SEO/SEM

Search Engine Optimization/Search Engine Marketing (or Pay Per Click Advertising)

Why pay for search?

There are some great reasons to pay per click searches. SEO is a long game, with rules that periodically change and require whole new strategies. PPC is fast, but seldom cheap. The thing I really like about paid clicks is the ability to choose the landing page– and tailor the content to specifically what you want your “click” to do (within limits set up by Google and the others). It seems to get harder and harder to make money with paid search, but it’s still way cheaper than just about all the “traditional” analog marketing methods (in my experience).

How to optimize for search

What the search engines are looking for is a good search “experience” for their users. Our job is to provide useful content. Forget about meta tags– that’s so 2003. Here’s what the 500 pound gorilla (Google) looks at (primarily): your URL, your title tag and your H1 (headline) copy. Google’s AI says it can’t see pictures yet (sure) so for now just humor them and include ‘alt’ or ‘title’ text inside the <img> tag. There are lots of tools out there for keyword density; if I were you, I’d focus on writing that is clear, compelling, captivating– writing that tells a story– rather than trying to cram in keywords.

Figure out where you stand before you start your optimization. Plug in some search terms you’d like to “win” at, and see where you show up (at all). After your initial work, give it about 3 weeks for the search to crawl your site (by the way, don’t every pay someone to post your website to a search engine– again, so 2003). Now run the search query again, and document what your search “rank” is (example: 3rd page, 5th position). The goal is first page, but that may not be realistic for a broad term (especially if you’re in a super-competitive niche) so you might want to focus on some longer-tail terms initially.

How do you know what people are searching for? Analytics will tell you that…

Google AdWords Certified

I’ve been doing Google AdWords Advertising since the “salad days” of around 2006 when the clicks were cheap and competition was still pretty weak. Even with more competition and less “deals” on keywords, there’s still lots of money to be made on PPC Advertising…

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