Almost all website owners recognize the advantages of utilizing some kind of a Search engine optimizing (SEO). The common belief is SEO is simply the task of ensuring you get your Internet site rated highly within the search engine results pages (SERP). For the most part, that is right; yet there is a different facet of Search engine optimization that sometimes is unnoticed, the usage of SEO as a tool for Online Reputation Management.
Consider this, if you can control the search engine results, you can control the amount of information about your website. Control the presentation, then you control the perception. Simply use Search Engine Optimization to push unfavorable information about your business off the first page of the search engine results and you will have a direct influence on what is presented. It is that simple, since 99% of all search engine users do NOT venture beyond the first page of the SERP.

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First off, I want to say, I am a HUGE fan of FREE Search. However, Search Engine Marketing (PPC or Paid Search) is a wonderful thing, if executed correctly.

Before you venture into the “deep waters” of  SEM, make sure you have a valid reason for doing so. If one of below does not fill your requirement, you are probably wasting your time and money.

Reasons:

Site awareness – It offers quicker first page SERP visibility than organic (free) search engine optimization. Unless you have a specific call to action (CTA) that offsets a higher bid price, I recommend you should accept the default (low) bid price. You will still have your ad on page 1 and it will not kill your budget

Instant presence – This point is closely related to above. The biggest benefit of a paid search campaign is that you can easily “shut out” your competition by making the highest bid price and/or buying multiple ad space. Those spots at the top usually get the bulk of the SEM traffic.

Targeting – Unlike organic search, you can really target your audience through a combination of keyword selection and good ad copywriting. Remember getting your targeted audience to visit your website is more than half the battle

Next make sure you have ALL of the following:

1. Definite goal – just getting visitors to your site, is NOT a goal. Making a sale or generating a lead is a goal.

2. Define target – if you fail to do this you are really really really (that’s 3 folks), throwing your money away. Know your target!

3. Good Copy – Make sure that your advertisement copy speaks to your target audience; watch out for copy character limits for not only your overall copy but especially your headline.

Finally, monitor results, daily but only make changes weekly. Your results, can tell you what works and what does not work. You can change your spending and ad copy to achieve good results, 3-5% click through rate to your site.

Hope this helps

TTYL

When it comes to keyword selection numerous debates are waged over short or long tail keywords. For those that are not SEO geeks (I confess, we really do exist), a quick definition may help. In simple terms, the difference between the two, as the name implies, is the length. Short tail keywords are very generic and will return many results in a search (e.g.  women shoes). Conversely long tail keywords are more specific and will lead to better search results (e.g. Christian Louboutin Rolando Leather)

As an online marketing professional, I advocate an emphasis on long term keyword selection for your website because of search engine evolution, keyword competition and behavior research.  Let me explain a little further.

First, search engine evolution, originally all search engines followed a directory structure, where you had to ‘drill down’ within pre-defined categories to find a selection of websites that  were entered by the web geeks (again I confess).  They evolved (search engines not the web geeks) with spidering technology and simplified, allowing you to enter specifically what you were searching for (can you say “Google”).  The next factor, keyword competition, simply comes down to a battle for real estate. Try the searches mentioned in my examples, women shoes , will return over 100 million results while, Christian Louboutin Rolando Leather, will return only 185,000. Two things to consider, from the searcher viewpoint, specific searches, return – better search results (search that, I couldn’t resist an advertisement), secondly, from the advertiser viewpoint, it’s less competition for page 1 placement in the search engine. Finally, human behavior (I can talk for week about this alone), just like the search engines, we have evolved. As searchers, “we want, what we want, and we want it now”, we have learned that the more specific we are, the better our chances are of finding what we want in the search engine results, 97% of searches never go pass the first three results.

So, what did we learn?

Embrace the use of long tail keywords as part of your keyword selection criteria. You will find that the combination of human behavior and keyword competitiveness will put your website higher in the search engine results and lead to higher website traffic.

TTYL

I am back to vent about Google PageRank (PR).

Professionally, I try to downplay its importance, telling clients to focus on what I call the “Big 3” (Sorry Celtics and Heat fans) – relevant content, diverse keywords and a “search friendly” website to achieve high ranking in the search engine results page (SERP). However, many clients have shown concern over gaining or better yet “chasing” high PR.

I have to scream this “DOES IT REALLY MATTER?” Okay, I feel better now. So on to the real point. How to achieve a high PageRank?

As I scour the internet daily, I have come across some items that range from sane to insane, logical to illogical or better yet some items are simple “mind farts”. Personally, I view this chart as not only gaseous but veering towards solid waste.

 
  PR   To Get PR3   To Get PR4   To Get PR5   To Get PR6   To Get PR7   To Get
PR8
 
 
  1   555   3,000   17,000   93,000   508,000   2,800,000  
 
  2   101   555   3,000   17,000   93,000   508,000  
 
  3   19   101   555   3,000   17,000   93,000  
 
  4   4   19   101   555   3,000   170,000  
 
  5   1   4   19   101   555   3,000  
 
  6   1   1   4   19   101   555  
 
  7   1   1   1   4   19   101  
 
  8   1   1   1   1   4   19  
 
  9   1   1   1   1   1   4  
 
  10   1   1   1   1   1   1  

Based on the chart, its very easy to achieve a respectable Google PageRank of 3,  get a single backlink from sites with PR over 4, a few hundred from PR 1-2, a few from PR4 and a bunch from PR3. Hell, you probably can even get a PR10 (BTW only about 20 exist). Its takes the PATENTED Google algorithm for PR and makes it’s a joke for any 12 year old webmaster, but many fall for it.

I have performed search engine optimization on sites with less than 20 backlinks that have a PR5. They achieved high PR based solely on the “Big 3”.

Follow, the “Big 3” and not some crazy backlink hunt and your site will achieve a high PageRank (if that really matters to you…lol). Focus on the SERP not the PR, to achieve online marketing dominance.

Probably if you are reading this you are already aware of definition of Google PageRank.

However, for those who may have missed that boring lecture (no given by me), I will put it in easy terms; it’s a Google ONLY way of rating your website (on a scale of 0-10) based on content and the content of the other site that you link to and are linked to you.

Many webmasters and SEO experts live and die by chasing the holy grail of high PageRank (PR). They worry about it and some even try to predict when the next “holy” PageRank update will occur. To those folks, I “tip my hat”, and focus on how my clients websites can pass them in search engine results pages (serp).

Why, because it’s a waste of time. They expend too much effort, in a proverbial pissing contest. PageRank at BEST is used as a tie breaker in serps, so why focus so much energy on it. Also, remember, it’s a Google exclusive, Yahoo and Bing (yes, I know they have low market share), don’t give a rat’s ass about it.

PageRank (aka Google Love) only matters from the online marketing viewpoint, if you are selling links to external sites or just want bragging rights. Fact is, unless you have the Google toolbar installed on your browser (or use a SEO tool), you NEVER know a site’s PR.

My point is, focus on all the other things that are important to getting your pages high in the search engines. Although it may be an honorable activity, don’t lose any sleep over PageRank, your efforts around relevant and fresh content for your website, will take care of the PR. The most important thing is to get found in the search engine results pages, that is what influences your online marketing efforts and sales revenue.

I think most will agree, if not, I welcome your rants

Wow, made you look…….

Seriously, in the world of online marketing, regarding search engines, most businesses make a critical misjudgment. They fall in love with their websites.

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing too severely wrong with that. It’s just that if you do, you miss out on every becoming numero uno in a search engine result pages (SERP). Before you start typing in comments, let me explain the reason.

Being ranked highly in SERP depends on one thing, love. You have to love the search engines, not your website, not your customer. It’s a fine line, but you have to take the “flamingo approach” to your website and search engines. I explain the concept in more depth in an article, Small Business Owners Guide To Successful Online Marketing, but in brief you have to “attract the search engines.

You have to “show your colors and strut your stuff’ for the search engines. Lure those search engine spiders and bots to your website, by constantly “flashing” them with keywords, relevant content and links. Make them beg and come back often for more!

Don’t get me wrong, your website should be focused, functional, aesthetically pleasing, and have high usability standards but if no one can find it, you have to face the obvious ‘what good is it?”

Show the search engines some love, and they will show it back.

 

The title says it all.

If you have EVER tried to get your site high in Search Engine Results Pages (SERP), you know EXACTLY what I am talking about. Especially if its YOUR site and not a client.

Even with my professional SEO skills, first page appearance, requires a lot of diligence, sweat, tears and swearing ( more times than I would like to admit). I lot of people think SEO is a “cookie cutter” process, just follow steps 1-4 and its “all good”. That’s some B.S., if so EVERY  website would take turns at number 1, every time you hit refresh. Others think it’s a matter of money, just throw some bucks at it, and magically you are number 1. If that was the case, every major corporation would own the number 1 spot also.  Thoughts like make me put on boots because the B.S. is becoming waist-high in here.

You do your best SEO work, and you keep doing it, until you break through. Then you do it some more, because just like in the kiddie game “King of the Hill”, some one trying to knock you off.

Google (and my friends at Bing and Yahoo) toys with us. You can be #4 in Google and #36 in Yahoo at the same time, how is that, especially if you follow your process that worked before. The truth is there are so many combination and permutations to the SERP that it will drive you crazy. So focus on doing the right thing, with keyword selection,  good content, traffic and back links and the rest with take care of itself.

I tell my clients (and anyone else that will listen), that I will get their sites to page one, I will NEVER make a top 3 promise, and I tell you now… walk away from anyone who does. Once you get to page one, continue the process and avoid making yourself suffer from Obsessive–compulsive disorder by checking the SERP every 3-4 hours (I already did it to myself… LMAO).

And that page rank thing, ahhh nevermind, thats for another discussion.

Fight Back… don’t let Google play with your emotions