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Posts tagged: ppc management

Local Internet Marketing Is Good Small Business SEO

In the vast world of small business SEO, there are some practices that are obvious, and some that are overlooked by many small businesses. For example, it’s commonplace for small businesses to have a website and for that website to feature a blog. That’s just good SEO. But one thing that many businesses seem to completely overlook is the power of local internet marketing.

Local internet marketing is essentially the art of convincing Google and the other search engines that your business exists at a specific location. The result is that when people in your area search for a keyword related to your business, they see your website in the rankings. The second result is that when people someone else search for a keyword related to your business alongside a keyword related to your locale, they’ll get results that include your website.

The reason why local internet marketing is good small business SEO is simple: it’s easier to be a small fish if you’re in a small pond. A florist in remote Forks, Washington can reach the top of the local rankings with about twenty minutes of concentrated effort — compare that to the 55 million results for “floral delivery” without the location in mind. Even if you live in a big city like Los Angeles, local internet marketing can cut your competition by as much as 90% compared to the generic form of your chosen keyword.

Local internet marketing also has a bigger benefit to your business than generic internet marketing does. That’s because local internet marketing sends people through your front door. Broad-keyword internet marketing sends people to your website. The conversion rate from visitor-to-buyer on a website is excellent at about 5%. The conversion rate for visitor-to-buyer in a brick and mortar store is appalling at 5%; it’s average around 40%. So local internet marketing is easier to rank with and converts better.

If you own a small business, you have every reason in the world to look into local internet marketing — but just in case you need one more, here goes: most SEO companies charge less for local internet marketing than they do for broad-spectrum SEO work. Check it out for yourself, and jump on the bandwagon before someone else in your town takes the number one spot all for themselves!

The Latest Changes to the Rules of Organic SEO

Organic SEO is changing even as we sit back and try to keep up. Google released a new algorithm called Panda in March, and has updated it several times since then — and Panda has changed everything. Until Panda, it was enough to follow a complex but definable set of rules regarding everything from keyword placement and density to creating a natural link profile.

Today, however, there is an art to SEO that simply didn’t exist before. That’s because Panda suddenly put rules in place that takes the “user experience” into account. For example,

EzineArticles.com used to look like this:

And now, it looks like this:

See the difference? The largest and most profitable article directory on the Internet did away with two navbars, and 3 different blocks of AdWords because Panda slapped them downward in the rankings until they complied. Their profitability is down because the AdWords are gone, but the other choice was to have it tanked completely because their pages simply wouldn’t show up on any search engine results pages.

Why did this happen? Simple: because according to Panda, your user experience sucks if you have a bunch of crap interrupting or distracting from your main content. There exceptions; Panda loves social bookmarking buttons and other ‘share-me’ stuff and won’t penalize you if you’ve got it alongside your content, for example. But by and large, modern SEO means creating clean, easy-to-use pages just as much as it means creating keyword-dense, heavily-backlinked pages.

But wait — there’s more. Panda doesn’t just check your content pages for user experience. It checks every single page on your site and gives your entire site a weighted ‘usability score’ — which means that your entire site can get penalized if just one or two heavily-visited pages have a poor user experience.

What that means for SEO in the modern world is profound, because Google is now forcing us to juggle between satisfying the demands of Panda and being able to effectively monetize our sites — how easy that ends up being has yet to be seen.

Why Blog Posting is the SEO of the Future

Blog posting is the SEO of the future, and there are a lot of good reasons why. By blog posting, by the way, I’m not talking about going to other people’s blogs and leaving comments on them in order to get backlinks. There’s nothing wrong with that, but in this case I’m talking about going through with a custom blog creation process and then making blog posts to your newly created blog on a regular basis.

The reason why is that blog posts can be carefully optimized for a specific keyword (like, say, ‘blog posting’), and get quite a bit of love for that particular keywords. Once the love is obtained, they can then easily focus said love onto your target site through the use of clever anchor text. With every blog post, a new keyword develops an interest in your site. That’s great value. All you need to do is learn how to properly optimize for a given keyword.

The Basics of Optimizing Your Blog Posting Efforts for Specific Keywords
Everyone knows the basics: Put the keyword in your Meta Title tag. Put it in your headline. Put it in your first sentence. Put it into some subtitles. Put it in between 1% and 2% of all words from there on. That’s all easy — but there’s more.

You should also try to fit your keyword into the post’s permalink. Oftentimes, this is automatic because WordPress and other blogging engines generally create the permalink based on the post’s title. But sometimes the permalink gets created before you insert the title or something else goes wrong, so you need to go back and change the permalink manually to make sure the keyword appears.

Ideally, you’ll also have a tag and a category that both match your keyword at least in part. That won’t always be possible, of course, or you’d be creating a new tag and a new category for every single post you make — but you should make it possible for your highest-impact and highest-competition keywords.

Do that, and every blog post you make will focus an entirely new and different and powerful keyword onto your site — and that’s the kind of power that w

The Smart Money is on PPC Management

There are a lot of routes to Internet business success – many of which are slow, require monstrous luck, or will slowly eat away all of your time until your family and friends have abandoned you to be stuck in the Web forever. There are a few routes that don’t have any of those problems, but they tend to cost quite a bit of money. Organic SEO performed by a pile of qualified experts will drain your wallet long before the backlinks kick in enough to start bringing money back in.

The other path to solid traffic is advertising, and right now there’s no better advertising — when it works — than pay-per-click advertising. The facts behind the system are pretty simple: you pick a keyword, you tell the system what your maximum bid for that keyword is and how much you want to spend each day. Then, when someone searches for that keyword, they see your link in the “sponsored links” box. If they click on your link, you pay an amount up to your bid (usually a few cents less).

From a business perspective, all you need to do is make sure that the cost of your total bids is less than the amount of money you make on an average day from all of the traffic your PPC advertising brings in. Sounds simple enough, but it’s not. There are dozens of pitfalls you can fall into, ranging from problems with the keywords you chose to the advertisements you put up to the ability of your sales page to actually convert the traffic into buying customers.

That’s why the smart money isn’t just on PPC advertising, but on PPC management. PPC management means outsourcing your PPC campaigns to a group of experts that know the PPC industry inside and out — people who can avoid the aforementioned pitfalls and make sure your income exceeds your outgo.

With a PPC management team on your end, you will end up spending more money than you did when you tried to run PPC advertisements on your own — that’s undeniable. But you will also make more money than you did running them on your own, to the point that your bottom line will love you for making the move to a PPC manager.

First Page Placement is Within Your Grasp

When you just start to get a website off the ground, the notion of getting your site first page placement for even a few keywords can sound like pie in the sky. Truth be told, however, it’s both easier — and harder — than you might think. That’s because there are multiple ways to get that first page placement, but none of them are entirely without complexity.

Organic SEO
The first route is your standard organic SEO magic: you build a vast array of backlinks. You make sure you present a natural backlink profile from a wide variety of websites, including directories, articles, blog comments, social bookmarks, web 2.0 properties, and more. The process takes an immense investment in time, not just in terms of man-hours, but in terms of allowing months to pass in order to convince the search engines that your site isn’t just a fad.

Organic SEO is complicated because there are a lot of ways to screw it up. You have to know the basic process of building backlinks, but that’s just the beginning. An artificial link profile (i.e. all of your links traceable to the same IP address; all of your links appearing around the same time of day/days of week; etc.) is a surefire way to get all of your work undone in a hurry, and it’s hardly the only one. With Google’s new Panda update, you have to worry about details like how your page looks to incoming visitors as well.

Pay Per Click Marketing
Pay per click marketing — also known euphemistically as ‘sponsored placement’ — are the ads you see at the top of each SERPs page that aren’t the natural results. Every search engine has them, and anyone willing to bid on the keywords can get their site listed in them. Of course, it’s not an easy process to wrap your mind around, much less explain in a few words.

The key to doing PPC correctly is to not do it at all. If you’re going to rely on PPC marketing to get your traffic flowing to your site, just bite the bullet and hire a qualified PPC management firm. These people know the pay-per-click game inside and out, and the fees they charge are nothing compared to the money you’ll lose if you try to get into the PPC game unaided.

In short, first page placement is right there for you to have — but be prepared to work with the experts to get there, plain and simple.

Small Business SEO Doesn’t Have To Be Small Time SEO

Small business SEO has a strange reputation among the SEO elite — a lot of the gurus out there seem to believe that if you can’t drop thousands of dollars on an overwhelming SEO campaign right out of the gates, you simply aren’t ever going to hit it big. Fortunately for small business owners everywhere, they are profoundly mistaken.

It’s true that if you can afford to spend a boatload of money on SEO, you will get results faster. But that hardly means that buying a long-term SEO campaign that only costs in the low triple digits each month is something to be scoffed at. In fact, there is an upper limit to how much SEO is actually helpful at once.

organic SEOThat’s because the search engines look for unnatural patterns in backlinking. If a newbie website suddenly sprouts a thousand backlinks overnight, it’s not likely that that website is legit — it’s more likely someone dropped a pile of cash into a backlinking campaign. That’s not what the search engines want to support — they want to support websites that are actually awesome. To that regard, you have to build backlinks slowly, at least at first, the way that any website that was just starting to get attention might naturally earn them.

Granted, there does eventually come a ‘tipping point’ at which it’s reasonable for a website to have gone viral and suddenly actually get thousands of backlinks, but that doesn’t come for a long time — during which there is really no such thing as ‘small time’ SEO. There is only good SEO, which takes time and laborious effort no matter how much money you have to spend on it.

If you happen to have a decent budget, you’re far better off starting out with a combination between organic SEO and managed pay-per-click advertising. The PPC will drive traffic and make a profit while the SEO will do what SEO does best — have long-term, high-yield dividends. But even then, you don’t have to have a mountain of cash in order to get that plan off the ground. There’s just no excuse for anyone to say that small business SEO is small time — it’s plain wrong.

Targeted Email Marketing And The Jaw Dropping Power of…

If you’re even tangentially aware of the incredible things that a solid targeted email marketing campaign can do for your website’s sales, you’re hanging on that ellipsis, wondering what could make such an incredible tool even better. If you’re not sure why you should care, let me explain it to you.

Targeted email marketing isn’t a form of website SEO — it’s an entirely different way of extracting additional money from a website that’s already getting traffic. In short, it’s a system of collecting Email addresses, usually by offering something in exchange for the Email address, and then sending Emails out to that list of addresses. At first, the Emails are strictly informational, full of content just like a blog post. Later, once you’ve gotten people used to paying attention to your Emails, you inform people of the latest offer/product/service that you’ve got going on, and they buy it.

website SEOThis works incredibly well, particularly on people that have already purchased your products before. Every targeted email marketing list is a small supply of ready-and-waiting customers that you don’t have to drive to your website — they’re already there!

So, time for the big reveal. If you haven’t guessed already it’s…

Powerful Titles!

Quite simply, no matter how carefully you’ve targeted your emailing list, no matter how amazing the content within your emails, if you can’t get people’s attention with the title, you’ve got nothing.

Crafting a great title is about creating intrigue. People love ‘Top X’ lists, so that’s a standard, but creativity is the key when it comes to titles that make people think. Whether you do it by leaving out a critical word (see above), or by contrasting two things that you wouldn’t think go together, or simply by offering something that the reader doesn’t believe he can obtain, anything that makes the recipient say “I need to know more” is success, and anything less is failure.

The Internet is full of great lists of successful email and direct-mail titles of the past, and it would behoove any dedicated practitioner of targeted Email marketing to check them out and get inspired — a great title makes all the difference.

Social Bookmarking: Is It Still Worth It?

Social bookmarking was once the rage of the SEO community — sites like del.ici.ous, Digg, and Reddit attracted a considerable amount of attention because they combined the three things that linkbuilders love: dofollow links, controllable anchor text, and the ability to share your links with others.

Then, as the social bookmarking sites realized that they were getting abused by internet markers looking to give their own sites some love, the vast majority of them switched to nofollow links, and the party pretty much died off. Or did it?

(For those of you who aren’t following — forgive the pun — the difference between a dofollow link and a nofollow link is that the Google spiders that crawl the web looking at pages won’t acknowledge a nofollow link, meaning that even if you get a link from a PR 8 webpage, if it’s nofollow, the Google spider won’t give your website the credit for that banklink.)

There are three big reasons why social bookmarking is still a critical part of every organic SEO campaign. First of all, the nofollow/dofollow distinction only applies to Google. If you want to rank on Bing, Yahoo, AllTheWeb, Blekko, or other up-and-coming search engines, each and every social bookmark you post has value.

social bookmarkingSecondly, there are still social bookmarking sites that retain their dofollow nature. The two biggest are Digg and, perhaps ironically, Google Buzz — but there are several dozen others that are worth your time. Even if Google is your sole target, social bookmarking on these sites will still have profound SEO benefits.

Finally, there is the simple fact that the third factor that made social bookmarks so amazing in the first place is still firmly in place — perhaps moreso now than ever. Social bookmarking pages have become communities, much like forums, and participating regularly on these community pages will get you the same kind of benefits in terms of readership and authority.

There is an easy way to prove this: grab a PR-checker and go to the profile pages of some of the most profligate posters on Digg and Reddit — and you’ll find that their profile page is often, by itself, a PR 4 or 5 page. That’s huge, and if you can get there, you can easily drop a high-PR backlink on any page you desire at any time. That is worth it.

PPC Management Is The Quickest Route to First Page Placement

When you’re just starting out online, you need one thing more than anything else: first page placement. As millions of failed Inter-preneurs can attest to, getting to the top of page 2 just doesn’t pay the bills — and when you’re just starting, you’re nowhere near even that laudable goal.

Enter the idea of pay-per-click marketing. This sounds like a dream come true for novice webmasters — you bid on some keywords, the search engines put your link up under the “Sponsored Placement” section whenever someone searches for those keywords, and they see your link! You pay a few cents, and one in every hundred or so people who searched for the keyword will actually follow your link to your site, and some of them will buy your product or service. Sounds simple enough.

The problem is that it’s not all that simple. There are dozens of potential pitfalls, most of them revolving around picking the right keywords, that can turn pay-per-click (PPC) into a black hole from which your money will never return. The PPC game is one that takes a very special skill set that most business owners quite simply don’t have time to learn. That’s why many SEO companies hire a few people who specialize in the vagaries of PPC — so that they can offer their clients a talented crew for PPC management.

PPC managementPPC managers add to the total cost of a PPC marketing campaign — but they virtually always add to the return as well. They’ve put in their ten thousand hours of PPC labor, and their expertise in their craft shows instantly in the results. They choose keywords that people use when they already want to buy something. They craft advertisements that show those people exactly how easy it is to buy what they’re looking for. They keep your cost-per-click low and your conversions high. All you have to do is make sure that your website converts as well as their advertisements do.

Given the relatively low cost of most PPC management today, it’s practically a no-brainer. PPC management equals instant first page placement — with results.

Going Viral with a Press Release Service

Let’s start by getting one thing very clear: not every use of a press release service results in a massive boost in traffic. Press releases can be insanely effective, but most of them are just backlinks like any other blog comment or one-off article submission. In fact, many experts will tell you not to put a lot of effort into your press releases — just hire a service and get one put out there about your latest product, service, or idea.

They’re missing out on a huge opportunity.

You see, a press release isn’t like an article you write and then put on a directory where someone might search for it and might read it. A press release goes out on a variety of websites that gather such releases, and the nation’s newspapers, news radio stations, televisions, and other press agencies actually comb through those looking for great stories. If they find one, they’ll take it to their editor, and if it’s approved, it gets printed (and/or airtime.)

organic SEOWhat’s more, if a news agency puts it out there, it’s likely to be picked up by one of the hundreds of secondary news blogs out there that are racing to get a few thousand hits by being on top of Google News for a few precious hours. That increases your potential audience by another order of magnitude — just about the most effective organic SEO you can imagine.

Of course, all of this depends strictly on having a press release writer who can craft something that doesn’t vanish into the massive pile of press releases that come out every day announcing thousands of new businesses’ concepts and products. To that end, you might want to consider asking whomever you hire as your press release service what their track record is. You might even consider offering to pay a little extra to get their best man on the job.

Again, it’s a gamble — but the sheer power of getting literally hundreds of permanent backlinks from all of the secondary (and a few primary) websites is so enormous, especially for a new business, that the extra cost is essentially like a lottery ticket that you’re much more likely to win from.