What is Search Engine Marketing?
Search Engine Marketing is term we use for getting your web site easily found on the internet by customers looking for your products or services. Although web sites are found primarily by typing a query into a Search Engine, those search engine results can make or break a company. You want to be in the top 10 results for a particular keyword phrase, because most people don't look past the first ten results. The competition for keywords phrases are extreme. Then to make things a bit more complicated, each Search Engine has different algorithms which will net different results for every query . So you could be ranked number 1 on one search engine and never show up on another!
There are many places to get your web site listed on. Places like online directories, using press releases, locating quality Links and other possible marketing avenues also get indexed through the search engines. All these venues offer ways to increase your page ranking by offering more quality incoming links to your website. Search Engine Marketing is no easy task, it takes time and patience. To be found in the top 10 listings on a Search Engine several key factors must be in place. Search Engine Optimization, Quality Incoming Links and setting up a well thought out Pay Per Click campaign.
Search Engine Optimization - "The Natural Method"
- Search Engine Optimization means using known techniques for formatting a web page base on how a search engine spider likes to read and index the content of that web page. This is also known as the Natural Method of being found by the search engines. How that information is saved in the search engine will tell if you are ever found. The search engines like to look for particular key components in the web page code. Those key components are what makes the web page search engine friendly. Please understand that the term "search engine friendly" refers to things you do not see. It's in the underlying code and the way the site is laid out. Your content is your message, although some keywords may need to be added to the content, but that should not detract from your message.
- Use a single keyword phrase for each web page. If you are selling 5 items through your web site, you must have a single web page for each item. Each web page needs to answer the basic questions: Who, What, Where, Why, When and How about the product.
- Write at least 250-350 words per page and describe your product adequately with reasons why someone should purchase from you.
- Bullet point items of importance. This makes it easier to quickly identify if the product is what the consumer is looking for.
- The Natural Method can take 6-9 months for your web site to appear in the Search Engines. That is why a pay per click campaign is recommended for the same period of time. Depending on your natural page rankings will dictate how you continue to use a pay per click campaign. Most web sites will continue to use the pay per click campaigns to focus on core business.
- Are your web pages HTML compliant? Was the underlying code correctly created to allow the search engine spiders to index your web site. Certain type fo code will prevent the spiders from reading your content. When this happens, the spiders stop and move on, missing your marketing chance to be found. The code that effects one search engine will more than likely effect all search engine spiders. An easy way to check the compliance of HTML code is to use an HTML Validator
Quality Incoming Links
- Quality Links! Link to business related sites only. Try to get links to Page Ranked web sites. You will see more focus on quality business related links from search engines.
- Forget Link Farms! Search Engines are getting much better at identifying links farms and bogus linking sites. You may find out that you get penalized for being on these sites or having one on your site.
- Be careful with reciprocating links! They may help in the short term, but this has become a problem for the search engines. The search engines are aware of how fast a web site's links grow. For those sites that grew too quickly through incoming links a red flag is now being raised by the search engines. Several of the top search engines are using new algorithms to compare your previous incoming links with your current incoming links. A slow and steady progression is recommended to avoid rapid spikes of incoming links. Search Engines are aware of many entities using link farms, reciprocating links and complicated linking systems that drive a web site's presence. Those sites have been punished by reduced page ranking and even being dropped completely from the search engines. Make sure the site you link to has a reasonable page rank and that there are not too many reciprocating links.
- To locate business related links, you should also consider paying annual fees for some links if it fits in the budget. The Yahoo Directory is considered one of the best pay for submission directories. Verizon Superpages is another well received directory. DMOZ.org is a great free directory, but it can take months to be considered for a listing. Each listing is reviewed by a human before being accepted and listed. There are many business related directories to examine for your web site.
Pay Per Click (PPC)
- Setup Pay Per Click Campaigns with the top search engines. The top search engines are Google, Yahoo and MSN. There are others and they can be used if the search engine can generate enough traffic for the cost. It is a competitive and complex process to bid for keywords. Unless you are willing to devote the time to manage the campaigns on a weekly (minimum) basis, you may not get the desired results you are searching for. We offer those management services at very reasonable rates. Click on the contact us page to request more information.
- A full keyword analysis is required to determine which keywords are creating the traffic, then matching those keywords to your web site or business model. This is extremely important to fit the correct keywords to your product or services or you will be tossing away your money.
- Analyze the results of the Pay Per Click (PCC) marketing. Is the traffic what you expected and how much are you paying? Is your budget too small or too much?
- This takes us to Return on Investment (ROI) for a Search Engine Marketing Campaign. Does the cost of the PPC worth the traffic? Is it generating sales? How much revenue was created versus expense of the PPC?
If you have any questions about Search Engine Marketing, please click on our contact us web page to see how we can help you.