LSSQTFCP (Local site seeks quality traffic for conversion purposes)

By Simon Heseltine.

Hi, I’m a fairly new web site, I’ve been in the area for about 6 months (ok, if you want to check out my registration date, 7 months). My primary interests are sign ups to my newsletter, and sales of multicolored sprockets (I have over 700 colors in my inventory). I’m looking for quality traffic, but am also interested in casual linking, although I’m not really into reciprocal. I’ve ‘dipped my pages’ in a couple of the social sites, and while I had fun (especially with that article on weasels and phlegm) I didn’t get a warm glow in my bottom line. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve paid for traffic in the past, in fact at one point I was paying for as much as I could get, with my goal then being to maximize my CTR. Now that I’ve matured and know more of what I want out of life, my focus has switched over to conversions. So if you’re interested in finding out more about multicolored sprockets in the local area, give me a click and we’ll take it from there.

SEOTRIZ

By Shavkat Karimov.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a set of internal (on-page) and external (off-page) works to bring a website to the top of search engines. The purpose of SEO is not only getting the site to the first page of SERP (search engine’s results page) but also keeping it there. SEO is not just a craft; it’s both an art and a science.

What is TRIZ?

TRIZ is a Russian theory of inventive problem solving. It’s an algorithm as well as a set of methodologies and tools for resolving a given task by breaking its contradictions and providing steps to complete it. TRIZ is a powerful problem-solving tool based on the patterns of inventions discovered from decades of study of the world’s most inventive patents. Use search engines to discover more about TRIZ.

What is SEOTRIZ?

SEOTRIZ is a new approach to SEO powered by the TRIZ methodology. With SEOTRIZ, one is able to solve SEO tasks better and faster with more efficient tactics and strategies. It helps get successful results with less effort and expense. TRIZ tools like “Ideal Final Result”, “Reverse Action”, “9 Screens”, “- 2 +” or “Cutting the Pie” are applied here for SEO purposes.

SEOTRIZ includes:

- A set of problem-solving principles;

- A “shadow-algorithm” of ones from search engines;

- A database of resources / a knowledgebase;

- A professional development model.

SEOTRIZ allows anyone to be ahead of competition by better understanding SEO tasks and using tools to achieve better results. It’s not just about solving the problem but rather how to choose the most elegant ones: those that use the most effective means. Here are some samples of major SEO tasks and contradictions and how SEOTRIZ solves them:

Problem: Content is a king… No time to write lots of original content. Optimization requires time and knowledge too.

Solution: The content is generated by users (Wiki) or by a program (auto-content, directory, lists) and is automatically optimized (CMSs, blogs + plugins).

Problem: Links are everything… Asking for links is time consuming and not very efficient.

Solution: External resources link to you by themselves. Because:

- it earns them easy money (affiliate/referral program);

- shows their authority in a field (network member / contests / background checking site / technical support system);

- or gives their visitors something more on the subject covered (reference resource / useful tools, info or data.)

Problem: Keywords are highly competitive… Too costly to compete with major players, and it requires a lot of time.

Solution: You “cut the pie” and aim specific parts of the market divided by:

- locations (countries; cities; zipcodes);

- industries/products;

- time periods (daytime, season, future);

- user-types (ages; sexes; professions; languages; social groups).

And use a “long tail strategy” by competing for a good number of less competitive keywords.

The best example for SEOTRIZ is the well-known Wikipedia project. It encompasses everything what SEOTRIZ represents: original, useful, optimized, and self-creating content; automated, “heavy”, one-way inbound links; effective vertical web-wide expansion; amongst others. With SEOTRIZ, you can maximize SEO goals or incorporate the concepts into your own marketing applications.

This new powerful methodology SEOTRIZ helps both novice and advanced SEO specialists to maintain their pages at the top of search engine results with a stronger method in their hands. More information is available at: SEOTRIZ.com.

Press Releases: The other paid search option

Buying your way into natural search rankings with press releases

By John W Ellis

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The concept of paid search marketing is not new for online marketing experts. By bidding on keywords, a website is positioned in a search engine’s sponsored listings. Anyone willing to spend the marketing dollars is able to compete.

Paying for space has long been the distinction between pay-per-click (PPC) and natural search rankings. However, recently with the new rules of Web 2.0 that line is being crossed. Now the two are blending together with press releases. New tools are providing marketing experts ways to pay for high natural rankings as well as sponsored search positions.

Big SEO Projects – A Strategy To Get Them

By Marios Alexandrou.

Ask 10 search engine optimizers if they know the difference between a strategy and a tactic and I bet all 10 of them will nod their heads. If you then asked those same 10 people to give you an example of a strategy, 9 of them would in fact describe tactics instead and not even realize they did so.

Pointing out their error would likely elicit a response along the lines of, “It doesn’t matter if I don’t know the difference. I can optimize a site better than anyone!” Except it does matter because one day they’re going to have to compete for the opportunity to work on a very large SEO project and what’s going to really help them land the project is understanding the language that senior management uses. This understanding will help them craft a message that resonates with executives who are then more likely to sign the contract.

Vision, Strategy, and Tactics
When a big SEO project comes your way, it’s often accompanied by a vision from the project stakeholders that goes beyond the “get me more traffic” requests common of mom-and-pop sites. The vision will probably be something along the lines of “be the leader of such-and-such” or “be the most respected for this-and-that”. The best response to a vision statement is a strategy that describes the overarching approach to achieve the vision. And only when the strategy is vetted and has received general approval should you dive in to the actual steps i.e. the tactics that you’ll use to fulfill the objectives of the strategy.

I’ll admit that I once had a hard time wrapping my head around what having a strategy really meant. Yes, I was one of the 9 optimizers that would list tactics when asked for a strategy. What actually helped me understand the difference was working backwards. First, I listed all the things I do as a professional SEO such as keyword research, writing keyword-rich titles, removing session IDs from URLs, submitting links to directories, and analyzing web traffic reports. The list, as you can imagine, ended up being quite long. The light bulb started to brighten when I moved to the second step of marking each item as either being a tactic or a strategy. Much to my chagrin, not one of them qualified as a strategy. It then all came together with one simple question that popped into my head. If I executed a selected set of tactics perfectly and the results were as expected, how would the client’s situation change over a period of 6 to 12 months? The answer to that question is the strategy that, had it been identified up-front, would’ve led to an appropriate list of tactics.

Strategy in the Real-World
The problem is that while this backward approach is helpful for understanding concepts, it can be a time waster in practice since a lot of thinking can go in to figuring out the tactics that end up leading to a strategy that fails to address the vision. Instead, it is much more effective to start with a strategy and work your way through to the tactics.

Are you still unsure of the difference? Here are a couple of generic, but hopefully illustrative examples:

The Client’s Vision: The CMO of Company A has been charged with making her company the market share leader for the recently developed Product A.

Your Analysis of the Situation: Company B’s web site which sells Product B is such an established authority that Company A’s web site will never rank #1 for relevant, high volume keywords.

Your SEO Strategy v1: Increase the perception of quality of Product A so that more people will buy from Company A.

Partial List of Tactics v1: Build a comprehensive resource around why Product A is better than Product B and use SEO best practices to obtain first page rankings. Use catchy browser titles to draw attention away from Product B’s #1 ranking.

Your SEO Strategy v2: Build awareness for Product A with potential customers when they are in the research phase of the buying cycle so that when ready, they’ll buy it instead of Product B.

Partial List of Tactics v2: Publish an information site that discusses issues and trends in the industry. Apply SEO techniques to the site to obtain search engine traffic. Place banner ads in highly visible locations on the information site to drive buyers to a site where they can purchase Product A.

Depending on the scope and budget, you could have multiple strategies and most certainly your list of tactics would be longer than my examples. You might also find that with your SEO projects there is significant overlap between the tactics used for different strategies and visions. Overlap is to be expected given that there’s only a limited set of SEO tactics and many are closely related. The key idea is that a strategy will help you win the backing of senior management in a way that droning on and on about duplicate content, h1 tags, and PageRank will not. In addition, explicitly developing a strategy will help guide your team’s thought processes and decision-making throughout the engagement.

So, what’s your strategy?

Google is Evil

By Saravanan S.

Who thinks so? Not me! While there is a lot of debate on Google becoming evil, lets put that aside and see how to use some cool tools from Google. And these are free tools that will help you with your search engine optimization and pay per click marketing efforts.

Instant Visibility – Google Adwords: Though technically not a tool, this is one of the best advertising platforms on the internet and one which google has been constantly improving while Yahoo and MSN are playing catch up. While it takes a while to learn the nuances of google adwords, once you do so it gives tremendous leverage for your business.

Google Keyword Selector Tool: As the name indicates the tool helps you generate keyword lists which you can utilize to advertise on the pay per click search engines or you can use it to optimize your website. However what many people don’t realize is this tool can be utilized for two critical things, competitor analysis and optimizing your landing page. https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal

Improving your Quality Score – Within the Keyword Selector tool there is an option to input an URL and Google will tell you the keywords that it thinks are relevant to that URL. Now putting in your URL you can figure out how well your landing page is optimized and apply changes to your landing page and improve your adwords quality score

Spying on Competition – Next thing you want to do is put in your competitors URL and see which keywords their pages are optimized for. You might get some insights into what you are missing and you would to get to know how aggressive the competitor is at the least. Though I have talked about applying this to pay per click, there is nothing stopping you to apply it to your SEO efforts.

Increasing your conversion – Google Website Optimizer – After spending your $$ on the search engines, you definitely want the people to convert into leads/sales after they land on your website. There are different sections in a page like the content section, the form capture section, header section and you can present different messages in the content section, different color scheme and so on.

The google website optimizer is a multivariate testing tool that allows you to have 8 sections and 127 different variations within each section. Now that is some tremendous computing power that can be utilized to cut down the time involved in optimizing your landing page or any page on your site. https://www.google.com/analytics/siteopt/siteopt/help/overvw.html

Google Analytics: This is an enterprise class web analytics application that will let you track all your website marketing efforts and find out what works and what doesn’t. Now one cool trick is to use broad matching on adwords and find out the actual keywords people used to land on your website. Though you wouldn’t be able to track this information directly with google analytics, there is a hack which will let you do just this. http://www.ga-experts.co.uk/blog/2006/11/how-to-get-detailed-ppc-keyword-data.htm

This article focus has been mostly about utilizing the google tools to optimize your search engine marketing efforts and if you need a strategic framework to handle pay per click marketing, you can read through one of my earlier articles. http://www.marketingpilgrim.com/2006/10/strategize-your-pay-per-click-campaign-for-maximum-profits-in-7-easy-steps.html

Wish you best with your website marketing efforts. :-)

So You Wanna Be a Search Marketer

By Nicole St. Martin.

The search marketing industry is still in it’s infancy, now more the ever companies are realizing that they need to incorporate aspects of search marketing in order to compete in today’s saturated online marketplace.

Search marketers are in demand; there are more available search marketing positions then qualified search marketers to fill them. This is great news for those wannabe’s wishing to join the fascinating and ever evolving world of search engine marketing.

I found search marketing purely by accident. One day I was asked by my then marketing manager to “figure out how to get our websites listed in Google” from that day forward I immersed myself in anything and everything industry related. I would imagine that’s how many of today’s search marketers learned SEO.

Search marketing requires knowledge in many different areas but if you profile any of today’s successful search marketers, their savvy soft skills are what makes them leaders in the search marketing industry.

5 Must Have Qualities for a Search Marketer

1. Passion & Eagerness to Learn

Having a marketing background is helpful but certainly not necessary so please don’t go creating student loans when you don’t have to – The beauty of the search marketing industry is that it is full of chatter boxes that love to talk shop.

2. Thinking Outside the Box

It’s unfortunate that people today tend to over simplify what search marketing is. Regardless of what you’ve probably read online, search marketing is not about Meta tags, keyword stuffing, hidden text, or search engine submissions. True search marketing is about “making your website the best it can be for your website visitors and the search engines”. Quote: Jill Whalen of High Rankings

Search marketing is very strategic in nature and immensely difficult. Search marketers are constantly analyzing information in order to improve search campaigns. Search techniques are never black and white so you must be able to think outside the box.

3. Dedication

Search marketing requires you to have a massive amount of knowledge and of course dedication to keeping up to one of the fasting moving industries around. You absolutely must be up for the challenge of continual growth.

Get involved with search marketing associations such as SEMPO. Attend popular search marketing conferences and seminars; Search engine strategies is currently the premier search marketing event. Last but not least, never under estimate the power of networking, what else are you going to use your business cards for?

4. Listening Skills

Be humble, listen and take advice from your peers; they might just have the solution to a problem you’ve been trying to solve for a month. Unlike other snobbish industries, search marketing professionals are happy to share their findings and ideas.

5. Patience

Educating others on the “known’s and unknowns” (thanks Donald Rumsfeld) of search marketing requires a great deal of patience, as well as dealing with the constant natural up’s and down’s of any search marketing campaign.

Last but not least, never be afraid to surround yourself with people who know more then you do. With a little hard work, determination and know-how, you too can become a search marketer.

Creating an SEM Sidekick that Would Make Batman Jealous!

By Taylor Pratt.

Being the best usually means working with the best. Where would Johnny Carson have been without the support of Ed McMahon? You think Batman had a serious chance against Two-Face without Robin (assuming he isn’t played by Chris O’Donnell, of course)?

Creating a sidekick with Chewbacca caliber seems impossible, but what if it was as easy as installing a few lines of code or typing in a username and password? Wouldn’t it be great if you could figure out what keywords people actually are typing into the Search Engines and clicking through to your site? And how about what pages they are clicking through to the most? Hallelujah! It really is that easy to access this kind of information.

Most websites today have some type of analytics installed that their SEM is overlooking (Holy missed opportunity Batman!) While your eyes are glazing over at the thought of reading an article about analytics, I’d like to make an argument that they are more than just numbers. Analytics tell a story, and they just might be the sidekick you’re looking for.

I like to consider my customer’s analytics data as a story, with 4 major chapters that build off of one another:

Chapter 1: Keyword Analysis

Chapter 2: Tracking Your Visitors

Chapter 3: Page Analysis

Chapter 4: Measuring ROI

Chapter 1: Keyword Analysis. Looking through the thousands of keywords (hopefully) that visitors clicked through to your site on, can provide you with a wealth of information that should strongly impact your SEM campaign. At the beginning you can use these keywords as suggestions as to what you should be targeting. It is a great way to dive into the mind of the customer and get a better understanding as to what language they use when describing your product or services.

Your internal search engine is like a golden ticket into the mind of your customer. You know they are interested in your services, and now you get to see what they think right keywords are. Closely analyze these keywords, and see where you could be targeting them and if they would bring in enough traffic to merit such a focus.

During your campaign, these keywords are a great measurement to determine how effectively you are using your targeted terms on your site. Analyze the long tail keywords, and make sure you are focusing on the best terms. But how can you tell which terms are the most important? We learn that in Chapter 2.

Chapter 2: Tracking Your Visitors. What good is ranking number 1 in Google for “Batman” if none of your visitors take action or “convert.” Your best keywords are the keywords that lead the visitor to your page, and once they get there, they click through to the rest of your site. Your analytics make it simple for you: 50 visitors came from Google searching for “Batman,” and 0 clicked through. 15 visitors came from Google searching for “batmobile die cast car” and 10 of them clicked through. Data like this tells us we need to refocus our SEM campaign to focus on the language the customer is using, not just the terms that bring in the most traffic.

Don’t overlook what keywords your visitors are coming in on from the other search engines either. Obviously most search engines have their own ranking algorithms. Use that to your advantage by analyzing the keywords your visitors are coming in from on each the engines. I’ve found great keywords that I didn’t even know I was ranking for in MSN, but I was nowhere to be found in Google. Once I knew it was important, I was able to work it into my SEM campaign.

Also included in Chapter 2, is tracking where your visitors came from. Are your paid links actually sending targeted traffic to your site? Are your links doing anything more than improving your rankings?

Chapter 3: Page Analysis. Your Analytics sidekick also gives you the invaluable information of learning at what point the customer leaves your site. Was it something they didn’t like on the page? Did they think your shopping cart process was frustrating? If you find enough people leaving your site at the same point, you should put up a red flag and take another look at your page. Your best option might be to do some user testing. Regardless, you want more than traffic, you want conversions.

Looking at the pages that your visitors are clicking away from should also raise a few eyebrows. Are they finding their answers on this page? Should we expand on our content? What relevant internal pages should we be linking to in order to make it easier for the customer to find what they want?

And while you are tracking your visitors click path, you should be able to calculate the ROI of your current SEM strategy.

Chapter 4: Measuring ROI. Identifying which keywords, search engines, links, and even e-mail marketing campaigns are generating the highest conversions from the traffic they send, is a great way to measure your campaign ROI. If conversions are down, or aren’t improving the way you want them too, then you might want to consider modifying your current campaign.

Are the costs of your SEM project justifying themselves? If you’re like P.Diddy and writing lots of checks and still aren’t going platinum, then you should be reconsidering your strategy and your investment in general.

Having the ability to see which keywords and sources are bringing you the best traffic is an invaluable resource. You need to know where to increase spending and where to focus.

Analytics are a constant measurement resource identifying which search strategies are working and which strategies are failing (or making no impact at all.) Don’t try and fight your competition shorthanded, you have an invaluable sidekick just waiting to help you. Don’t ignore your analytics. There are plenty of great free resources and great analytics blogs to keep you from being frustrated, and to maximize your analytics potential.