, Spanish or China copy and news you need for your Website and for international blogs and news releases?
Are they fluent in a variety of Israel export and import markets relating to hi tech, food, defense technology, agriculture, biotech, security, real estate, chemicals, metals, gaming, politics, crisis communications, education, plastics, music, shopping, telecommunications, sales, stocks, manpower, diamonds, Judaica, office products, food, beverages, tourism, games, textiles, dating, health, sports, news, videos, clothes, hotels, airlines and rental cars?
Allow the native Israel SEO to market your products and services to domestic markets and sales cultures that they know best – Tel Aviv, Ra’anana, Ashdod, Herzlia, Afula, Haifa, Jerusalem, Kiryat Shomona and Eilat.
Never look at office size as a measure of success. What you are paying for is knowledge and talent. Many SEO professionals and their complimentary staff of copy writers and programmers may work from a home office in Israel. Again, judge their international Internet marketing success by the ranking of their clients and their own personal search engine optimization ranking on Google and Yahoo.
Never pay a maintenance fee. International Internet marketing SEO professionals are not servicing a car or cleaning a house. What you do want to invest in is more Web pages created by their Webmaster and more news stories and or news releases created by their PR firm to be placed on Google News.
Never pay all that they ask for up front. Unless you know the company a good policy is paying half before the work begins and the balance once the work is completed. It takes about three weeks to begin seeing the results of SEO or search engine optimization. Although with some Israel SEO, you can see rankings improve within a matter of days by using Alexa.com. In using Alexa.com, it is a tool that you can use, one that cannot be played with by the SEO or SEM company.
Lastly, if the SEO international Internet marketing company promises you a first place ranking, you will then know that they are bogus. No SEO or SEM can promise you something for which only Google, Yahoo, MSN and AOL control. They can promise you a higher ranking and depending on the link density of your industry maybe even a top ten position.
Remember that the top ten search engine position that we are talking about would not be a paid Google AdWords sponsored link. It is your Web site, your Web pages standing on their own two feet that counts. Also having an optimized news story about your company’s products and services in a top ten position would equal your Website being in a high SEO ranking. In fact, as long as the SEO news / public relations story is in a high position, it reinforces your credibility as it serves as third party endorsement. It is far more potent than your Website ranking, as long as the story has a link to your Website.
Your first stop in hiring an international Internet marketing company in Israel is a Google search.
Your second stop is to meet the SEO and SEM – search engine marketing team. If you don’t see a native English speaking, experienced international marketing professional who understands terminology such as POP, embassy commercial attache department, Israel Export Institute, packaging, four color bleed and what an optimized SEO news headline on the Internet looks like – keep walking.
Joel Leyden was one of Israel’s first Internet pioneers, having co-created Israel’s first commercial Website – NetKing – in 1995, the first Internet based news organization in Israel – Israel News Agency, the first Website for an Israel Prime Minister, first site for the Israel Defense Forces and hundreds of commercial, non-profit and governmental organizations. Leyden has worked for over 25 years in journalism, international marketing, public relations and advertising from New York and Israel. Leyden was Israel’s first SEO and today provides lectures on international Internet marketing.