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SEM: Managing Pay Per Click Campaigns Part 2

Apr 102008

published by Dan in SEO | SEO Strategy with No comments

  • Targeted descriptions - When writing your ad copy for a PPC campaign make sure that it is written to appeal to a very specific set of people - your target customers. You can do this by outlining the exact description of the products and services offered. Do not use broad terms because this will lead to more clicks that won’t necessarily translate to sales thus increasing the amount you’ll be spending for your PPC campaign without substantially increasing the revenue. For PPC campaigns it is important that you get the attention of poeple that are really likely to buy or subscribe to your product/service. If you wish to target a broader audience you can do this via other forms of marketing campaigns such as in your organic SEO results.
  • Constant monitoring of the campaign - Make sure that someone is in charge of monitoring the PPC campaign every single day. This is very important because sudden changes may affect the feasibility of bidding to appear for a specific position (top 3?) for a certain keyword. For example if the competition gets too heated, driving the price up, you would want to stop bidding for the position immediately or end up paying too much.
  • Periodic analysis - A periodic analysis of the state of the PPC campaign is necessary to keep track of the performance of each keyword. By analysing the performance of each keyword you can adjust your campaign to do better for those with flagging results and completely eliminate non-performing ones. In short you can make timely adjustments to ensure that your PPC campaign always gives you optimal results.

Popularity: 17% [?]

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SEM: Managing Pay Per Click Campaigns

Apr 82008

published by Dan in SEO | SEO Strategy with No comments

How useful and effective are pay per click campaigns? The answer, like anything in SEO, depends on how well managed your campaign is. Pay per click campaigns can be very effective increasing both the inquiries and the conversions of your website, however, if mismanaged you won’t be see much (positive) results.

There are several key things you should know to be able to manage a good pay per click campaign including:

  • Keyword selection - The keywords you select is critical for the success of your PPC campaign. Selecting keywords that do not perform well is not that big a problem although it will not maximise your profits for you but forgetting or excluding keywords that would have performed really well can mean a big loss in potential profit. This is why you should carefully do keyword research.
  • Pricing - Make sure you do not overbid on keywords. Even if a keyword performs really well and it would make sense to bid a little bit higher for that keyword compared to non-performing keywords make sure you do not bid to high as to sabotage your profits. The first thing to remember is that you shouldn’t be paying more for the clicks than the amount you’ll be getting for sales or subscriptions. Breaking even is also not good at all since you need to make a profit!

to be continued…

Popularity: 17% [?]

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SEM: Paid Inclusion is Good but Not Enough

Apr 62008

published by Dan in SEO with No comments

Some people fall for the notion that once they have submitted their URL via paid inclusion to Yahoo they’re set for life. This is can not be farther from the truth for a couple of reasons.

  1. MSN search and Google does not offer paid inclusion - This means that you can only submit to Yahoo leaving you with no other options (if you opt not to go for either pay per click nor organic SEO) for the two other major search engines. This is silly considering the fact that Google is THE search engines.
  2. It does not ensure top ranking - Paid inclusion means exactly that, paying to be included in organic search results listings. Being indexed and crawled regularly does not automatically mean that you will do better than other websites in Yahoo’s result pages, whether they pay for inclusion or not. Remember you will still be ranked based on popularity, credibility/authority, and relevance. If you wish to be on the top of the page you’d be better off paying to be in sponsored listings.

So does this mean that paid inclusion offers no real value as part of your SEM strategy anymore? The answer is no. Paid inclusion can still help your SEO efforts especially if your website is really new. Instead of having to wait to be indexed (and you still have to wait even though it doesn’t take as long as it used to if you just submit your URL for free) then you should think of using paid inclusion. This means that at least for Yahoo you can be sure that within days you will already be in the listings. Furthermore, you can also be sure that your site will be crawled weekly, which is especially important if you have regular updates.

Popularity: 16% [?]

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SEM: The Search Engine Difference

Apr 42008

published by Dan in SEO with No comments

There’s no question about it search engine marketing is here to stay. But aside from search engines being the main traffic source of virtually every website in the internet what makes search engine marketing special? According to Kevin Lee’s article entitled Introduction to SEM, it is unique because:

  • it is non-intrusive - While most forms of internet marketing are intrusive SEM is actually very non-intrusive since suggestions/solutions/answers are given exactly when the user is looking for it or needs it. According to Lee SEM can actually be called “just-in-time marketing”.
  • it is targeted - Results shown are always very targeted since it is the users that choose the search terms/keywords. This is a huge advantage over other internet marketing methods that advertises to a broader set of audience.
  • the traffic it brings is voluntary or audience-driven - Not only does it not interrupt users from whatever activity they are doing but each user that reaches your site actually clicked on the link to your site. What this means is that they chose it above the other results presented in the search engine results pages and that they chose to be on the site and view the contents. Their action is voluntary making them more open to whatever suggestions/information they find on the site.

Popularity: 13% [?]

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Why SEO is Crucial to Online Marketing Campaigns

Apr 22008

published by Dan in SEO with No comments

For the past two posts we have been discussing the difference between search engine optimisation (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM). We have also discussed whether your website needs SEO or SEM. Aside from this it was made clear that SEO is actually a part of the process of SEM. Today I will explain why SEM, hence SEO, is actually crucial for ALL online marketing campaigns.

There are many methods that can be used for online marketing. There’s email marketing, advertisements in classifieds, viral marketing through online social networks and forums, and of course search engine marketing. All of these are very useful and when used together and integrated properly make for the best online marketing campaign. However according to Hitwise, in terms of the number of actual traffic sent, search engines represent the most substantial number making up 57% of the total upstream traffic during the last Christmas season. Of course, this is pretty important to marketers since Christmas as we all know is shopping season. Furthermore, throughout the year at least 50% of traffic to websites come from search engines.

What this means is simply that no online marketer can afford to discount the traffic coming from search engines, making SEM, thus SEO, crucial in any online marketing campaign.

Popularity: 14% [?]

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Mar 312008

published by Dan in SEO | SEO Strategy with No comments

Last time I explained the difference between SEO and SEM. Today I will be discussing whether you should opt for SEO or SEM.

In truth I believe that ALL websites should invest in SEO except for the very few that, due to the site’s nature, do not need to do well in search engine listings (See my post on Instances When SEO is Not Needed). Even if you plan on doing SEM doing SEO is a good idea because, as mentioned in my previous post, once you pull down your ads in search engines you can fall back on the positive results brought about by SEO. Furthermore, by doing SEO you can be sure that you will be doing relatively well in all the major search engine listings. This means that if you concentrate your SEM efforts in just one search engine (Google AdWords or Yahoo Search Marketing) you can still rest easy knowing that you aren’t neglecting the user base in other search engines.

Search engine marketing can also be done by anybody but it is most apt for those that need results fast and can not wait for the effects that organic SEO brings. It is also for businesses that are on a very competitive industry and know that they will have a really hard time getting to the top of the search listings.

The important thing to remember when choosing whether to do SEO or SEM is to always put aside a budget for SEO and then work with the rest of the budget for your SEM campaign. There are plenty of good SEM strategies out there to fit budgets of all kinds.

Popularity: 21% [?]

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SEO and SEM Explained

Mar 292008

published by Dan in SEO with No comments

The difference between SEO and SEM is actually more than just one letter. By definition SEO or search engine optimisation is “the process by which a website is shaped in structure, technology and content in order to encourage search engines to rank it highly for selected key phrases.” Its aim is to improve the visibility of a website in search engine listings. SEM or search engine marketing on the other hand is defined as “the process of marketing a web site on search engines, including search engine optimization, submitting your site to the search engines and directories for organic listings, pay per inclusion, pay per click, banner ads or any other marketing programs offered by search engines.” In short it is a way to market or advertise a website through search engines.

As you can see in the definition SEO is actually a subset of SEM. SEO is crucial to search engine marketers because placing well in SERPs will actually help your marketing campaign. Even if the marketing campaign focuses on pay per inclusion and/or pay per click programs SEO can still help since the skill set and the knowledge used to optimise a website for search engines is very useful for learning how to choose the proper keywords to compete for.

Another important difference that people should realise about SEO and SEM is that SEO does not yield results overnight but the effects are long term. SEM on the other hand can yield results more guickly but then as soon as you pull out the ads the website will have to fall back on SEO to see to it that it gets a substantial traffic from search engines.

Popularity: 15% [?]

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SEO Fallacies

Mar 272008

published by Dan in SEO with No comments

Many people have a misconception of what SEO can and can not do for them. Because of this people either think that SEO is useless or expect too much from SEO. Here are some of the most common SEO fallacies or myths.

  • A good SEO can guarantee you number 1 ranking in Google or other search engines - No SEO can guarantee such results. If someone promises you this they’re either deluded, lying, or do not know what they are talking about. Either way it is best to steer clear of such SEOs.
  • Google will penalise your website/blog if it catches you doing SEO - This is definitely not true. Google will however penalise you if it catches you using shady/black hat SEO methods. Google and other search engines actually give tips on how to optimise websites using legitimate techniques.
  • SEO can be done by anyone - While it is true that almost anyone can learn SEO the truth is that not everyone has learned enough to do it properly. Many can do the basic things to optimise a site but less people actually have the knowledge and experience to optimise a website to the hilt.
  • SEO is a one-time thing - Ask any SEO and anyone will tell you it is an ongoing process. Because of this paying an SEO a one-time fee will result in an optimised website FOR NOW but with all the changes in the search scene they can not promise that it will stay that way in a year’s (or even month’s) time.

Popularity: 16% [?]

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When to Start SEO

Mar 252008

published by Dan in SEO | SEO Basics with No comments

The question to this answer depends on whether you already have an existing site or not. If you already have a website and you have determined that you do wish to get more traffic from search engines then the time to start optimising your site is immediately. Of course this means assessing the current state of your website first but this assessment and planning stage is actually already a part of the process called search engine optimisation.

If you do not have a website yet SEO can be started before the website is finished. Factors that affect search engine optimisation should be considered during the planning stage of the design process. Some of these factors would include your website’s hosting, the domain name, layout/positioning of keytext, etc. It is better to integrate search engine optimisation with web design to save on time and effort rather than having to backtrack after the whole design, which is full of holes (at least in the SEO perspective), is already implemented. Because of this it is obviously a good idea to hire a web designer that also knows about SEO or that at least has SEO partners they can work with.

Popularity: 17% [?]

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Instances When SEO is NOT Needed

Mar 232008

published by Dan in SEO with 1 comment

There are rare times when SEO is actually NOT needed.

  • You do not want your website to be searchable - If for some reason you do not want your website to be searchable then you surely do not need your website to be optimised. However, if this is the case you should also know how to exclude your URL from the index of search engines. Here are a few articles that should help you:

Options for Removing URL from Google (PhoenixRealm)
Excluding Pages from a Search Engine’s Index (an old post of mine)

  • Getting more traffic isn’t important to you - Even if you site/blog is searchable but your purpose for putting up the site is not commercial nor do you particularly want to spread the information in it, then you do not need the benefits SEO brings. Examples of this are personal or family blogs and websites.

If you have a commercial site though it is important that you do SEO in order to get the most traffic that you can.

Popularity: 19% [?]

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