A simple guide to search engine marketing (part
Search engine marketing is by far the most
efficient and effective way to advertise your business. With over 86%
of internet users using Google as their search engine, the need for
your business to show on the first page of Google has never been
Many people are unaware of search engine marketing
and just take for granted the results that appear when they search for
something on a search engine such as Google.
However, search engine marketing seems to defy to
current doom and gloom of the recession. Think about this:
“The average Britain spends 164 minutes
online everyday, compared with 148 minutes watching TV”
Over half the world’s population now has access to
the web and nearly 90% of them find what they’re looking for using
search engines. 36% of people think that the result at the top of the
first page is the market leader and 80% of people make their choice
from first page listings alone. With over 21 billion web pages wanting
a first page position how can you get your website on the first page.
This is called search engine marketing and I have
listed a few techniques and tips to get you started with optimising
your website to rank well on a search engine. Remember that this is a
basic guide to help to you on your way.
First we have to look at how search engines rank a
website and decide which order to list them. The simple (very very very
simple) version is, Google changed everything the way many search
engine rank. The initial creators of Google (Larry Page and Sergey
Brin) wanted to create a search engine that could rank a website for
quality and list them in order of quality to the user. The way they
decided to rank a website was to count how many other websites link to
it. If other websites link to it then it must be good. So, essentially
links mean votes. Like I said, this is the very simple version and
there is so much more to it than this but it is a great place to start
as it holds the most importance.
- See who links to you and then see who links to
your competitors and try to muscle in on some of their action. Simply
go to yahoo.co.uk, then in the search box type
“link:yourcompetitor.com”. This will bring up a list of websites
linking to your competitors website. Then contact them and ask them to
link to you too.
- Don’t be stingy. Make sure you have links going
out from your website. Important though that you link to high quality
websites, i.e. If your website is a property website, have links to the
relevant governing bodies, Wikipedia or the largest property portals.
Search engines will see your site as being a good place to get good
- Submit your website to online directories. This
can be very boring and takes hours. But once you have had your site
accepted in to a directory. You’ll have a link back to your website.
Remember. The more the better.
- Subscribe to forums in your niche. You can
include a link in your signature straight to your website. Remember
though. Do not spam on a forum. Forum users will not like it and the
moderator will probably kick you off. If you use a forum properly
though you will find it quite engaging.
- Read blogs relating to you niche market. This
is very educational as well as beneficial for link building. Read the
blog then leave a comment about that blog. Don’t forget to include a
link to your website though. Just don’t make it too obvious.
Social Media (web2.0)
“Facebook”, “YouTube”, “Flickr”, “Myspace” – These
are all social media websites. They provide a means for people from all
over the world to join online and share information. The way in which
people communicate vary though. “Flickr” allow people to upload photos
and share them with other users or even comment on pictures uploaded.
“Youtube” allow people to upload videos etc. The number of people
visiting these websites to share information is in the millions. So
maybe you could use these social communities to spread the word about
your website. Social media is a great way to connect with hard to reach
people that share the same interests. There are a number of ways to do
- Make your content interesting enough for people
to want to view it. Then,unlike search engine optimisation, change the
content often, This will make people want to keep visiting you.
- Make it easy for people to tag or bookmark your
new content. Bookmarking is very fashionable at the moment. The most
popular way of doing this is by getting an “addthis” button due to its
ease of use, however, there are many buttons available.
- Use more than just text in your site. Create a
video and submit it to a video sharing website like “youtube”, Create a
PDF version of your content and create an audio version too. Submit it
to appropriate websites. Don’t forget the link back to your site.
- Blog.Blog.Blog then blog some more. The simple
truth is that the majority of internet users love blogs. So do search
engines. Create a blog and use it. A lot. Submit it to sites like
“technorati.com”. If it is good enough people will link to you and then
share and tell others about your writings.
- Make friends. The social media community, are
very social and friendly. They will want to talk to you and ask you
questions. Make sure you are polite and take time to answer any
messages. Negative feedback spreads faster than positive feedback.
Pay Per Click
This is a method in which you pay to get people to
your website. Have you ever done a search on Google and found there are
two columns. The Colum on the right is called sponsored links. They are
adverts from businesses. They do not pay anything for appearing there
but they do pay when you click on the advert (pay per click). This is a
very fast way to get people to your website but you do have to pay. I
would recommend getting a pay per click company to help here. It will
save you a lot of money. However, if you must have ago your self here
are some very basic tips.
- Budget. Make sure you create a sensible budget
and stick to it. Don’t get in to a bidding war.
- Don’t just rely on pay per click as the be all
and end all for your business marketing. PPC is great for promoting
specific products and services very quickly but you always have to pay
for the result.
- Analyze your cost per click and cost per
acquisition closely. Then compare it to your other marketing
activities. See which one works best.
- Remember that sites such as Google take into
account the quality of your website content being marketed more than
how much you are bidding. PPC is my favorite part of search engine
marketing due mainly to the sheer speed of return on investment BUT
make sure it is done properly other wise it can be devastating.
- Always have two ads running at the same time
for each product but with different ad text. Google will use the most
successful advert for you and show that advert more often, helping you
gain more traffic. Change to poorest performing advert and see if it
improves. Keep repeating. This will eventually lead to you having the
best possible advert showing.
Search engine optimisation
Remember the two columns we just mentioned. Search
engine optimization is the are of optimizing your website enough for
Google to rank it on the left hand column. This list is ordered on how
relevant your website is. And you don’t have to pay for these listings.
Ever noticed how all the big companies appear at the top of the first
page. Now we should as “which came first – The chicken or the egg?”.
Search engine optimisation is generally split into two categories
onsite optimisation and off site optimisation. The first, when done
property is very important but it will only get you to the starting
line. Offsite optimization is the race itself. A good search engine
optimisation campaign should include all the search engine marketing
techniques mentioned and when you really get into it you can learn the
more advanced techniques. Below are a few basics.
- Include your keywords in your domain, title,
meta tags. The first thing a search engine spider will read is your
domain name. i.e www.yourdomain.com. This doesn’t mean anything to a
search engine so ideally use www.yourdomain.com/your-key-words, or even
better www.your-key-words.com . Then the next part is your title. Don’t
just have “home Page” or “Front Page”. I would have “your domain – your
key words”. This also matches the domain name. Then repeat the same in
your meta data. And sprinkle it throughout your web page. Keep it
- Make each page different. This helps search
engines differentiate them and should lead to them indexing each of
your pages separately.
- Get a site map and submit it to major search
engines. Don’t pay for this service though. It amazes me that people
actually charge for this. Just type into Google “sitemap” and you
should be presented with website that will generate you a sitemap for
- Keep going. Older sites generally rank better
than new sites. It is believed that older websites must be more
reliable. As there is nothing we can do about this just focus your time
on other offsite optimisation such as link building, social media
optimization and if you just can’t wait, Pay per click. Search engine
optimisation is a long term solution but boy is it worth waiting for.
- Validate your HTML code. Visit
“validator.w3.org/ “.This will ensure that web browsers show your
website correctly and helps search engine to index your site. There is
no point in optimising your website if it doesn’t work properly.
Other useful tips
- Get Google analytics. It is one thing having a
website but you need to know what people are doing when they are on it.
Google analytics is very comprehensive and FREE but it does not report
in real time. Woopra however does report in real time. The choice is
yours. Before doing anything else you should get one of these other
wise how will you know your efforts are paying off.
- If you decide to use a company to undertake
your search engine marketing campaign (recommended) make sure you
choose your search engine marketing company wisely. Don’t just go on
recommendation. It is going to be a long working relationship so the
important thing is that you get on with them. Do your own research on
the industry. Think twice about search engine marketing firms that say
they can guarantee a first page listing in a short time, the methods
they use WILL end up in your website being banned. BMW found this out
the hard way.
Search engine marketing is not an easy option but
when done properly will bring untold rewards.
This is by no means an exhaustive list but it will
give people new to the concept a few things to get on with and
research. Look out for more articles that will start to break the
subjects down into more detail.
Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/small-business-articles/
About the Author
Wayne Grant (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the Author of "A
simple guide to search engine marketing" blogs and articles.
Managing Director of On Demand Resourcing Ltd and Owner of Midasem.com