Search Engine Marketing Q&A

An image of businessman drawing a business plan Before we cover this overview of search engine marketing, there is a primary point everyone should remember about the search engine industry as we know it today. Just under 90% of all searches are made on only 5 or 6 search engines (Google 47%, Yahoo 21%, MSN 14%, AOL 5% and Ask Jeeves 2%.) Even more interesting is that only 3 search engines provide all search data to everyone else. These engines are Google, Yahoo and now MSN.

What is Search Engine Marketing?

Search Engine Marketing involves implementing a number of strategies to bring qualified viewers to your site with an intended action for the viewer to either purchase something if the site is a store or contact you if the site offers a service. These strategies include search engine optimization, site submissions for organic search listings, sponsored link or PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns, directory listing, local business listings, the use of other applications such as the submitting of XML site map pages for search engine spidering and finally tracking and monitoring traffic on your site.

What is Search Engine Optimization?

Search engine optimization is using standardized practices in designing, coding and maintaining your web site so that search engine spiders will be able to follow, index and rank your web sites pages accordingly. The objective is to get a high rankings (hopefully in the top 10, at least in the top 60 spots on SERPs, search engine results pages) in the area of organic searches, the area of SERPs that are not sponsored links.

What are Search Engine Spiders?

Over time, the search engines have developed sophisticated programs that go out on the internet, locate web site URL’s that have been indexed in their databases, and “crawl” the pages found on a site. What this means is, they start at the top of a page and work their way through, recording everything on that page. But, keep in mind, they only thing they record is text. That makes the challenge of search engine optimization so compelling. Make a site look great and write the code in such a way that the search engines record pertinent text information.

What is your Key Word, Key Word Phrase or Search Position?

This is where you are found after a search word or phrase has been entered by a viewer. Your position could be on the first page, spots 1-10, or any subsequent pages after that. No spot is guaranteed. Good key word positioning comes from a well optimized page targeting specific key words or phrases.

What are Organic Searches?

Organic searches are the search results that show up on the left side of SERPs (search engine result pages.) Organic searches are generally a mixture of commercial sites and informational sites. There is no control or guarantee that a site will hit the number one position or that it will stay there. The reality of the fact is that one day your site could be in the number one spot for a search phrase and the next day it could be on page 10. Believe me, it happens, it happened to us.

What are Paid Inclusions on Search Engines?

Some search engines offer paid inclusion. This pertains to organic searches. You pay a fee and you are guaranteed that your site will be indexed in a specific period of time. There is no guarantee of your position. Your position will adjust depending on how relevant your page is to the search phrase a viewer is searching for.

What are PPC Sponsored Links?

The two primary PPC (pay-per-click) companies on the web today are Google’s AdWords and Yahoo’s Search Marketing, run by Overture. Through a bidding process, specific key words or key word phrases are guaranteed a specific spot in the sponsored links area, usually found on the first two or three spots above organic search results or, on the right. PPC advertising costs only the amount of the bid you have made for a key word times the number of times your ad is clicked on. Bid amounts can range from a minimum of from 5 cents to any amount depending on how popular a key word phrase is. Sponsored Link advertising targets highly qualified viewers looking for specific products or services.

Who Needs Search Engine Optimization and Why?

Anyone who plans to be successful with their internet marketing programs.

Who Needs to Consider PPC Sponsored Advertising and Why?

PPC sponsored links should be considered as an adjunct to organic search engine optimization. These programs can fit any marketing budget.

Search Engine Optimization Services Include:

Situation Analysis: Site audit to determine current page ranks, key word/phrase positioning and an analysis of relevant content on pages. Future Planning & Objectives: Determine best course of action for a successful program, define objectives and develop project outline. This would include organic search engine optimization and PPC Sponsored Link advertising if desired. Keyword, Phrase Research and Selection: Research and identify all keywords and phrases to be used throughout your site. Tectao Designs utilized WordTrack, considered to be the one of best key word analysis tool on the market. Site Architecture Link Development: Develop internal linking guidelines for successful indexing of the sites internal linking. Reciprocal Link Development: Participate in highly structured link popularity buildings programs with researched and market friendly web sites. The more incoming links you have the more powerful your page rank will become thus increasing the chances of driving highly qualified traffic to your site. Content Optimization / Copy writing: Constantly publish updated search engine optimized pages not only pleases your customers but the search engine spiders love it! Ongoing Maintenance: Monitor and tracking of your marketing program is pertinent. Maintenance includes just that and to make corrections and modifications as needed. Reporting and Traffic Analysis: Monthly reports provided for client's to participate and monitor program success. Media Buys and Pay Per Clicks: Pay-per-click marketing is one of the most effective ways to drive traffic to your site. When a potential customer enters key words in Google, Yahoo or MSN, thousands of results can be returned. Logic tells us that the probability of a potential customer clicking on your link is greatly reduced the farther down your business appears in the search results. Pay-per-click marketing positions your business prominently within search engine results to ensure high visibility near the top of the results page. Along with traditional Search Engine Optimization, pay-per-click marketing guarantees your site will get the targeted traffic you need quickly.

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