We would like to thank the local libraries, schools, and universities for recommending students to visit us when doing research on any of our information topics.
As search engine marketers, we spend an enormous amount of time trying to get targeted traffic to our site. But, once those visitors get to our site, can they find what they're looking for? If not, guess what? We've lost a customer.
Think about it this way. How many times have you found a site through a major search engine or directory, only to visit the site and not be able to find what you're looking for anywhere on the site? What do you do next? You go back to the search engine and click on the next site. That site has lost a customer: you.
Helping your visitors find what they're looking for on your site can cover a great many areas, such as navigation, user interface issues, and the lack of a clear "call to action."
But one way around many of those issues is to offer an onite search engine, so that once visitors hit your site, they can easily find exactly what they're looking for.
The really neat thing about onite search engines is that many of them are FREE. Yes, you read right: free. Of course, that also means that you may have ads in your search results, which may or may not present problems for you. However, even if you choose to purchase an onite engine, the cost is generally not expensive.
What should you look for in an onite search engine?
In my training material and resource library at the Academy, I had an onite search engine for a long time. Then, the company folded. Until recently, I hadn't set up another onite engine, because the one onite engine that I really wanted to use didn't index password-protected areas. So, I "patiently" waited for the onite engine, FreeFind, to add this to their list of features. When they recently did, I jumped on it, and now both of my online training programs have excellent onite search engines through FreeFind (http://www.freefind.com).
But why did FreeFind stand out among the others, and why was it so important to me to wait until they could index password- protected areas? FreeFind offers some features that I couldn't find on other onite search engines, features that would help me tremendously with my work.
Look closely at your site. Is it time to add an onite search engine? Is it time to make sure visitors can find exactly what they're looking for when they land on your site? Are you losing customers who get lost and can't find what they want?
FreeFind (http://www.freefind.com) is an excellent onite search engine that met my exact needs. However, to be fair, and because this article isn't meant to be an advertisement for FreeFind, here are some other onite engines that you may want to conider. Look closely at their features, and find the one that works best for you.
Other Onite Search Engines
A listing of numerous onite search tools: http://www.searchtools.com/tools/tools.html
Copyright 2002 Robin Nobles. All rights reserved.
About The Author
Robin Nobles, Director of Training, Academy of Web Specialists, has trained several thousand people in her online search engine marketing (http://www.academywebspecialists.com) training programs. Visit the Academy's training site to learn more about their online search engine marketing training (http://www.onlinewebtraining.com) and search engine optimization (http://www.se-optimizer.com) software. She also teaches 3-day hands-on search engine marketing workshops in location across the globe with Search Engine Workshops (http://www.searchengineworkshops.com).
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