Stacy Pessoney – Search Engine Marketing Tips

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Importance of Good Keyword Research

Good keyword research is the foundation for any SEO campaign. When you are looking for a good SEO company, avoid "guaranteed results" or companies that ask you what keywords you would like your site optimized for. If you are not working on the right keywords, then your whole campaign can be a huge waste of time and money.
Some companies have been known to guarantee certain rankings. Well, that can be pretty easy to accomplish if they optimize your site for a keyword that has no competition. You can end up spending a lot of money on nothing.

Keyword research should be a major part of the campaign. If someone asks you to choose your own, then you should turn and run the other way. Don’t get me wrong, you should be able to give your suggestions. After all, no one knows your business better than you. Your SEO company should work with you on determining whether or not your potential keyphrases will give you the best bang for your buck. Research generally starts with your suggestions and then grows from there.

The goal of good keyphrases is to generate traffic for your site. There may be some broad keyphrases that you need to optimize for, but there are likely some more specific keyphrases that will bring higher quality traffic to you. It’s all about the quality, not necessarily the quantity of viewers that you are going for here.

For example, let's say that your site sells appliances. You may want to optimize for the term "appliances" which could very well bring a lot of traffic to your site. But, you'll be getting everyone in the world looking for warranty information, inquiring about selling appliances themselves, looking for repairmen, or looking for parts. This type of traffic can be heavy and look great on results reports, but how much of this traffic actually turns into sales? Probably not much. If your SEO company does their job right, then you should end up with more specific keywords to compliment the broader ones. Your list may include "appliances", but it may also include "appliance distributor", "appliance Dallas" or "wholesale appliances".

The proper research is necessary before you can determine which keywords are actually being searched for by real people. Your SEO company should be looking for high volume searches on keywords related to your site that have been ignored by your competition. In other words, you may be able to find a niche that other companies have not yet discovered. Research on your competition’s keywords should be done as well. This is called "competitive intelligence" and not too many companies out there take the time to go this far. You need to do everything that the competition is doing, and then some, to make a real difference in your rankings.

About the Author: Stacy Pessoney is a Project Manager for ArteWorks SEO, one of the top search engine marketing companies in the world. A graduate of the University of Alabama, she implements and manages comprehensive SEO strategies and serve as an organizational liaison among company executives, clients and colleagues.

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

SEO Strategies for a Down Market

With the recent market woes, companies are nervous about what their 2009 marketing strategies will look like. Some will, inevitably, need to cut their budgets. At the same time, they want to have the most visibility possible on the search engines to drive in the business that is out there to be had.
Many are cutting down on TV spots and big magazine and billboard advertising and vamping up their Search Engine Optimization efforts. After all, a lot of their target audience has TiVo or DVR, rendering your TV spots useless, and they flip right past magazine ads to get to the articles they want to read.
Internet strategies just make sense. Since most internet users utilize the major search engines to find you, it makes even more sense to spend your money on optimizing your site and building your online social reputation. Not only will it benefit you now, but in the long-run as well, relieving your stress about the next “bad year”.
Online marketing efforts not only make your site easier for search engines to crawl and index. Current SEO goes beyond that. A good Search Engine Optimization Company keeps up with the constantly changing rank criteria that the search engines dish out. SEO companies can keep your site up to date with these changes throughout the year, so you are not relying on one advertising strategy made in January to keep you going all year round.
SEO companies will give you the consistently updating blogs and links that help you build your reputation. Social media is so important, that sites without it will rank lower and lower over time. SEO facilitates discussions and bookmarking by producing relevant, quality information about your industry. Search engines value this type of marketing because it gives the searcher a clear picture of who is putting forth the most effort with the most relevant information out there.
Investing in Search Engine Optimization is more important now than ever. The sooner you start, the more intricate your online social “web” will be. Search engines are now the primary means for customers to find suppliers. Search engines constantly make their results more relevant to the searchers needs. It can take a long time to become the most relevant result, especially if your competitors have been at it longer than you. Make sure that you select a top search engine marketing company to keep your site up to snuff and ready for the future of marketing.

About the Author: Stacy Pessoney is a Project Manager for ArteWorks SEO, one of the top search engine marketing companies in the world. A graduate of the University of Alabama, she implements and manages comprehensive SEO strategies and serve as an organizational liaison among company executives, clients and colleagues.

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Understanding Your Search Engine Ranking

If you’ve been checking your keyword rankings over the last few months or years, you may have noticed some changes in the results that are coming up. Keyword search results have evolved. You will need to adjust your strategy to keep up.
You may expect that your site should come up with your competitors’ sites. This may not necessarily be the case. Think about it from the search engine’s perspective. When someone searches, for example, lawn mowers, do you just want to bring up companies that sell lawn mowers? Not necessarily. Your results pool would be saturated with company names, when that may not be what the user was looking for at all.
Search engines have become more and more sophisticated over time. They are not looking to help anyone sell anything. Therefore, the search results, you’ll notice, now include a lot of blog discussions, books, videos and web casts, customer comments and articles about the keyword that you enter. This gives a more rich, diverse result for the search engine users.
Companies that sell are not excluded, but they are no longer the primary ranking holders that they used to be. Furthermore, sites that incorporate all of these other aspects of social media will be the companies that end up ranking higher and higher in the search. For example, you may have a wonderful, user friendly, search engine friendly site about lawn mowers. You may offer more and give better prices and customer service than your competitor. But, your competitor that has kept a current blog, released relevant information about lawn mowers, and sparked discussions and bookmarking among the public will rank higher than you anyway.
This gives everyone a fair advantage. It gives users a more complex picture of the rankings. I know that when I click on those first page results, I am going to get up to date information from companies and consumers like myself, not just the site of the company that pays the most for advertising and sells the most merchandise.
This gives smaller sites the unique ability to get visibility over the huge billion dollar budget companies. That is, if you play your cards wisely. Keeping your online reputation current, your visibility high and keeping up with the changes in the search engine world will require you to work with a world class search engine optimization company. Long gone are the days where spending the most money on advertising gets you the most customers. Money is probably better spent on Search Engine Optimization.

About the Author: Stacy Pessoney is a Project Manager for ArteWorks SEO, one of the top search engine marketing companies in the world. A graduate of the University of Alabama, she implements and manages comprehensive SEO strategies and serve as an organizational liaison among company executives, clients and colleagues.

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SEO vs. Paid AdWords

Google has been aggressively advertising the sale of their AdWords. So, a lot of people are wondering if this could be an option for them. After all, AdWords lets you basically pay to come up when someone searches for your keyword. Can buying up enough AdWords take the place of your SEO efforts? Not likely, according to the research.
AdWords can be purchased through Google and your advertisement will come up under a “Paid Advertisers” section when someone searches for your keyword. You can choose to pay per click or pay per impression. Google has improved this system a little by placing advertisements at the top of the search page instead of down the right side where it is seldom seen. The problem is, it still looks like an ad, even appearing at the top in that fancy blue box, and most people searching are looking for popular search results, not paid advertisements.
Not to say that AdWords are useless, to the contrary. They can drive some traffic to your website, but they aren’t likely to take the place of organic search results. Search Engine Optimization, when done correctly, creates a true interest in your site. It builds your online reputation and gives you a real standing when it comes to social media.
Long term, lasting results have proven to be extremely effective in building your reputation and consistently getting those high rankings that you dream of. It’s not just your reputation, but your actual site that is affected by SEO efforts. When you hire an SEO company, they work with you on getting your site to a search engine friendly state. This can immediately get you ranking higher on all the top search engines.
Some newer search engines are using social media to rank web sites. This seems to be the new trend in search engine rankings and no amount of paid advertisement can compete. SEO is not considered advertising at all. It is the realistic “organic” way to prove yourself to the masses, thus leading to higher rankings over time.
AdWords can give you some short-term gains and some people choose to buy some ad space in addition to their SEO efforts. But, it is pretty much universally accepted that AdWords will not be replacing SEO. With social media being heavily weighted in the search engines and beyond, AdWords simply can’t compete. If you use AdWords as part of your marketing plan, you may need to consider them solely as a sideline objective, not your main plan of action.

About the Author: Stacy Pessoney is a Project Manager for ArteWorks SEO, one of the top search engine marketing companies in the world. A graduate of the University of Alabama, she implements and manages comprehensive SEO strategies and serve as an organizational liaison among company executives, clients and colleagues.

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