Google’s Games: Is Organic SEO Still Viable?
I just heard the worst words an SEO guy could ever hope to hear: a client told me on the phone that “organic SEO just isn’t working anymore.” He was talking, as you might have guessed from the title, about Panda.
If you’ve never heard of Panda, here’s the story. A Google software engineer named SomethingLongAndIndian Panda came up with a learning algorithm that keys off of the “user-friendliness” of a webpage. The Goog did a bunch of research into what pisses users off about websites, and turned it into a bunch of “do-nots”, taught the Panda algorithm about them, and then let Panda inform the Google main algorithm about website rankings.
The end result? If your webpage isn’t easy to use — and that means easy on the eyes, not just easy to find the “buy now” button — it won’t rank well, period. There are a few things that Panda takes a look at that aren’t on the traditional list of website SEO rules:
In other words, is your content interrupted by crap? Adwords, banners, even poorly-located navigation bars are considered ‘no-go’ by Panda. If you want an example of a website that reoptimized to Panda’s standards, go look at any article on EZineArticles.com. There’s an author pic, an unobtrusive info panel with social buttons, and that’s it until after all of the content. All of the crap that the reader might consider unimportant comes at the bottom.
It used to be that a 200 word article was adequate for SEO purposes — not anymore. Panda hates thin content. You’d better have at least 400-600 words on a webpage if you expect Panda to consider it quality enough to get a decent ranking, straight up.
Panda also knows your sister. Or rather, your webpage’s sister. While Panda gives a quality score to every page, it also gives a quality score to an entire site, and the two modify each other. So if you have one Panda-perfect page on an otherwise horrible site, you can’t expect it to rank. Quality has to be across all pages.
In the end, I told that client of mine that he had no idea what he was talking about. The truth of the matter is this: Panda isn’t a whole new set of rules — all of the old rules are still there, and they still work. We just have a few more points to take into consideration, that’s all.
PPC Management And The Power of Sponsored Placement
Pay per click marketing is an incredibly powerful tool under a limited set of circumstances — you need to have a decent starting budget, a site that converts like gangbusters, and a strong PPC management team on your side. Basically, if you’re a starting webmaster and you’re canny enough to be utilizing conversion tools like targeted Email marketing, quality Flash banners, a Web Presenter, and the like, you’re probably in the right place to make the most of PPC advertising.
The thing about pay per click is that there is very little middle ground. Few people break even on Google Adwords or it’s various competitors. They either have a PPC management team that knows how to pick the right bids and (more importantly) the right keywords, or they don’t — and the difference is like investing with Warren Buffett versus investing in lottery tickets. Because there are a lot of losers in that equation, PPC has gotten a bad rap in recent years, but think for a second about what it does.
You set up an ad, and you attach it to a keyword. Anytime someone searches for that keyword, your ad appears on the first page, right next to the first organic results. If they click that ad, you pay a few cents or a few bucks if it’s a popular keyword. If they don’t, you pay nothing.
That’s pretty much the definition of targeted traffic, and if you do a decent job of choosing your keywords — making sure that you’re not paying in the dollars for traffic of the tire-kicking variety rather than the purchasing variety — you can assure a pretty good conversion rate from it.
There’s not many other tools out there that can get your website in front of that many people who are sure to be interested in your site — and all of them will make you pay per exposure, not per person who actually visits your site. That’s a lot of impact from a single tool — which makes it very worth it to accept the risks, especially if you can find some talented PPC management to mitigate those risks for you.
5 Reasons Targeted Email Marketing Makes Good Money
Targeted Email marketing might seem like it’s outside of the range of a typical organic SEO company — after all, it’s not SEO. There’s nothing about Email marketing that makes you rank higher for a keyword, or improves the amount or quality of traffic to your website. What it does do, however, is make phat money. Here’s why.
Targeted Email Marketing lures customers in. They give you their Email address in exchange for something — usually relevant information. From the moment they do that, you have their permission to Email them, which means you can remind them that you exist and that they have a problem you can solve.
Targeted Email Marketing establishes your expertise. A good Email marketer knows that if they hit the customer with a call-to-action right away, they’ll bail. That’s why they spend a few to several emails just plying them with information. Not only does it give them a sense of security, but it convinces them that you know your stuff.
Targeted Email Marketing hits them where it hurts. People don’t sign up for emailing lists because it’s fun — they do it because they have a problem that needs solving. By continuously but softly needling that need, you bring it to prominence in their lives. That way, when you hit the call-to-action button, they’re ready.
Targeted Email Marketing brings them back over and over again. As soon as someone has purchased your product, they get added to a special, second Emailing list for “proven customers”. What that means to you is that they’ve proven they’re willing to give you money — and in all likelihood, they’ll be wiling to do it again if you hit them up with another call to action.
Targeted Email Marketing doesn’t ever end. Unless you irritate someone enough that they unsubscribe from your list — or you run out of Emails to send them — people will stay on your list for years. You never know what will hit their button and make them get out their wallets, but with this tool, you’ll never stop giving them good reasons.
Targeted Email marketing is amazing, and if you’re not using it, you need to talk to your organic SEO company about it today.
Leveraging The Incredible Power of Article Writing and Distribution
Of all of the services that most typical affordable SEO companies offer these days, few have the potential of a talented article writing and distribution crew. Such a group of people — a combination of researchers, writers, submission experts, and sometimes spinners or other specialists — can turn the slow but powerful process of SEO into something that can generate traffic and sales from day one.
A well written article is almost perfect SEO entity. It offers control over the anchor text, control over the link’s environment in terms of latent semantic indexing, an authoritative page (the article directory) on an established site, and of course it links to exactly where you want it to link to. That’s not insignificant in any way, and yet the effort required to write a really good article scares many people away. That’s too bad, because if all they’re considering is the SEO factor, they’re missing out on a large part of the power of article writing and distribution.
Part of the story comes from the potential of a given article to rank higher than your page on the search engines. Google “article writing and distribution”, for example, and you’ll find that several entries on the first page are blogs that point at other pages — the pages that are actually trying to rank for that particular keyword. That’s only one example, of course, there are literally millions of keywords for which an EzineArticle or some other directory page or blog is sourcing traffic to its linked page.
Another aspect of the power of article writing is in the strength of building a personal brand. One of the things that Internet customers are very ready to do is distrust. In order to overcome the basic assumption that you’re a marketer rather than someone who really knows about Betta fish, you have to display that knowledge. Getting a few dozen articles written about the little fishies and getting your name attached to them on some very public sites goes a long way toward giving yourself an air of credibility.
A Three Step Plan to First Page Placement
First page placement isn’t some lofty goal that you should hold yourself to attaining ‘someday’ — though for many a novice webmaster, it certainly seems that way. Rather, first page placement is something that can and should be obtained immediately and held onto through a variety of different methods as time goes by.
Step one: Pay Per Click advertising
Pay per click (PPC) advertising can sound like a very scary investment for anyone not talented in the arena. Indeed, thousands of webmasters who have done solo into the realm of PPC have lost everything — but the smart ones who hire a good PPC management team have found that the profits to be gained from the instant ‘sponsored’ placement it provides more than make up for the cost.
PPC gets you onto the first page on day one — and yes, it costs money to get there, but the money you make when you have a PPC manager working the game for you is more than it costs to pay the manager and the bid costs.
Step two: Indirect Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization takes some significant amount of time to kick in, so it can’t do what PPC does for you. The first result of your Search Engine Optimization will be that pages that aren’t actually yours will rank for certain keywords. For example, it’s not uncommon for an article that you turn in to EzineArticles to rank higher for your chosen keyword than your own page does at first. You’ll still get considerable traffic and sales from these indirect rankings, but it’s only the beginning.
Step three: Direct Search Engine Optimization
Give it six or twelve months, and you’ll find that your SEO starts to pull in a lot of organic traffic, because YOUR page is achieving first page placements for a variety of your keywords. Even while you’re exploiting the benefits of PPC, you’ll feel the power of the SEO adding more and more to your business over time. Eventually, you’ll reach a point where your business comes more from your SEO efforts than it does from your PPC campaign.
Is Mobile Website Design Going The Way of Hidden Text?
You might remember the days of hidden text on the Internet — it was one of the earliest forms of black hat website SEO. Webmasters would want their site to rank highly for a pile of keywords, so they’d just copy the keyword and several similar phrases dozens of times each and make the text color the same as the background color, so human eyes never saw it (unless you hit Control A). The search engines of a decade ago ate that stuff up. Then along came Google and they killed it as swiftly and surely as Seal Team Six killed Osama Bin Laden.
So what does this have to do with mobile website design? Simple — some experts are starting to think that mobile website design will soon be a dead art, like speaking in Latin or giving your own car a tune-up.
Mobile website design exploded with the creation of the iPhone and other similar web-capable smartphones. Such devices couldn’t quite handle a normal website, so a special language was developed that displayed the mobile version of a page if it was informed that the page was being accessed by a mobile device. The mobile version of the page had fewer pictures, less media to load, and was generally stripped down.
(In a comedic twist, at one point the web browser Opera was being used in so many devices that many webpages always showed Opera users the mobile version of a page, even if they were actually on a standard computer. That caused a lot of chaos until it got sorted out.)
The problem, of course, is that now as we move boldly forward into the realm of the 5G phone networks and mobile devices that can handle all of the pictures and media of a normal webpage, the need for special mobile pages is fading quickly. On the other hand, however, there are a lot of people who don’t have one of these new omnicapable devices — heck, there are people out there who are still fighting getting even one of those super cheap Jitterbug cell phones. So it’s safe to say that while mobile website design might be losing a little bit of importance, it will still have a place for years to come.
Small Business SEO Isn’t Like Corporate SEO
There are a few layers of activity in the SEO world: there’s novice SEO, marketer SEO, small business SEO, and big business, or corporate SEO. Each of these is marked by a different kind of activity.
Novice SEO generally consists of some poor sod writing a Squidoo page or an EZA article every night after work, desperately hoping that his new site all about the wonders of Betta fish will hit it big. Marketer SEO is similar, but generally involves outsourcing a bunch of one-off backlinks to a poor Filipino sod who would be doing what the novice SEO guy is doing, but has figured out that he can make better money off of the back of an American marketer who has a bit more money.
Then, you hit small business SEO. Small business SEO covers a lot of ground, but in general it’s separated from marketer SEO by three elements: a bigger budget, a commitment to victory, and dependence on outside experts. A small business who decides to go to war on the Internet front will hire a group of experts — usually, but not always, in the form of an Organic SEO company — to do their work for them. They will spend the money to get the online presence built quickly, and they won’t back down simply because it didn’t happen as quickly or overpoweringly as they wanted.
That’s what most SEO companies do for a living — they focus on small businesses. That’s because the rules of corporate SEO are completely different. On a corporate level, you don’t hire an SEO company — you buy one and make it part of your staff. You don’t pay for a certain number of links or a specific result on Google — you pay a paycheck, and your experts build links by the hour, not by the link.
The lesson here is obvious: if you’re a small business, no matter how determined you are to succeed, you’re never going to be able to take on the corporations on their own turf. Don’t go after the keyword ‘Jiffy Lube’ or the keyword ‘Blockbuster’ — it’s just not going to happen. Focus on the keywords you can win — your SEO company already has a list that’s plenty long — and leave the big boys to their big boy games.
Affordable SEO Is Not DIY SEO
There’s an extraordinarily common myth that is rarely outright stated, but is heavily implied across a large part of the novice Internet Marketing world: that in order to get affordable SEO, you have to do the grunt work yourself. Oodles of people on sites like the Warrior Forum and in activities like the 30 Day Challenge will tell you that you can (and imply that you should) learn how to build all kinds of backlinks yourself.
“It’s easy”, they say, “All you have to do is write Web 2.0 pages, create social bookmarks, write articles, comment on blogs, do some forum posting, and create a blog of your own to talk about your area of expertise.”
I’m here to tell you that that’s a load of crap, and tell you in very clear terms why. See, internet marketers are human, no matter what they might want you to believe. They don’t have twenty seven hours every day to engage in all of this work — and they need it. The Internet isn’t some gold mine where anyone can come along and decide to write up a few pages on Squidoo and HubPages and magically get enough traffic to do anything at all.
The truth is simple: affordable SEO isn’t do-it-yourself SEO. Affordable SEO still costs money — what makes it affordable is that it works. In other words, it brings in more money than it costs in the long run. (Like any other startup business, if you can’t afford to go into the red for a few months while your SEO efforts kick in, you shouldn’t be going into business in the first place.)
What affordable SEO is: it’s hiring a group of people who have the expertise to be able to work together across various fields — for example, I’m a writer — surprise! — and I work alongside other people who know how to do things like manage pay-per-click advertising and set up targeted email autoresponders and write PHP scripts for membership sites. It’s getting those people to work together to craft a ring of backlinks and backlinks to those backlinks, in order to craft a funnel that directs massive traffic to a webpage that has proper on-site SEO and converts well. It’s profiting from that setup, and profiting to the point where paying for the SEO in the first place becomes trivial.
Link Placement: An Oft-Ignored Part of Website SEO
There are a lot of very complex and detailed rules in the labyrinthine world of off-website SEO. Off-site SEO can be reduced to a few short instructions — build backlinks that will last from authoritative websites that offer controllable anchor text and have high PageRank — but that’s really just the absolute basics. There are many other factors to consider in getting that precious first page placement out of your SEO efforts.
Anchor text is an obvious one — without the right anchor text, a link won’t help you rank for a specific keyword. LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing), the process by which Google determines if a page is actually about your keyword by checking for natural variations and related phrases, is also critically important to maximizing your link juice. Even the page your link points to — often a landing page, but sometimes a ‘deep’ page a few layers into your site — has an impact on the SEO value of a given backlink.
But one thing that few experts seem to have figured out is that the actual placement of a link on a page matters. With all other factors exactly the same, Google will give more link juice to a backlink that’s at the top of a page than it will give to one at the bottom. The difference isn’t nearly as big as, say, the difference between posting from a brand new Terapad page and posting from an established authority site like EzineArticles.com — but it’s still measurable and thus important.
The takeaway lesson here comes in two parts: the practical part and the philosophical part.
The practical part is simple: if you have a choice between posting your backlink early in a page or posting it at the bottom, choose early. There are actually many occasions when you can (making a Squidoo page, for example), but equally as many where you can’t (EzineArticles). If you can’t, don’t stress out about it — but if you can, get it done.
The philosophical part is also simple: don’t ever think you’ve mastered the intricacies of SEO — there are always more details to Google’s algorithm than any of us can know.
Why haven’t you looked into Mobile Website Design Yet?
Seriously, do you still think you’re getting all of the possible business you could get from the internet? If you haven’t looked into mobile website design yet, you’re not even close to hitting your potential sales numbers. Every day, more consumers are signing up for iPhones, Droids, and other mobile devices that they use to surf the web. You’ve spent all that time and money developing a site that will entice visitors to stay awhile and convert. What good is all that if they can’t see you on their mobile?
The technology to view the web is much improved from that which was available as little as eighteen months ago, but much of it still scrambles complicated graphics and images. Mobile browsers may or may not be able to display video, hand-held devices could freeze if asked to do too much. Even the new 4G phones have been known to glitch if presented with information overload. Mobile website designs are more compact, load faster, and don’t present those problems.
What happens to your regular website design when you have a mobile site created? Absolutely nothing; all of the website SEO work you’ve done to date will not go to waste. The mobile version only kicks in when someone is trying to access your website from a mobile device. If their using a laptop or desktop they’ll still see the old version with all the lights, buzzers, and bells you installed. Mobile sites are an enhancement, not a replacement for a standard website.
Think about your own internet access behavior. If you’ve upgraded to a new phone that offers web access and one of those cool screens that you can turn sideways for a different app, you’re probably spending a lot of time on that device, maybe even playing a video game or two. That behavior is present across the world. A portable, hand-held device is so much easier to use when you’re on the go, as most of us are. Look into a mobile website design now. You’re losing money if you don’t.
Don’t get it Twisted – That Automated Directory Submission Tool Never Worked
There’s a lot of talk now about how automated directory submission no longer works after the recent changes in search engine algorithms. Don’t get it twisted. Those automated tools never worked. If you ordered and paid for one hundred directories you were lucky to get one that would actually register in page rank calculations. The search engine changes simply undermined the credibility of a practice that wasn’t really all that credible to begin with. Shortcuts never are. If you want to establish a solid and lasting presence on the internet you need to do some real work to get it done.
Here at SEO911, we are selective about where we go to get quality links for our clients. That selectivity was the main reason why, when other SEO companies were scrambling to stop their clients from falling off the front page a few months ago, ours were firmly entrenched, even climbing. SEO best practices aren’t all that complicated, so why do so many marketing “gurus” try to get around them. The answer – a quick result is a quick profit for them. Longevity isn’t in their vocabulary because they still believe everything on the internet is temporary. We know better.
Ten years ago, Google was in its infancy, Yahoo was still a colloquial exclamation, and Bing was a misspelled word to describe jewelry. We were generating traffic for our clients and designing websites that converted in a new medium that was still a mystery to most of the technologically developing world. The jury was still out on the internet and the web, but we saw the potential. Many of the men and women on our team today helped develop the concept of organic SEO.
We made the right choice then and we’ve made the right choices since then. The recent changes that shocked much of the internet marketing world came as no surprise to us. They’ve been a long time coming and we positioned our clients to benefit from them. Others could have easily done the same, but they chose what looked like the quick and easy way. Honestly, have you ever seen a quick and easy solution work the way it was advertised to? Success takes knowledge, experience, and most of all, hard work. We offer all three to our clients. Can your current SEO Company say the same?
Algorithms Change, but Organic SEO is Still the Only Path to Internet Success
A few short months ago, Google changed the rules. It’s happened before, never on quite the same scale, but there is always the risk of change when you’re in the organic SEO industry. We know because we’ve been in business for over ten years. When Google changed its algorithm to basically make link farms obsolete, none of our clients were affected, because we never used link farms as part of our SEO strategy. Our link builders only work with established websites and directories that offer real value to the internet user. Instead of losing ground after the change, our clients’ positioning improved.
How does all this work? It’s simple really. Google and other search engines have formulas that determine who gets what position on which page when an internet user puts a keyword or phrase into the search box. Those formulas are called algorithms and they contain a complex set of variables all weighted differently to reflect the importance of individual aspects of your website. The exact details are kept confidential, but some variables are clearly more important than others. Relevant content, for instance, has always been considered one of the primary factors in calculations.
Another variable in the algorithms is links, or backlinks to your site. This is the area most affected by the changes earlier this year, since Google basically de-valued any sites that were established to be a collection of links with little or no valuable content. These sites, known as “portals” or “link farms” were often part of paid link building packages – shortcuts to getting a high page rank. Those who bought into those packages are finding now that there are no shortcuts. They’re back in page engine oblivion. Meanwhile, our small business SEO clients are moving up and filling the gaps left vacant by them.
Article writing and distribution still works, but only if you submit original content to one directory at a time, and the directory should have an editorial process if you expect to get any link juice from it. The same rules apply to regular directories. Make sure they’re not just another link farm in disguise. Blog posting can also help you attain a higher page rank. You can contact us about that. We’ve had tremendous success with it, along with all of the other organic SEO techniques we use.
Using Local Internet Marketing to Make a Big Splash in Your Home Town
Market analysis is one of the first steps in the internet marketing process. Who exactly are you selling your product or service to? If you’re a national or international service you’ll want to reach a broad range of potential customers and clients around the world. If you’re a small shop relying on local traffic, the internet can still be a valuable tool for you. Using local internet marketing you can make a splash in your home town. You might even find its better than the print or media advertising you’re doing now.
SEO911 is an organic SEO company. We help businesses of all shapes and sizes achieve high page rank in search engine algorithmic calculations. That has been our primary purpose for over a decade now and it’s not likely to change any time soon, but the nature of our clients has changed in just the past two years. SEO, once only for the big corporations and national retail chains, has now entered the world of Mom and Pop. Local stores and independent service providers can take advantage of affordable prices and local tools to help drive in traffic from their natural market.
When we first started out in Los Angeles SEO, there was a telephone directory in every home. Those big yellow books might still be around, but fewer and fewer consumers are using them. The preferred tool for finding a product or service today is the search box. If you’re not showing up on the top of Page One for your industry keywords, you are losing business to your competitors. Even worse, some of those competitors could be miles away. Your potential customers can’t come to you if they don’t see your listing.
Here at SEO911, we focus on local keywords and local search engines for those companies that come to us looking for local traffic. It’s much easier to do than it sounds. Your competitors have probably overlooked the value of incorporating the name of your community into blog posts and web content. If you start doing it, you could be on top in just a few weeks. Contact us to learn more.
After Google Panda, Does Article Marketing and Distribution Still Work?
On February 24, 2011, Google announced changes to their search ranking algorithm that affected 11.8% of all websites on the internet. It was a long overdue and not unforeseen change that addresses the issues of link farms and poor quality content on the internet. The changes, known as Google Panda or Google Farmer, make many former SEO techniques obsolete. Fortunately, those methods were only used by what is known in our industry as “Black Hat” SEO companies. Our proven organic SEO practices are still working just fine. Among them is article writing and distribution.
Google Panda penalizes duplicate content and devalues what is known as link farms, or sites that will take any submission just to build content on their site. Many article directories fall into this category. They have no editorial process to measure quality or accuracy, so they will publish just about anything. These sites have all been weighed and measured by Google spiders and most of them won’t give you any link juice at all now if you post a link there. Some might even hurt you.
Other article directories, those that have an editorial process and some guidelines, like Ezine Articles for instance, are still effective tools for building links and driving traffic back to your website. Here at SEO911, we know which sites those are and we focus on them. We also employ only the very best content writers in the Los Angeles SEO industry to write your articles for you. Quality counts and we have it to offer here. The articles that we publish in your name reflect on you and your company, so we demand that they be top quality, accurate, and engaging to the reader.
At SEO911, we offer affordable SEO services that are also effective. We keep the price down by streamlining our processes and focusing on what works, not wasting our time with what doesn’t. When the Google Panda report was first published, many companies in our industry went into a panic. Our team members simply smiled and acknowledged that it was a long time coming. We have been in this business for over a decade and we grew up alongside Google. Our people know what they want and we’ve been doing it all along. None of our clients were affected by the changes.
They Call It Organic SEO Because It Takes Time And Care
Doing organic SEO is very much akin to doing organic gardening: it takes time, expertise, and constant attention. On the web, there’s a slight variation on the old saying: “You’ve got fast, cheap, and long-term. You can get any two of those at a time, but you can’t get all three.” Pay-per-click management is the fast, cheap version. Buying advertising space on high-traffic websites is the fast, long-term option. Organic SEO is the cheap, long-term option.
Seeing as the ‘cheap’ options are often intimidating, price-wise, for startup websites, advertising space is usually right out the window unless you’re already a major player. Some gurus advocate using only Organic SEO to get your website off the ground, but that’s only a great solution if you can wait, like a gardener, until harvest season in order to eat. PPC management> is the hunter/gatherer of the clan, bringing in meat and fruit and nuts to eat today so that the organic SEO can have time to grow, blossom, and bear fruit.
Organic SEO works by slowly over time building your website’s authority in the eyes of the search engines, often specific to individual keywords. For example, your SEO company might do some keyword research and determine that you’re likely to get a lot of customers that are searching for the term “fainting goats”. They’ll then go out and build, over months, hundreds of “fainting goats” backlinks to your site, until the search engines finally get the clue that ‘hey, maybe this site is about fainting goats!’ Then, they’ll keep pushing the envelope until the search engines say ‘hey, this site is one of the best sites about fainting goats!’ And that’s when the fruit is born.
The fruit, of course, is traffic. Once your website has been ranked in the top few for its keywords, people will see it when they search for that keyword, and they’ll click on it, and some of them will buy from it. It’s not fast traffic (and thus not fast money), but the best part about SEO is that you almost never have to redo it. It continues to build on itself like a perennial garden constantly in bloom.
PPC Management Is Nitrous Oxide For Your Web Business
PPC Management is the complex and wonderful art of taking a massive swath of long-tail keywords, keyword variants, and negative keywords and creating a pay-per-click advertising campaign that will bring in some serious traffic flow without draining your pocketbook. Without a professional PPC manager, your chances of blowing all of your money on almost no results is…well, let’s say ‘significant’. But with a pro on your side, you can turn pay-per-click from a minefield into a gold mine.
Normally, a new business starting online has a huge upward climb to anywhere near the top. While it’s utterly vital in the long run, organic SEO takes about a million years to kick in to the point where you can run a business off of it and be busy doing it. But with a solid dose of nitrous — in the form of a well-run PPC campaign — you can get your business on the first page of the search engines literally overnight, and stay there. That means more traffic, more conversions, and more money (which, if you’re smart, you’ll reinvest some of into your SEO!)
The downside, of course, is that pay-per-click advertising is always a gamble — it does cost money, and it doesn’t guarantee traffic. But if you look carefully at the places that do offer traffic for money at a regular rate, virtually none of them offer targeted traffic. That’s what makes PPC so special — your ads literally only appear in front of people who are looking for something related to your offer!
It’s not like television or radio where you put a jingle out there and hope it sticks in someone’s head until they remember days later that they need to go buy something, and you hope they buy YOUR something. It’s like you can play them the jingle as they’re in the isle, walking toward the something rack, and you’re literally shoving your something into their hands as they walk.
Of course, the skill in PPC comes in determining which keywords, which prices, and which targets to focus on. Pick the wrong ones, and you can spend a thousand dollars and get twenty visits. Pick the right one, and you can spend twenty dollars and get a thousand visits. That’s exactly why every startup website should consider investing in a PPC management expert for their pay-per-click campaigns.
Turn Your SEO Into $EX with Targeted Email Marketing
Everyone knows that the first step to success online is getting traffic — that’s why we all have SEO experts — but some of those website SEO companies seem to forget that there’s another step to the process, in which you turn SEO efforts into traffic and traffic into $EX — that’s shorthand for Extra Money! The leading tool in the industry to make that happen is an old internet marketer’s tactic called targeted Email marketing.
Targeted email marketing, when you first read it, sounds kind of like it could be a synonym for ‘spam’ — and some (failed) marketers treat it that way. But they’re kind of ignoring that first word: targeted. You shouldn’t ever send out an Email to someone that hasn’t asked for it.
“But who would ask me to send them Email?” you say. Excellent question. Stop and ask yourself — have you ever asked someone you didn’t know to send you an Email? The answer is ‘probably’ — either because they had information you didn’t, or because it was a prerequisite to downloading something you wanted to download. That’s exactly how you target your future customers. Put up something free (and relevant to your web business) online, stick a “you must enter your email address here” window between them and the free thing, and then use your SEO powers to drive some traffic to that site.
Some people will see your offer, they’ll sign up, they’ll read your (expertly-crafted) free whatchamacallit, and blam! Some time later, you’ve got a decent list of Email addresses to send out to. Now, the key is to not scare them off. If you spam them with requests to buy stuff, you’ll do just that. Instead, you should reassure them that you’re on their side. Send them some updates about your topic of choice, or just some more detail to add on to whatever was in the free whatchamacallit. Just don’t send them anything irrelevant or profit-seeking, not for a few weeks.
Once you’ve got them interested in the next thing that comes out of your mouth, THEN you try to sell them something. Craft your request for money carefully, and you’ll have them eating out of the palm of your hand — and that’s how you get your $EX.
The Strongest Weapon In The SEO Arsenal Is…Article Writing and Distribution!
It’s true — article writing and distribution is, over the long term and when well-done, the best thing you can do to improve your website’s business. The benefits of getting articles written well and distributed properly are unlike any other SEO activity — the only downside is that you can easily end up spending much more time on article writing and distribution than you do on any other activity! But if you can get a good system in place, the process can become extraordinarily beneficial.
Articles have multiple layers of benefits that work together in support of your business. From an organic SEO perspective, they offer solid backlinks from authority websites that have been in business for a significant period of time, and from a page that is directly relevant to yours. Just as important, they offer customizable anchor text, so you can focus directly in on the keyword you want. That’s a pretty decent boost in your weight for that keyword, and doubly so if the article is optimized for the same keywords.
From a sales-funnel perspective, every article that links to your website can be regarded as another entry point in your funnel; another way in which the customer might find you. Even if your website never reaches the first page of rankings for a particular keyword, your article might, and that’s still a fairly good place to be.
From a traffic perspective, if your article is interesting enough to keep people reading and the call-to-action is strong, it will drive traffic to your site. If it’s ranked decently for the relevant keyword, it will drive more. What’s best is that it will continue driving traffic essentially forever. There are websites today that are getting regular hits from articles they wrote six years ago. That means every article you write contributes to your long-term passive traffic.
A Good System
There is only one really good system for pumping out articles with both the numbers and quality you need to take advantage of all of those aspects: hire a team of experts to do it for you. It might sound silly at first, but it’s one of the best long-term investments in the health of your website that you can possibly make.
SEO Synergies: Social Bookmarking and Directory Submission
When you’re working up a strong SEO plan for your website, you’d be foolish to ignore some of the natural synergies that occur between SEO activities like social bookmarking and directory submission. Let’s talk a tiny bit about what each of those are, and then we’ll explain why they work in concert to provide a huge SEO boost under the right circumstances.
Directory Submission is simply the act of finding relevant, high-authority directories and submitting your website to those directories. The benefits of directory submission are simple: you get a decent backlink, and many times in the infancy of your website, the directory will rank higher for general keywords than your site does. Surfers are more likely to find your site through the directory than they are to find it straight through the search engines, at least until your SEO plan kicks in and you get a bit higher up in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Social bookmarking is what you do on sites like Delicious, Reddit, Digg, and StumbleUpon. It’s one of the driving factors behind much of the ‘viral’ nature of the modern Internet — and it’s exactly why every single blog and many webpages have “Digg this”-style buttons all over them. Search engines love social bookmarks, because they come across as ‘honest’, and are therefore generally given more weight.
So how do you use these two SEO tools together to create a synergistic effect? It’s actually pretty simple, when you get right down to it: you use social bookmarking to create links to your directory submissions. Social bookmarking totally allows you to create deep links, and linking straight to the page that mentions your website — especially using anchor text that happens to be your website’s subject — makes Google think slightly higher of that page especially as regards that subject. Repeat over dozens of social bookmarking sites, and the net effect is quite likely to be a noticeable one.
You’re essentially supporting a page that you’ll be relying on to help drive traffic by doing something that you’re already doing — at the same time that you’re socially bookmarking your home site, you can bookmark the directory, and have a decent extra boost for almost no work.
The Trifecta Of Dangerous SEO: Blog Posting, Forum Posting, and the Press Release Service
Off-page SEO, in general, can — and often should be — looked at in terms of how ‘secure’ your SEO investment is, ranging from the very secure like article writing and distribution to the largely insecure, like blog posting, forum posting, and engaging a press release service. The difference is that, by and large, the more dangerous SEO involves putting a link somewhere that might have little to no effect for various reasons — but at the same time, might have an explosive or even viral effect.
This doesn’t refer to the art of creating your own blog and keeping up on it — by ‘blog posting’, we mean ‘commenting on relevant blogs’. Blog comments are dangerous links for one simple reason: they can be edited away at any time by an overzealous blogger who decides that you’re only in it for the backlink (or he just doesn’t like what you have to say.) Blog posting is also moderately dangerous in that it can be difficult to exactly match a blog with the subject matter of your website, and backlinking sites that Google thinks is irrelevant can be destructive to Google’s impression of what your site is actually about.
On the other hand, Google adores blogs, and gives them a startling amount of weight — so a comment from a good, relevant blog tends to do more for your rankings than a similar link from a non-blog site. That power makes blogs attractive enough to keep commenting on regardless of the danger.
Like blog posting, forums generally involve an administrator who can arbitrarily remove all of your links on a whim. That’s not good. On the other hand, getting a good link in your signature on some active forums are likely to drive long-term traffic. Forum posts are also relatively likely to get linked to from elsewhere, making forum signature links a pretty valuable tool despite the risks.
Press Release Service
A Press Release is always an OK thing to do — at the minimum, you’ll get a few backlinks from a few moderate-PR sites that list every press release ever released. But a press release is unique in that it’s essentially designed to go viral — i.e. get syndicated across multiple news sites — from the get-go. The danger in a press release isn’t that you might lose it entirely, like the others, but that you might sink a lot of time and effort into making a great press release only to have it ignored.
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