20 Jun Starter’s Guide for a Profitable Search Engine Marketing Strategy in 2018
The internet has become THE place where businesses get their message out to the public regarding what they sell and its great value to potential buyers. That message must get seen. The most inexpensive way to accomplish that is to effectively use Search Engine Marketing to attract visitors to your website and keep them there for as long as possible. However, unless you are very familiar with the concept of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), you may need the help of SEO Consulting Services.
What is SEO and how does it work?
The “magic” that pulls people from a sea of potential websites selling the same products you do onto your website is clearly SEO, which depends on several factors.
It is a term with which the professional marketer has become very familiar. Your business can live or die based on how this powerful tool is implemented in your marketing strategy.
SEO marketing is done in two basic ways:
According to the Techopedia website, “Organic search engine optimization refers to the methods used to obtain a high placement (or ranking) on a search engine results page in unpaid, algorithm-driven results on a given search engine.”
Not to belabor the obvious, but Google is the most used search engine on the web. Other search engines include Bing and Yahoo.
According to Techopedia, common methods used to achieve high rankings for a website include:
- Boosting keywords
- Writing high-quality content
**There are a couple of other methods of organic SEO labeled “Black Hat”. These methods include:
- Keyword stuffing
Techopedia definition: “[It] refers to the practice of inserting many instances of particular keywords into Web content to try to get better search engine rankings. It involves putting keywords into Web pages as well as inserting them into items like headers, meta-tags and meta-descriptions.”
- Link farming
Techopedia definition: “Questionable search engine optimization tactic in which a website enters a relationship with another site or pays a provider for a large number of inbound links.”
While these two methods can aid organic SEO, they have some drawbacks. Techopedia observes that while “black hat” methods of SEO may improve a web page’s ranking in the short term, there is a risk of having one’s website completely banned from search engines. In fact, Google has cracked down on the practice of keyword stuffing and other “black hat” SEO methods.
The more likely negative result of “black hat” methods of organic SEO, however, is that visitors to such websites will recognize the low quality of the site’s content. This will have the effect of poor visitor experience, reducing that website’s traffic and page rank in the long-term.
According to an article by Ramona Sukhraj on the website “IMPACT,” there are several reasons that organic SEO is considered the most valuable method for directing web traffic to one’s site. They are:
- Google is the most prominent web traffic director. At this time, Google is considered the most trusted source for people searching the web to either make a purchase or learn about a particular subject.
- Google is also known to be extremely picky about its rankings. Therefore ranking in the top five results for a keyword is a very good indication that your website contains very high-quality content – obviously a great plus for your site.
- Moving up in Google rankings is no “flash-in-the-pan”. It takes time and patience, not to mention consistently excellent content. Once you have made it there, however, your website will enjoy long-term benefits.
A few interesting statistics about Google rankings:
- The Top Ten search results from a Google search occupy the first page of search results and receive 92% of all search traffic
- The first listing on a Google results page receives 33% of clicks from organic search results.
Companies or individuals that have paid to have their websites land on the first page of Google results (above those that have organically earned their position on the first page) are labeled Paid SEO.
These results are always distinguished with a small yellow box next to the title reading “Ad.” These “ads” are configured to fit seamlessly on the first page of Google search results, so except for the clear “ad” designation, they do not look any different from the other search results.
Marketers who are anxious to get their websites high in the search rankings and not wait the three to six months to earn their place, may want to jump directly into paid Search Engine Marketing. This is especially true as organic rankings grow more and more competitive. This is the “flash-in-the-pan” method of making it to onto the first page of Google rankings immediately.
If you are looking for the speediest SEO page one rankings, paid SEO is certainly your best bet. However, if you need a more cost-effective way to climb the search engine rankings, an organic SEO strategy is the better option, especially for the average person who is just starting out in business and doesn’t have bundles of cash to spend on marketing.
SEO Consulting Services can help you to weigh your options and design a realistic and practical marketing plan.
If you have been on your own for six months, trying to figure out the complexities of SEO, it may be time to find professional SEO services.
The trick is … how do you find these services, and how do you figure out who delivers the best services?
An article on the Entrepreneur website, written by Kim Lachance Shandrow, offers the following suggestions to guide you in getting reliable assistance in learning how to attract people to your website.
- Ask for a list of current or past clients with contact numbers.
Reputable SEO consultants will be more than happy to provide this information.
- Discuss a potential consultant’s strategy for improving your search engine rankings.
The SEO consultant you are considering should be able to easily explain how they propose to assist you in achieving your marketing goals. They should also provide you with a realistic timeline in which to expect results.
- Ensure that your potential consultant follows guidelines for search engine webmasters.
The three main search engines – Google, Bing and Yahoo – post best practices for using SEO to rank high on their individual search engines. Ensure that your consultant adheres to all these guidelines. Consultants that use any of the “black hat” SEO methods may do more harm than good to your website’s ranking.
- Run away as quickly as you can from any potential consultant who “guarantees” you that you can rank as “numero uno” on search engine rankings.
No reputable consultant should state you will have number one ranking at all times but there are unethical SEO consultants who have been known to make such outrageous guarantees.
- Experience with improving local search engine results
This question is especially important for owners of local brick and mortar businesses trying to attract local customers. This group of businesses will definitely want to hire a consultant who is well-versed in local SEO techniques.
- Ask about the consultant’s policy regarding changes to your website.
Will this consultant inform you of all changes made to your website? This is important to know because SEO work often involves coding changes on a website, so you should be specifically informed of all adjustments made and the pages on which they are made. Alternatively, you may prefer to be informed ahead of any website changes, so make sure that you and your consultant are in clear agreement on that issue.
- Accountability for campaign success
Your business success depends on driving as much traffic as possible to your website. Your consultant should clearly be adept at using Google Analytics to track the following indications of SEO success, although this hardly is an exhaustive list:
- Improvement in your website’s search engine rankings
- How many links from other websites are driving traffic to yours
- The keywords searches being used to find your site
- Communication is king!
Your consultant should be ready and willing to communicate regularly in a way that works best for you, be it by phone, text, Skype, or email. Find out the intervals at which your potential consultant generally contacts customers.
- Fees and payment policies
You need to know what your potential consultant charges, and how they base their charges – on an hourly basis, as an upfront retainer, or based on a project.
- What happens at the end of the business relationship?
Before entering into a contract with an SEO consultant, you should be clear that whether your contract is completed, or it is terminated early, you will retain all the optimized web content provided by the consultant as your property.
In conclusion, the world of Search Engine Marketing is certainly a jungle and can be quite intimidating as you start your business. Finding a marketing agency with reliable SEO Consulting Services should not be intimidating now that you have the tools to do so in this starter’s guide.