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SEO and SEM

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Search Engine Optimization

To 'optimize' a website means to build it so that it will be discovered by search engines, and to design each page in such a way that the site’s contents will be thoroughly mapped and indexed to keywords that potential customers employ when seeking your products or services.

Keyword Market Intelligence

Keywords in your site are important. Your keyword market is the natural "search language" your customers are using to try and find you online. It’s the quirky combination of terms that someone comes up with while trying to accurately describe something very specific to them. Adding those keywords to your website while building or maintaining web pages will give you a competitive advantage.

Meta-Data / Meta-Tags

Meta Tags (keywords and description) and Title Tags are pieces of HTML code that help describe and classify the content on a web page. Having a uniquely optimized Title on each page is critical for obtaining the best possible placement within search engine results.

When the Titles and Meta Tags properly support the content on each web page, the potential placement of that page increases when searched.

1. Natural / Organic

Organic SEO is the process of optimizing the design of your website so that search results using keywords in search engines will rank your website higher in the non-paid listings. In organic SEO, (also called Natural SEO) the main focus is to work towards getting the best ranking in search results (SERPs).

For instance, Organic SEO requires that you evaluate your website thoroughly to see how best to optimize your website's potential. Try to identify any technical issues which can bar your site from being indexed properly during the Organic SEO process.

Organic SEO also requires detailed keyword analysis to be done so you can produce a list of appropriate keywords and phrases that can be used for your website. Keyword analysis requires real information about the function, products and services offered at your website.

To get the best search engine rankings, a site should rely on effective and efficient organization of the website, with content selected so that keywords and phrases will not look ridiculous when used in the website content.

Organic SEO starts with selecting the right Title and Meta tags, creation of on-page text with emphasis on content and layout, and then followed by insertion of internal links of the various web pages of your website. If these are followed, keyword relevance and correct page formatting will increase.

Organic SEO requires manual submissions of your website to directories and search engines.

Use ethical link-building techniques, not only to safeguard the security of your search engine rankings but also to allow your website descriptions to be placed under the right directory categories. Ethical Organic SEO link-building will also help your website use only the correct resource web sites.

You should track your site frequently so you can twist and tweak your website if needed. Organic SEO also requires that you document your monitoring activities so you know what is happening to your site.

2. Keyword Targeting

If there is one thing that you can do to help your website be successful, it is choosing the right keywords and the right amount of keywords to target. Keep in mind there is a limit to the amount of keywords to target.

Targeting the correct keywords and the correct AMOUNT of keywords should be done carefully.

How Large Is Your Site?
The size of your website as a whole plays a large factor in the decision on which keywords to target and how many to target. A good ratio of keywords to pages is: for every one page, target two keywords.

How Broad is Your Market?
The broadness of your market can play a role in how many keywords that you target. If your target audience is "Plumbing Services", then this should be the only keyword that you target. Throughout the website you should use this keyword, which will in turn make the website stronger for that particular keyword phrase.

How Competitive is Your Market?
When your main target keyword is super-competitive it can have a direct effect on the number of keywords that you target. For a small to medium size website that is attempting to target a super-competitive keyword, the main focus of the website should be directed on this main keyword. This will direct the efforts of the sub-pages to be strength builders of the index page, which will in turn build the SEO strength of your website for that particular keyword.

How Do I Decide Which Ones To Drop?
Whether your website has 100 pages or 20 pages, your keywords should be variations of the keywords that you use on the main index page. The Index page should contain your general or broad keyword terms. The keywords in the sub-topics and pages to follow should be variations of that general keyword that is more specific and defined.

Why Is This So Important?
This process of choosing the right keyword combinations is vital to your website from multiple aspects. If you target the wrong keyword combinations you risk being penalized by the search engines, and reaching the wrong audience.

The search engines have picked up on the trend that some practice of including keywords in the Meta keyword section that are not in the content, and have begun to either penalize discard that particular keyword.

3. SEM (Search Engine Marketing)

SEO - Search Engine Optimization
SEO allows for a higher "natural" or "organic" listing, as opposed to a pay per click campaign that focuses on the paid inclusion/ listings. It is important to track the ROI of SEO vs. PPC differently to effectively manage the overall cost effectiveness of your Internet marketing efforts.

PPC – Pay-Per-Click
The Search Engine method devised by Google and now imitated by Yahoo and MSN. You pay for qualified traffic, your listings show up under the "sponsored" links within the search page. Each time your ad-listing is clicked, you are charged a pre-determined fee for the traffic.

CPA – Cost-Per-Acquisition
Based on the PPC campaign, the CPA is a metric used to define how much it costs to achieve one conversion. A conversion can be an actual sale or a lead depending on the primary focus of the web site.

CPC – Cost-Per-Click
Based on the PPC, this is the average cost for each click. Your campaign will have a variety of costs, this is the average.

KEI- Keyword-Effectiveness-Index
This is a metric to track how effective a keyword is in converting traffic to customers, based on cost, search frequency and competition.

Adapted Marketing Mix
An international marketing strategy for adjusting the marketing mix elements to each international market; bearing more costs but hoping for a larger market share in return.

Alternative Evaluation
The stage in the buyer decision process in which the consumer uses information to evaluate alternative native brands in the choice set.

Viral Marketing
The Internet version of “word-of-mouth” marketing, email messages or other marketing events that are so infectious that customers will want to pass them along to friends and family.

4. Pay-per-Click

Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns are typically launched with Google, Yahoo, and MSN. Each PPC campaign contains keywords and phrases that are bid on. The cost of each "click" depends on how competitive the term is, and how often it is searched on.

A big part of PPC is performing an in-depth analysis on each and every keyword and key phrase to determine the KEI, or Keyword Effectiveness Index. This ensures that you pay for clicks that convert into customers instead of paying for useless traffic.

For instance, suppose the number of searches for a keyword is 486 per month and Google displays 214,234 results for that keyword. Then the ratio between the popularity and competitiveness for that keyword is 486 divided by 214,234. In this case, the KEI is 0.002.

It can be quite easy to rank in the top 10 results for some search terms, but it can be very difficult for others. For this reason, the most popular search terms may not be the best terms to target.

Consider using a portfolio-style of bid management that focuses strictly on ROI. Every PPC campaign will have a few "dogs" as well as "winners" - it is essential to find the "dogs" as they are the underperforming keywords. Portfolio-style bid management ensures that every keyword is held accountable to an ROI standard. Some site mangers use 'averages' as the key metric for deciding whether or not a keyword is performing. Averages aren’t as functionally accurate.
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