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How Search Engine Marketing Can Create More Traffic For Your Website

By | Internet Marketing, Marketing Tips, Online Marketing Agency | No Comments

Search Engine Marketing: Why Its Needed

The success of any business depends on its ability attract and keep customers. With the growing number of internet users, it is not a surprise that many entrepreneurs are embracing online marketing to the boost sale of their products and services. Since most internet users depend on search engines to locate products and services, business owners strive to ensure that their websites or sales pages get a high ranking in order to drive traffic.

There are basically two strategies employed by entrepreneurs to drive online traffic to their website:

  • Using a well articulated Site Engine Optimization (SEO) Strategy to increase your page rank for free organic traffic
  • Using Site Engine Marketing (SEM) to get paid traffic and generate targeted leads.

Due to the high level of competition and the sheer number of websites available, achieving a high ranking on a Search Engine Ranking Page (SERP) is not an easy feat. Even with a good SEO strategy, there is little guarantee that your website will get the needed exposure and traffic.
While it is important to pay attention to SEO, relying on it alone wouldn’t get the job done. In order to increase your website traffic, Your SEO strategy must be combined with a well implemented SEM plan.

As earlier mentioned, SEM involves paying for traffic and there are different strategies used in achieving this.
Foremost among these are

  • PPC (Pay per Click) advertising on platforms like Google: AdWords, Bing Ads and Yahoo: Search Ads where you bid for keywords relevant to your niche.
    Paid search advertising
  • CPC (Cost per Click) advertising
  • CPA (Cost per Action) advertising

Benefits of Search Engine Marketing

The goal of SEM is to direct traffic to the relevant section of your website that demands action or decision making from your visitors –a contact form, a sales page or video with a Call-to-Action etc. You are not only increasing traffic to your website, you are also eliciting action. The potential for conversion is therefore higher.
SEM strategies are easier to implement and do not require as much technical know-how as SEO.
SEM gives you better visibility on search engine results because you are given preferential listing on SERPs.

Organic traffic does not necessarily imply relevant or targeted traffic but with SEM, you have some level of control over the kind of leads you get because searches are more related to your line of business. The use of negative keywords in a PPC campaign, for example, increases your chances of getting targeted leads.

With SEM, it is easier to monitor the success of your campaign and review when necessary. Metrics used in measuring performance include click through rate (CTR) site engagement (newsletter subscriptions, downloads, completed contact forms etc) and conversions.

Google Apps for Businesses Is No Longer Free

By | Technology News | No Comments

The media giant Google announced today their “Google Apps for Businesses” must now be purchase for $50 a year.

The services will include email, a calendar and an online “office suite,” which should host a number of helpful applications to run a business.  Users will also now be able to purchase additional storage as well as archiving service.

Businesses that already sign up for Google’s app services will still be able to use the service for free along with individual users.

According to the latest studies, Google’s services are now used by 50 percent of the world wide population. In 2011, over 40 million people used a Google service, such as Google’s search engine, g-mail, and huge number of other applications.

Not to be left behind, Microsoft has released a similar package called “Office 365” which offers similar services, as well as online versions of Microsoft Office, PowerPoint and Excel.  Microsoft plans to charge users a slightly higher fee of $6 per month for the service.

Google first launched its “Google Apps for Businesses” in 2007 and was free for most small business based upon the number of employees using the product within the company.  Since this time, the company has slowly decreased the number of employees allowed to qualify for the free small business service from 50 employees to 10.  The free service is now no longer available for small business.

Google Analytics: Introduction

By | Business Tips, Google Analytics Series, Internet Marketing, Marketing Tips, Website Design, Website Tips | No Comments

google-analytics-introduction

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a free website tracking tool that can be installed on your website simply by creating a Google account and signing up for Google Analytics. The Google Analytics tool allows you to track virtually every important element and action that occurs on your website including visitors to your website, what pages have been viewed, how long a visitor stayed on that page, what keywords they types in, what search engine they used, what browser they use, what country they’re from, what state they’re from, what city they’re from, what page they landed on and MUCH MORE!

The data is almost endless, and there are very few questions that can’t be answered by analyzing your data from Google Analytics.

Do I Need Google Analytics?

If you don’t currently have Google Analytics installed on your website (or some form of website analytics), then you need to either hire an internet marketing company, fire your current one, or learn how to install and manage it yourself. One of the most beneficial reasons why internet marketing is so powerful and successful is due to the ability to precisely track it’s effectiveness using Google Analytics.

If you’re new to Google Analytics and are not sure exactly what everything means in the dashboard, how to understand it, or what the data means, then this series is just what you need. We’ll be discussing how to install it, how to use it, what everything means, and how to utilize the data to improve your website.

Overstock.com Penalized for Inflated Google Rankings

By | Search Engine Optimization, Technology News | No Comments
overstock.com-overstock-black-hat-seo-google-inflated-rankings

Overstock.com Guilty of Inflating Google Rankings

Overstock.com Penalized by Google

Overstock.com is the second major retailer in the last few weeks to get penalized by Google in search engine results for violating guidelines. JC Penny received harsh penalties for allegedly buying links to artificially inflate their rankings, which violates Google’s guidelines.

Overstock was ranking at the top of Google for a lot of high money keywords, such as “vacuum cleaners” and “laptop computers.” On Tuesday though, after the penalty kicked in, they were found on pages 6 and 7 or higher, and slowly creeping farther away from the top. The further away from the top of the search engines results Overstock appears, the less likely a Google user will visit their site.

According to Overstock, the penalty was a result of Overstock’s practice of encouraging school and university websites to link back to Overstock. If the school or college linked to Overstock, the staff and students of the school were then eligible to receive discounts on the Overstock website. Overstock discontinued the program on February 10th, which is before Google contacted them, but some of the schools were slow to remove the links. The discount amount offered to students and staff at these schools was 10% on certain items, as long as the school’s website linked to Overstock using keywords like “gift baskets” or “bunk beds.”

The school and university websites Overstock was asking links from, which end in the top-level domain (TLD) “.edu”, are considered by Google’s search algorithm to be more important than other commercial websites, which end in “.com”. The “.net” and “.org” TLDs also give less of a benefit than the “.edu” TLDs. Since education websites don’t often link to commercial sites, a link from one can greatly impact the rankings of a site, boosting it to the top of the results.

Patrick Byrne, Overstock’s chief executive, stated “Google has made clear they believe these links should not factor into their search algorithm. We understand Google’s position and have made the appropriate changes to remain within Google’s guidelines.” Google will not discuss details of specific incidents like this according to their policies, but a spokesman at Google stated their goal “is to deliver the most relevant information possible.” Attempts to game Google’s results pages go on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and Google has a special team dedicated to finding these violations and taking action against them.

There are a large number of techniques that help enhance search engine positions, which is the practice of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The higher a website is ranked, the more visits the website will get, and if the site is a retail site such as Overstock, that can mean millions of dollars in sales. Some companies will hire a Professional SEO company to try and achieve these rankings, while some have in house teams.

The penalties occurred after a competitor of Overstock’s became aware of what was happening and reported the site to Google. Google then performed an investigation and then took manual action against the website.