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Entrepreneurs Panel

Debbie Pierce
Steve Purdham
Michael Oliver
Charlie Mullins
Jennie Johnson
Julie Meyer
Tony Caldeira
Laura Tenison
Richard O'Sullivan
Brian Hay
David Pollock
Jeremy Roberts

Climbing up the ranks

Steve Purdham

Has worked in the software industry for more than 25 years. Founded Surfcontrol in the early 80s and built it into a global provider of internet filtering software before it was sold to California-based Websense in 2007 for £201 million. Moved straight onto the launch of We7, an advertising-funded music download company supported by rock legend Peter Gabriel. We7 was relaunched in 2008 as an internet jukebox with 3.5 million songs which users can listen to for free. Purdham is hoping for user figures of two million in 2009.

Question: 

What is the best way to improve my ranking on Google without having to shell out a small fortune for AdWords? I sell sportswear via the internet and want to drive more traffic to my website.

Answer: 

There are several things you can do without AdWords to create interest, activity and traffic. These may not have a financial cost but will take up your time.

First create inbound links, so write on blogs, get reviews, tweet, partner up and link share with other websites. Secondly, think about how people will search your site and ensure those terms are in your site pages, titles and text (Use Google Analytics – Trends to try various terms out).

Think about what words or phrases can be yours: generic “sport” is very difficult and noisy but are there other terms you can try to “own”.

Thirdly, create unique editorial such as reviews about things on your site that are interesting and relevant so that the search engine will pick them up and mark them higher.

As with any website, traffic doesn’t come by magic. You either have to put time and effort in or marketing spend.

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