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    Getting to the Top - Search Engine Optimization
    By Ralinda Harvey


    How can I get to the top!" the attendees clamored...banged on the tables and shot daggers at me that resembled bic pens. Agh..the expert has been exposed. Let's give everyone a refund and I'm going to try to get home to watch the series premier of Hero's. Cool?

    Ok, seriously sometimes I am prone to exaggerate...however if I had the formula to get anyone any term they want at the top of the Google search listings I'd be hosting seminars on the rooftop of my Malibu mansion instead of the LA Mart and my refreshments would change from bottled water to bottles of Moet & Chandon . Really.

    The exact Google algorithm for getting to the top is the best kept secret since McDonald's secret sauce. Many firms can give you their "guarantees," for certain words in the organic listings....for typically a certain very high price.

    Attention Kmart shoppers....There are no guarantees! Which probably explains the use of the term search engine "optimization" instead of Search Engine Placement firms. This slight mince of words serves as the loophole that illustrates the inherent limitations in "cracking the code."

    If I have to make one core recommendation to increase your search engine rankings I'd say "Work with Words." Here are some basic things you and your web designer can do together to help increase the "likelihood," of getting to the top in certain categories. If these don't work...please don't get me wrong there are some SEO firms can definitely help. But do yourself a favor and save yourself a few dollars by starting here...

    --Make sure your product descriptions explain your product in terms of the words you'd like to be searched for.

    --Describe your products and services in the title of your webpage. (The title is located in the top left corner.)

    --Keep a Blog on your site...bogs are typically indexed on Google and have their own URL's which can lead people back to your homepage and creates interest.

    --Include specifics....using specific terms to describe your products and services can help you rise through the ranks in niche categories...much quicker than the uber competitive general ones.

    --Send out a syndicated press release. This is a self serve way of creating an inbound link to your website. (see www.prweb.com), for more information on sending a syndicated press release.

    Another really good resource is the Web Marketing firm Expansion Plus (www.expansionplus.com). The CEO Doug Hay came and spoke to the students of my class at the Fashion Institute last year and I've found him and his site to be filled with useful information on how to grow your business on the web. So try the above and if it's not working for you...Give Doug a call. A good web marketing firm can help you reach for the search engine moon....and even if you fail you'll be amongst the stars!

    Ralinda Harvey is the owner of Gloss Marketing, marketing and merchandising firm specializing in contemporary fashion companies. Ralinda has worked in merchandising and marketing for Michael Stars as well as Gap Inc. brands Gap and Old Navy. She has also served as an adjunct marketing instructor at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising.

    She currently consults a network of clients while conducting fashion marketing seminars with organizations such as Fashion Business Inc.

    Website: www.glossmarketing.com



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