My Tips…



By Paul Nagel

As I feel anyone reading this probably has a basic understanding of SEO I’ll skip the basics such as title tags, description tag (As it’s sometimes used by the search engines for the description in their listings, sprinkling your keywords throughout the article without overdoing it etc…

For me if you optimize for Google your not hurting yourself with the other two, MSN and Yahoo.

For those that feel on page optimization is a factor worth spending time on, using CSS to move the content to the top of the html will move the content you want the spiders to see up to the top of the page code wise.

For those that are confused as to what a spider actually is, think of it in terms of being a very simple browser. Whatever your browser can see, that’s what it sees. It technically can’t pick up anything else. It doesn’t somehow stay connected to your web server. It simply queries it by following a link and takes what the server gives it. Same as the browser your using to read this.

The google search engine in my opinion hasn’t changed at all. It can still be optimized for using the same techniques that worked years ago. You simply identify what the page is about using the title tag and obtain incoming links. However consider that the web has grown substantially than it was a few years ago, hence the competition is much greater so there could be the apparency of things not working anymore.

The things that have changed however are pre-filtering such as how old is a domain as well as people actually checking pages that are in the index to ensure a human element of quality.

One way to get around this is to search the web and find obscure websites that have been around since about 2001. Email the owner and ask him if he’d be willing to sell the domain to you. Once you’ve reached an agreement, and this is important, have him transfer the domain without a change of ownership. You now have a domain that’s been around for a while that you can link to your new ones giving them a trust factor. In other words getting past the pre filtering.

If you have adsense on your page, having the medium rectangle, white background, no border on white web page, placed in the upper left corner, (first place people look when reading left to right) you’ll raise your ctr sometimes to levels that will astonish you. The other factor and this is also important is to make sure that the words your visitors are using to reach your page reflect themselves in the ads. These two factors can make you a lot of money with the right listings. Don’t go too overboard with “high paying keywords” I’ve personally found high traffic words that pay 20 to 30 cents make a lot, lot more. I think traffic is way more important and tweaking your ads to fit the traffic than going after some word that will pay you $5. That’s just me though.

As far as making money on the web, the most important factors are really simple. Whatever keywords people are using to visit your pages whether through pay per click or through SEO, make sure either your adsense ads or the affiliate program your promoting matches those keywords as close as possible.

A good example would be having a listing for the keyword dog kennels. Doesn’t matter whether it’s pay per click or organic. Pay per click is just much easier to control. Make sure those ads are all about dog kennels, placed upper left corner and blended into the page as much as possible. They will stand out simply by their placement. You want the visitor to reach your page and in his mind go: “that’s what I was looking for!” If you always just keep that last sentence in mind while constructing your site you really can’t go wrong.

Being no expert in Pay per click I have however found a few things that work for me. These are tips I’ve picked up simply trying to make adwords work. (Overture until they have the option to opt out of their partner listings will not get my recommendation).

One way that works is to take the most obvious sets of words for the thing your going to promote. Let’s say it’s a shoe store affiliate program and you want to sell Nike tennis shoes. Let’s say your lazy like me and just want to get something profitable and move on.

Enter some basic keywords into adwords using broad match like, nike, nike tennis shoes, buy nike shoes, etc….

Make a list of words you don’t want to pay for like: “nikes suck”, “nike commercial”, “tiger woods nike contract” etc….enter these into the negative keyword list so they won’t show up and cost you money.

We’ll tackle how to get the ones you can’t think of right away in a minute.

In order to get on the front page and you really do kind of have to be there to get any clicks, you’ll have to bid high starting out. You have to establish a click through history for each keyword and it needs to be pretty good say over 1% minimum. This should be your first focus, tweaking your ads until you have some nice ctr’s. Bidding high to get a high placement is kind of necessary to get those high ctr’s. Realize at this point it’s an investment in the future, your not going to make money, probably, straight out of the gate with those words.

Now you have a nice ctr, every two days lower the price by 10% until you reach a nice compromise of clicks to profits.

You’ve been running your ads for a week or so now, look in your log files and see what people are actually typing in to get to your site. Start another adgroup and enter these as phrase and exact match, you should either get a higher listing for the same or even a cheaper price. Make a list of all the words from your logs that aren’t related or helping you make any sales and add them to the negative keyword list. You don’t want to pay for someone typing in “nike phone number” when your trying to sell shoes. Once your making a profit, rinse and repeat. Don’t get stuck and too focused on one thing. If it goes south for whatever reason, and trust me it can and you probably won’t see it coming, it’s much, much better to have multiple sources of income than one great one by far!

That’s it, those are my tips. Hope you enjoyed them and find them usefull.

[The above article is a submission for Marketing Pilgrim’s Search Engine Marketing Scholarship Contest. Each Monday in October, entries will be published and the most popular article of the week will qualify for the $5,000 grand prize. If you’d like to submit an entry, please view the contest entry-requirements and guidelines.]