http://bit.ly/16qnxjnSearch Engine Marketing (SEM), or in simple terms, web marketing, can be very confusing for business owners so my intention with this article is to simplify it and give you an overview of what it’s all about. In essence, SEM is the art of driving traffic to your site, converting prospects into paying customers and measuring the results so you know what’s working and what’s not. In order to do that for your business, you have to know where you currently stand in terms of your own search engine marketing.
Search Engine Marketing: Where Do You Rank on Google?
The best way to start is to find out how you rank on Google. It’s worth taking a moment to find this out because if you can’t find yourself on Google, chances are your prospects can’t either.
If you don’t know how to go about finding yourself on Google, your best bet is to ask “Well, what words would the average person type into Google if they wanted to find my business? (These words are called keywords.)
This is where it gets interesting because in order to do this, you need to crawl inside your prospect’s head and start thinking like they do. This is easier said than done because people will search for your service using words that would never have occurred to you.
Search Engine Marketing: How Do You Know What Your Keywords Are?
To work out what those keywords are you first need to put yourself in the shoes of your customer. What words would they use? What phrases would they use?
Let’s make some assumptions to demonstrate the principle. Let’s assume:
- you’re a lawyer specializing in workers compensation law
- that the person seeking your services lives in Melbourne and has never had to contact a lawyer before.
So here’s what that person might type in to Google to find you:
- “Lawyer, Melbourne”
- “Solicitor, Melbourne”
- “Workers Compensation“
- “Workers Comp Lawyer”
- “Workers Compensation Lawyer, Melbourne”
Keywords don’t just refer to ‘words’ but to ‘phrases’ as well eg “Lawyers in Melbourne” is a phrase that would be used, not just “Lawyers.”
Now, all those search terms (or keywords) will bring up different search results so it’s worth trying out a few different combinations to see if it makes any difference to where you rank.
Depending on your ranking, you’ll either be pleasantly surprised, mildly pleased or drastically worried. Whatever the result, take comfort in the fact that at least you now know where you rank on Google.
This exercise begs the question: if you’re not on page one of Google, who is? This is the perfect opportunity to work out where your competitors rank. Take note of who the high rankers are and take a virtual stroll through their website and see what they’re up to. Here’s a few things they are probably doing well:
- Use the right keywords on their website
- Get lots of relevant sites to link to theirs
- Use the right keywords in those links
- Have lots of content on their site and add more regularly
Search Engine Marketing: 7 Steps to A Successful Keyword Analysis
Keyword Analysis is the first thing you should do when embarking on a Search Engine Marketing campaign. The first thing you need to do when you begin chasing a good search engine ranking is decide which words you want to rank well for. This is called performing a ‘keyword analysis.’ Here’s a few tips to get you going.
Step 1: Choose a product or service that you’d like to promote
For example, using the lawyer case study, you might choose your Workers Compensation service as a starting point. Then, when you’ve refined your SEM techniques, you can promote another service you offer like Medical Negligence or Family Law.
Step 2: Create a “master list” of all potential keywords
Make a master list of all the words and phrases that people would use to find your service. Use your instincts and imagination to do this. To get you going, start with your own site. Print off every page and then highlight all the words that relate to your service.
Step 3: Look at what your competitors are doing
Look at your competitors’ sites, especially the ones that rank well. Print off all their pages and highlight all the words that relate to your service.
Step 4: Look at the View/Source coding
Look at the “View/Source” coding of your competitors’ sites. This is a clever tool that legally allows you to see all the keywords that your competitor has nominated as being important to them.
It’s easy to access: Just click on View/Source on any website and it will take you to a page of coding. Yes, it looks confusing but don’t panic – just look for the line saying “Keywords”. Next to it will be a selection of keywords that the website owner considers to be the keywords they think prospects will use to search for them on Google. If their site ranks well, it’s a good indication of what keywords you should be using. Yes, this is legal to do and yes, you can access the code for every website on the planet using View/Source.
Step 5: Write your AdWords Advertisements
Write a series of AdWords advertisements (8-10 different advertisements is a good number to aim for) using a selection of these keywords to promote your product.
Run the campaign for a few weeks to see which of the advertisements give you the best result.
Step 6: Check your success using Google Analytics
Using Google’s free measurement and tracking tool, Google Analytics, you’ll be able to quickly discover what your top performing keywords are. Once you know what your top performing AdWords advertisements are, keep running those advertisements and ditch the rest because you don’t want to be wasting money paying for AdWords advertisements that aren’t working.
Running an AdWords campaign is easy to set up but can be costly to run. I’ve had many clients tell me that they’ve started a campaign but stopped it because they didn’t know if it was working or not.
If you don’t know how to write an AdWords campaign or you don’t know how to measure whether it’s working or not, don’t do it. It’s too easy to waste a lot of money and not get the result you want.
Your best option is to do a short course in how to write AdWords or at least do some research on how to use it effectively before you start spending money.
Step 7: Rewrite your web copy and coding to include your keywords
Re-write your website copy, especially your Home Page and key landing pages, making sure that it’s liberally sprinkled with those top performing keywords. Never sacrifice readability or engagement for loading up your page with keywords. Some clients think if they repeat the key word often enough it’ll help their Google ranking. It won’t. It’s what you say, not how many times you say it.
Ideally, by the time you’ve implemented all these steps, you’ll have started to drive more traffic to your site (via AdWords) and then converted the prospects to paying customers (via skilful web copywriting). And you’ll know whether or not any of this is working (via Google Analytics). There are many other things you can do to improve your Google ranking but try these techniques as a starting point. Search Engine Marketing is the future of marketing and like it or not, it’s here’s to stay so it’s worth getting familiar with how it works and how it can help you.
http://bit.ly/12EuEicIt is important to understand two things when embarking on your own Search Engine Marketing (SEM) campaign. First, the search engines are all about making money and will gladly help you spend your marketing budget in a way which benefits them the most and not necessarily look after your best interest. Secondly, the search engines are about offering relevant search results as without relevancy they would have no users.
While most search engines have taken on a public position similar to “church and state” in separating their PPC business lines with their organic search group, one can simple read their annual reports to gain insight as to which side of the house their income in being derived from.
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) is nothing more than an online advertising/marketing campaign. One in which you pay the search engine for every click which materializes by the searcher. Understanding how the PPC bidding process works is a key factor to your online success. Not only will every keyword or keyword phrase be priced differently, but the competitive landscape also influences the price of keyword clicks as well as your desired page position. Let’s take a look at some of the do’s and don’ts of search engine marketing.
Research which keywords to use for your search engine marketing campaign – Besides documenting the obvious keywords first which make sense for your property, go ahead and visit your competitors’ websites. On the home page of your competitor’s website, click on “view” in your browser’s tool bar and scroll down to “View Source”. This will open up a new browser window on your screen which will show you the website computer code for your competitor’s home page. Next, look for a line of code near the top of the screen which is titled “keywords”. That line of text will show you which keywords your competitor is marketing themselves on via their organic search optimization efforts. Researching your competitor’s keywords will help you to fine tune your own list of keywords for your PPC program. Another good resource is to use Google Keyword Tool, which is found at https://adwords.google.com. This tool will help you find hundreds of relevant keywords for your PPC campaign. These keywords even include misspellings of popular keywords. Looking over your website server logs will also provide you with some insight as to which keywords your visitors are using to find your website.
Bid to be in the top 3 search positions – The search engines have found more ways to spend your online marketing budget by syndicating their top listings to their network of third party search engines. So if you want your listing to appear on other search engines, it’s best to be positioned in the top 3 listings…which will cost you more on a pay per click basis of course. Bidding to be in the top 3 positions must be done in a very targeted manner to gain the most value. Again, stay away from highly generic terms but instead target long-tail keyword phrases.
Search Engine Marketing: Practices to Avoid
Don’t pay the most per click just because you want to see your brand in the number one position all the time – As mentioned previously PPC is mostly a bidding game, with the top rankings going to the highest bidder. So while it may make sense for you to bid top dollar for your company’s name on Google, it doesn’t make any sense to bid as aggressively for generic terms. Doing so will certainly cause you to exhaust your PPC marketing budget in no time with irrelevant click throughs, which the search engines will happily send your way.
Don’t send users to your homepage – If you’re paying for search engine marketing make a relevant landing page on your website which provides content relevant to the search term. This extra step will go a long way towards increasing your online conversions from click to customer.
http://bit.ly/12xJaIvBusinesses must effectively use Social Media Monitoring to keep informed of what is being said about their Brand online. This activity tracks online mentions to keep business apprised of sentiment, both positive and negative, coming from consumers and potential customers.
Local Brand Monitoring: Venturelabs Study
There are many tools and providers that offer brand monitoring capabilities to help keep companies in the information loop. One such provider is Venuelabs, a Washington based brand monitoring company. They offer a location-based social media analytics product that provides brick & mortar brands with deep location-based insight into customer experience, sentiment, trends, and the overall health of their storefronts.
A recent Venturelabs study has found a troubling trend in the brand monitoring tactics of local companies. It demonstrates how brand monitoring and social media monitoring strategies employed by major brands are missing as much as 86% of local consumer sentiment about their in-store experiences.
“The results of our analysis found that as consumer usage of the mobile internet has continued to skyrocket, the basic characteristics of the ‘digital footprint’ left by consumers have changed dramatically,” said Pete Mannix Venuelabs Co-Founder and CTO, “Considering that nearly 40% of Internet usage is from a mobile device, implied user context, particularly location, has become far more critical to understanding the customer.”
Local Brand Monitoring: Location is the New Keyword
Consumers are using mobile devices to interact with brands in new ways, sharing in-store experiences beyond social to include mobile and location-based services like Foursquare and Instagram.
“Fundamentally, location is the new keyword,” said Venuelabs CEO Neil Crist, “The gap of current brand monitoring technologies is being felt today by brands large and small, who are adopting the Venuelabs platform to extend their listening the ‘last mile’ to their local storefronts – where they are finding significantly more valuable and more actionable customer intelligence.”
Local Brand Monitoring: Infographic of Study Results
http://bit.ly/10wgL2LIf you want targeted visitors to your site, you are going to have to use local search engine optimization techniques. It’s not a matter of choice if you want to drive that traffic! Therefore, it’s imperative that you learn what you need to know about Austin SEO techniques. Continue reading to find out how to use Local SEO to promote traffic in Austin, TX.
One thing you must learn is to make sure you know how to use keywords correctly. You’re going to need to develop a keyword list that is niche specific and has search terms that you know people are going to search in order to find your business. When you have developed this list of keywords, you can then start using them to help you with Austin SEO.
One of the things you must realize is that your local keywords must be placed strategically. In order to do this, you must realize these keywords like Austin and Austin, Texas need to be in your titles, meta tags, URLs, content body and much more. However, you must do this strategically within a certain keyword density. A keyword density of two to five percent is ideal.
You must also realize that you need to develop a presence online if you’re going to really enhance your local search engine results for your business. For instance, in today’s world, a search results page pulls up blogs, forums, social media sites, pages, businesses, articles and much more. Therefore, can you see how you might want to get involved in these things. It not only networks your business, but it also networks you with the local search engines as well.
Austin SEO Techniques: Tips and Tricks for Writing Proper Content
Part of being a successful local business online is churning out great, SEO-friendly content. Actually writing this content yourself will save you a lot of money in the long run, but it’s always important that you’re able to command attention with your Austin SEO writing. Unless you’re able to quickly grab attention, your content may be ignored altogether.
- Create a headline that commands attention. You want to capture someone’s attention, and this requires some literary talent. Alliterations, rhymes, puns, and phrases which emphasize benefits succinctly will make a reader feel like browsing the rest of your content.
- A title is a great location for a local keyword. The general rule here is that the higher in the article a keyword is placed, the more relevant it will stand to a search engine. Just remember not to force it in there, though. Find a local keyword or phrase that flows naturally with what you’re writing about.
- While it is true that a great writer can wow people with only words, you also have to remember that we’re talking about the internet here. Using graphics and high-quality images to capture Austin SEO attention is a great move that you should employ where applicable.
- Writing Austin SEO articles for your site or for directories gives you a great chance to format them with multiple headers. If you’re adding tags to each header, you’re essentially giving your article a much better chance of ranking highly per its respective category.
- Though you may be inclined to break out the thesaurus to use bigger words and fluffier adjectives, you should resist this temptation and just use a very basic vocabulary. With web content, the idea is to communicate directly with people via a conversational tone; you don’t want to talk over people’s heads.
- You may think that more words give you more opportunity to put in your keywords, but you’re actually losing readers with longer content. You have to look at SEO and at developing a readership, with the readership actually holding more importance. So be short and concise with your content. Don’t fluff it up with purple prose and vexing verbiage.
- No matter what you’re writing about, you need to place a call to action at the end. This doesn’t have to be designed to sell anything; it can be to simply remind someone to sign up for a newsletter or to take some other type of action. Every great web article needs a strong call to action to conclude with.
Writing quality local SEO web content gives your readers something to look forward to and will ultimately help you to develop a larger audience in Austin, Texas
Austin SEO Techniques: More Useful Tips
Another one of the great Austin SEO techniques that can help you out is the use of a site map. If you construct a site map, you’re not only making your site better for the public, but you’re also making it more easily navigable for the search engines as well. Make sure you’re incorporating a site map into your site.
Branching out your business and branding it through different local pages for the search engines has been mentioned, but there is a SEO technique that fits hand in hand with this. You need to be practicing back linking. SEO Back linking provides links back to your site, either from other pages of yours or through other people’s sites in various ways. You can guest blog, post on forums, practice article marketing and more to increase your rank against other Austin businesses.
Whatever you do, do not involve yourself with black hat SEO techniques. This can derail all of your Local SEO efforts. Many people think they can take shortcuts with these techniques, but you just can’t do that. You can end up de-indexed and not listed the search engine rankings at all.
It’s time to make sure you’re employing the right Austin SEO techniques to help you get more targeted local traffic. Utilize the steps provided here to help you move forward with Austin search engine optimization. It does take time, and you must be patient. However, you will see your site climbing the local rankings soon and profits increasing.
http://bit.ly/13fBPMASEO means Search Engine Optimization. In basic terms, SEO is the process of making your website more relevant to the major search engines. Increasing your relevancy will mean that your site shows up higher in their search rankings. Due to its overwhelming market share, Google is usually the search engine you will optimize for.
Local SEO is optimizing your website to rank highly for local based search terms (keywords). Instead of just ranking for a general keyword like “Widgets”, you would try to rank for “Widgets Texas” or “Austin Widgets”.
Local SEO techniques are becoming an increasingly popular, especially by businesses in mid-sized and small cities. There are certain advantages when optimizing for localized search terms:
- Can Be Easier To Rank — It is generally easier to rank for a local search term because it is less competitive. Instead of competing against all of North America, you are only fighting for position with those in your local area. Many times, you can rank near or at the top of Google for these terms with much less work.
- More Targeted — When people are searching locally, they are more often to be ready to buy. It also makes sure that the people finding your site are local and can actually use your services. If you rank for “Widgets” people all over the world will find your site, but if you localize that search term you will be targeting people who are searching from your area. Depending on your product, most customers often start their search locally first. If they find someone competent that they feel comfortable with, they often stop searching.
With the explosions of mobile Internet, finding businesses through search engines will only get more popular. At one time, every business wanted to be in the Yellow Pages. Well, the day of the search engine is here and you want to rank for these local terms. With less competition you can rank quicker and with less effort. You will be tapping into a perpetual funnel of local-based web searches.
When you have a website, you want it to rank near the top of the search rankings for localized searches.
Keywords are the words or terms that people use to search in Google. If you do a search for “Cheap Flights” on Google, then the keyword is: cheap flight. Keyword brainstorming and research is an important first step in any Local SEO plan. These general steps will get you off to a good start.
Sit down and make a list of every keyword term that someone would search for to find your ‘Widget’ company. Don’t worry about local terms right now — just think of what people would search in any part of the world to find a service like yours. Write down as many terms as possible. Think of a wide variety of terms, all the way from one word terms (short-tail) to 3+-word terms (long-tail). You can also ask friends and family for their input. This will give you an outside perspective from an everyday person.
If you get stuck thinking about terms, you can get some help from Google itself. Just take one of the keyword terms you thought of and enter it into the Google Keyword Tool. This will give you a list of related terms and their estimated search numbers. Keep in mind we will localize these terms, so the amount of searches will not be directly applicable — but it still gives you an idea of what keywords are searched more often. Spend a good chunk of time on this, and try to get a list of 20-30 keyword terms.
Now that you have your keyword list, simply localize them. Add your location (town or city, maybe the state/province if you are in a city with common name). If your Widget services are in demand in a number of towns, then add the other towns in front of the keyword as well. For example… City One + Keyword One City One + Keyword Two … City Two + Keyword One City Two + Keyword Two Etc… So each new town you use will be another five local keyword terms. Once you have localized your keywords, you will now have a list of local keyword terms that you can begin ranking for. While this is a basic form of keyword research, it is leagues ahead of most of the online marketing that local businesses do.
Local SEO Techniques: The Basics
To understand Local SEO techniques completely would be a book on its own, but here are some basics. If you have built your website using WordPress, you could do some of the on-page steps yourself. If you went with an HTML design, you might have to get your web designer to make a couple of changes. The changes will be quick though, so it shouldn’t take too much time. Local SEO can be broken into two main categories: On-page and Off-page.
Local SEO Techniques: On-Page Factors
On-Page means exactly what it says. These are the steps you take on your actual site or blog to make it more friendly to the search engines. While there are many things to consider, some great first steps include:
You might have to get your web designer to fix these for you if you use a traditional HTML website. These are simply the titles of each page and are the first thing Google sees when it finds a new page. The “title” in this case is what is displayed ABOVE the address bar in your Internet browser. It is at the very top of the browser. On Google.com, “Google” is the page title.If you are familiar with HTML code, this is usually accomplished with the <title></title> tags near the top of the code. If you are savvy enough, you can change them yourself — just remove what is in between them and paste in one of your keywords.
In WordPress, you can handle this even easier through uses of plugins like All-in-One SEO. Each page of your site should have a different title tag. Make it one of the keywords that you created in the previous step. In some smaller towns, this is all you will need to do to get to the first page of Google for localized terms. If you use WordPress, you can access Permalinks through the Settings and create a custom structure like: /%postname%/. This will make the title tag of every post you create to be the same as the Post Title. So just name your blog posts with keywords and you will automatically have keyword rich title tags. Another point for WordPress.
You want to mention your keywords in your content, but not too much. You don’t want your content to seem low quality and unnaturally stuffed with keywords. Remember, your web content should be written for your visitors, not the search engines. Good quality content that naturally mentions your keywords will engage people, make them more likely to share your site. It will also seem more natural to Google.
You should have proper navigation on your site. You want it to be both logical and working. Broken links on your site are a big “no-no.” A broken link in your navigation is especially glaring. You want Google to be to easily find your whole site with no broken links. This includes linking to other parts of your own site.
This step is more important for WordPress based websites, because a sitemap is needed more for a dynamic site. A sitemap is basically a list of your website pages. Search engines like Google will use it to discover your entire site. It is more important for websites that are updated with new pages often (i.e. WordPress blog). In WordPress you can easily add a sitemap to your site with a plugin like “Google XML Sitemaps.”
SEO is a major area of study online, and there are a lot of other steps you can take, but the above ones are a great on-page start to any campaign. Since ranking for localized keywords is easier in general, these steps should suffice for most résumé writing businesses.
Local SEO Techniques: Off-Page Factors
In many people’s eyes, off-page optimization is where you should spend most of your time. I personally disagree. I think consistent high quality on-page content (aka blog posts) is the most important step. That said, off-page optimization is still very important and probably more important than every on-page step besides content creation.
When it comes down to a basic level, off-page optimization is really about one thing — getting backlinks. Backlinks are simply links on other sites that point towards your site. Google values these highly, and it is one of the major ranking factors. When you are starting a backlinking campaign, there are a couple of terms you need to know:
The anchor text is the actual text that makes up the link. When you see a link that says “Click Here,” then click here is the anchor text. Links that have your keywords as the anchor text are more valuable. An anchor text that reads, “Click here to contact us for Widgets” is more valuable.
Google gives pages a rank from 0-10. This rank isn’t quite as important as some people make it out to be, but it is still a good guide. The higher the page rank of a website, the more valu