By Olatunji Adetunji
Search engines have set up specific criteria that a website must meet to get to the top of the list. The criteria are different for every engine, but all engines share several commonalities. It all boils down to the type and amount of content provided on a given website, the level of optimization done on the site, and the popularity of the website (link popularity/Page Rank). Tailoring your website for improved search engine rankings is also known widely as Search Engine Optimization.
1. OFF-SITE SEO STRATEGIES
This will include the testing links and in site broken links, the art of link management and web page tweaking, and not to forget the essence of webpage testing for optimal performance with respect to download time, Image alternate attributes, your html, cascade style sheet validation (this is executed by your web master), the art of article marketing, etc.
2. KEYWORD OPTIMIZATION
This will involve keyword researches, both consumer keywords and researched keywords used by web visitors to generate organic and generic searched results on search engines.
Keywords to be investigated are phrases that are attributes, benefits to the website and these words will be filtered by Keyword Effective Index (KEI) to provide quality keywords for the brand/product, the keyword relevancy and density is in check in this area to match that of the top ten search engine results.
3. WEBPAGE OPTIMIZATION
This will be done in correlation with the keyword optimization, to define the keyword relevancy for the page, thus providing keyword rich content that is pertinent to the product/brand benefits and features. This is also where the power of conversion lies, whether your visitors convert to sales or not highly depends on what you have written on the webpage. The feel of your website is also taken into consideration.
4. LINK BUILDING MANAGEMENT
This will include inbound and outbound links, to connect and get referral web traffic from other relevant or high profile sites, which will increase page search engine reputation.
Maintaining these links is to avoid broken links from Anchor text Links, Reciprocal links, etc. And do not forget that most search engines give a lot of relevancy to the context and content of a link, so it’s not the number of links that matters, but the quality of the link that is most essential in performing search engine optimization.
5. SEARCH ENGINE SUBMISSION
Regular submission of web pages to search engines help with effective indexing of your web pages by search engines, this will help as part of the points for your webpage visibility on search engines listings.
Hence the submission of your webpage allows the search engine to index it quickly rather than wait in line till the period your webpage will be indexed, and it is much more reasonable to submit your index pages whenever you must have made any sort of changes on your site, which could be link backs or content change, all these are factors that contribute greatly to your SEO and should be brought to the attention of search engines via submission.
There are lots of search engine submission services out there and selecting them is quite a daunting task because most are not genuine service providers and you may not realize this until after a couple of weeks when you still haven’t seen any changes on your webpage content.
Google SEO submission is quite fast compared to others; Google indexes your website faster than the other search engines, and if you submit your sites to an engine like Bing, it takes the submission and adds it to a list, heedless of how current it is, unlike Google that places according to the most recent submission.
And now that Yahoo makes use of Bing search engine you will realize that even Yahoo submission is quite slow… but ironically you might rank for a word on Bing and not rank for the same word on Yahoo, this is because both are not sharing the same algorithms with the way they present search queries to their users.
This now pops the question for thought; which is better between Bing and Yahoo? (Google is obviously the best; having 70% of the total share is enough to prove its dominance).
6. DIRECTORY LISTING
This is good for generating quality links, especially one-way back links, and is a good way to feature the product/brand webpage; most popular search engines do rely on popular directories to place the algorithms for search queries.
A good example will be the DMOZ directory which is handled by humans and validated by proof readers, to check if your website is actually worth the time and effort, if your site has zero relevance to the directory you have listed it, then you are really looking at an exclusion from their listing.
Search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, AOL, etc. get their search queries algorithms from DMOZ directory list because they believe in the quality of the directories listed in the DMOZ.
There are other directories with good page rank that you can link to and get quality page ranking factors to your website as well, just make sure they are sites with good traffic and they have a list of directories that are similar to your content.
This is the best way to quickly get results and can be used properly to boost the search engine marketing campaign for the product/brand, among other awesome features which PPC carries to benefit the usage in setting up online campaign advertisements.
Pay per click is also an expert of search engine marketing; you have the pay per impression and the pay per click itself. They both constitute some sort of relevance in terms of boosting your SEO work as well.
Pay per impression is a common term that was adopted from your TV/Radio method of advert or better yet traditional advert, even newspapers and billboard advert are categorized under this expression.
The benefit is that you tend to pay less in terms of advert placement online and if you look at the way technology advancement is going, you will see that the web is also becoming a functional daily ingredient to people’s life.
My own observations will always point that when performing a PPC services, it is best practice to try to define your target audience and the best way to do that is via CPM (cost per impression), and most search engines have the ability to target your marketing campaign online. This will allow you to have more results that will help you to plan your marketing strategies, from the type of people to their age, demographic and other useful data you can use actually to perform a better advert online.
The best approach is to perform CPM for a short period of time, it could be a week or two, to get this information that will help you to know your target market and then target that niche area with your CPA.
CPA is quite expensive and yet very lucrative on both ends, the best way to leverage your cost as mentioned earlier is through the planning of your cost per impression, you place a CPM to get answers to your marketing questions and then fine tune it to meet your CPA. now CPM does not take into account whether people who see your ads are interested or not, it simply takes into account the number of times your web ads were exposed or viewed by web visitors, while the CPA takes into account when your ads is actually clicked, Now the twist in the two is that the number of times your web ads are shown to viewers on CPA is determined by your bid on that keyword you are using to place the advert.
So you see the demerit of CPA and how you can run at a loss if you don’t lay your foundations right, and the next step is the number of clicks you get that actually convert… with both method of advert online, I will strongly suggest that a minimum of 1% conversion is usually the best result you can ever expect from a campaign conversion online, and if you achieve higher, that means greater success.
And the average cost price of your product you are selling should always be a 1% of your CPA bid cost, e.g if you are selling a product worth 47 USD, never settle to pay for anything higher than 1% or else you will lose a lot when you start the CPA campaign… this are just tips on getting you started on the right path of PPC campaign. Do this right and you will see results, basically these are jobs performed by professionals in the SEO consulting firm industry, and it is what you put into play along with your other techniques that yield excellent results.
8. ARTICLE MARKETING
A lot of people or individual over emphasize the use of article marketing, the rule of thumb for this is to avoid, and I mean always avoid, the use of duplicated content or spamming the web with the same content that you submit on most article directories, it is not healthy at all for your SEO… it really isn’t that a hard to write a 5,000 word rich content, especially when you can surf for this information online.
So the idea of submitting one article to several search engines in other to get high ranking doestnt make so much sense; Google have the panda and penguin team at work for such work ethics. When I perform my SEO consulting services on my clients work I make sure I have quality content that are relevant, and the better your content the better it is for your original web site, and don’t over-hyperlink your anchor text in your article, some article directories and content directories don’t allow more than three hyperlinks while some don’t even allow you to place them, now this is just a sample of what forums and some article directories accept for a hyperlink, and if you are not lucky you will get to have your hyperlink with no follow link.
That is except you look at the advantage of submitting to targeted article directories; this helps when you link to good directories with good traffic, eg. squidoo, article base, hubspage, propeller, etc.
When your contents get ranked on search engines for the same keywords that expand across the web, with a good webpage optimization score you will start to see your site listed for that keyword (if it has a good KEI).
I need to chip this in, article marketing is a very fast way to get listed but also such listings are temporary so you still need to work on other factors like link building and others. Continuous article writing and submission will also help you to move up the ladder, but if you don’t cultivate a habit of submitting regularly, then you might start to see a serious drop and if you don’t compensate with other search engine optimization strategies I doubt if your effort will not turn out to be in vain.
9. SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
From the term “SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING” we have both “SOCIAL MARKETING” and “MEDIA MARKETING”.
These two are at the core of social media marketing. We can use social media platforms like Facebook and twitter to engage people/consumer on the brand.
A lot of search engines now rely on the word of mouth from social sites like Face book, twitter, delicious, dig, stumble upon, Google plus, YouTube etc.
So having your web pages or keywords spread around social media sites is another way to get yourself some authority with the niche area or market, your dominance will help you with your SEO critically.
Social media optimization is the art of getting your brand or services a word of mouth, referral sales pitch from one person to the other in the effort to generate some sort of engagement, usually via a registered button associated to each social site.
While social media marketing is in two ways, using the social and media aspect of it to make sales online, it is also more like a direct selling approach to people, because you bring the product to them, on their screen, to their faces, you tend to socialize, and it is a better way to get to understand your customers feeling about your product, what sentiments or reason abides in them when purchasing your services or products; could it be for trial sake, for other reasons other than the ones you have set? All this are what social media marketing helps you to achieve.
Well most SEO consulting firms or SEO consulting services don’t provide this and if they do, it will only be on the level of social media optimization for your websites and help you to create a fan page, period.
10. SMS MARKETING (OPTIONAL)
This will highly serve as awareness generation and message distribution. Content messaging “call to action” adverts will be most effective due to the huge number of mobile users and the fact that most internet users on mobile phones spend most of their browsing hours on the phone, while 60% of them are either on social media sites or search engines.
Because of its nature, a lot of SEO consulting firms do not implement this into their SEO consulting services, so we will not shed more light on this but we can highly guarantee you that sms marketing is a lovely way to get people engaged, and it can support your social media marketing as well when done right.
11. WEB PRESS RELEASE
This is similar to the directory listing, but varies in terms of publishing content on the web. They also get to your targeted audience. Web press release is also a good source for search engine visibility and generates traffic to the product webpage.
A good web press release has more or less the power of your article write-ups, the only difference is that it is a service that is carried out by a company that is well grounded in this niche and it is best to look into performing a web release for your site, because such companies into press releases on the web can give your site the maximum exposure it needs to online news and social news, and do not forget the heavy weight of links you will generate from their auto posting and viewers to your site that will increase as well.
Personally, I always enjoy working with press releases, but a good one costs heavily and if you compensate this with your article marketing, then you will have a lot of chances to improve your ranking and visits to your website automatically
Olatunji Adetunji is a SEO specialist working with SEO WEB ANALYST® (http://www.seowebanalyst.com), a SEO consulting firm providing affordable seo services and free training on seo web marketing techniques and trainings.