The Northland Area Business Association will be getting a new website.

The Northland Area Business Association will be getting a new website.

Actually, the organization will be getting back a website after the old one was allowed to lapse.

Dave Cooper, NABA's vice president and acting president, said last week he had signed a contract with a web developer to create an improved Internet presence for the organization.

Cooper made the announcement at the quarterly luncheon for NABA members.

"We're going to make it really, really proactive," he promised during the gathering, held at Monaco's Palace and Catering on Cleveland Avenue.

Cooper and other members of the NABA board of trustees were scheduled to meet late last week with the web developer to outline some of the features they hope to see on the updated site for the business-promoting nonprofit, which was founded in 1999. At the very least, he said, the new site will allow members to make reservations for things such as the quarterly luncheons and allow business owners and managers to become new members.

"We're making progress," Cooper said.

Tony Howard, a NABA trustee and the new membership chairman, said he planned to launch an effort to bring more business people from the Northland area into the fold in October.

Howard, manager of the Karl Road and Northern Lights branches of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, asked current members to think of two potential new ones in advance of the drive next month.

The guest speaker at the luncheon was Bryan Sirak, head of sales and marketing for Hilliard-based Local Internet Leads. The company offers techniques for driving more potential customers to the websites of clients.

Sirak said he's been in the field of marketing for small-business owners for almost 27 years, and the Internet has changed just about everything.

"Businesses have had to shift the way they market their business," he said. "When you're looking at Internet marketing, most of the people who come to us are frustrated. They're not getting the return on investment that they want."

Local Internet Leads helps with "search-engine optimization," either through changes to their clients' websites or with advice on how best to pay for advertising with search-engine firms, according to Sirak. He spoke mostly about optimization with searches on Google, which he termed the "800-pound gorilla in the room," because 80 percent of all searches are done using Google.

Yahoo and Bing make up the majority of the remaining 20 percent, Sirak indicated.

Ads on Google are paid for by the "click," meaning when someone chooses a business website from a search, he said. How much someone is willing to pay depends the nature of the customers being sought, Sirak said.

For example, attorneys trying to rustle up clients for a class-action lawsuit may pay Google as much as $120 for each click, while a plumbing contractor might have entered an agreement to play as little as 50 cents.

"People just don't go to the phone book any more," Sirak said.