28 Mar 2010

Search Engine Marketing

SEO Comments Off on Search Engine Marketing

New-comers to Internet marketing and the seasoned internet marketer alike can be confused by the mysteries of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM). This article will provide a basic SEO primer to Internet marketing, capturing the essence of how to drive prospects and customers to your website.

SEO is very simply defined as any process that improves the frequency of search engines finding a site through the natural process of running their standard search algorithm. SEO is a separate method of increasing visibility from Search Engine Marketing (SEM). SEM increases website visibility during searches not from the organic results but from paid inclusion, generally in the form of sponsored links. Key terms to remember are “natural” and “organic” search results. These are critical in that once achieved, if maintained they can reduce the budget required for SEM, while still keeping a website a key business generator.

By understanding the role SEO plays in partnership with search engines, a savvy Internet marketer can leverage the power of organic search to drive conversion and profits. Organic search conversion is how often a person finds a site through search and takes the required action for them to be considered the equivalent of a sale or prospect for that site.

Higher page ranking is the ultimate goal of SEO, a critical metric in Internet Marketing. Page one is the placement that can drive customers and conversions to any given website. Critical to understanding search results is the concept of relevancy. The search engine algorithms calculate the relevancy of the site content versus the given set of search terms and rank the results based on that metric. Higher relevancy equals higher search results. Most consumers never go past the second page of Google search results to find their target site. This common consumer behaviour makes page one listing the primary SEO goal for any web content manager.

The current gold standard in page rank is Google PageRank. Google uses an algorithm that determines the perceived value to the user of that site. In determining value, Google weighs heavily on the concept of traffic going to a site from back linking. Backlink traffic is any web traffic from another, preferably high-ranking site. The current PageRank standing of the site with the link calculates into the overall “value” of the traffic. Links from trusted or higher ranked sites increase the PageRank of your site.

Critical Areas Of Your Site That Google Looks At

Content is king when reaching for the optimum PageRank. Google controls more than 85% of the search traffic world wide. That said, Google holds a clear preference for websites with three critical content keys:

1. Genuine value-added content that provides the information users want or need.

2. Keywords must be visible to the search engine in the heading portion or title HTML of main page.

3. The right ration of keywords to content. Too heavily seeded content fails the SEO concentration “spam check” integrated into the Goggle algorithms.

To summarize the key take-away points for this primer:

Search engine optimization is a critical aspect of internet marketing.

What SEO provides is the properly formatted content to increase the visibility of a website to users around the world. From visibility naturally flows increased traffic volume and traffic quality on your website.

Because PageRank is so critical to your website displaying on initial search results page, attention to the drivers of Google PageRank are critical to increased traffic: value added content for the user, terms easy for the search engines to find with placement in title and header sections of HTML, and without the overkill typical of search term overuse.