Search Engine Optimization Archive

Search Engine Optimization and Advertising

In today’s net-savvy world it has become common for any business to have a website, which they use mostly for advertising their products and services. With the advent of search engines, it has become even easier for customers to search for stuff online.

For a website to be successful, its link should land on the first three pages that the search engine generates, and the rank of the page should be high, which will drive many visitors to your site. This can be achieved by applying search engine optimization or more popularly known as SEO. This is a marketing strategy that increases the quality and quantity of traffic flow to a particular website via search engines.

Search Engine Process

SEO not only affects the search engine results, but also image search, video search and industry specific vertical search engines. It determines how a search algorithm functions and searches what is popular with the people.

When a website link is submitted to a search engine, a spider crawls through a page to gather links that lead to other pages and stores those pages on the server of the search engine. The information collected from these pages is sent to the indexer, whose job is to extract information from those pages such as the keywords and their weights, the location of the page and other links that are stored for the spider to crawl in the future.

Keywords and Meta Tags

In the beginning, the search engine optimizer algorithms were dependent on the keywords, meta tags, and index files provided by the webmaster. Meta tags provided information about a particular page, but using them for indexing the pages didn’t prove to be successful as some webmasters added irrelevant meta tags to increase the number of hits and earn huge ad revenue. They even changed the HTML of the web pages to achieve a good rank for the page. But this was a case of abuse as it fetched irrelevant pages.

Ranking Algorithm

Search engines then began utilizing complex ranking algorithm, which were difficult for the webmasters to manipulate so as to provide web surfers with genuine results. The rank of the web page was calculated mathematically by functions using strength and quantity of the inbound links. The higher the rank of the page the more chances it had to be viewed by a person.

Link Spamming

Later algorithms were developed which considered various other on-page factors such as rank and off-page factors such as hyperlink. Since the webmasters couldn’t manipulate the page rank, they began exchanging, selling and buying links, which lead to link spamming and even creation of numerous sites dedicated for this purpose.

Investing in SEO

Algorithms became more complex by every passing day and top search engines kept their algorithms a secret. As the cost of SEO increased, advertisers were roped in to paying for it, which in the end resulted in high quality web pages. Although investing in SEO is very fruitful, at the same time it is risky, because without any notice the algorithms being used are bound to change and the search engine will stop directing visitors to the page.

Page Ranking

Many consultants are available in the market that provides SEO services. They manipulate the HTML source code of the web site like menus, shopping carts and sometimes even the content of the website to draw more traffic.

Search engines like Yahoo has algorithms that extract pages not according to the page rank but according to the cost per click or set fee, that is, if you desire that the page containing your ad be displayed, you are expected to pay money for it.

However, this creates controversy, as only the big businesses are able to increase the number of hits of their page but not the small business who might have a better quality page.

Various Advertising Methods

Google Ad Words explores ads which have words typed in the search box by the surfer. The Million Dollar Homepage started the concept of Pixel advertising, which is a graphical kind of advertising. Depending on the pixels, the space is sold to the advertiser. Keyword advertising involves advertisers who buy URLs of a site and place their ads at that location. However, SEO is a market on its own that is yielding great results for businesses on the Internet.

Have you optimized your site for the search engines? If so, how has this impacted your ranking on search engines pages? Join the discussion below in our comment section.

As always, thanks for reading!
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Search Engine Marketing or SEO

SEO keyword

Search engine marketing is a form of Internet marketing that uses paid ads, which are more commonly known as pay-per-click ads. We’re going to take a look at pay-per-click ads and search engine optimization, as well as which strategy you should use in order to drive traffic to your site.

Search Engine Optimization

SEO is an acronym for search engine optimization. “Search engine optimization is a methodology of strategies, techniques and tactics used to increase the amount of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine (SERP) — including Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines” (Webopedia).

PPC is short for pay per click. “PPC is a type of sponsored online advertising that is used on a wide range of websites, including search engines, where the advertiser only pays if a web user clicks on their ad” (Brick Marketing).

SEO three advantages over PPC include (Huffington Post):

  • Natural exposure and credibility – marketers will hold the top spot on the search engine result page resulting from an organic (free) search. These results are viewed by consumers as being more credible because they are not paid ads.
  • Large ROI potential – The organic search can result in more conversions and revenue because of more clicks that organic search typically generates.
  • Exposure on several search engines – If SEO is performed correctly, a small business can receive exposure on the major search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, and AOL).

PPC three advantages over SEO are (Huffington Post):

  • Instant traffic to the marketer’s site – Ads show up at the top of the search engine results almost immediately after the PPC campaign is implemented.
  • No worrying about algorithm updates – Whenever search engines updates its algorithm, PPC ads are not affected like the organic search results.
  • Laser target your audience – PPC gives a marketer the ability to target their ideal customer by choosing which geographical area will see their ads. This allows small businesses to target local clients.

A small business needs a combination of search engine optimization and pay-per-click elements in their marketing campaign. It depends on the budget and goals of the marketer. Search engine optimization can result in a solid return in the long run; however, it takes time to do it correctly (Huffington Post). Pay-per-click provides immediate results, but it can be expensive. Also, customers tend to read past the paid ads. All-in-all, if the budget doesn’t allow it, search engine optimization is a better method of internet marketing.

PPC Ads vs. Organic Search

According to a research from GroupM UK and Nielsen, search engine users overwhelmingly clicked on organic search results on Google and Bing by a margin of 94 percent (“ZOG Digital”). Search engine users clicked on pay-per-click ads by a margin of six percent. The six percent that clicked on PPC ads were 53 percent women compared to 47 percent that were men. Thirty-five percent of those who clicked on PPC ads are 34 years old and younger. Interestingly the older the search engine users are, the percentage of PPC ads clicked goes up. For example, the search engine users who are 35 years and older, clicked on PPC ads 65 percent of the time.

On the other hand, if the PPC ads contain keywords with high commercial intent in the United States, these ads beat out organic search results by nearly a 2:1 margin. “In other words, 64.6 percent of people click on Google Ads when they are looking to buy an item online!” (The WordStream Blog) Overall, organic search results still get the most clicks; however, not in the case of pay-per-click ads with keywords for high commercial intent.

The location of the ads makes a big difference also. On SERP (search engine result page), 24 percent of the ads are at the top and account for 85 percent of clicks. Sixty one percent are on the right side of the search engine result page receiving 13 percent of clicks. Fifteen percent of the ads appear at the bottom. Search engine users click on these ads two percent of the time. According to the ZOG Digital article, there is conclusive evidence that a marketer online performance improved when running an integrated organic and paid search campaign.

Pay-Per-Click Ad Campaign vs. SEO Campaign

Pay-per-click ad campaigns can be very expensive if it is not set up correctly. It is not a matter of setting up the campaign and forgetting about it. The campaign has to be constantly optimized and fine-tuned in order to keep the ads performing and producing a ROI. PPC ads requires a lot of experience and testing, which is why small businesses hire digital firms to handle their PPC ad campaigns (Huffington Post).

On the other hand, a quality SEO campaign takes several months to notice results. However, if done correctly, it can drive constant traffic to the marketer’s website, as well as generate a nice ROI. As mentioned earlier, the best results are produced when elements of both PPC and SEO are used in the marketing campaign. However, if the budget doesn’t allow it, search engine optimization is the most cost effective method of advertising.

Are you currently marketing your online business with search engine marketing or search engine optimization or do you use a combination of both? We would love to hear from you. Please leave your comments below.

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How Does Social Media Help SEO?

social media iconsIf you know anything about SEO, you know that social media does not help it, right? The general consensus is that to rank better in Google you need “do follow” links, and all major social media sites add the rel=”nofollow” tag to links – therefore, social media cannot help with SEO. Well, although technically social media may not help SEO, a good social campaign can go a long way to getting your business closer to the top of the SERPs.

There are now over a billion people registered on Facebook; almost every adult in the developed world under the age of 50 has a Facebook account. As well as Facebook, there are Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+ and Instagram. According to eMarketer, nearly one in four people are using social media to some extent in their everyday lives. With this figure in mind, it is hard to believe that having a social presence cannot help your website grow in organic search.

Social media does help with SEO, both directly and indirectly. Let’s look at how.

Tweets in Google Search

Google has started indexing Tweets again. In February, 2015, Google and Twitter agreed to a deal to allow Google to index Tweets in the search results.

Google first included Tweets in search in 2011, as part of its real-time search feature. However, Google chose to stop real-time search, probably due to the huge resources not being met by sufficient demand.

Google is now indexing Twitter’s top 50,000 hashtags as well as indexing individual tweets. If you plan your Twitter campaigns with this in mind, you may be able to get your Twitter posts on the first page of Google.

Social Profiles are Indexed Search

If you create a Facebook page, this will be indexed by Google. Optimizing the content on your Facebook page can increase its position in Google search, and this will help drive more searchers to your social media profile, which in turn, should send more people to your website.

Social is more important in Bing

Bing has stated that it considers, to some extent, the social authority of people and link this to how well their content is ranked. For example, Bing’s Local Search service will push Tweets from more popular business owners to the top of the listings when they match the terms used in the search query.

Social Media Search Engines

When we talk of search and SEO, we often forget that the various social media sites are search engines in their own right. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and Pinterest all allow people to search for information. By creating a strong social presence on these platforms you increase the chances of being found by their users.

Increased Awareness

Social media can also help make influencers aware of your website. For example, if you release an important news item that is shared across Facebook and Twitter, it may be seen by the local press or bloggers who will then write their own report and link to you.

In the early days of the web, webmasters would contact other sites to ask them to link to their latest page. Because the web is so crowded, this is rarely effective. However, if a website owner sees something interesting in their social streams, they may “blog it” and this will help boost your Google SEO.

Developing an effective social media strategy is a combination of science and art. If you wish to see your brand rise up across all search engines, consider hiring an SEO company to create and implement a campaign on your behalf.

Featured images:
  • License: Image author owned

Danny Hall is the Co-Director of Freelance SEO Essex, a leading digital marketing agency that covers Essex, London and surrounding counties.

 

Marketing Your Business on the Internet

Most small business owners have a shoestring marketing budget, but yet need to market their business online. We’re going to discuss some internet marketing strategies you can implement in order to give your business the online exposure that is necessary to reach your target audience. Most of them are free; however, they will cost you time.

Website

Your website is your online business card. If you don’t have an online presence, you will not grow or succeed. According to the infographic below, created by invesp, more than 80% of internet users have used the internet to buy something and more than 50% shopped more than once online. Seventy-three percent say they prefer to shop online because it saves them time, while 58% prefer it because of no crowd. As you can see, you will miss a lot of potential sales if you don’t have a website.

The infographic shows other statistics that reiterate the importance of having an online presence, and building a website is the first step in doing so.

How Big is E-commerce IndustryInfographic by- Invesp

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Make sure your website is optimized for search engines in order to market your business on the internet. Sprinkle keywords that your clients use when searching for your products or services throughout your website copy creating keyword rich content. Search engines like fresh content also. So, update regularly. In addition, quality backlinks play a role in your site ranking well in search engine results, which, in turn, will drive traffic to your site.

Blogging

Creating and maintaining a blog will also drive free traffic to your site, giving you and your business exposure. You can use this platform for content marketing, which we’ll discuss next, sharing valuable content to your audience. This will draw them to you, which is a form of inbound marketing. We’ll also talk about this strategy a little later.

Content Marketing

The Content Marketing Institute describes content marketing as “Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.” Blogging, creating website content, broadcasting email campaigns, and social media marketing are all examples of content marketing and are ways of marketing your business on the internet.

Social Media Marketing

Being active on various social networks is another strategy you can use to market your business online. Posting relevant and valuable content will attract your target audience to you and your business (content marketing). You will also be seen as an expert in your industry to your potential clients.

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is a marketing strategy that uses relevant and valuable content to draw potential clients. The traditional method of advertising involved delivering advertising messages to the masses through radio, TV, magazines, etc. hoping to be found like a needle in the haystack; to be heard through all the other ads. Inbound marketing is a technique where your clients find you generally through internet searches verses you broadcasting to your market as a method of obtaining clients.

These are just a few techniques you can use to market your business on the internet giving you and your company the exposure you need to grow and succeed.

Have you used any of these strategies to market your business on the internet? We would love to hear your experiences, ideas, thoughts, and/or suggestions. Join the conversation below by commenting in our comments section. As always, thanks for viewing, and please share this post by clicking on the share buttons!

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Keyword Research Why You Will Succeed – Part II

Last week we began our discussion on keyword research and how it can affect your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts. We left off on Why Keyword Research Will Make or Break Your Business. This week we will discuss what makes a great keyword. Are there any left?

What Makes a Great Keyword?

keyword researchA great keyword is one that has a good volume of search traffic, has few enough competition that you can reasonably expect to rank and finally has traffic that is looking for what you offering.

If you can find a handful of keywords that matches this description, then your chances of succeeding are far greater than the many thousands of websites that get started every single day.

Most people spend less than 20 minutes on keyword research. Yet search engine experts consistently spend hours if not days on keyword research.

Is it a coincidence that those who are consistently successful are also the ones that consistently spend the most time on keyword research? Most likely not.

Are There Great Keywords Left?

People often think that the Internet is over saturated already, especially in competitive fields. Are there really any good keywords left to find? Especially in markets like health, making money, dating and so on – Can someone really compete?

The answer is yes. As large as the competition may be, the user base is growing as well. As more people come into the market, that means more opportunity. According to the UN’s International Telecommunications Union (ITU), there are over 2 billion Internet users. Established sites will be able to capture a lot of the traffic, but a lot of the traffic is up for grabs as well.

No matter what industry you’re looking to jump into, there are always undiscovered keywords that you can use to get ahead of the competition.

There is a detailed step by step process that you really need to know in order to do your keyword research. Do a Google search using the search term “keywords research” for keyword research tools. Some are free, some aren’t.

Which keyword research tools are you currently using?

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Keyword Research Why You Will Succeed – Part I

Last week, we began the conversation of monitoring your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts with analytical tools such as Alexa.  In case you are not pleased with the results of your SEO efforts, this week we are discussing how to improve your search engine page ranking by using the correct keywords.

keyword researchKeyword Research: Why You’ll Succeed Where Others Failed

Most people who set out to make money online fail – But you won’t. Here’s why: The vast majority of people who set out to try and create a successful website don’t know how to lay a rock solid foundation for their success. This foundation is the key difference between success and failure. Here, we’ll explore exactly what this foundation is how to lay this foundation.

Why Keyword Research Will Make or Break Your Business

In real estate and retail, what makes or breaks your business is “location, location, location.”

Your keywords are your online equivalent. Just like how your location is what enables people to find you in a retail store, your keywords are what allow your online visitors to find you.

If you choose your keywords poorly, as most do, you’ll be doomed to a website with little traffic, often competing in markets and keyword pools where competition is much too fierce.

On the other hand, choosing a great keyword is like choosing a great location: A lot of people around who want what you’re selling and not a whole lot of competition.

If you can consistently find keywords like that and build your business around it, you can be sure that you’ll get traffic to your websites.

Come back next week as we continue our discussion on keyword research.

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Article Marketing

Article marketing is another tool or marketing strategy you can use to drive traffic to your website, as well as demonstrate your expertise in your field.

Target Audience

When composing your articles, share with your target audience information that will help them move their business forward and increase their knowledge and skill set. This is why it’s important to know whom you are speaking to, what keeps them up at night, what kind of information can you provide them, which will alleviate their business concerns.

SEOKeywords and Search Terms

Include search terms, also known as keywords, your potential clients use to find you. Be sure to include these keywords when submitting your articles to article banks. This is a SEO (search engine optimization) strategy, which could help your ranking on the more popular search engines.

Articles Banks

So, you ask, “What are article banks?” Marnie Pehrson of IdealMarketers.com gives an excellent description, “An article bank is a web site where people can post articles for webmasters, ezine publishers, newsletter editors and offline publications to find and reprint.” She also lists the top 10 article banks where you can submit your articles. Go here to learn which banks they are: http://www.ideamarketers.com/?Top_10_Article_Banks&articleid=180399.

internet marketingArticle Content

You may be wondering what topic you could write about. If you have written a series of blog posts on a particular subject, arrange them into an article. This is known as repurposing your content.

Keep in mind if you have included links in your posts, some article banks limit the amount of links that can be included in the body of the article. Be sure to review the editorial guidelines if this is the case.

Article marketing is an excellent free publicity tool. However, it is time-consuming and can be one of those mundane tasks that can be outsourced to your Virtual Assistant.

Which Internet marketing strategies do you use?  We would love to hear from you.  Come back next week for more Internet marketing tips.

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Video Marketing

video marketingVideo marketing is another Internet marketing tool and strategy that will drive traffic to your website.

Target Audience

Your videos should include valuable information for your target audience, as well as being relevant to the subject matter. For SEO (search engine optimization), choose your title, description, and keywords carefully. You want your target audience to be able to find your videos when they are searching using the keywords you select.

Description

Make sure your website URL (or wherever you want to direct your visitors to) is in the first line of the description leaving a space between the URL and the actual description.

Branding

Don’t forget to brand your videos with your logo and website address. You can also create a YouTube Channel customizing it to promote your brand. The Channel also has a bulletin feature, which allows you to create messages, similar to Facebook and Twitter posts. These posts will show up on your subscribers’ and friends’ homepage.

Social Media Networking

Submit your videos to your favorite social networks and allow comments and ratings. Make sure you respond to comments. With YouTube share feature, you can easily share your videos to various social networks with a click of a button.

Embedding

Allow your videos to be embedded. You can also embed your videos into your WordPress blog. Make sure you insert the embed codes into the HTML mode tab of the post editor when creating your blog post.

We would love to hear how video marketing has worked for you in your Internet marketing plan. Let us know by leaving your comment. Come back next week for more Internet marketing tips!

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Using Blogging to Boost Website Traffic

When you have a business website and are trying new ways to increase your Internet website traffic, blogging is a great way to get noticed.

Blogging is a good way to express your personal thoughts about various subjects that pertain to your business. You can write about how to market your business or how to increase the number of customers. You can also blog about why you started your business. Your readers’ comments are a good tactic to get ideas about what to change and/or what to write next. Show your readers that you are listening to what they have to say by responding to their comments.

It is vitally important to have a well-written blog. Always use proper grammar, and spell check your blog post before you post it. Using the proper SEO (search engine optimization) keywords will increase your ranking on the search engines and that will increase the amount of readers to your blog site. SEO keywords pop out at your readers in your blog, and it is always helpful to have hyperlinks, links and/or pictures to drive your readers to your website. These are good steps to take to boost website traffic.

When you promote your blogs with catchy titles on various social media networks, it will attract readers to your blog site. If your blog site is part of your website, your readers will be more inclined to visit the rest of your site.

Another way to boost website traffic is providing Internet marketing services offering to write blog posts for other businesses. It’s a terrific marketing tool for businesses that want to have blogs on their site but do not have the time to write. With blogging there are endless ways to boost your website traffic one blog post at a time.

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