Posts Tagged ‘search engine marketing’

There was a time when people to prophetize about evil Microsoft controlling the world, even to the point of suggesting Bill Gates had ‘666’ on his scalp. The behemoth company was thought to been have pulling all the strings on Y2K, as the ultimate capitalist ploy.

To my conspiracy theory friends, all I have to say is “those were the good old days”.

Hold on to your cyberspace seats because you have not even seen the “tip of the iceberg” because Google is a BEAST!

Unless you have been living in a Star Trek induced time warp, you are part of this current crazy “on demand” society. We are surrounded by downloads, mobile applications, and a ton of e-something or i-something. All wrapped in a nice little innocent sounding company name called “Google”.

Take a minute and consider how they have or about to have the cyber world on “lock down”. Already they have over 86% of the US FREE search engine traffic, so much that we all say “Google it” or “Google that”, we never ever said “Yahoo it”. Don’t forget they are making a killing off of PAID Search Marketing traffic controlling over 80%.  Traditional PC sales are declining being upstaged by netbooks, notebooks and tablets (Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy etc.), Google does NOT make a tablet but they supply the operating system to over 30% of the systems (dramatically up from 3% since June 2010). Their growing dominance in the PC area also includes a 14% market share in browser usage, up from 10% since January 2011.

Powerful right?

But, as they say in the world of infomercials, “there more”.

They are eating up market share in the smart phone operating system like an oversized “Pac Man”. They control 48% of the pie, which is remarkable considering they only had a small 18% slice in September 2010. Combine that with their announced purchase of Motorola Mobility, a smartphone manufacturer (17% of OEM market and growing) with direct access to a portfolio of more than 17,000 patents and 7,500 pending patents,  Google becomes down right “gangsta”

When all is over, Google would control what you see – where you see it – how you see it- and what you see it on.

Yeah, Google is a “Beast”

 

Here I go again with a crazy title. Just indulge for a minute and I will explain.

The crazy “game” of online marketing consists of a lot pieces; free and paid search engines, reputation management, email, banners and social media. Each piece has a player, with names like Google, Bing, Yahoo, Linkedin, Twitter, Yelp and more. In order to play the game, you need “players” and pieces of “equipment”. This is no different than playing the game of baseball with great players Alex Rodriguez, Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter (obvious Yankee fan – don’t hate). Good players still need equipment like gloves and bats to perform.

In Social media, your “tweet”, “like” or “testimonial” IS the glove or bat. However, does the glove or bat you select to use make you better? The answer is an emphatic NO, because it is about the players.  You must select the correct players, catch them in their “prime”, shape them into a team through practice (trial and error) and play ball.
NO Social media “equipment” alone will bring you sales; they must be used with other players. Address building your online marketing strategy like building a baseball team. You need good pitching (email marketing), solid defense (website), power (paid per click) and consistent hitting (free search). Next provide those players with good equipment like testimonials, “tweets” and “likes” then watch how fast you “win” games.

My point is social media requires a lot of supporting items, practice, patience, and cultivation in order to perform. Its performance can NOT be measured like “click thru rate” on a website. Its function is only to serve as a compliment or piece of equipment to create AWARENESS. Once the awareness comes, the sales will quickly follow.

A lot of business hear the term search marketing quite often but do not know the magic combination of what needs to be done to run a successful campaign. Search marketing is a successful combination of many different components that come together to increase a website’s ranking in search engines whenever someone enters a particular keyword to find the information on it or what’s available.
A successful search marketing campaign takes time, effort and a lot of monitoring that a lot of business owners simply do not have the time to maintain in addition to their regular daily tasks of running the business. On the flip side, successful business owners also know the importance of having a web presence and for their potential clients and customers to be able to find their site.
Search marketing will always take care of driving traffic to a website. Over time as the components mature and become more visible and search engines recognize them, traffic will start and continue to increase to any website that has a well thought out and successful search engine marketing campaign. Everything combined creates a fail proof website traffic delivery system that no other type of marketing campaign can beat.
A company that chooses to not conduct a search marketing campaign will eventually find that they are not drawing new traffic to their website which means they will fade away into the sea of competition. Losing sales and visibility online is certain to harm the bottom line. Search marketing ensures that this doesn’t happen and brings the traffic to the front door resulting in better sales, more leads and the bottom line looks much better in the end.

LOL,  okay, that wasn’t fair… but I got your attention.

My topic is not pornographic but I get to talk about S-E-X may newly created acronym for Search Engine Xenophobia.

Xenophobia is termed as a fear or hatred towards foreigners, foreign countries, or anything foreign.  In this case, I am referring to businesses reluctance to accept Search Marketing as a stable in their overall advertising / marketing plans.

Many businesses are either unaware of the POWER of Search Marketing and it is either  an afterthought, or something that they will eventually get to in the future. However, based on marketing trends, S.M. is the future, and the future is NOW!

Most mainstream advertising media has a downward trend. Newspapers daily circulation has dropped about 40% since 2004. Broadcast advertising costs have increased and overall ratings are lower. Yet, marketers continue with a formula that is outdated and dying at best.

The BIGGEST benefit of search marketing is that you have a MOTIVATED buyer, someone that is looking for your products and service and is ready to act.  NO other marketing media can deliver an more “ready” buyer. A marketer is doing their company or product a disservice if they are not trying to get on the first page (at a minimum) of search engine results.

So drop the SEX and embrace SELF (Search Engine Love First) marketing.

It will save you money and change your marketing life – a Win Win

TTYL

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.