Posts Tagged 'SEO'

Making an SEO & PPC Program Work Together

It can be amusing seeing SEO and paid search specialists sitting in a room together, talking about work.  There’s this slightly faked interest in the other person’s work, while they each know deep down that their specialty kicks butt and that the other person can go kick rocks.

Truth of the matter is that nothing beats just a good ol’ partnership.  SEO & PPC are both great in their own ways, but together they can be the most important part of a marketing strategy.  An integrated program between search engine optimization and paid search can be tricky, but it can be an awesome asset to a marketing program that properly meshes the two together.  Often times, marketers think that simply having both an SEO and paid search program is the most they need to do.  There are things that you could be missing out on, however, if you view the two as completely separate entities.

There are two ways that SEO & PPC can work together: as an indicator for opportunity or an alert for issues.

Indicator for Opportunity

An important issue in the search marketing world is when a website is designed to go after the search phrase X-Y-Z, but when people search for the product, they type Y-X-Z or just Z-Y.   When running a PPC program, you can enter in those key phrases as a broad match so you show up for multiple variations of that key phrase.  After getting some traffic, you can see the exact phrases being entered to get your ad to appear.  From this information, you may see some discrepancies between how people search and the way your target SEO phrases are written. Using your PPC program as a form of keyword research can help ID the best keywords to target at the beginning of an SEO program.  The worst thing you can do for an SEO program is make a website rank well for keywords that don’t get searched.  It’s kind of like beating your high score in Solitaire.  I mean…that’s cool and everything, but so what?!

Alert for Issues

So you have a client that wants to show up #1 organically and in paid for the phrase “laser beam”.  You believe that this term is too generic, and therefore, for PPC, really expensive, and for SEO, really competitive.  What’s more is that you also know that ‘laser beam’ won’t bring in the type of visitors that will lead to conversions.  Since this client won’t let up, you add it as an exact match in their paid search program.  As you expected, the key phrase is getting a lot of traffic, costing a lot of money, but not converting!  You can take this information back to your client, and show them why going after the term ‘laser beam’ wasn’t a good idea to begin with…and they are now in the hole for a lot of money because they didn’t trust your internet marketing genius. (well, maybe not that last part.)

So besides the fast that you’re more likely to get clicked on if you’re in both paid and organic search results, there are other reasons why SEO and PPC work well together.  What’s more is that, as shown here, there are ways to integrate your SEO and PPC programs, not just treat them as separate entities.

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Is the Title Attribute Important for SEO?

Someone asked me the other day about the importance of the title attribute for SEO purposes.  I never did research on this question, but from a SEO logic standpoint, the answer should be yes.  The title attribute is another way to include important keywords on a website.  Be aware of the duplicate content issue too.  Duplicate content is a major SEO no-no and therefore, I would use the title attribute to include keywords that I don’t have appear as often in the body copy, or better yet, variations of key phrases that don’t fit nicely into the rest of the page.

If it’s not good for SEO, then it’s definitely important from a usability standpoint.  It give the person on your page additional information about the link they’re about to click on or the picture they’re looking at.  A lot of people I talk to don’t know what alt text is and therefore definitely don’t know how to find it.  A title tag appears when you hover over the object, making it easy for users to find.  I think that this feature would have a significant impact on CTR and usability.

Just to be clear, I am talking about title tag usage for both images and links.  For images, the title tag let’s the user know what the heck he/she is looking at.  Any short description of whatever is in the picture (person, place, thing, event, etc…) would give a lot of insight to the viewer as to what the site is about.  For links, the title attribute serves as an extra clue as to where the link takes them.  It can give clues as to whether the viewer is leaving the site or going someplace else for a little while.  If your site is meant to entertain, than the title attribute can also be a way to sneak in some humor without sacrificing the flow of what you’re writing.  I would give you an example, but I’m just not that funny….sorry. 😦

In conclusion, the title attribute if often ignored because of its tedious nature.  Even though there is no proof that it hurts rankings, taking the time to optimize link tags has double the benefits in both SEO and usability.  These two together, can contribute to more visitors….which usually leads to more conversions…which is the ultimate goal, right? Right.

Story of Inspiration: Link Title Attribute & It’s SEO Benefit

Having a Healthy Relationship. . .With your Website

A website is a great thing to have.  Some people, however, don’t know how to treat their website properly.  True, a website isn’t a real person, but you can apply the same rules of a human relationship to your relationship with your website.  It still needs to be treated correctly, especially if you’re expecting your website to give you something in return.

In my experience in internet marketing, I find that most people understand that the ROI on a website can be well worth the money.  Where the understanding starts to drop off is when people try to understand the steps it takes to make a well performing website.  Kind of like a relationship, people understand that having relationships can bring a lot of happiness and joy to their lives, but they fail to understand how to approach day-to-day issues to keep the relationship going.

Here are some tips when you try to approach your website relationship a little differently.

  1. Admit when you need help.  Trust your website to a knowledgeable internet marketing firm or a good internet marketer.  Reading one web design book isn’t going to make you an amazing web designer/internet marketer.  Like a relationship, nothing is wrong with getting help from a trusted source to get it started.
  2. Once you have something good, appreciate what you have.  Don’t spend your time looking at other sites and wishing that yours was more like that one.  Putting your eyes and time on something that’s not yours can get you a slap in the face…figuratively if you do it to your website…literally if you do it to your girlfriend.
  3. Be proud of your website.  Show off your website whenever you get the chance.  With a human relationship, that means going out with them, introducing them to your friends, putting a picture of them on your phone and at work, and talking about how great they are whenever possible.  With your website, this is the basis of proper link building.
  4. Don’t allow your website to mingle with other sites that aren’t trustworthy.  Would you let your girlfriend hang out with the guy down the hall who has a bad reputation for always having to many girls around him?  No right? So why would you put your website onto other sites that seem to be deemed untrustworthy by search engines?

Whether you’re looking to start a new website, or you’ve had a website for a while, it’s never a bad time to get a new outlook on your relationship.  With a little work, you’ll find that your website will begin to bring qualified traffic in return for your efforts.
Story of Inspiration: Framing your SEO

When Link Consolidation Won’t Work

The world of SEO was rocked a little while back when Google announced that PageRank sculpting no longer works.  The amazingly smart people over at SEOMoz wrote a blog post (link is at the bottom of this post) about this new thing called Link Consolidation.   From what I gather, your website can still impact the amount of “PageRank juice” that flows throughout your website by consolidating related content onto one page.  An example would be combining a company profile and employee information onto one page. What would’ve been two pages splitting available PageRank, now becomes a single page.  I think that this is a great idea. Not only does it help with SEO & crawlability, but it could also improve the user experience by simplifying the navigation and reducing the number of times the visitor needs to click on something before getting to the content that he/she was looking for.

Please be aware, however, that link consolidation does not trump keyword rich content.  Not all sites are open to link consolidation.   Make sure the pages you consolidate do not dilute the content of your page so search engine spiders can figure out what that page is about!  For example, if your an e-commerce site that sells home furnishings, don’t change your site so you have a lloonnnggg page with your couches, beds and outdoor patio furniture all on the same page.  This could ultimately make search engines think that your pages aren’t relevant enough for any of those keywords.

Another thing to keep in mind is what is most important to your business.  Whether is be a certain brand name, specific product or competitive advantage, make sure that you keep it front and center on your site.

In the end,  link consolidation definitely has its merits.  It has the ability to improve your site’s search engine performance AND make your site more user friendly.   Just make sure you think before you make any drastic site changes.  A second opinion about your specific case could benefit you tooo.  If you want, you can even ask my opinion too!  I’ll be happy to help.

Story of Inspiration: Link Consolidation: The New PageRank Sculpting


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