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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

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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.

Building Relevance for SEO October 16, 2007

Posted by seonotes in Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Marketing.
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After the Philippine SEMCON 2007, it has become more pronounced that Web 2.0 is all about relevancy. As Aaron Wall puts it in his keynote address, relevancy has been the name of the game in today’s search engine marketing game. This is proven true by the various blogs, Technorati pages, and forum posts that crawl up the search listings for the hottest key phrases. This is the reason why CMS (or blog-software-like templates), social media marketing, and all forms of buzz marketing have been playing essential roles in marketing online. The challenge is to build relevancy.

But how does one become relevant?

1. Specify the target audience and conquer the space where they actually read. SEO practitioners are well-bombarded by all sorts of social networks and bookmarking sites that they forget the essence of it all – to connect with your audience. So be picky in joining groups and registering in sites. Have a feel of the people participating in a particular social media site before creating yet another account.

2. Build interest for your product or service. Don’t just sell on what you’ve got. Don’t forget that people visit a particular site not because of a product, but primarily because of an interest. Capitalize on that by having blogs or bloggers write about what’s interesting in your product/service or topic to offer.

3. Meet the right people offline. Yes, socialize offline. Shake hands with the right people. It will always be necessary to be in personal contact with people who are interested in your subject. That way, you truly build relevancy.

Aaron Wall is right in saying that search engines follow what people follow. It is not easy to rank for trophy keywords, but it is easier to build relevancy by catering more to the “human” side of search engine optimization.

The Key in Finding the Long-tail Keywords September 26, 2007

Posted by seonotes in keyword research, SE Rankings, Search Engine Optimization, SEO.
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The long-tail of search theory has helped a lot of small websites in making it big. Long-tail keywords may not be a trophy keyword if the basis is brevity or the level of competition in order to hit the ranks for it. But if all know that a successful online campaign boils down to relevant traffic that leads to conversion, long-tail keywords are definitely your most prized bombs in the battlefield.

Long-tail key phrases are unpopular, never-been-seen-before, and easy to target keywords. Disclosed from the human mind, long-tail keywords cater to a larger demand balloon as an economic theory.

If long-tail keywords are easy to target, the only challenge is how to find them. Here’s how:

Look up queries that lead to your site
Server logs can show which key phrases and real human queries that got you found by the visitor. From this data, you can actually see the types of searches your target audience is looking for in a given period. If your business is highly dependent on seasonality, you can notice the changes in the key phrases people use in finding you.

Google Webmaster Tools: Relevant Keywords
Just like your server logs, Google Webmaster Tools show the most number of queries that brought people to your site. The list may contain both short and long-tail keywords. The main point is, you will know the variations of phrases that are more likely effective in bringing traffic to your website. Plus the main key terms that Google recognizes from your site: check out the “what Google sees” tab.

Most popular searches
Hitwise can always come up with a list, but one cannot ignore the highly-populated social media sites like technorati, delicious, and whatever site that caters to people interested in your niche. These sites where social participation is involved will help you analyze what people are looking for. Some portals also have this option of showing a list of the most recent searches done in their website.

Competition Check
After getting a harvest of long-tails from these sources, it’s now time to check the battlefield. Check the competition for each individual word in your long-tail phrase, and analyze which combinations will help you find your niche. It’s always nice to have a blend of high traffic keywords combined with not-so-popular queries. It’s like hitting two birds in one stone.

Test and Analyze
This can sound too safe and can be dubbed as a last resort, but it won’t hurt to sit down and write down the natural flow of words when one is to make a search in the search engines. Think how your audience thinks. Then compare how this set of long tail keywords fared in the previous months/years. Analyze market trends, in other words.