There are a lot of very good search engine optimization firms to choose from, and there are a lot (too many) of firms that say they do search engine optimization but end up being a waste of time and money. I hope today’s article will help you separate the wheat from the chaff.
When you begin your vendor selection process, you should start by defining your needs and goals. So many people enter into the selection process with no idea of what their goals may be other than, “We want to rank on page one of Google.” Here are some other issues to consider.
What Are Your goals?
Are you interested in branding, or more likely, are you interested in how search engine optimization can help you grow your business? To me, growing your business at a good ROI should be the ultimate goal. Just like you would measure any form of marketing, you should determine what the ROI should be from your search engine optimization efforts.
If you are not an e-commerce Web site, but you have a lead form on your site, you can determine a value to place on each lead that comes through your search engine optimization efforts and measure against that. If you get a majority of your leads/inquiries through someone calling, perhaps your goal is an increase in relevant traffic to the site. In that case, you can determine the value of each “click” from your search engine optimization efforts and then tally up the total clicks per month, measuring this against the cost of the program.
Saying this, I should remind everyone that proper search engine optimization takes time, so it’s best to evaluate year-over-year increases. This valuation should occur after the recommendations from your provider have been implemented for a minimum of two to three months. It has been my experience that measurable increases from your search engine optimization efforts will occur no sooner than this timetable, but each Web site is unique.
No two Web sites are the same. Every search engine optimization project will have its unique set of challenges/needs. If there’s anything that irritates me, it is search engine optimization firms that have “packages.” Some Web sites are new to launch and will require a lot more work to get the ball rolling (link building, among other things). Some Web sites are high-quality but may lack visible text, so they may require copywriting assistance. And then there are some that have many technical challenges, which may require a talented Web development team to sort through the issues.
Another thing to consider here is your available human resources pool, or lack thereof. Do you have a Web developer who can take the recommendations provided by a search engine optimization company and can accurately implement these recommendations? Would your company allow an outside vendor access to your Web site to make changes that may be necessary to assist in the search engine optimization efforts?
The catch 22 of all of this is a smaller company will probably require the most amount of help. A smaller company would probably not have a copywriter on staff, a development team, a public relations department, or any other resources to assist in these efforts. That means you would depend on your search engine optimization provider to bring all of its resources to the project. The more resources needed, the more amount of time the provider would be involved in. The more amount of time needed, the more money you can expect to spend.
Once you have managed to match your needs/goals with a list of providers you would like to contact, it’s now time to ask some very important questions.
How many search engine programs has your provider managed? I’m not saying that a shear number of projects is the key in the selection process, but years of experience can be very beneficial. Knowing what works in the long term is key to your achieving results that last and are not overly dependant on algorithm updates.
If they guarantee top-ten rankings, run. Don’t walk. Run. There is no such thing as guaranteed top-ten rankings in organic search engine optimization. We (search engine optimization companies) do not own the search engines. We are similar to a public relations firm in that we know how to best position you with the search engines, but the search engines – ultimately – will rank you based upon their criteria. A good search engine optimization firm understands the criteria and can, over time, help you to enhance your presence in the major search engines.
If they tell you they are going to submit your Web site to hundreds or thousands of search engines, you might want to consider another provider. Submission to the major crawler-based search engines, other than possible XML feeds, is not necessary. Quality link building (internally and externally) will get your site well indexed.
Can they show you live examples of their work and the results? Any firm worth its salt will be more than happy to point you to live examples of rankings and testimonials from clients. They should have a deep pool of references for you to call and speak with.
I think this is one aspect of the selection process that is often overlooked. Many search engine optimization companies are not willing to divulge what it is that they do. Again, there are many very good search engine optimization firms that will want you to be educated in the process. The more you understand search engine optimization, the easier it will be to work with you.
After all, you will know why certain recommendations are being made, and you will become a champion in the efforts to get recommendations implemented and in pushing the program forward. There is little more frustrating than working with a large company that cannot seem to get the IT team to buy off on the recommendations or puts them on the back burner for weeks. So, the more you understand, the more you will be able to help the search engine optimization company do its job, and the more successful you will all be.
Hope this helps! If there are any topics you would like me to cover in future articles, please don’t hesitate to contact me!
Online advertising is changing the rules of engagement within the advertising industry. As more and more companies question their current marketing mix, expenditures and return on investment, online advertising gains power and pull.
Answers to some frequently asked questions about the merits of online advertising, the future of online and offline media and hottest opportunities in the market.
Q: What are some of the major trends in online advertising?
A: Search is becoming the dominant form of online advertising, increasing the sophistication of search engine results and content as well as the consolidation of industry players. Market pricing will function more like network television, although the web still remains the great equalizer: Small business will continue to buy a significant share of online advertising because it’s effective, easy to buy and the same medium used by the big boys. Because of its inherent measurability, online advertising is already having an effect on the accountability of all advertising.
Q: When will online advertising really start to take off?
A: It’s already taken off, most dramatically a year or so ago. It was also consumed by entrepreneurial direct marketers that figured out economic models after the easy money exited the marketplace. Many of these upstarts have had to evolve into far more sophisticated players, as the market and competition have grown and matured.
Q: What advantages does online advertising have compared to print, for example?
A: In most ways that impact the bottom line, online outperforms print media. That is not to say print media is without value, but as the marketplace grows more digital (and therefore more accountable) the ability to track, measure, and optimize the results generated by media are difficult to beat. Print’s strengths include highly targeted or niche audiences and the business-to-business sector–though search is impacting that as well.
Q: What are the opportunities for specific markets, such as the real estate industry?
A: Real estate is a big opportunity, and the majority of decisions today are already influenced by online content and advertising. The challenge here is in capturing and organizing oceans of data, images, and entities in a super fragmented industry that is eminently localized. Sounds like a sweet market for a Google invasion, but upstarts like Zillow are doing a great job.
Q: What other areas of online advertising would be smart to invest in? Are there any areas that are untapped?
A: Online video is growing fast, but barely tapped. Online music and audio advertising opportunities are also hot. While Apple and pirated music dominate, upstarts like Soundpedia are taking the music world in a new direction and have a real plan to optimally leverage online music (which is likely to converge with online video as an ad vehicle). Another area is specialized local price and quality shopping engines–at least those that the major search engines index favorably–generally due to strong focus and a good SEO (search engine optimization) team.
Q: What online advertising listings do you predict will be popular in 2008?
A: Yahoo, already a monster in the category, will make significant strides in 2008 and 2009. Despite some organizational issues, they have some excellent people as well as the wherewithal to pull together a high-performing set of online advertising vehicles in an exceedingly scalable manner. Also, Yahoo Search is improving, but is still not as easy as Google AdWords. Yahoo’s acquisition of Right Media was a boost for smaller shops, as the auction model they implement allows savvier online advertising buyers to potentially outperform larger rivals cost effectively.
Q: What about digital game ads?
A: In-game advertising is getting a lot of traction. When you consider there is a generation that thrives on high-end video games, IM and text messaging, it’s easy to see why these ads have great value. Game consoles are turning into living room PCs on the web, They stand to dominate the attention of an exceedingly valuable demographic.
Q: Are there any interesting statistics readers should be aware of?
A: Online advertising has become a major opportunity for a majority of marketers. With so many options, however, it’s easy to confuse a strategy. Focus, and working with people that are experienced in pulling together a solution either in-house, outsourced, or some combination is the first step. Do the homework, keep expectations realistic and focus on learning about how a product or business responds within the online medium. The same advice applies for marketers already in the medium that are seeking growth of their programs and results
1. Google indexes a website if you add a Google Analytics code. Busted!
2. Google indexes a website if you use Google AdWords. Busted!
3. Google indexes a website if you add Google AdSense. Busted!
4. Google indexes a page that can only be reached through nofollow links. Busted!
5. Google indexes a page that is excluded by robots.txt. Plausible!?!
Search engines optimization (SEO) should be measured as serious element of any Internet promotion. This is vital as there is so much which can be gained from SEO in terms of Internet promotion and if you do not optimize your website for Search engines,it can effect in a significant loss in terms of free promotion which is basically gained from place well with Search engines. This article will offer insight into what SEO is and will explain why Internet promotion requires at least some degree of SEO.
SEO optimization is a must in order for a website to be listed in Search engines. This may be achieved in a assortment of diverse ways and optimal SEO strategies combine a assortment of diverse strategies to complete one well orchestrated SEO crusade There are quite a few basics to believe when attempting to optimize your website for Search engines. This may take in keyword research are importance META tags, titles and inbound relatives Keyword research is one of the most widespread SEO strategies and basically involves using applicable keywords over and over again in the satisfied of a website to demonstrate the relevance of these keywords to the website. This is vital as Search engines optimizations are likely to reward websites with optimal keyword densities with constructive Search engines optimization will places in an effort to offer Internet users with the most applicable websites for meticulous search stipulations
The prominence of keywords should also be measured. This takes how close the keywords are positioned to the commencement of the website. The widespread fault with this policy is to believe the first opportunity to fit in keywords is in the first line of noticeable text on the webpage. This is not true as Search engines optimization crawl the code of a website as opposed to the noticeable satisfied on the website. This earnings there are multiple opportunities to fit in applicable keywords long before the definite noticeable satisfied on the website. This power takes in the code for the title as well as the META tags. trade owners who realize the potential for incorporating keyword into the code gain an advantage over competitors who only fit in keywords into the satisfied on their website.
Now that we have briefly explained some of the main concept of SEO, we will illustrate why it is vital to optimize your website in the first place. SEO is as vital as most Internet users highly value the effects of hunt locomotives and are likely to only visit to place websites when they hunt for a meticulous keyword. Internet users trust Search engines to serve the most applicable satisfied first and are therefore not likely to visit websites which do not fall on the first or second page of search effects. This earnings websites which rank well basically are receiving a great deal of free promotion from hunt locomotives that place their website in a key position. Website owners who do not invest time into optimizing their websites miss out on a great deal of potential web travel.
There’s been a slew of blog posts and articles recently regarding the type of salaries that search engine marketing and search engine optimization consultants are currently commanding in the U.S. Clearly, the search industry is making some people rich, depending on what is rich to you.
Here are some typical salaries in USD from 2004/6:
Entry level SEO/SEM position = $30-45K
Three to five years experience / online account managers = $50-75K
Five + years / organic SEO specialists = $75-90K
Senior management level = $70-120K
SEM Director = $95-150K
VP Level = $100-200K (although there have been reports of offers ranging from $250-315K at this level)
Now were in 2007 going into 2008, Search Engine Optimization & SEO Services should be an essential core part of the Online Search Engine Marketing Strategy for most Online Businesses today anyway,
My thought is simple, I think the above amounts are a good guideline, but should you find a seo consultant who has proven results, on his own website as well as his clients, has made massive ROI for other company’s, with some of the larger Fortune company’s this could mean $millions in extra profit, then the guy is just about priceless, $300k, $500k is a small price to pay if someone is generating an extra $5 million a year don’t you think?
The facts are you do not find these guys working in-house, why would you? unless of course they earn these amounts, most work for themselves or have there own companies.
I dont go for these guys who sell CD’s or books either, not that they are not any good, some are, but just feel they are taking advantage of the wannabes, and lets be honest, there are plenty of suckers out there who think they will become seo experts by buying these things and are only too happy to stump up a few hundred bucks to find out.
My old granny always told me that cream rises to the top and if you pay peanuts you get monkeys, old sayings I do really believe are true.
Buys ya tickets and takes ya chance
Fresh Traffic the Online Search Marketing & SEO experts are opening a new global office in the Winnipeg Manitoba Province area of Canada, for company’s looking for search engine optimization, search engine marketing, pay per click management or link building Fresh Traffic’s new office is offering world class SEO services to all Canadian business owners. SEO Marketing & Online Search Marketing has become a vital ingredient nowadays for any successful business. CEO of The Fresh Group Jerry Booth says opening a new office in the Winnipeg area which has a centralized Canadian position is the ideal place to service clients from Vancouver, Calgary & Winnipeg at one side to Quebec, Montreal & Toronto at the other as well as throughout the whole of Canada, the new office will also complement our presence and other offices in the UK & US.
He says our team of industry-leading experts and Search Engine Optimization Consultants bring years of experience in programming and design and provides the highest quality technological services to meet expectations and budgets for both personal and business agendas. We invest our talent, vast experience and creative ability, and employ the latest industry tools to each project we take on. We often get called the Google Consultant, The Google Doctor, Internet Strategists Google Expert and of late the online poker kings, off course we are very good at what we do and it is very flattering, but with clientele in ecommerce, theme parks, travel, holiday, film, publishing, online magazines, car racing, online toy stores, models, poker, casinos, media, dating and sport to name a few, we would rather people know us for Solid Search Engine Optimisation Advice & SEO Consulting services which produce top natural and organic search results using white hat tactics, Here at Fresh we always use 100% ethical SEO procedures.
Online advertising spend in the US is set to outgrow the amount spent in newspapers by 2011, according to a new study.
Figures from the Veronis Suhler Stevenson (VSS) report predict that internet advertising will grow by more than 21 per cent per year to reach a total of $62 billion in 2011, exceeding the predicted $60 billion spent on newspapers.
It was also shown that spending on alternative advertising, including internet, mobile, video games and digital out-of-home, grew by 36.6 per cent last year to $26.53 billion. In stark contrast, traditional advertising spend only grew by 2.4 per cent to $183.21 billion over the same period.
James Rutherfurd, executive vice president and managing director at VSS, commented: “Leading national advertisers have accelerated their diversion of dollars from traditional print and broadcast media to alternative digital platforms to combat media and audience fragmentation, increased consumer control and multitasking, and the growing impact of advanced technology on conventional media models.
“The result has been the extraordinary growth of alternative advertising and marketing.”
A separate survey by Burst Media highlighted the fact that the internet has become very important in many women’s lives, which is great news for internet advertisers.
Boost your web presence with link building.
Microsoft has made huge gains with its Live Search, posting year-on-year growth of more than 77 per cent for the 12 months to the end of June 2007 in the US.
Google remained at the top with yearly growth of 46.3 per cent and close to four billion searches, followed by Yahoo in second spot, with annual growth of 20.3 per cent and 1.49 billion searches.
However, it was Microsoft that really shone, racking up 0.98 billion searches and managing to increase its share by almost five percentage points from 8.4 per cent in May to 13.3 per cent in June.
Microsoft, which is in intense competition with Google and Yahoo over their respective internet advertising programs, was boosted by the launch of its Vista operating system, which makes it easier for people to use Live Search.
This has been a bone of contention for Google, with the company accusing Microsoft of unfair practices.
Google managed a healthy 46 per cent increase in year-on-year growth, but its share of searches was down by 3.6 per cent from May to June, signifying that its reign as the undisputable search king may not last forever.
Yahoo posted 20 per cent year-on-year growth but its share of searches was down by 1.8 per cent to 20.2 per cent. AOL search figures were up by 8.8 per cent, while Ask.com increased by 21.2 per cent.
Recent poor weather across the UK has taken its toll on the high street, but has seen sales undertaken online soar, according to new figures.
A report from online retail organisation IMRG revealed that the month of June saw internet retail sales hit £3.5 billion in value, in a boost to internet advertising.
Year-on-year growth for the second quarter of this year reached an average of 52.5 per cent, up from the 35.3 per cent increase recorded during the same period of last year.
In contrast, rainy weather kept overall retail sales growth at just 0.2 per cent during last month.
“Thanks to the internet, shoppers are getting used to thinking about, finding and buying goods and services in new ways,” IMRG’s Jo Evans told VNUNet. “They no longer need to plan their lives around when the shops are open.”
A recent report from Jupiter Research forecast that one fifth of the world’s population would be online by 2011.
Online spending in the US grew by almost a fifth to a massive $47.5 billion during the second quarter of 2007, indicating the huge impact of internet marketing.
Digital measurement expert comScore found that non-travel e-commerce increased by a whopping 23 per cent to $27.2 billion, while travel spending on the web grew by 14 per cent to $20.3 billion.
The comScore study also predicted that online consumer spending in the States would probably reach $200 billion in 2007, as more and more shoppers shun the high street in favour of the ease and good value of the internet.
Video games, consoles and accessories sales rose especially sharply, rising 159 per cent compared to the second quarter of 2006.
Other categories that grew rapidly included sport and fitness, consumer electronics, event tickets, jewellery and watches, and furniture and appliances.
The figures demonstrate the massive response garnered by internet advertising.
“Even factoring in the moderate growth rates from Q1, we’re currently on pace to break $200 billion in e-commerce spending in 2007,” said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni.
“However, in the past we’ve seen growth rates accelerate as the year progresses, culminating with the online holiday shopping season, so $200 billion may actually turn out to be a conservative estimate.”
A recent report from IPA showed that online marketing budgets are increasing fast as companies come to see the benefits of the medium. In the second quarter, 24 per cent of firms reported an increase in their total marketing budgets, with internet advertising posting the strongest gains.