Very interesting, you have a very good online marketing strategy, although i am a developer and not a marketing analyst. Going through all your information you’re doing almost everything you can do, saying that there is still Search Engine Optimisation. I know a company that specialises in this area; they help businesses get top rankings daily. You will find that a very high number of visitors to your site will come through a search engine, therefore ranking highly will help you get more visitors.
So how does it work, well the major player in the world is google, most others are feeders to google. AOL, ODP, Netscape, MSN and Yahoo all feed google. Google is very complex and ranks site in a very complex way.
Google uses a spider, this is constantly moving from site to site evaluating pages across the web, it then ranks every page, according to a lot of factors such as, content, links in and out of page/site, keywords, appropriate site content etc.
So what can you do to get higher rankings, well there are a few things you can do:
Try to use focused generic keywords, try keeping you keywords down to about 15-20 or 300-400 characters. The reason for this is say your keyword is “Lenders” this keyword is 1 of 100 then if someone searches on that keyword you would only get 1/100 of a percentage towards your ranking, where as if it was 1 of 15 then you would 1/15 percent towards your ranking. Try not wasting your keywords with non keyword words for the same reason. Try not having singular and plurals of a keyword either or is good enough.
You can have 15 different keywords on different pages, it doesn’t have to be same keywords on every page. Try not to include keywords that have no relevance to your page content, google will mark you down lower in rankings for this, for example well all know that “sex” is one of the most search for word, so people think that having this word in there keywords will help them rank higher, this is not the case, actually the exact opposite happens. Do not use special characters in your Meta tags. Length and format of your tags are important, spiders look for specific markers. Try to put your best words first, position of keyword in Meta tag matters. Here is a link to a tool for running checks on good keywords and bad keywords. This service is free but free is limited, you can however pay a daily charge to receive a lot more information, I think it’s about £7 per day.
You’re Description Tag:
This should be only about 120 – 130 words which best descried your business. This should not be abused and be full of more keywords, just a good description of your business type.
How to get listed in Google:
This is allows a hard one, but I just recently found out from a SEO company that Google site submit page doesn’t even do anything. You DON’T have to manually register with google, just by either having links to other sites that are listed or by the google spider visiting your site will get your site listed. Also if you are listed with either of the Google’s feeders then you will get listed.
Framesets are very bad for search engines, the google spider has problems with framesets, try avoid using them in your site. Flash and other plug-ins again the google spider has problems with them.
Try not getting yourself involved in SPAM techniques such as:
Creating lots of blank pages and creating links to them.
Having lots of domain names all pointing to the same site.
Hiding keywords under layers.
All the above will have bad effects on you’re rankings. Some of them could cause your site to be penalised and even removed from the listing.
Google, Lycos, Altaista and Inktomi to name a few are all Indexes, indexes usually use spiders, Meta tags, Directory link, Other inbound links, Outbond links to rank you’re site, but there are other types of search properties.
Meta Search Engines
PFI – pay for inclusion
In directories such as Yahoo and Looksmart Meta tags have no impact and directory descriptions must be written in the correct format.
Some of the main Portals are; MSN, Blueyonder, AOL, Freeserve, Virgin Net, all these have no direct submission the data for these Portals are provided from 3rd party.
Meta Search Engines such as Dogpile, Copernic and IX quick again have no direct submission but rank depends on rank/quality in other search properties.
PFI – Pay for inclusion
Teoma(ask jeeves), Inktomi, Fast Search
This is a paid service to ensure the search spider’s visit and rank your site; this is usually refreshed every 48 hours. This service does boost rank. They also offer click-through charting (on some properties). It normally costs approx £10-£20 per URL per year, some still offer free submits but this usually has little impact.
Basically the information I have giving you is a basic introduction to SEO, remember it is big business and large companies are paying SEO companies big money to do all this for them and get results.
Industry specific Newsgroups are worth targeting. Is just like Industry specific magazines, lots of potential clients will read them.
You are looking to allow registration for Sellers, Lenders and Appraisers. By storing all the registration details in tables in your database you would be able to run queries to match your users up to other users. Again this would need to me custom made for you.
Anyway hope this helps you