SEO and Google: Going For The Big Win

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Nielson NetRatings reports that in November 2007, searchers used Google 57.7% of the time.

Google has been steadily increasing it’s marketshare, while Yahoo and MSN are declining. A look at this chart of search volume gives you some cold, hard facts:

Google = 57.7%
Yahoo = 17.9%
MSN = 12.0%

When I’m teaching my SEO For Everyone class, I focus strongly on getting good results in Google. Even if Microsoft buys Yahoo (as hinted about in this Motley Fool article), the combined result still won’t equal Google’s power and scope.

What does Google care about? Content. Pure and simple, Google loves a site with lots of content. And even better, Google loves a site where there’s continually new content. This is a vote for adding new stuff to your site. If you write a newsletter, add your newsletter articles to your site after each publication of your newsletter. Put a blog on your site. Interview people in your industry and put those on your site. Always be thinking of ways to add content.

Of course, Google loves a site that other sites link to. You can create a sophisticated link strategy, but here’s a hint: create content that others want to link to, and they will.

Should you ignore Yahoo! and MSN? No. But your first priority when optimizing a site is to figure out what Google wants and give it to them. You don’t even have to search far: Google Webmaster Central will give you some tips.

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Which Internet Marketing Techniques Work?

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Small business owners often ask me which internet marketing techniques work best. The answer is, “it depends on your audience.” Knowing your target audience and testing to see which techniques they respond to should be your #1 priority in your internet marketing plan.

With that said, MarketingSherpa did a survey recently with these results:

BEST internet marketing results:

  • 49% of survey respondents said “paid search ads”
  • 47% said their own in-house mailing list
  • 45% said search engine optimization (SEO)

WORST results:

  • 56% said rented mailing lists gave them the WORST results
  • 45% said pop-ups and pop-unders is a wealth of information, especially surveys and studies. Here are some good reports. If you sign up for their mailing list, you get most of their reports and articles for free (if you access them within a week of the email broadcast; after that, there is a fee):

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What’s New in Internet Marketing 2007: SEO

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This article begins a multi-part series of what’s new in the world of internet marketing. My hope is that this information will help you with your marketing planning for the coming 12 months.

Notes and News about Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

According to MarketingSherpa, people are still only spending 10 percent of their budget on SEO and 90 percent of their budget on paid search. In addition, over 70 percent of small business owners do their search engine optimization work in-house (they do it themselves versus hiring someone to do it for them); the same percentage conduct paid search (pay-per-click, etc.) in-house.

What does this mean? Small business owners need to learn what works and doesn’t work when it comes to SEO and paid search techniques. The cost of paid search continues to rise, so SEO may be a better place to spend your time and money.

Most searchers don’t scroll down beyond the first screen of search results they receive from Google, Yahoo or MSN Search. This means that if you are not in the top 10 search engine rankings (organic), you may need to do more SEO work to your website.

Here are some SEO tips:

  • It takes good copywriting, with only a few search terms per page. Choose three or four search terms you want to target for the next six months, and build them into the text of your website and your articles.
  • Well constructed sentences, with no spelling errors, wide use of bullet points, and short sentences seem to win the heart of search engines like Google.
  • Another good way to get high rankings is by issuing online press releases. Press releases get you exposure to the search engines.
  • Change the Title tag of your web pages; list benefits in the Title, not just the name of your company. The first 2 or 3 words pack the biggest punch.
  • Search for your competition and see what they’re doing regarding SEO in their website text; how do they rank in the organic search results?

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