Google’s keyword tools was the first thing SEO professionals used to visit when researching the keywords for SEO as it was reliable, free and it was Google’s tool. But in late August, 2013 Google took it out and its place was taken by Google’s Keyword Planner tool which was a combination of Keyword tool and Traffic Estimator.
This change by Google shaked the SEO community as there was no way to find closely related terms, no local or global monthly searches, no phrase or broad search, hus the exact match data was available, nor any way to let you target specific mobile devices. All the historical data was provided based on exact match only and it targets all devices by default (According to their official page they say they are working on setting bid adjustment for mobile devices). But when some of these features were removed, for sure did Google added somethings to improve it like filtering locations which means you can view the search volume on a local basis, “multiple keyword list” which lets you search on combination of words and dividing your keywords into ad groups. (Now there are a lot of other things in Keyword Planner tool added that we will be working on as we start doing our keyword research)
How to access it
To use the Keywords planner tool you need to have a google account. Login into your google account and access Google Adwords. If Google keyword planner doesn’t open up, you can find it under “Tools” -> “Keyword Planner”.
How to use it
On the Keyword Planner tool you are presented with 4 choices:
Search for new keywords and ad group ideas
Choose this option if you just want to perform regular keyword research for SEO or ad group based on a particular keyword, landing page or a category.
Get search volume for a list of keywords or group them into ad groups
Upload your keyword file or enter a list of keywords and get the average monthly search, competition, keyword cost just for those keywords. Related keywords won’t show up in the results.
Get traffic estimates for the list of keywords
Upload your keyword file or enter a list of keywords and get the daily traffic estimates for those keywords.
multiply keywords to get new keyword ideas
You can enter two lists of keywords here and google will come up with all possible combinations of keywords from that list.
Since we are focusing on using Keyword Planner tool for SEO, we will need to choose the first option. The other options are more related when we are focusing on paid advertisements. So we choose “Search for new keywords and ad group ideas” and you will have these options to refine your search:
Your product or service – enter your product or service which will be the keyword and you get the results based on that entered term/terms
Your landing page – enter a website or a webpage and you get the results based on the keywords that are related to that page.
Your product category – choose or type in your product category and you get results based on all the keywords related to that category.
it also gives you some options to refine the results
Targeting based on
Location – you can choose a particular country or can further narrow it down to a state or a city and your search results will be based on that.
Language – choose a language if you want search results based on any specific language
Search partners – choose if you want to get results based on just “google” as search engine or want to include results from other search engines too.
Negative keywords (keywords that should not be displayed in the result) – any keywords entered here will not be displayed in your results
Option to customize the search based on
search volume, suggested bid, competition
related keyword terms, adult result terms, keywords already added to account
Include/exclude keywords with specific terms.
Once your data is entered click “Get Ideas”. The result will be displayed in two tabs “Ad group ideas” and “keyword ideas”. By default “Ad group ideas” will be selected as Keyword planner tool focuses more on pay-per-click campaign. SO you will need to go to “Keyword ideas” as we are focusing on using the tool for SEO.
Understanding your results
Based on the filters that you applied, the results of your keyword are displayed. As you can see the “Global monthly search” and “Local month search” is replaced by “Avg. Monthly Search”. In the same column right before the average monthly search value is displayed there is a graph icon. Move you mouse over it and it shows a historical data for the search volume of that keyword over the period of twelve months. This gives you an idea of the trends based on months or season.
On the right side of your results table you can see “Targeting” and “Customize your search” panels, you can use them and refine your search again if you are not satisfied with the shown results.
It is important to know that by default the results shown are based on “broad match”. If you want to get the results based on the “exact match” of your keyword, you can do this by going to the right side of the page towards “Your plan” section. You can see a pencil icon, click it and change the “Add keywords as” option from “Broad match” to “Exact match”.
Once you change it will ask you if you want to apply the same to change to you previously saved keywords in your plan, but remember that it is for your keywords saved to your PPC campaign. Once you change your keywords match, the next search you perform will be in that keyword match (for example, if you choose “add keywords as” option to “exact match” it will show future results for “exact match” until you go and change it.)
Saving your results
You can download all results by clicking on the “Download” button on the top of the grid. It will ask you for the format to download it into and choose “Excel CSV”. This will be easy to do if you are just searching for one set of keywords. But if you are entering your keywords in separate goes, then you would have to download them every time you search and then merge them on your computer. So there is an easier option, instead of downloading them click “Add All” button right next to “download” and add all the keywords on to one plan. If you just want few keywords from the search result you can click on the “ >> ” icon on the last column of the search results and that will add the keywords individually to you plan.
Once you have your desired keywords on the plan, from the right side you can download your plan. Once you have all your keywords you can delete the plan as well.
Though Google Keyword Planner has replaced Google keyword tool it is a step closer to getting more refined keywords results and does a good job helping SEO professionals in their keyword research.
We would like to know if you use Google Keyword Planner for your SEO or do you use some other tools?
Are you into internet marketing and desperate for information on what other marketers are up to? Are they succeeding well and you are not? So, what is the reason for you lagging behind other contenders?
Well…for rising on par with strong SEO challengers, first and foremost, it is crucial to know whom you are competing with. Analyze the strength and weaknesses of some established SEO front runners and gain from their experience.
How to Know Who Your Competitors Are?
Website rankings establish the success of online marketing names. The toppers are the ones to watch out for, as they have more profit ratio than the rest of their lesser ranked followers. Analyzing offline business ventures is the easiest task, as you can personally identify which companies are doing well and which are not. But it is not so in the case of online dealings.
The not so easy factors in identifying your online competitors…
- Competition in the form of sites in your slot with similar features.
- Contesting with sites with major keywords identical to your USP.
- Straight forward opponents competing directly with your long tail keywords.
What is the best way to find out about your online SEO rivals?
As the contention list is a very long and tedious analysis process, the best way to find the truth about your fellow competitors is to do a Google search. Enter your target keywords and just list out the top ranking names. There…you have your very own record of your focal contenders catalog.
Once You have the SEO Competitors List, then What?
The first major step is now achieved. The next operation is to directly visit the websites (of the competitors) and analyze them visually. Ask yourself the following questions and note down the answer.
- Study the visual appeal of the contender’s website. Are they attractively designed, possess a user-friendly interface, and demand the attention of target audience?
- Scrutinize the content (including keywords usage). Are their content of high-quality and pertaining to specific business interests?
- What about their URLs? Ensure what kind of URLs they use. Is it static or dynamic?
How effective are these questions?
The answers are what makes these websites stand out among the others in the online crowd. Understanding your SEO competitors’ professionalism helps to gather information on their web success. Ask more questions as the answer lies within each and every website.
How Useful are Keywords for SEO Analysis?
The prime success of a website depends on effective keywords presentation. What better way to find out the reason behind your online rivals triumph. The better the keywords content usage the better is the online rankings.
How to spot the keywords used by top listed websites?
Your list of best keywords might not be available in your fellow competitor websites. So, what is the correct way to discover the right keywords?
- Check out if the websites of successful competitors contain similar keywords that you incorporated in your site.
- Utilize the Website Keyword Suggestion software tool to test the keywords that perform well for your rivals’ websites.
- Make the most of the Keyword Density Cloud tool to check your SEO contenders’ keywords density.
- Identify the location of the keywords in contending websites (search in meta tags, headings, image tags, and URLs) for gaining keywords information.
What are Backlinks and How Effective are they for SEO Rankings?
Backlinks (of web pages) are the strength of excellence in online SEO rankings. Analyze the backlinks of your SEO competitors and you can possess intelligence on their website performance.
- Check number, origin, and anchor text and retrieve backlinks data.
- Verify if competitors possess backlinks from high-ranking sites and contact webmasters of these popular websites and get them for yourself too.
- Make use of the Backlink Summary and Backlink Anchor Text Analysis tools for in depth backlinks analysis.
What About the Efficacy of Page Ranks for SEO Analysis?
Other than effective keywords and backlinks analysis, the best way to discern your competitors’ online performance is through page ranks study. Examine your adversary page ranks in Google search engine. Do not leave out Bing and Yahoo in your investigation. Each and every web competitor has connections with search engines. So, analyze the indexed pages that your contender sites have with these search engines. Page rankings are essential factors for efficient SEO analysis.
Do Not Forget Social Networking Sites…
Every web user has an identity through any of the numerous social media sites flooding the internet market. They are the online traffic grabbers and a check on your SEO contenders’ performance on Facebook, Twitter and other popular networking names is mandatory. However, it is not as easy as it sounds, to gather such huge data for SEO analysis.
- Begin from Social Bookmarking sites to kick-start your social media research and analysis.
- Search famous Social Bookmarking sites to confirm popularity of your contenders.
- Check if your competitors have accounts in the most popular (Facebook and Twitter) sites and find if any visibly available pages are made public.
- Evaluate the number of posts and the recognition your arch rivals witness on this social media platform.
Why are PPC Ads Popularly? How is it Useful in Comparative Online Competitors Study?
The most established and effective internet marketing technique is Paid Per Click (PPC) strategy. Its cost-effective approach is the most sought after aid to drive increased web traffic. Compare PPCs of your fellow SEO contenders and gather information on the secrets of their online success. Google Adwords (favorite PPC choice) is the most preferred by web masters among other tools. Avail Google’s PPC comparing tool called Analyze Competition. Even though it is limited to Google Adwords it is one of the most efficient tools to compare your PPC performance with that of your competitors.
Analyze Your SEO Competitors and Up Your Quotient
Keep an eye on your contenders and gain from their knowledge. Spend some time to compare your results with that of winning SEO names and build your business quotient. Measure up to your challengers, by evaluating their online feat with that of your own. If you are weaker than your adversary then gain facts and figures of their strengths and overcome your failings with their knowledge. Reinforce your SEO attempts through comparisons and analysis.
Why is it so important to wisely choose the top SEO company in the online market?
What are the most important aspects to look for in a good SEO firm?
How will it help in escalating business growth?
These are some of the key questions that pop up in the minds of any individual, group or business institution looking to set foot in the internet world. There are many instances where a company after an initial foray in the World Wide Web is left stranded with low online presence, owing to poor internet marketing strategies.
So, how do you shine online?
The best way to achieve a prominent position in search engine rankings is through an effective SEO tactic. Finding the right SEO company is necessary for a profitable client-company relationship. Search for the suitable SEO firm pertaining to your business interests and concerns and feel your presence on the internet.
What is the Finest SEO Strategy?
Get the attention your business deserves by incorporating proven SEO techniques. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) solutions are the most sought after efficient internet marketing services, ensuring high online rankings. There are hoards of netizens surfing the net every second of the day.
Who are the target audience?
Web surfers are the target audience who boost online results, making a website more visible and prominent in the search engine pages. Contacting the right SEO experts is a daunting task.
The need of the hour is to find the exact SEO company to take care of all your online requirements.
Why are SEO methodologies the most sought after online business move, nowadays?
Valuable SEO tactics are the main reason behind numerous businesses occupying high online standings. Made solely for the success of a website, SEO solutions are the current toppers as the most competent internet marketing technique.
What is the top SEO tactic needed to attain maximum web benefits?
First and foremost, the SEO approach must concentrate on incorporating keywords with good strength capacity to highlight websites on the first two pages of popular search engines.
Will the SEO programs include research on keywords content, website design, and links?
A good SEO firm follows unique approaches to place your online demand among top notch online searches.
• Integrates extensive and in-depth research and analysis methodologies for finding optimal keywords related to your website.
• Utilizes up-to-date SEO software tools for increasing user traffic to promote your company on the internet.
• Adds powerful SEO links connected accurately with your company profile targeting a wide range of online viewers.
Top Guidelines to Pick the Best SEO Company
Choose the apt SEO Company to make your business shine globally on the World Wide Web. It is crucial to select an established SEO firm to reap online profits. There are some points to keep in mind when deciding on the most suitable company to take care of all your internet marketing needs.
What are the different types of SEO companies available?
There are plentiful establishments but choosing the right one will help your company benefit from the online craze. Even freelance online consultants are on the rise. So, choose wisely and gain from the experience.
How important it is to check the credentials of a SEO company’s past records, testimonials and other successful testaments?
One of the key factors to look for in a SEO company is the successful past records, approved by contented client testimonials and reports. Analyse the past SEO campaigns of the organization to verify the accomplishments of the undertaken endeavors. Checking on existing and new customer records is the best way to unhesitatingly start a working relationship with the company.
What are the main kinds of tested accounts to look for in a SEO establishment?
It is important to gather details on effective SEO strategies carried out for various clients. Analyze the outcomes of SEO services offered and the resultant search engine rankings.
What about content usage, certificates and other experience details used by the SEO business?
Check for ethical keywords delivery, following legal practices accepted on the internet. It is vital for the SEO vendor to possess certificates with client references and case histories information. A good way to establish facts is to verify recommendations from past and existing clients, for statistics on quality of work. Finally, take count of the years of experience in offering successful and tested SEO solutions.
How to Check for Online Reputation of SEO Company?
Verifying online stature is the most popular evaluation technique to provide information on the achievements of the SEO company. As there are abundant companies offering varied SEO services, it is essential to select the most reputed organization. Use search engines to check on the popularity and credentials of the SEO company that you have narrowed upon.
Why are employees in a SEO firm important for successful online operations?
Examine the skill-set employed to execute the SEO tasks such as qualifications, training and experience of the SEO experts involved in a company. Experience speaks volumes on the standard of services offered by the firm. Check and proceed.
Does the SEO company you are looking to hire, ensures usage of updated SEO programs?
Ensuring that the SEO company you approach uses the latest software tools to implement SEO programs effectively, is a chief point to hypothesize.
• Compare and study the modern SEO techniques that are widely used by companies worldwide.
• Decide on the foremost and cost-effective SEO programming tool for optimal online gain.
• Review various SEO websites details and gather additional data on the programs offered as a SEO strategic technique.
What is the best way to judge latest internet developments?
Assessing updates is a proven way to analyse latest developments in the web field. It is the most efficient strategy to evaluate different standards employed by other successful businesses.
Does the SEO company you are choosing track the following?
• A user-friendly environment offering quick and speedy online results that is on par with other business contenders.
• Various successful online collaborations, revisions, outgoing solutions and incoming programs.
What is the link strategy used by the SEO company to ensure top search engine rankings?
Check whether the SEO company you are selecting incorporates the following actions.
• Use link building tools offering contact information, tracking user activities, and providing conversion rate data.
• Gather information on latest news on inbound links.
• Obtain information on other top ranking websites and study online behavior.
• Receive data on current web developments periodically incorporated by internet giants like Google, Yahoo, Hotmail and the rest.
How Cost-effective is the SEO strategy you are offered?
Examine the financial capacity of your business before embarking on the services of a SEO company. Ascertain that the SEO strategy does not drain your resources and utilize the services of SEO companies offering cost-effective deals.
Does an economic SEO contract accomplish the preferred online outcomes?
It is common knowledge that in some cases a cheaper SEO contract might not achieve desired online results. A better SEO company at additional cost, at most times, works wonders for your web visibility and online presence. Utilize the SEO services of a company that is compliant with your demands and also, offers the best programs for the money’s worth.
What are the various certificates needed to be verified before finalizing a SEO firm?
Increasing online consumerism has benefitted businesses extending services into the internet zone. A certificate proves the credibility of the organization and in turn leaves no doubt in the mind of the client.
• Registration certificates of the SEO company.
• Upgrade programs data adopted by the SEO company; needed to ascertain modern solutions implementation used with constantly changing online scenario.
• Professional work level documents of the experts involved in SEO operations.
• Guarantee (warranty) contracts.
How can you be sure that the SEO company you have approached is authentic and registered?
Certificates prove the qualifications, credentials and permits of a company. Check for approved certifications to establish recognized authorization details.
How does making inquiries into customer services of SEO company help in selecting the right firm?
The manner by which a SEO company offers quick customer response declares the competitiveness and effectiveness of the firm. Quality customer communication is important to establish concrete interaction that is founded on clear and precise contact.
• Call a SEO company or send an E-mail to evaluate the level of commitment and competency. An immediate response proves and confirms the effectiveness of the firm.
• Check existing client statements to validate claims of on-time delivery and quality performance.
How to Enroll the Best SEO Company in the Market and Reap Huge Online Benefits?
Nearly all visitors are aware of the SEO phenomenon. Banking on the SEO strategy is a sure way to establish your business interests on the internet. Numerous SEO companies offer novel and innovative solutions to place your business on top search engine page rankings. Be visible and enjoy the after effects with web prominence, obtained through successful SEO campaigns.
Is it true that the most famous you are online, the more traffic your website gets?
Online fame invites the internet mobs to view and appraise your website. It is the right time to invest in a good SEO company to streamline your online profits and benefit from the online revolution.
What are the best ways to maintain a constant communication stream between you and the chosen SEO firm?
Firstly, decide on the right SEO company and work out the delivery time scale. Secondly, maintain constant rapport with the firm to keep abreast of the latest happenings of the World Wide Web. Thirdly, provide a two-way communication system offering the required data according to SEO requirements.
How transparent must a SEO firm be?
It is essential to ascertain that complaints are immediately handled ensuring speedy end-result delivery. Obtain services helping in varied internet marketing programs to integrate solutions with a cost-efficient deal. Do not hesitate to ask for a transparent system of dealing, wherein, the SEO process is clearly explained and successfully incorporated.
What is the final word on the benefits of deciding on the right SEO company?
Leave all your internet marketing concerns in the able hands of a superior SEO company. Be a part of the rapidly expanding internet domain and gather immense business profits. A good SEO firm provides the right solutions in a stipulated time period and is the most essential of all internet marketing strategies. Climb in page rankings and invite a phenomenal quantity of use traffic to your website.
A SEO firm must believe in…
Research, analyze, and decide on the right SEO company that will take care of all your internet marketing needs. Find a SEO firm that believes in combining viable modern techniques, strategies and competitiveness. Quality assurance is the keyword. Ensure that the SEO company you are dealing with follows the requisites and conditions, to make your business a high-ranking name. Join up with a SEO company and collect the advantages of the relationship.
If you have read about search engine optimization or even done seo you surely might have came across the term “backlinks”. But what are they and what is all the fuss about backlinks? We will talk about what backlinks are, why are they important and how to build quality backlinks to your website without spamming the web.
So lets start with what are backlinks? Backlinks are the links pointing to your website from other websites. They are also known as inbound links. The number of backlinks to your website determine its value to search engines.
Why are backlinks important? Backlinks when received from high quality websites suggests search engines about the importance of your website. It is also a factor in increasing your Google PageRank. According to Google, the more high quality backlinks your website has the more relevant it is compared to your competition. When talking about relevance, when you receive backlinks from web page with related content they are considered more relevant and of higher value than from the website with irrelevant content.
Do not confuse yourself with reciprocal links as they are different from backlinks. Reciprocal links are a mutual link exchange between two website to boost the traffic and links pointing. But since to reach their goal many webmasters performed link exchange with websites that weren’t related to their niche. With the Google’s algorithm updates, it is penalizing websites with irrelevant link exchange and there were lot of webmasters emailing to remove their links from the link exchange program. Link building is considered an off-page optimization strategy and is equally important to the on-page optimization strategy. But lets not deviate from our topic and get back on ways to build high quality backlinks to your website with rising the spam alerts.
1. Build website for people, not for search engines
Create interesting and valuable content on your website. If your content is created by keeping your audience in mind and not the search engine your readers will share it attracting more audience and better backlinks. If your content is good it acts as Link bait. According to Matt Cutts link bait is anything interesting enough to catch people’s attention. Real backlinks are generated by people, you don’t need to work for it.
You can see that wikipedia dominates this by providing relevant and valuable content to its readers and that is the reason it tops on Google for most of the general terms searched.
When you create content you should keep these points in mind to create content to attract right audience.
- Use inviting title tags for your content like
- 6 ways to…
- how to generate…
- Write unique content. Don’t ever try to start your blog with few sentences of your own and the just copy someone’s blog to increase your word count.
- Controversies get more views. Something like “Is Google the best search engine?”
- Write about what your viewers are interested in.
2. Guest blogging for other blogs in your industry
If your website is new and you don’t have enough audience for your content to act as link bait then being is guest blogger is your option. Guest blogging on high profile websites will not only get you popularity but you can get backlinks with custom anchor texts with the keywords you want to rank for. You can provide anywhere from 1-3 backlinks to your website from your content or your author bio page.
Guest blogging is a great way of generating high quality backlinks and an easier way to establish yourself in your industry.
3. Interview someone influential
Interview someone important from your industry or any influential person and create a blog post about your interview pointing link to their website. This is will benefit you in two ways, first either that person will link you back and publish the experience on their website or the second thing can be you will get audience who are interested in reading the interview and share it for you.
4. Create your social profiles
Creating social profiles for your company and the key employees or the founders of the company linking to the website gives you high quality backlinks from reliable websites. This way you can get some good number of links back to your websites. Some of the major social places to do this is Google Plus, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube.
5. Write a review/testimonial
I am sure you might be using any services and products, you can write a review about them giving a link back to your website. You can also write a comprehensive review about a business and ask them to link back to you.
6. Give away free stuff
Develop software, template or some plugins and give it for free with a link back to your website. You can also have your users share it socially before downloading your software or free templates. That way you get your software, template or plugin socially shared as well as get a backlink to your website.
7. Getting Press as a HARO source
Sign up for Help a Reporter, the website where they are looking for specific type of people to respond to inquiries and interviews which they feature in their press release which gives you or your company a good brand awareness. Reply to the inquiries your get in your emails you feel are relevant to you.
8. Blog commenting
This is another way of generating good backlinks. Go on to other popular blogs and commenting there with a link back to your website. Doing this regularly not only generates backlinks but also helps you build a relationship with the author.
This is not the primary source of getting backlinks as most of the blogs have “nofollow” tag for their comments.
These are some of the few common ways to get backlinks but the best way to find which works for you the best is through your own research. What ever ways you chose make sure you don’t choose spammy black hat ways and don’t get yourself blacklisted. If you think you have some other good ways to do so share it with our audience.
Any new client I am consulting always asks me: “What approach should we start out with first?”
So the first thing I would like to say is that there is no first, second or last approach. SEO and PPC are the standard and most powerful traffic generating approaches for your online marketing campaign besides other marketing strategies like social media marketing, video marketing, content marketing and so on..but lets not get into it right now and carry on with our discussion on how to choose between PPC and SEO.
Lets start with a brief understanding of both these approaches. Both these approaches work towards the same goal (generating more traffic) the only difference is the way of achieving it.
SEO – Search engine optimization is building your website traffic using strategic approaches to have a higher ranking in organic search engine results page (SERPs). The major investment in using SEO tactics is your time (of-course money is involved too), and since it takes time for your SEO methodologies to take effect and have higher rankings, SEO is a long term effect. You will need to keep on following the new approaches (changing your in-page and off-page methodologies) towards your SEO marketing to maintain your higher rankings. The higher your SERP rankings high is the number of leads your business is getting and you will realize your efforts are well worth the investment.
PPC – Pay per click marketing is paying directly to the advertiser to display your digital ads on the search engines result pages. CPC – as the name says cost per click is what you will pay every time your ad is clicked. Advertisers bid on the keywords they want to target on their niche to get a spot on the sponsored results. The most common platforms to have your sponsored results displayed are Google, Yahoo, Facebook and Bing.
Comparing both the approaches:
Position on SERP
Displayed with all the other organic listing on the main body of the page. There will be a lots or related search results (mostly your competition) displayed based on the search engine’s algorithm, the search query and your strategic SEO approaches used.
These results might not be filtered based on the location until and unless specified. There may be no guaranty on the position/ranking of your website.
Displayed on the top or the right of the search page’s body with “Sponsored Results”, “Ads” or “Promoted” written.
The background color will be different from the background color of the body to make them stand out. There will be no guaranty for top ranking on PPC either, but the results displayed here might be filtered out based on the keyword bid for, location, timing selected.
The ongoing cost of SEO consultant (if you are hiring one) which can include your initial website setup, implementing SEO strategies and continuous maintenance of those strategies. There is no cost associated with choosing targeted keywords by SEO.
Spending around a $1000 per month on your SEO approach, getting higher rankings in SERPs will keep on generating lots of free to your website. But you need to keep in consideration that more leads will pop in only if you have higher rankings, websites with lower SERP positions can only manage to get very few leads.
The ongoing cost of PPC consultant (if you are hiring one) plus the cost of the PPC campaign which you will be paying to the ad platform based on the number of clicks and the price of your keywords.
Based on the industry and your keyword your cost on maintaining that campaign may vary.
If your keyword is “Truck Insurance” your average CPC according to Google Keyword Planner tool is $11.22. On average for 100 clicks your cost would be $1122.00. Taking a realistic conversion rate of 5% your cost of one lead is $224.40. Keeping your profit and your cost per lead in consideration, decide if its worth spending this much every month and don’t forget to add the cost of the consultant to this budget.
With SEO you have to expect at least 3 months for your leads to flow in with regular organic results. If you are a startup business you would not love to spend on advertising while just waiting for 3-4 months for your first online lead to show up.
You might need to keep up with your SEO approaches to maintain higher ranking and have new leads flow in.
With PPC, all you need to do is sign up with a ad publishing platform, chose your industry keywords and have your ad designed (1-2 days). You will have your first ad published as soon as you are done with these simple steps and can expect leads to flow in.
Once you remove your campaign your PPC leads stop (except if your leads have turned in your returning customers – you expect them as your direct leads now)
Maintaining SEO is maintaining your website and your code. It will be more complex if you don’t have much knowledge about how to manage the code and what to change when needed.
Here you will need to keep up with the new search engine updates and follow the strategies accordingly to maintain your higher rankings.
Maintaining PPC campaign will be easier (easier and not easy) compared to maintaining a website. All you have to manage here is your ad campaign and your keywords.
Here you will not need to keep up the new search engine updates, all you will need to do to maintain higher rankings in sponsored results is to bid higher on your keywords and you stay on top.
Reading the above points you would have now figured out that SEO is more of a strategic approach while PPC is a more tactical approach. So talking realistically is not about deciding between SEO or PPC, instead its more worthwhile when both the approaches are incorporated in your internet marketing strategies.
Advise: If you are a small business owner and are trying to manage your own SEO or PPC, always keep a track of your approaches and your campaigns. If you realize your efforts are not yielding your expected results it never to late to hire a consultant.
You started a new venture and are tied with lots of things currently going on in your life with the new start up – like budgeting, staffing, working out marketing strategies and much more. As a new business owner you want to make your market space, build your reputation and have as many leads as possible to come to your store/office. And to do that you need to add one more thing to your new start-up and that is your online location – your website. Website is as important as your physical location. Talking about the SEO measure for your website I have formulated a basic SEO checklist that will easily guide you in maintaining your SEO approach. These are basic changes that can give your internet marketing strategies a jump start.
1. Selecting your domain name
Go through your services and make sure that you select your domain name that has your basic service (keyword) in it.
Don’t incorporate difficult spellings into your domain name. Lets say you want your domain name to be www.thatlasttree.com (just making up something..:D), its looks confusing especially when there are two consecutive “t”s. User might end up tying something wrong in-turn losing that lead.
Avoid punctuations in your domain name. Though hyphens are word separators it will confuse users when saying your website name. My personal suggestion is to avoid them. Lets say your website is www.myhomebusinessonline.com. A user will say it as www dot my business online dot com. But if you name it as www.my-home-business-online.com will your user say www dot my dash home dash business dash online dot com.
Make it easy to read, type and speak. If your website is www.usedbooksnreviews.com (in texting language we use ‘n’ for “and”) but its not a good domain naming technique instead it will be smarter to name it www.usedbooksandreviews.com. Verbally speaking “n” and “and” sound same misguiding the visitor (direct traffic visitor)
2. Keyword Research
Do your keyword research by noting down all the products or services that your business will be offering. Study your market and see what your visitors are searching for which your business has to offer.
Make use of free keywords research tools like Google Keyword Planner, Bing Keywords Research Tool, WordTracker, etc to study the keyword competition, monthly search and location based search terms to filter out your targeted keywords.
If your business is about serving local customers try included local geographical terms into your keyword. Eg if you sell cakes in Las Vegas, your visitor is more likely to search for “cake shops in las vegas” instead of “cake shops online.”
Also target synonyms as your keywords. Taking the above example of the cake shop, use synonyms for cake stop like “cake store”, “cake shoppe”, “cake place” etc.
3. On-page optimization
Write relevant content for your website describing your business, services and other important details that customer would prefer reading before buying any product or services from you. Educate your user with your services. Also it is important for search engines to know your website so it can deliver it tot the right audience, without content even search engines would not be able to filter them out.
Include header tags (h1, h2, … h6) for your content based on the relevance of its placement. Header tags are like guides for search engines.
For all the images that you put up on your website related to your content, put ALT tags for them. Search engines cannot read the images for them what ever you describe in ALT tag is what search engines understand
Give your page a title using the <title> tag. Have a short relevant description and targeted keywords in your <meta description> and <meta Keywords> tags. “Page Title” for search engine is like the book title for you when you enter a library in search of a book. Imagine a library where all the books have same covers and no titles!! Don’t let search engines face that if you want a better ranking.
4. Off-page optimization
If possible start blogging, it builds your presence and your makes your visitors more familiarize about your services and would freely talk about it on your blog.
Build two-way links by mutual link exchange.
Do Social bookmarking, article submission and video submissions.
Submit your site to directories and local submission like yelp, yellow pages, google places, etc.
5. Account Setups
Set up your Google Analytics accounts. You can use your regular gmail account and go to google Analytics and setup your website in there. Keep monitoring it on daily basis.
Do the same for Google Webmaster tools and link your webmaster and Analytics account. Google Webmaster tool will notify you of any crawls errors, duplicate meta tags and other HTML errors.
Setup your website for Bing webmaster tool, you will need a hotmail or live.com email id for this.
6. Social Presence
Make your business’s online presence on the major social networking websites like FaceBook, Twitter, Google +. Social networking sites play a very important role in generating online leads.
- Create and share content on these social networking sites. It helps attract lot of visitors and encourages them to share your content among their network.
Interact with your audience regularly on social networking sites which helps build relations with them.
7. Competition Study
Keeping a close eye on your competition is the most important point of this checklist.
Study their website design, services provided, the keywords they target and other marketing strategies like what is their SEO strategy, do they do any kind of PPC marketing, content marketing or any other approach followed by them.
There is much more to SEO tactics than this checklist. But to start out with this basic things will give a jump-start to your SEO campaign. And with major search engines updating their search algorithm every once in a while it doesn’t harm in changing our approach as needed.