We all know it and we all do it. Whenever the typical web user needs to find something on the web, he or she will almost always instinctively go to one of the top search engines and run a search. Then, he or she will have a look at the first 30 search results returned (usually the first three pages of results), hardly ever looking beyond that. If nothing looks appealing, they will run another search using a variation of the keywords they used on the first search. Again, they will look at the first 30 results. If they still find nothing of interest, they may switch to a different search engine and repeat the process. This, believe it or not, is the typical web navigation behavior of at least 86% of the 110 million all web users out there. The question is, does your web site capitalize on this behavior?
Some search engines will only take the first 255 characters of a keyword list, while others accept a nearly unlimited list of keywords. The problem is that you must target the 255 character limitation to be accepted by as many search engines as possible. One method to accommodate the keyword list limitation is to use phrases that best describe the page. For instance, I could use “ebook marketing” as a phrase that could be found with several combinations of search topics in a search engine. Another method is to ensure that the most relevant keywords are located at the front of the keyword list even with a 255-character limitation, the most important keywords are accepted.
Some call it search engine optimization, others search engine placement, and others search engine promotion. Regardless of the name, it is all really the same thing. It is the art of getting traffic from the engines. Search engine optimization is a big business, and understandably so, but the question is, “Is it worth paying a firm to promote your site or is it truly something you can do yourself?” Unfortunately, there is no cut-and-dry answer to this question as it is going to differ from person to person. In some cases, it can be well worth the money to hire an outside firm for your optimization needs, in other cases, you may be better off doing it yourself.
Google Adwords estimates the possible traffic in clicks per day of a keyword. It displays the possible average position if using Google Adwords. It calculates the daily costs according to a given budget. It finds alternatives to each tested keyword. Google shows the click through rate CTR. This is the percentage of clicks that a website receives in relation to the impressions (the number of times a website is shown). The higher the click through rate the stronger the keyword!
On the internet, there is an additional way to target your marketing message. The internet has changed numerous facets of the marketing world. Thanks to the speed with which information can be gathered and then re-distributed, the internet has even changed the way we view marketing information. Whole new terms for marketing and advertising have evolved: spam, mass email, pop up and pop under windows, exit windows, banner exchanges, and more. Do you notice that all these terms have a negative connotation to the internet user? Not so with the topic of today’s article.
Not surprisingly, search engines have been reduced to lumping all SEO’s into the “untrustworthy” basket. On their Webmaster Do’s and Don’ts page google.com/webmasters, Google states “Be very careful about allowing an individual consultant or company to ‘optimize’ your web site. Chances are they will engage in some of our “Don’ts” and end up hurting your site”. Chances are? Sounds a bit presumptuous if you ask me. Likewise, at a recent search engine conference, a representative from AltaVista declared that “all SEO’s could be described using four letter words”. The typical Internet user can only come to the conclusion that, according to some very reliable sources, SEO’s are not to be trusted – now how fair is that?
If you are developing a new web site or redesigning an old one, now is a good time to think about search engine optimization. This article describes the process of optimizing your web pages for the search engines, as well as highlight some of the other components that are important for a successful search engine marketing campaign.