Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing
SEO and SEM are the keys to a successful online business.
To be successful you need to be found on major search engines. Our
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Search Engine Submission Program
will help you be seen in the large world of online retailers. Our precise manual submissions will ensure successful placement. You’ll also avoid the hassles of blacklisting and spam lists that you find when using automated submission programs. Your search engine placement will continually improve with the increased inbound links resulting from these directory submissions.
You can gain a better understanding of SEO and SEM with the following synopsis:
What is SEO?
Search engine optimization (SEO also search optimization) is the process of editing and organizing the content on a webpage or across a website to increase its potential relevance to specific keywords on specific search engines. It involves critically ensuring that external links to the site are correctly titled and in abundance. The aim is to achieve a higher organic search listing and thus increasing the volume of targeted traffic from search engines. SEO is one of the key web marketing activities and can target different kinds of searches, including image search, local search, and industry-specific vertical search engines.
SEO considers how search engines work and what people search for. Optimizing a website primarily involves editing its content and HTML coding to both increase its relevance to specific keywords and to remove barriers to the indexing activities of search engines. Sometimes a site's structure (the relationships between its content) must be altered too. Because of this it is, from a client's perspective, it is always better to incorporate Search Engine Optimization when a website is being developed than to try and retroactively apply it.
Another class of techniques, known as black hat SEO or Spamdexing, use methods such as link farms and keyword stuffing that degrade both the relevance of search results and the user-experience of search engines. Search engines look for sites that employ these techniques in order to remove them from their indices.
Why is SEO Important?
It is estimated that 90% of all online traffic is achieved through the various search engines. If your website doesn’t have a page appearing in the top 10 search engine result positions (SERPs), the chances of someone clicking on your listing, and actually visiting your site, are low. If you’re not in the top 20, the chances that someone will scan through the SERPs and find your page drops dramatically. Hence, Search Engine Optimization tries to help organize your page/site so that it will move up the Search Engine Results and thus be found.
Search Engine Optimization has been controversial in the past with many Search Engine Optimization companies using unscrupulous methodologies to get sites up the rankings quickly. These methods are now largely discredited and using them can get a site banned from search engines.
What is Google Optimization?
Owning a website is a cool thing in itself, but it's more profitable if you're able to welcome a lot of visitors to it. One of the most effective ways to accomplish this is by making sure your site is easily found through search engines like Google.
Google fills its database mainly by letting robots automatically crawl and index the web.
- You can request a Google robot visit at www.google.com/addurl. The robot will browse your site and index its contents. Expect to have to wait for a couple of weeks before this will happen. Also, always list your site at www.dmoz.org. This is Google's web directory and, next to the Google robot, an important source of the Google search API.
- Your website is not ranked as a whole. Keywords are used to determine the relevancy of your website for particular subjects. So, before building your site, make sure you have a relevant set of keywords. Check competing websites for keywords / search terms and use the good ones for yourself.
- The most important elements to insert keywords into are the URL (domain name + path + filename) and title of your web page. Also, a low-level URL (www.mysite.com/page.htm) is considered more important than a higher-level URL (www.mysite.com/subdir/anothersubdir/page.htm).
- Once you think you have found the right keywords and you've written your text so that these keywords appear all over the page, it's time to check out how your site is doing. At http://www.googlerankings.com you can check your position in Google for the keywords you have chosen.
- Just remember that a robot will be optimized over and over to be able to judge web pages the way a human does. In the end, if you make sure your site is clean and accessible and your content is good and relevant, web surfers will find you and bytes will flow.
The importance of Search Engine Optimization is further highlighted by the results of the list of SEO studies quoted below:
- A study from IMT Strategies demonstrates that a company’s presence on relevant search engines is the most important medium for maintaining high brand awareness “more important than the printed media, radio or TV commercials” (Sales & Marketing Management Magazine, January 2001).
- A study by Direct Marketing Association found that search engine optimization/positioning was evaluated by webmasters as the single most important activity for generating traffic to the website (66%), followed by e-mail marketing (54%).
- A poll by Iconocast concludes that 81% of UK Internet users find websites via search engines (Source: June 2000, Forrester Research Inc., “UK Internet User Monitor”).
- The tenth user survey from “The Graphics, Visualization & Usability Center” (GVU) showed that 84.8% of respondents found information on websites from search engines.
- According to a study published by NPD Group, 92% of online users making a purchase over the net use search engines to find the relevant website.
- A study carried out by IMT Strategies discovered that search engines were the most popular medium (46%) for finding websites. Random surfing and word of mouth shared second place (20% each).
- Search engines are the “busiest” and most used websites on the net - cf. Relevant Knowledge or MediaMetrix studies.
- A study carried out by Jupiter Research in March 2001 gives search engines 9.1 points on a scale from 0 - 10 as the most important online media. The No. 2 spot got 6.3 points.
- According to a study among marketing executives, search engine optimization/positioning was considered the most profitable website marketing activity. Far more effective than, for instance, banners, e-mails and offline marketing (Source: WebCMO).
- A study carried out by the NPD Group showed that more than twice as many of those asked could recognize the names of the companies in the top three placements of the search engines as could recognize the names of companies which used banners.
What is SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING?
Search engine marketing, or SEM, is a form of Internet marketing that seeks to promote websites by increasing their visibility in search engine result pages (SERPs). According to the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization, SEM methods include: search engine optimization (or SEO), paid placement, and paid inclusion.
In 2006, North American advertisers spent $9.4 billion on search engine marketing, a 62% increase over the prior year and a 750% increase over the 2002 year. The largest SEM vendors are Google AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing and Microsoft adCenter. As of 2006, SEM was growing much faster than traditional advertising and even other channels of online marketing.
PAY PER CLICK (PPC)
Pay per click (PPC) is an Internet advertising model used on search engines, advertising networks, and content websites, such as blogs, where advertisers only pay when a user actually clicks on an advertisement to visit the advertisers' website. With search engines, advertisers typically bid on keyword phrases relevant to their target market.
When a user types a keyword query matching an advertiser's keyword list, or views a webpage with relevant content, the advertisements may be displayed. Such advertisements are called sponsored links or sponsored ads, and appear adjacent to or above the "natural" or organic results on search engine results pages, or anywhere a webmaster or blogger chooses on a content page. Content websites commonly charge a fixed price for a click rather than use a bidding mechanism.
Although many PPC providers exist, Google AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing, and Microsoft adCenter are the largest network operators as of 2007. Minimum prices per click, often referred to as costs per click (CPC), vary depending on the search engine and the level of competition for a particular phrase or keyword list—with some CPCs as low as US$0.01.
Very popular search terms can cost much more on successful search engines. The PPC advertising model is open to abuse through click fraud, although Google and other search engines have implemented automated systems to guard against abusive clicks by competitors or corrupt webmasters.
Paid inclusion is a search-engine marketing product where the search engine company charges fees related to inclusion of websites in their search index. Paid inclusion products are provided by most search engine companies, the most notable exception being Google.
The fee structure is both a filter against superfluous submissions and a revenue generator. Typically, the fee covers an annual subscription for one webpage, which will automatically be catalogued on a regular basis. A per-click fee may also apply. Each search engine is different. Some sites allow only paid inclusion, although these have had little success. More frequently, many search engines like Yahoo! mix paid inclusion (per-page and per-click fee) with results from web crawling. Others, like Google (and as of 2006, Ask.com), do not let webmasters pay to be in their search engine listing (advertisements are shown separately and labeled as such). Some detractors of paid inclusion allege that it causes searches to return results based more on the economic standing of the interests of a web site, and less on the relevancy of that site to end-users.
Often the line between pay per click advertising and paid inclusion is debatable. Some have lobbied for any paid listings to be labeled as an advertisement, while defenders insist they are not actually ads since the webmasters do not control the content of the listing, its ranking, or even whether it is shown to any users.
Another advantage of paid inclusion is that it allows site owners to specify particular schedules for crawling pages. In the general case, one has no control as to when their page will be crawled or added to a search engine index. Paid inclusion proves to be particularly useful for cases where pages are dynamically generated and frequently modified.
Paid inclusion is a search engine marketing method in itself, but also a tool of search engine optimization, since experts and firms can test out different approaches to improving ranking, and see the results often within a couple of days, instead of waiting weeks or months. Knowledge gained this way can be used to optimize other web pages, without paying the search engine company.
Why do you need Search Engine Marketing?
- 93% of users don’t look further than the first 2 pages of search results. Most prefer to use another search engine rather than click past the first 10 results. How can your business succeed if you’re not found there?
- 33% of users believe companies found in the top search results are a major brand in their specific product/service category. SEM raises your online profile and builds brand awareness.
- SEM has been proven to yield a higher Return On Investment in terms of generating more traffic to your website, qualified sales leads and customer acquisitions than any other marketing channel. Please inquire for relevant examples.
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