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Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is the process of optimizing external pages and content to direct traffic and links to your site. Google has outlined many “best practice” naming conventions, programming standards and “Meta tags” which when used correctly help Google and other search engines to index, categorize and sort your website in relation to other web sites. However the methodology for back links from other sites is more of an art than a science, as it often involves persuading or encouraging others to publish links to your site. Links from trusted sources recommending your site rank and make a significant impact on how highly your site ranks in search engine results pages (SERP).
At AdQuantify we implements a very methodical, research based approach to Search Engine Marketing. Leveraging detailed keyword analysis which factors a keyword’s potential search volume discounted by that keyword’s competition (market saturation) we can pin point market niche keywords and delivery quantifiable results.
To optimize websites, drive traffic, brand and ultimately create a sustainable net profitable marketing methodology for our clients we execute the following steps:
I.) Keyword Research:
Choosing the right keywords to base your site optimization around is cornerstone to the success of Search Engine Optimization. General or generic keywords are usually not the best approach, and sometimes it’s better to be specific and focus on niche keywords relating to your product or service.
For example, let’s talk about www.globalcreationscart.com –
The problem was, there are a LOT of jewelry retailers online. So how did we get globalcreationscart.com to appear in Google’s top 10 rankings? Trying to optimize for the keyword “jewelry” alone would have be a very labor and time intensive task, as it’s too general and frankly out of the company’s immediate budget. There are rings, necklaces, diamonds, sea shells, modern jewelry, tribal jewelry, ect. etc.
We needed to be more specific, which means:
1. Targeting a more suitable market of users for the specific products Global Creations carries; hawaiian seashells, natural jewelry, ect.
2. Competing with fewer websites targeting the same keywords.
3. Optimizing for keywords that people actually use when performing searches,
4. Targeting a suitable market will capitalize on the existing product on offer.
We can be very specific with keyword phrases, as people no longer use single keyword search phrases – the average search phrase contains 3-5 related words.
While there were 161,000,000 sites competing for “jewelry”; comparatively there were only 92,300 sites competing for “hawaiian jewelry”. The more sites that are competing for your keywords, the harder it will be to get on the front page. Nevertheless, there are still on average 60,500 searches for the keyword phrase “hawaiian jewelry” on Google every month. Respectively, “natural jewelry” receives 40,000 and “shell jewelry” received “33,100″ searches per month via google.
II.) Keyword Mapping.
We subsequently optimize every single page on our clients sites for a specific subcategory group of high “net value” keywords. Each search phrase contains 2 to 3 highly targeted keywords. We then append traffic and competition data to our keyword list to determine what our keyword targets are for each page of the site, thus mapping our keyword targets to individual pages of the site. Two of the most determining factors in Google’s ranking are your domain name and title tag. For example, a domain name such as: http://www.natural-hawiian-jewelry.com will generally get ranked higher than http://www.globalcreationscart.com, assuming that they had identical keywords, backlinks and page content. In the case of www.globalcreationscart.com they had already registered their domain and built up a substantial number of back links, so it was a little late to change. An alternative — and also a useful tactic — is to add your keywords into the names of your pages, such as http://www.globalcreationscart.com/natural-jewelry.html. This drove some changes in page names, titles, METAs, content and the navigation links.
1. Title Tags: Title tags are equally as important as your domain name. Using keywords in your title tag can improve your Google ranking significantly. Trying to achieve a balance of professionalism with keyword density in the title tag however is sometimes a little more difficult. Going back to our example of a web development company earlier, a good title tag would be: “Northstar provides professional affordable web development services in San Diego, CA.”. Usually, the closer to the front of your title tag the keywords are placed, the better.
2. H1 Tags and Keyword Density: The Google ranking algorithm dictates that if you’re using a “<H1>” tag then the text in between the h1 tags must be more important the content on the rest of the pages.
Here is a quick example: <h1>Google sees this text as more important</h1> <h2>… than this text</h2>.
By default, H1 tags aren’t the prettiest in terms of formatting, so we use CSS style to override the default look. Sprinkling keywords throughout your page content can also improve your sites keyword density. Keyword density simply means the ratio of optimized keywords to the rest of the content on your page. It is usually expressed as a percentage, and should be between 7% and 10% for each page on your site.
A good example would be:
- Before: “Global Creations provides unique handmade beautiful jewelry”
- After: “Hawaiian Natural Jewelry & Shell Necklaces Handmade in Hawaii”
Notice how we use the keywords more efficiently the second time around?
III.) Link Sculpting.
Apply keyword research to link structure, passing pagerank only to pages that are important to traffic and rank. We needed to pass pagerank more optimally between pages. You could see in the search rank report that only top level pages were ranking for key terms and one goal was to rank more internal pages of the site.
IV.) Code recommendations.
Recommendations on any code changes that we would give to AdQuantify via email. Example: htaccess url redirects for compressed, hard coded urls.
V.) Content development.
Create keyword rich press releases and articles in important keyword areas. Distribution of press release via online and traditional newswire. Also we often suggest implementation a contact form that is visible on every page of the site. Livechat is also showing good results for some of our clients when customer service is available. Here is a good example:http://www.intergis.com/fleet-software/dispatch-routing-fleet-tracking-software. I also suggest that we implement conversion tracking on this form in google analytics. We needs more copy on the homepage that is moderately keyword dense.
VI.) Link Building/ Social Media
Social interactions and media sharing amongst social network participants create the kind of content that can improve a brand’s visibility within search results through profiles, videos, blog posts, or other media.
1. Find the audience: Analyze their behaviors, preferences, methods of publishing, and sharing.
2. Define our objectives: Objectives will be driven by marketing or sales, and SEO has long been directly accountable to substantial improvements in web sales. Social media is not direct marketing though, so different objectives and measurements apply. The role of SEO in a social media effort is to directly influence discovery of social communities or content via search. Do a search for Zappos on Google, for example, and you’ll easily find more than shoes: Twitter, Blog and a YouTube channel are all on the first page of search results. Indirectly, social content can boost links to website content, improving search traffic, branding and online sales.
3. Establish a game plan: The game plan for reaching objectives in a combined SEO and social media effort will often focus on content and interaction, since it is content that people discover and share. Whether a keyword-focused strategy for reaching goals means publishing new content or creating an opportunity for consumer-generated content, it must involve proactive promotion and easy sharing amongst members of the community.
4. Create a tactical mix: The tactical mix for a social media marketing effort is based on doing the homework of finding where the desired audience spends its time interacting with and sharing content. Whatever the tactical mix is, it’s an investment in time and relationships – not a short term “link dump” to promote optimized link bait. Much of the content creation and promotion for a social media marketing effort happens within the tactical mix and, of course, that means optimizing content for keywords. Whether content is created by AdQuantify as part of a social destination like a niche community or a promotion vehicle such as our interactive ads, keyword glossaries become useful for writing headlines, deciding on anchor text for links and outreach activities like blogger relations.
5. Measure our goals: Goals measurement should roll up to the specific objectives, both direct and indirect. Leveraging both social media monitoring services as well as web analytics can provide marketers with the insight to improve results.
By involving SEO insight in a social media marketing effort and vice versa, AdQuantify can extend the value of the marketing investment. Well optimized social media content marketing efforts can attract new network participants via search. News content that experiences distribution via social news and bookmarking channels can facilitate links to your websites content directly and indirectly. Thus funding social media campaigns can continue to realize the traffic benefits from keyword-optimized interactive content long after the campaign has ended.
AdQuantify costs are $85/hr for items A-C. Items D-F are billed at $55/hr.
A: Keyword Research:…………. 10hrs. @ $85/hr = $850.
B: Keyword Mapping:…………… 30hrs. @ $85/hr = $2550.
C: Link Sculpting: ………………….4hrs. @ $85/hr = $340.
D: Code Recommendations:……. 4hrs. @ $55/hr = $220.
E: Content Development: 80hrs (Based on 1 press releases / articles per week.)
………………………………………..80hrs. @ $55/hr = $4400.
F: Link Building Social Media Campaign: 180hrs.
………………………………………180hrs. @ $55/hr = $1010.