I’ll Take Mine Organic Vs. Pay Per Click Please; with cream

I hate paying for things that I could be getting for free. I’ve even been known to cut my own hair, much to my kids chagrin. And so it’s only fitting that I devote a vast amount of my workday and passions to the ever exciting, ever evolving, ever challenging game of SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. Wow. I really do need to get a life.

A short tutorial to the various methods of leading traffic to your website:

Plan A)

Paid traffic

This is exactly what it sounds like. You will pay Google by bidding on the keywords you would like to “rank for” in a search, and whomever pays the higher price will end up closest to the top of the grayed in area’s along the very top of a Google search or down the right sidebar. The more competitive, or searched for keyword, the more you are going to pay to be placed up towards the top of the search engine. It’s called a whole slew of things, so you might recognize it as SEM (Search Engine Marketing), PPC (Pay per click), Paid Search, etc. Whatever, it’s all the same thing.

This is not a terrible strategy, but it should never be your sole strategy. I always encourage adding this later on an as needed basis, after plan B, which we will get to, has been implemented. Alternately, it can be used to jump start a new site until the organic techniques have started to kick in. PPC can be a good addition to an online strategy for sure, but paid ads alone are only as good as the time which you are paying for them. They’re not going to sustain your presence on page 1 if nothing else is implemented. In other words if you are relying solely on paid ads and have not laid an integrated marketing foundation, the minute you stop paying for your ads, you can say adieu to your search engine visibility, and hello to page 12…you’re presence will dry up faster than Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries marriage.

No, what makes much more sense is

Plan B)
Organic traffic

A joint study conducted by Group M out of the UK and Nielsen reports that other than commercial searches, 94% of total search engine clicks go to organic results, with just 6% of click share left for paid search ads. [Read more...]

I Have A Website, Why Do I Need SEO?

It’s time to face facts. It is not a given that just because you have a website your site is being found either on the search engines or by potential clients. Websites can be had now via India at a fraction of the cost here, Verizon and hundreds of other companies out there are now offering free or next to free websites for their customers, my uncle is designing one for his rubberband balls as we speak. Heck, you can even design a great looking one on your Mac. However, if you are a business, and if one of the main purposes of your website is to draw traffic to your site and act as lead generation, you are going to need to have a search engine optimized site that will be ranked prominently on the major search engines, not an online business card.

Studies have shown that only 1 out of 5 people will click to page 2 of a search engine to find what they are looking for. 80 percent will not leave page one. Forget page 6. So how do you ensure ranking high in what is known as the “organic” or FREE middle section of a search engine page?

Well here we go: Make sure your website is well optimized and designed with time tested SEO practices to ensure high ranking in the major search engines — Google, Yahoo, MSN and BING. There is a delicate balance between a search engine optimized site that the search engine crawlers will find and a well designed site that is pleasing to the eye and not so busy as to be more of a distraction than anything else. A good web designer that is capable of encompassing both elements is hard to come by, but they are out there. If your site is so keyword rich that the flow is awkward, the navigation confusing and the readability is difficult, customers will be turned off and lose interest.

On the other hand, a beautifully designed site with un-tagged graphics and/or flash media, barely any keywords or meta tagging, no titles or descriptors, and lacking in inbound links will be ranked low on the search engines, and you can kiss all of that money spent on design bye bye as it has just been lost to the black hole of search engine hell.

The key to a functional site that will draw traffic and encourage click throughs is to have a well designed, easy on the eye, easy to navigate site that also contains smart SEO practices.

Make sure your Search Engine Optimization methods include both on site and off site methods, and that at the very least, internally your site is:

  • Keyword rich
  • Using meta-tags and descriptors for copy, and alt tags and descriptors on all images
  • Using internal, outbound and inbound links. Lots of them.
  • Regularly being updated (the search engines look for this)
  • Geographically targeted, and if your market is local, be linked to local searches
  • Set up with an analytic tool to know where the traffic is coming from
  • Submitted to all the appropriate and emerging search engines and directories
  • Have easy to opt in boxes, and have them placed in obvious spots that don’t have to be hunted down.
  • Have options on the home page especially for taking action: great content converts and adds to retention on site which leads to conversions.
  • Be written to appeal to an 8th grade audience. Really.
  • Be streamlined and simple to navigate

SEO is an ever-evolving science. A quality website designer will make sure your site is kept current to keep up with the emergence of new techniques, keywords and tools. It may not be free, but the value added will in time pay for itself many times over. If your product and service is quality, you will see ROI. Remember that at the end of the day the best websites out there can only bring traffic to your site. It can’t convert the business or retain the customers for you — that is your job. You don’t want your website to be just another pretty face, you want it to bring in business. So go get ‘em.

An Optimized Website: Way to Grow

Last Thursday I was found by a Mexican doctor. Honestly. A surgeon from Monterrey Mexico specializing in bariatric procedures contacted OmagineHealth.com through our website and now we are in the process of negotiating a contract. He is interested in our SEO services and an optimized website to attract potential American patients to his practice in Mexico. In early December I was contacted by a Nigerian businessman specializing in customized branded promotional items. He was also interested in our SEO and search engine marketing services for his existing website. He was legit- we did our homework. [Read more...]

4 Reasons Why Your Small Business Needs SEO

I’ve been reading a lot of marketing statistics lately. Happy to report, these are some of the more impressive numbers.These days, companies need to think long and hard about where and when to spend their hard earned marketing dollars, and Return On Investment has never been more important. So a responsible marketing company needs to take that all into account when devising a marketing plan for/with that company. People want and deserve to see results and have little to no tolerance for a $2000 marketing or advertising mistake. Nor should they!

1) With SEO, otherwise known as Search Engine Optimization, customers are searching for you, rather than you searching for customers. Marketing 101 tells us that as soon as someone starts to try and sell us something, we become defensive and back away as a natural instinct. But what if the search engine did the selling for us, and all we had to do was get our website ranked in the top few positions and just sit back and wait for customers to come to us? Sounds pretty simple right? Well once your website is ranked, it really is that simple. It’s not an overnight process, by any stretch, there is no marketing magic wand, but properly executed, it works. [Read more...]

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