SEO & SEM - Getting traffic from search engines
A common question we hear is "How do I get higher position on Google?"
Before we get to the how, let's take a look at the two primary types of results displayed by the major search engines.
Search engines display two different types of results "organic search results" (what shows up in the main body area) and the paid search results (the ads that show up on the right hand side of Google). To have a positive effect on the organic results and rank your site on a search engine like Google, your website has to be considered one the most relevant sites returned for a search term queried. It is very important to understand "relevancy". Search engines look at a number of factors and put weight on each one of them to determine the sites to put on that first page. Some factors are:
- How relevant is the content to what people are asking for?
- How old is the domain?
- How many years more years until it expires?
- How many sites link to yours?
- Do you have a properly formatted site map?
and many more factors ...
If we think about how a prospective customer might begin a search and what phrases they might use, we can determine a keyword list. By working out a proper keyword set,we can compare that keyword set with a competitor's set of keywords. Then we "run the numbers", we check how relevant the keywords are within users search queries. Basically we see how often people are searching for the keywords. We pick the keywords that drive the most traffic and optimize each page for those. Then we incorporate them into your page titles, body content and in your marketing and PPC. With the right planning we can improve ranking and move more traffic to your site. Generally if we do an organic SEO campaign we can see results within 3 to 4 weeks. That does not always mean that a site shows up on the first page of Google for all of the search terms a client might want, but in time we can significantly improve it.
SEM (search engine marketing)
For SEM, paid listings PPC (Pay Per Click) are a much more unique animal. Like traditional advertising, the highest bidder with the biggest budget gets the prime spots and is seen the most on the first page of a search query. Simply put, if you are willing to pay a higher amount per click than your competitors, you will get the top placement above the other ads and even on the top of the organic results under "Sponsored Links". Setting the right price and putting together the right budget helps you get your ad shown for the duration of a day into prime shopping search times. You have to remember that your PPC budget is based on a 30-day duration. So if you run a Google Adword campaign for $100.00 then your daily budget breaks down to only $3.33 a day. If you pay $.40 per click then you will receive up to 8 people a day. So you are basically playing a percentage game.
Next you will now need to watch "Bounce Rate" in your analytics. This is the rate that your web traffic or users click on your ad or on the description of your site in the search results and "bounce out". If they come to the page that your directed them to and do not find what they are looking for, or if it is not attractive, or if it does not catch their attention in the first few seconds, they leave. Industry average bounce rate is 40%. Usually our goal is to get you under 30%.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is different from search engine marketing (SEM). So which search tactics will give better results? Actually, both tactics can work together and with a clear strategy achieve measurable results. Okay, now let's build a plan to make them work together.
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