For some reason, some clients tend to look at Organic SEO like a vending machine. Almost as if they want to put their money in a slot and instantly want the prize. Organic SEO depends on the climate of the competition, the industry and variables such as the content on your pages, if your site is new, if your website has links or if it is virtually unknown. The list of potential obstacles that an optimization specialist has to overcome oftentimes seems insurmountable in comparison to the expectations of a client.
In the event that time is not a luxury one can afford for long term results, there is pay per click marketing. However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel for solid organic placement, but before getting there, oftentimes an education and above all clarity needs to be established between the SEO company and the client before embarking on a voyage into the raging waters of the search engine marketing.
Patience may be a virtue, but in SEO it is the cornerstone to long lasting organic search results. If you have a newer website that barely ranks for your company name and you hire an SEO company with the expectation of taking over a 2 word phrase with 5,000,000 pages competing for that term, what likelihood do you have of achieving search engine domination (that lasts) within a month? 2 months?, 3 months?, bleak…you see the point. To acquire such (in the real world) and not just theoretically would mean that you would have had to start somewhere (with related keywords) to chip away at the tail or the term (sometimes for 3-6 months), before even considering attacking the head. Not to mention that your ranking potential is to a great extent based on your link popularity. Now those of you who are not familiar with link building, here is an analogy.
Say for example that you want to appear for a search term that sparsely appears for a fleeting moment on your website, you don’t really want to change your content and you want fast results (all SEO’s raise their hand if they have had to deal with clients like this) then I have news for you. Your better breaking it to them that they are better off sticking risk vs. reward, no guarantee, pay per click marketing. At least then they know what their getting, a shot at the top, with no safety net. One can easily burn through 2-3 times as much money using PPC than just observing a bit of patience to organically occupy a top 10 spot and have the users click happily ever after when they visit your site free of the toll of the PPC troll. But to expect this from Organic SEO right out of the box (from a newer site – less than a year old) is simply contrary to the principles (mainly the algorithms) that control organic rankings.
What is the solution?
So what can you do if you are interested in increasing your rankings without spending a fortune? Invest your time in (a) looking at the top tier websites that are returned for the search terms you are coveting and (b) be frank with yourself to determine what those websites have that yours does not. Do they have 1000 pages and you have 3, do they have 25,000 back links to their site and you have 28, trust me details like this matter. What can you emulate and what can you do today to make changes that can provide relevance for your website aside from wishful thinking…
All kidding aside, if you are considering what it would take to be on top, usually the first thing to consider is what you need to be doing differently that can aid the process that is already known for being conducive with top 10 rankings. Because frankly, if you were doing that already, your wouldn’t need SEO to begin with. So if you are afraid of change, or quite simply just don’t have the time to commit 3 hours a day to your site (minor tweaks, revisions, polishing the content, building links, socially bookmarking to promote, etc) then your better off hiring an SEO company who does know how, and that can avoid the pitfalls in the first place.
Start from the ground up, content is the key
Organic SEO is based on maximizing the content on your pages to achieve the right balance of word density (percentage of keywords to non keywords) as well as proper use of signal flares or signifying elements that say HEY OVER HERE, HERE I AM, when it comes to that term. Not that repetition for the sake of redundancy occurs (otherwise known as SPAM), but your message should be clear, themed and concise, while being informative, compelling and engaging to consume (otherwise known as sticky) to ensure sales and conversion.
If you are a bit on the shallow side on the links, you can sign up for the Yahoo Directory to get the ball rolling, it’s the best $299 one could spend on investing in their websites instant recognition based on the process of affiliation with one of the oldest directories online. One site which was less than a year old went from a page rank 0 to a page rank 4, just on the strength of Yahoo’s back link, so this is a start.
My suggestion is to build links for about 3-5 months gradually sprinkling the terms you want to rank for in the anchor text (the text in the link) that reference your site. The idea is to have a balance of broad search terms as well as a combination of exact match terms to dial in the net and funnel the potential searches that may have any number of keywords that pertain to your industry. In this way, your site can become a catch all for various top 10 searches and create inroads with search engines as an authority in your industry.
This is what link building is for, building authority, from there once your website is viewed in that capacity, you can work smarter not harder to rank for more competitive terms. This is not intended to be interpreted as a tutorial, but rather a needed statement to address all of the misconceptions about organic rankings.
Organic SEO can work fast, but it depends on variables and since no two sites are alike, what works for one, may not work for another. Competition and the industry have the greatest impact on this part of the equation. Real estate vs. ant farming, sure you could rank in the top 10 for the best ant farmer, but then again the daily search volume may be 3 people a day if that.
The point being, the market is based on supply and demand and as any commodity is in great demand, it is taxed accordingly. In this case, the search engines view this as a commitment of time and energy. Visibility and links are crucial, but finding the right combination of old and new links as well as being present in the headlines, social scenes and other known factors that can produce rankings are all investments of time. So the next time you wonder why SEO companies charge so much, this should provide some incite into the logic behind the equation. They are essentially micro-managing thousands of steps and protocols, analyzing the results and systematically applying fundamentals to give your website the proper balance so that it appeals to the hungry, yet picky spiders and bots, whose purpose it is to catalog and retrieve useful content.
If you don’t make the grade, you can always build a few more links, clean up your code, your content and your act and then wait for them to breeze through again and catch a glimpse of your wares. If they like what they see, you should be ranking in no time flat. But if the results you are seeking fall short of your expectations, then it is either you than must come to terms with what you want and where your at, so that you can make the needed adjustments to find a happy medium between on-page SEO, off-page link building until you achieve your goal.
Mayhem breaks out as Google updates its PageRank, Yes a few sites have lost a few digits off the little bar, but some have gained.
Yes it seems to be aimed at websites Google thinks sells links and passes juice, what is the big deal?
Remember once upon a time I was the Googleman, only my signature, a promise, high court injunction and a few $$$ to keep my mouth shut for a few years kept me quite on revealing the SECRETS.
Whatever, PageRank is nice to have, BUT is it the be all and end all, NO.
I have had sites listing #1 for years with a PR2 and only got that through DMOZ, SERPS is what counts, no secrets, good content that is relevant, good internal linking and a few good inbound links should see you list.
Anyway back to the latest update, SERPS have been affected this time, especially if you have links from sites google has penalized, I am sure these will surface over the next week or so, I am seeing these now on a few websites already, no doubt we will have blogs and stories and screams about this next week.
Get it straight, Its not against the rules to buy links, if you buy for the right reason, traffic and not trying to shaft Google for PR or better SERPS, if you do then expect to suffer the rath of the BigG.
Google AdWords has received an upgrade to give its users a more “detailed breakdown” of how their keywords are performing.
Internet marketers using the ad-serving platform can now look deeper into the quality score figure for each keyword to find out if it can be improved, according to the official Inside AdWords blog.
“Specifically, you’ll learn how keyword quality and landing page quality are performing and receive recommendations for improvement,” said Inside AdWords ‘crew’ member Trevor on the blog.
The service upgrade also includes a prediction of how changes to settings or keywords can affect the visibility of ads.
According to the Google blog, advertisers will receive an alert if any of their keywords are under-performing and be offered advice on how to change this, as well as being able to view information such as their minimum bid for the keyword and an overall quality score rating.
Google AdWords deals with pay-per-click (PPC) adverts which are distributed to websites across the internet depending on the keywords selected by the internet marketer.
These advertising services are one method of link building, which can improve the performance of a website by attracting more users
Email has been a stalwart advertising method since the dawn of the internet, but a new study suggests its time could be waning.
According to data released by the US Direct Marketing Association, there are still good returns on investment provided by email marketing, but these are falling.
The figures show that by the end of 2007, some £244 million will have been spent by internet marketers on email – driving sales of £11.2 billion.
That equates to around £36 for every £1 spent, which while still impressive reflects a drop from £38 for each £1 in 2006 and £42 in 2005.
Predictions from the DMA suggest that this trend will continue next year, with a spend of £288 million pushing nearly £13 billion – equal to around £34 for every £1 spent.
Despite this decline in returns from email marketing, the US DMA said it could stand up against most other Web Marketing channels as the average non-email online return on investment was found to be £15.30 for every pound spent in 2007.
I know we have seen posts before, but someone sent this in and I couldn’t resist.
Jerry Booth, DaveN & Gillian
Frankie Dettori,Jono & Jo
A little known Finland-based company Jaiku has just been acquired by Google.
Jaiku describes their main goal as “to bring people closer together by enabling them to share their activity streams.”
Basically Jaiku offers mobile phone software which enables users to microblog from both their mobile phone and the internet.
Google has already acquired another mobile phone software company, Zingku, who aim to provide mobile phone users with a range of services including sharing photos, posts and special Zingku “mobile flyers”.
Back in 2005, Google acquired a company called Dodgeball, but after no significant investment by Google the Dodgeball founders left their own company disappointed and frustrated.
All this activity has led to speculation by one industry analyst that Google’s rival, Yahoo may take an interest in Jaiku’s rival, Twitter.
In any case the collective acquisitions indicate that Google certainly seems to have taken a strong interest in the future of internet compatible mobile phone software.
Appropriately, both Google and Jaiku have blogged about the acquisition.
The Jaiku team state that new user sign-ups have been temporarily limited whilst Google and Jaiku engineers work together to produce a new, better service.
Google product manager, Tony Hsieh, writes that they are “excited about helping drive the next round of developments in web and mobile technology.”
Tony ends by extending a “hearty Google welcome to Jaiku”, but we will have to wait and see whether this really does materialise in innovative development or ends in development stagnation just like Dodgeball.
Nice little Quiz from seomoz
So, you think you know your SEO inside and out, eh? Well, here’s the mother of all SEO Expert Quizzes, designed to test your mettle with 75 action-packed questions covering all corners of the SEO universe from beginner knowledge, to sneaky tricks only true Dark Lords of the SERPs will know. Take the next 25-35 minutes and see how badass you truly are, then share in your triumph (or tragedy) by slapping your SEO Quiz badge on your site to let the world know how hard you rock the SEO game.
Test your SEO Expert knowledge to earn your knowledge level.
91% – 100% – SEO Deity
81% – 90% – SEO Master
71% – 80% – SEO Professional
61% – 70% – SEO Newbie
0% – 60% – SEO Novice
Take it here
I’m too modest to share my result,all I can say is I must be living in heaven, but it did start to get a bit tedious after a while
Internet Advertising spend is set to climb by 85 per cent over the 2006 to 2009 period, ClickZ reports.
According to ZenithOptimedia figures, online video and local search will be the primary drivers for this growth. Until 2009, the company expects an annual growth rate in internet advertising of 23 per cent.
Jonathan Barnard, ZenithOptimedia’s head of publications, said that it was impossible to predict what may happen in the online sector.
“At this stage nobody really knows what the successful model of the future will be,” said Barnard. “There is a lot of experimenting.”
However, he did point out that there is a definite trend for advertisers to shift dollars from newspapers to the online channel.
“Newspapers are losing directly to the internet, either to other classifieds, search, or auction sites,” he said. “Their websites tend to be quite large and get advertising, but unfortunately they are not making enough to offset offline.”
As well as this, he noted that advertisers who only have a small market in which they sell can also benefit from online advertising.
This clearly shows that smaller businesses would be fools not to get into online advertising, and link building can help them do that.
If you approach an SEO company, like ours, for a quote to get your site working for you, you may be slightly taken aback by the costs involved. In many instances, especially where small businesses are concerned, SEO costs can be several times more than the original site development costs. But why?
The short answer is SEO takes time and time costs money.
The long answer? Oh, OK then……
For SEO to be effective your SEO consultant needs to understand your business and your business aims = time
To market your business your SEO needs to understand your market = time
To optimise your site your SEO needs to understand your customers search habits = time
To ensure the search engines can index your website’s content it needs to be structurally sound = time
To give your site credibility your site needs links from other sites = time
To make sure your SEO keeps working your SEO needs to stay ahead of your competitors = time
I could go on but perhaps you can now understand why SEO costs so much. Rates will vary but you will pay perhaps £150 per day at the lower end, £400 in the mid range and £000’s at the high end.
If you hire an mid range SEO firm for say 10 days at about £400 per day, that’s £4000.00. For that money you are getting a dedicated professional. You can hire by the day for as long or as little as you like. But there is an alternative, you could hire a full time employee.
Average fees using a reputable agency? Perhaps 5% of the salary. Expected salary? around the £40k mark. Finders fee = £2000.00. Now the salary, £40k grossed up for employers NI etc will cost you about £44,500.00. All this ignores sick pay, holiday pay, cost of a workstation etc. If you’ve ever worked out the cost of a providing a serviced workspace you’ll know it’s not cheap, let’s call it £300 a month.
That’s £4000 per month, every month of the year (even though your guy will be on holiday for one and half of those). Now you have an insight, extracts from redevo
With the current debate over Links Versus Content, people are once again asking what works to gain the most visitors, the most attention. While creating content is obviously the only way a search engine can find you, creating focused content is even more effective.
What about linking? If content is the bread of the internet, links are the butter. If those links are relevant and natural (or natural looking), the benefits are outstanding. But what if linking is merely the tip of the iceberg? The SEO landscape looks ripe for change, but just as the search engines are evolving at an ever-growing pace, that which is being searched is also evolving–mutating form, function, and execution almost right before our eyes.
There are five major changes on the way in the online world, which quite simply will revise, refine, and revolutionize our understanding and approach to search engine optimization. Actually, what we call SEO will become a subset of the larger world of search engine usability–no longer will SEO be solely the purview of SEO experts. Normal, everyday users will have more of a hand in shaping the way data is found than ever before.
The following five things are due to disrupt and alter the way in which optimization and interaction are applied.
#1. NGT (Next Generation Tagging) – Imagine objects within video and audio able to be organically and dynamically tagged by parsers directly connected to search engines. Imagine products tagged not only by text but by interactive, dynamic multimedia, which is fed and organized through these parsing agents. Utilizing microformats, hybrid peer-to-peer networking, and new content distribution models, the next movement in tagging is full-embedded content awareness.
#2. ACG (Automated Content Generation) – No, I’m not talking about spam generators, though that will remain part of the search engine equation. ACG in this case refers to content that is pushed through the pipes and passageways of feed servers and mashup generators to become reshaped content. Utilizing massive “rainbow” libraries, content can be matched, parsed, and regenerated as entirely new content that is still relevant and highly focused. You think that widgets blog is run by people? It’s not. Not anymore.
#3. The Web Will Be Reviewed – More products and services are being publicly reviewed by users all over the globe. The emphasis on user-submitted reviews will become more important as marketing to individuals becomes more ubiquitous. In Tom Friedman’s The World Is Flat, Globalization 2.0 is where the end user and the front provider share an intimate relationship. Thus, what the end user says about the front provider and its service or product will greatly determine how those services and products are found.
#4. Optimization For Longevity – Social networking sites like Digg and Reddit have fostered the “Get Links Quick” dream of fast and easy exposure, but they don’t encourage long-term optimization. Digg traffic cascades show an extremely low hangtime for traffic spikes, and links are rarely persistent or maintained. Sites that have the most staying power are the ones who will optimize for the long-term. This means looking ahead, spotting trends and changes in the landscape before they happen, and applying that in a sustainable model.
#5. The Semantic Web – As search engines get smarter, the words you type into that search box will actually mean something. Function words will enable engines to read the incoming data in much the same way as a human does, determining not just definition and location, but context and connotation. This means your content generation will need to be even more focused and applicable for human readers–even if some of those human readers are actually human emulators! As the Google guidelines states, don’t build a site for search engines, build it for people.
While all these coming changes are revolutionary in their own way, they don’t change basic tenets of how the web will work. It will still thrive on and be driven by usable content and ideas. This is the web as it should be.
This is the web as it will be.
Guest post by Jeremiah Lewis.