Monday, April 27, 2009

Search Engine Optimization - The Sooner the Better

Yes, the authors of this blog offer Search Engine Optimization (SEO) services.

No, the title is not a “sense of urgency” marketing tactic to get you to use our services.

Well, actually it is, but even so, it’s important for you to consider the title’s advice, regardless of how you practice SEO - or with whom.
SEO means conducting your internet business in a way that search engines (Google’s share of the search engine market in March 2009 was over 80% - up from 75% a year ago) find appealing.  

Search engines, like the rest of us, are in business to make money.  Like the rest of us, they have customers and competition and they must constantly strive to make sure their product is the best option for their target markets.  

Their product is search results, and to provide the best product, they spend incredible amounts of time and money devising formulae to determine the most relevant results for any term an internet searcher might use.

Being the key to their operation, search engines diligently guard their formulae.  Internet marketing companies spend incredible amounts of time and money trying to determine what are the formulae so they can offer their clients a quicker route to the top of search results.

There are a few basic criteria that are not too difficult to figure out.  

If you use search engine marketing tactics to make your landing page or site more relevant to the search terms used by potential customers, it will rank higher in search results.

There is only one thing that can defeat relevancy.   If your web site, particularly its URL, is new, the search engines must first find and register the site’s existence.  In an increasingly competitive and crowded webosphere, that sometimes takes a month or more.  Then the engine will “watch” your site to see who visits, who links to it and how relevant is the content.  That monitoring takes another couple months, or more.  

In other words, if its new, the most relevant web site in internet history, with answers to life, the universe and everything (thank you Douglas Adams), will probably not get search engine rankings for at least five or six months and a decent ranking won't happen for about a year.

The bottom line is, the sooner you get your new site up and running, the sooner you will be able to start developing the sort of content and track record the search engines look for to determine relevancy and rank your site
By Stephen Da Cambra

Monday, April 20, 2009

The M.O. of PPC

Let’s say you woke up this morning with a sure-fire idea for a new product or business.  How long do you think it will take to generate sales?

A year?  6 months?  1 month?

How about this morning?  Pay Per Click (PPC) advertisements are those links that appear along the top and right side of your Google results page, under a “Sponsored Links” heading.  PPC advertisers pay for the ads according to the number of times the ads are clicked.

In the time it takes to set up a Google Adwords account, PPC ads put your message in front of web surfers who are looking for products and services like yours.

(Actually, you’ll also need some kind of web presence, even a single page, for people to land on when they click your PPC ad, but, if you don’t sleep-in too long, you should still be able to have lunch while selling your new product online.)

Admittedly, this is not a typical scenario, but it is quite possible and anyone can do it from the comfort of his or her nearest computer.

Whether you take the quickie route, or execute a more planned PPC campaign, much of its success depends on one thing:


There is only one measure of success for a PPC campaign. (yes, it’s another acronym)  CTR, or Click Through Rate, is the number of times your ad is clicked versus the number of times it appears in search results.  The higher your CTR, the more successful your PPC campaign.

In the absence of graphics and any real design, the only way a surfer can judge a PPC ad is by its words – and how they are written.

As the PPC marketing world becomes more crowded, PPC ad writing becomes more important.  There is perhaps no other part of internet marketing where so much depends on so few words.  (For the record, the title, or first line of your PPC ad must be 25 characters or less and the subsequent two lines must each be 35 characters or less – and you thought Twitter was stingy! – try selling a car in that time!)

For a quick lesson in good and bad PPC ad writing, think of something you would like to buy, be as specific as possible, and search for it on Google.  You might have to try a couple times, but pay attention to those PPC ads you find most appealing – then pay attention to why.

By Stephen Da Cambra