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Moving away from Mechanical to Marketing in SEO Approach April 8, 2009

Posted by seonotes in Link Building, Online Reputation Management.
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Web agencies need to realize that SEO now is more “marketing” than “mechanical”. Gone are the days when blackhatters can trick the search engines by implementing suspicious codes. The link builder who mechanically submits to a several hundred link directories, link farms, etc are fading in the picture. SEO now is relevance, social media, branding, online reputation, networking, link baiting, etc.

This does not mean taking work opportunities away from web developers. It is simply being the middle ground for both the technical people, the marketing people, and the business owner :)

Here are some simple pointers you can implement once the “mechanical” part of SEO is completed:

Sponge Bob tells us of SEO Marketing

Sponge Bob tells us of SEO Marketing

The challenge now is to draft a roadmap that will allow you to maintain and update these traffic generating, marketing initiatives. You would have to set your metrics a little differently this time. Check for number of Facebook group member for example, as a reflection of your “brand advocates”. Engage with people. Engage them with your brand. Let them tell you about their “brand experience” , as well. That’s good marketing – brand building using engagement-based advertising. Ultimately, you would want to watch the effects on your conversion numbers, also. The key here is to establish a platform or system that’ll measure your marketing efforts.

Conversion matters too.

Conversion matters too.

SEO and PPC: How to Make the Best of Both Worlds October 20, 2008

Posted by seonotes in SE Rankings, Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Optimization.
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How to Make the Best of Both Worlds

SEO versus PPC: How to Make the Best of Both Worlds

Industries are more open now than ever to both organic and paid internet marketing tactics. Businesses today are seeing the value of optimizing their official website, and launching a paid advertising campaign, as well.

Just like any marketing plan, going online deserves careful study in terms of resource allocation. There are certain tricks that might work well in one campaign, but will not in another.

Here are some fresh tips in order to get the best results out of your SEO project, and your PPC or pay-per-click campaign:

Mining your Keywords and Traffic Data

(more…)

Useful Tips on Keyword Research October 2, 2008

Posted by seonotes in On-page Optimization, SE Rankings, Search Engine Optimization.
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Keyword Research is the heart of any SEO project. It is a crucial phase in doing optimization for your web pages. Your choice of keywords can either make or break you in the Web world. No doubt, the keyword research stage in optimization entails analytical planning, and careful research.

To help you out in doing it right the first time, here are some useful tips in keyword reasearch to take note of:

Think Relevance

Some people fall into the trap of picking the most popular search term there is. Be careful though, because every topic has a particular niche. The hotel and travel industry for example, has several niches – from high-end luxury hotels, to medium-range accommodation providers, to cheap or budget-friendly inns and motels. The key isn’t about going for the most popular search term. It’s about carefully studying which key phrases are most relevant to your business. Remember, related does not necessarily mean relevant.

Consider Both Search Volume and Competition

Search Volume versus competition – aim to strike a balance between these two factors. Of course, most keywords with the highest traffic normally get the tightest competition in the SERPs. However, you can consider first your webpage’s search engine standing before choosing your keywords. If you have a stable site with good links, and your stats say you can compete big time, then go ahead and dive in the bigger ocean. That means you can consider optimizing your site for the high-traffic and highly competitive terms. But if you are a fairly new site with lesser links to begin with, you can choose search terms with an easier level of competition, but have “fairly” significant amount of traffic to give you. Long-tail key phrases can give you that, when their traffic demand are summed up together.

One more Tip: specific and long-tail keywords are known to be great for translating traffic into conversions – or user site visits into sales, as an example.

Make use of tried and tested Keyword Research Tools

Don’t just rely on sheer gut feel when drafting your final keyword list. Sure you can list down any term you can think about in the preliminary phase of keyword research, but always test the “profitability” of these straight-from-your-brain words and phrases by using tried and tested keyword tools. You don’t want to mess up your final keyword list with mere guesses.

One more Tip: Wordtracker, SEObook, Google Adwords Keyword Tool, Keyword Discovery, and even your Analytics and PPC stats are useful sources of data.

Allot enough time for doing keyword research. Most people think this is just some 10-minute click and copy activity when starting SEO. Don’t allow yourself to commit the same mistake. There is value in doing it right in the beginning.

Supplemental Pages: How to Get out of the Trap September 18, 2008

Posted by seonotes in On-page Optimization, Search Engine Optimization.
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Getting off the supplemental pages of Google is not as hard as you think. In fact, you are already indexed in the search engine, only that you have poor chances of appearing in the first three pages of the search engine results.

What do you then when you fall into this trap? Most sites falling into the supplemental pages’ trap are normally those containing duplicate content – either in meta codes or in your main body itself.

Here are three tips on how to get out of the supplemental page trap:

Create unique meta titles and descriptions.

The first thing that a search engine spider looks at in a web page is your meta tags – titles, descriptions, and keywords. If you have a generic meta titles for all your pages, chances are you will really land the supplemental page index. Revise this and make each unique for every page.

Make sure content is not duplicate.

Because Google has been growing less tolerant of spammy pages, you can’t trick them by reproducing a bunch of pages of almost the same content – keywords and all. Create writing that’s acceptable to the search engines. Craft content that is of value to your readers, and you earn more points, too.

Build links for supplemental pages.

Give authority to your site’s pages by fishing links from quality, high-PR sites. You earn more chances of being noticed by the search engine by the number of quality links pointing to you. Once your page has been revamped (getting rid of duplicates), gaining a good number of quality links will be the final shot to get out of the supplemental page trap.

How to do Effective PPC by Marc Macalua of SEO Philippines September 11, 2008

Posted by seonotes in marketing, Search Engine Marketing.
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I’m saving this last blog post for the best presentation I’ve liked in the SEMCON 2008 – How to do Effective PPC. Marc Macalua’s PPC presentation was a good blend of points for both business owners, and search marketers. I like the way he pointed out that non-traditional marketing continuous to be traditional marketing because of its wide use in the Philippine setting. Over the top display ads, event sponsorships, blogger parties, mobile marketing are the likes.

His SEMCON 2008 presentation challenges businesses to set themselves apart by doing pay-per-click marketing as their advertising game. The pros?

Advantages of PPC Marketing

  • Highly measurable
  • Cost efficient than offline advertising
  • Brings more targeted traffic – since people who search for particular buys have qualified intentions of purchase
  • You have near absolute control

 Just like me, Marc believes his favorite pay-per-click marketing platform is Google Adwords, with:

  • 62% Market share in July 2008
  • Best ROI rating of 4.2%

One can be as profitable as you wish with Adwords, as long as you refrain from committing the common deadly mistakes.

Top 4 PPC Mistakes

  • size-fits-all ads – very poor customization of ad copies for each ad group
  • Bad Landing Page experience – like pointing specific visitor traffic to a very generic page (like your home page), and leading visitors to dead-end pages.
  • No negative keywords
  • You are not tracking results – you don’t know your maximum Cost per Click or CPC!

 Of course, one cannot have a complete report on pay per click without the tricks!

 Tips on PPC Marketing

  • Build good campaign history – start off with your most important keywords. Check which are giving you profits, then bid for these good keywords at a higher price.
  • Target low-hanging keywords – those with significant traffic volume but has less competition
  • Increase CTR or click-through-rate via creative ads – also, make creative display URLs
  • Segment keywords and Networks – separate keywords in the search and content networks. You can use your Analytics Tool to identify converting keywords
  • Learn to throttle your campaign – take note of time zones, holidays, and seasonality

Some SEOnotes on ROI/ROAS for PPC

* If your target is 400% ROAS,

  • 100-200% ROI – consider changing match type
  • Less than 100% – pause the keyword
  • 400% – just okay, work on lowering CPC.

Successful PPC Campaigns have high:

  • Clicks
  • Impressions
  • CTR or Click-through-rates
  • ROAS or return on Ad Spend (ROI)

* while keeping CPC low

* ROI is usually higher in PPC than other paid channels

SEO Copywriting by Damien Kelly of Netbooster Asia September 10, 2008

Posted by seonotes in marketing, On-page Optimization, Search Engine Marketing, Social Media Marketing.
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Damien Kelly of Netbooster Asia, where I once worked in talks about Search Engine Optimization Copywriting.

Check out his main points for effective SEO Copywriting:

Create effective landing pages

  • Make use of images
  • Emphasize call to action
  • Short statements work (like what I’m doing with this blog :) )
  • Length of Pages to consider
  • Logical Sequence

Take note of Web Content Tips for Optimization

  • Scannability – highlight keywords
  • Navigation – move detailed info ro secondary pages
  • Writing to be read: Headlines and subheads; lists, captions, and hyperlinks
  • Writing to be Found – use of Meta Tags
  • Terms to Avoid – Don’t call attention to web artifacts. Writing “click here” do not say anything to the search engines.
  • Work with your designer to convey overall message.
  • Don’t think of quantity all the time. Quality counts.
  • The more words you have in a page, the less people will read. 16% of people in websites read word-by-word. Shorter content gets more recall.

Following these guidelines make killer content – indexable, linkable content :)

PS: Google penalises you for bad content – i.e. duplicates, spammy ones :)

Social Media Optimization by Kevin Leversee by Design Mesh Philippines September 10, 2008

Posted by seonotes in marketing, Search Engine Marketing, Social Media Marketing.
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Learn how to crowd-optimize your campaigns to reap traffic and branding benefits of a socially optimized Internet Marketing presence… in other words, Social Media Optimization :)

Social Media Optimization

  • Kevin notes that it’s not just gaining traffic from social media sites, but also from search engine results, as well (thanks to, tags!).
  • The Internet is a Sea of conversations. Markets are conversations.

SMO is about conversations, the desires of the users. People do not talk about your brand – they talk about their experience with your brand.

 

  • Also, start paying attention not just to big social media sites, but consider the smaller, more targeted ones.
  • The best way to gain benefits from social networks is to make them participate: Participate and do not Dictate.
  • In social media optimization: It’s all about DESIRE – you can’t configure users!

Social Media Optimization: Context and Purpose

Come from a user-centric design or plan.

Monetizing Tier 2 PPC Search Traffic by Hans Koch of Syndeo Media September 10, 2008

Posted by seonotes in Search Engine Marketing.
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One of my favorite Internet Marketing speaker (and a secret crush, too! Hihi) is Mr. Hans A. Koch. He spoke of coping with changes in the PPC landscape – particularly Google Adwords and the now popular Facebook paid campaign program.

Google Adwords changes in:

Quality Score

Quality Score will be calculated at the time of each search query. What’s the implication? There is some history reset, changes in local pay per click campaigns, and all in all, it leads to closer (and better) real cost of top keyword positions. You get better data, in other words, when there are Quality Score changes.

Google Suggest Launch

The newly launched Google Suggest shows number of search result listing for each keyword (in short, the number of competition for a search marketer to beat). It’s a bit less useful that the Google Adwords keyword External Tool, but this one is more beneficial to the user.

Why is that? This new Google Suggest shows more data for short keyphrase queries (thus more results for such terms when you search them online). It’s a bit of a let-down for targeting long-tails where more marketers are in love with  

How do you cope up with this? Refine your negative keyword list. Also, you can slow down on banking on your common misspelled keywords as these are not being recommended anymore in Google Suggest. Google corrects these queries, anyway  All in all, you get a new top 10 list of keywords to target for PPC.

Microsoft Cash Back

This fairly new paid campaign platform is great for commercial/e-commerce sites. Consumers get up to 62.5% cash back when purchasing via this paid ads. Google Adwords on the other hands, show more of the informational ads. Microsoft cash back has less of this kind. Let’s watch out how this platform goes well for online shoppers.  An oh, by the way, this platform has higher conversion rates for search marketers.

Facebook Paid Advertising

When a bulk of your target audience is on Facebook, it’s profitable for you! What’s great about social networks is that you have user demographics at your disposal. It’s also highly targeted (targeting by region, etc). It almost has the same Dashboard as that of Adwords’. Adult industries/dating companies, and travel & hotel industries are perfect for Facebook Advertising.

Affiliate Marketing Best Practices by Anders Barris of Asia Century September 10, 2008

Posted by seonotes in Search Engine Marketing.
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Affiliate Marketing can be for generating more sales. It’s great for branding, too. You can also use affiliate marketing to generate leads to sell your product offline.

How do you do Affiliate Marketing?

  • The idea is to get blogs and websites to do the online advertising for you – and you only pay them when you earn. You just need a great tracking system!
  • These websites can run banners, send email blasts, and do write ups and promote your product, service, or brand to all their users.
  • Using affiliate software everything can be tracked.
  • You can use an in-house affiliate program, or use an Affiliate Network company.

Why will others promote?

  • Bloggers/website owners rely on affiliate networks to provide them with revenue

Campaigns can be run as:

  • CPM – cost per thousand impressions
  • CPC – with IP blocking and only counting unique clicks
  • CPA/CPL – cost per action or lead

On the advertisers and bloggers/ view – it’s best to run on CPC and CPA. You can be more creative and do write ups, email blasts and use other ways to promote products as long as guidelines are observed.

  • Sometimes, text content links embedded in articles are more effective than banner ads.
  • Offer some good content in a weekly email blas to your subscribers. The larger userbase and more visitors you have, the more you can earn from using affiloiate marketing

* Email blasts for digital cameras have high mail opening rates!

Mr. Anders discusses samples of affiliate programs like account sign-ups for lead generation, sales pitches, and game industry affiliate programs.

* Do you know that most people play/sign up in game websites during office hours using their company email addresses!

Domaining: Domain Monetization by Emil Avancena of DotPh September 10, 2008

Posted by seonotes in marketing, Search Engine Marketing.
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The purpose of domain names, and how to make the most of it are what this presentation is all about. Read how your online real estate address impact your business, and how you can earn from selling/buying domains :)

DETERMINING VALUE

  • what’s a good domain name worth to your company? Simple – it’s your BRAND
  • the choice of a domain name is an impt decision – a MARKETING decision.

Criteria for choosing a domain name:

  • Shorter is better – easier recall and easier to type
  • Most .com names are taken. No more 3 to 4-letter.COM domains are no longer available.
  • It should accurately reflect your brand. Your domain = your brand
  • Your brand is who you are, your most valuable asset. So don’t confuse your market.

The Right domain can drive traffic. Why?

  • Google considers (puts heavy weight) on IP and regional relevance on SERPs.
  • SE’s deliver country-specfic search results via: IP location, server location, and Domain name
  • Most Phil websites are hosted in the US. With a .ph domain, Google identies your site as Phil-based.
  • Safe to say: .ph domains are likely to show up in Phil search results rather than .com domain.

Protecting your Brand:

  • buying the domain is also a way to protect your trademark
  • registering variations = greater protection and more traffic

Summary:

  • Shorter domains are better in recall
  • Get domains that fit your brand
  • Registering the domain protects your trademark
  • Register variations of your brand names (domain names) to protect you and drive more traffic to your site.

Earning from domain names:

  • Domaining is the business of buying, developing, and selling domain names
  • the value of domain names has grown steadily increasing
  • Domain Parking: the easiest way to get started
  • Parking companies will provide ads relevant to your domain name, when sombody clicks on the ad, you earn bucks.
  • Generic domain names make the most money (i.e. beaches.ph)
  • Auctions can help you earn from selling domains

Domaining Tips:

  • Anticipate trends
  • Anticipate buyers
  • Price it well – realistic
  • leran to let go – no feelings/sentiments attached
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