Search Engine Optimization

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The first question every website owner asks is "how do I get Search Engines" to list and recognize my website? Or which "Search Engines"  should I  try to get listed with? If any body asks this question publicly,

How to get your site noticed by search engines.

 he/she will  see many companies on the web pop up and  claim to be experts in "submiting" websites to thousands of "Search Engines" for a whooping fee. But the honest "Truth"  is that  there are only a few "Search Engines" that anyone should bother with because they are the main arteries or "FEEDERS" to other smaller "Serach Engines" much like veins that distribute blood by branching from the arteries. 

Yahoo and Google  are the main feeders with many other search engines as subordinates or affiliates.  A typical  example, is that MSN used to be  powered by Yahoo until it recently changed to BING. Similarly, AOL's search engine is actually Google's.  As a matter of fact, Yahoo powers MSN,  Juno, Netzero, AltaVista, Excite, Go2Net, InfoSpace, Sympatico.ca, Dogpile, Metacrawler, Web Crawler, and AlltheWeb, among others.

And Google powers AOL, InfoSpace, iVillage, Netscape, Earthlink, At&T Worldnet, AskJeeves, Lycos, and many more.

For the above reasons, any website that gets listed on both Yahoo and Google is already successfully  listed on more than 20 of the World's largest Search Engines because the remaining Search Engines being touted by experts  do not   amount to much and therefore probably a futile effort to worry about them.

How many types of Listings are there out there?

There are two types of listings: Free and Paid

Free listings are the left handside  of  website  of Search Engine Lists. Free listings are great esprcially for beginers because they are actually FREE.  However, the competition is very steep becasue one is  competing with  other website pages on the web for a higher ranking. 

In order to move a wesbite  up in the listings, one has to perform  Search Engine Optimization (SEO). In reality, SEO involves writing website contents full of keywords that attract Search Engine Crawlers. 

Paid listings are the ones that say "Sponsored" and they are normally at the top right handside  

Paid listings are used by many businesses on the web including companies such as Microsoft, Smart phone companies such as AT &T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Best Buy and Amazon, to list a few. Usually most companies  get  about 35% of their  sales through paid listings and  about 35% through free listings. When properly executed, it can  take up to twelve(12)  months for FREE LISTINGS  to get to the top of Google or Yahoo Search Englines. However, it takes  about three(3) hours  to achieve high rankings on Google’s paid listings, and a few  days for Yahoo’s paid 

Which Method is the best to use between Free or Paid Listing?

If you are not  selling any product or services on a website, you  do not  need  to use paid listings. However, if you have anything to sell and have the funs for marketing, paid listing is the best option to pursue.

Which Search Engine Should I Start With?

To start, go to Google and sign up for their AdWords service. Follow their instructions and you'll be listed on Google and the other search engines they supply. 

How do I Start?

It costs as much as you are willing  to spend. It works as an auction. You bid on "KEYWORDS" and keyword phrases. In essence, whoever pays the most gets top billing. Google, however, takes other things into consideration; how relevant your site is to the keywords you're bidding on, how many other sites link to your site (relevant sites), how many people read your ad and click on it versus the other ads that are paying more than you. So, it is possible, with Google, to be first in the rankings and not pay the most.

You get charged every time someone clicks on your ad and goes to your site. This is called a click-through. The minimum bid is $0.10 (ten cents) and can go as high as you like. You can also specify a daily budget that you'd like to live within. This is what makes it affordable, if you want to try it out for $10 per day, you can do it. You won't get as many click-throughs as you would if you spent $50 per day, but you'll see the percentage of people who click through and you can use that to predict how many would click through if you spent more money. For example, if you had a $10 budget, a $0.10 bid and got 100 clicks and 2,000 people saw your ad, you'd have a "click-through-rate" of 5%, which is pretty good. So, if you increased your budget to $50, you could expect five times as many clicks.

This is not always true in practice, because there may not be enough people out there searching for your keywords to result in five times as many clicks. At some point you’ll run out of people and clicks. Increasing and decreasing your budget will help you find the right budget.

How much does it cost?

The first thing to do is go through the articles we have on Online Marketing. One of the main things you’ll get from these articles is a method to determine what keywords people search for when looking for a site like yours. These keywords are the key to your success on the web. 

What do I do?

You will now be getting clicks to your site from many people and it will cost you money. You’ll want to monitor your keywords, ads, money, and click-through-rates to ensure you are spending money wisely. You’ll want to check to see if some of your ads aren’t doing well, and if not, you may want to change the ad. You can measure the effectiveness of your changes by watching the click-through-rate. If it goes up, your did a good job.

You may want to eliminate keywords that aren’t doing well so you can reallocate the money being spent on those to keywords that are doing better.

The main thing you’ll want to do is to be able to determine what keywords and ads are resulting in actual sales of your products or services. Google and Overture/Yahoo each have methods to do this. Google calls it “Conversion Tracking”, Overture calls “Conversion Counter”. They will give you some HTML to add to the “confirmation” page on your site. This is the page people land on once their sale is complete. With this HTML in place, you’ll be able to tell not only which ads and keywords pull in more people but which ones result in sales.

What's Next?

Next, go to Google, click on “Advertising Programs” and then click on “Google AdWords”. Read all about AdWords and when you understand it, review our articles on keywords and create a great set of keywords. Bring them back to AdWords, enter them, create your ads, get set up for conversion tracking and get yourself online.

Then, use the tools Google and Overture give you to analyze your ad program. Make small modifications and wait to see what difference they make. Don’t make too many changes at once because you won’t be able to tell what worked and what didn’t work. The object of this is to continually tweek everything until you are getting the most clicks, most ad views (also called impressions), highest click through rate, and most importantly highest conversion rate from clicks to sales.

Good luck! 

We had a series of articles on how to improve search engine rankings in previous newsletters. Those articles are on our site and best of all they work! If you follow the directions provided in these articles your site will move up to higher and higher rankings. However, it takes time, and lots of it. Search engines do their ranking about once a month. It will take 3 to 6 months for you to see a change. This means you should start optimizing your pages today!

Written by Webstudio Founder