Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Internet Marketing - What is PPC ?

Pay Per Click, or PPC, is an Internet advertising model that uses search engines, advertising networks, and content sites to display your text ads - matching the type of business that you have or the type of products you are promoting.

With search engines, advertisers typically bid on keywords or keyword phrases relevant to their target market. Content sites commonly charge a fixed price per click rather than use a bidding system. Basically, you the advertiser pay a rate you specify for every visitor who clicks through from that site to your web site. Such advertisements are called sponsored links or sponsored ads, and appear adjacent to or above organic results on search engine results pages, or anywhere a web developer chooses on a content site. Each unique keyword phrase has its own bid price. You set the budget.

Although many PPC providers exist, Google AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing, and Microsoft adCenter are the three largest network operators, and all three operate under a bid-based model. Cost per click (CPC) varies depending on the search engine and the level of competition for a particular keyword or phrase. Successful PPC advertising, managed by a certified expert, ensures that your text ads reach the right audience while your business only pays for the clicks your ads receive.

What is the key to an effective PPC campaign?
The key to effective PPC campaigns is in your keyword strategy and the quality of your visitor analytics. Many companies set up their PPC advertising campaigns without much planning or monitoring of daily results. Campaigns need to be structured so that unproductive keywords can be filtered out and high performers improved upon.

Popular keywords are associated with particular solutions in visitor’s minds. Your ad’s appearance is not a certainty when you’re trying to sell a specialized niche product under a general common search term. A sophisticated keyword or key phrase and ad copy strategy will be needed.

To maximize your PPC advertising performance, you must bid on the right key words or keyword phrases, write persuasive ad copy, and have a well-written page to have them click through to. If you know how to attract the prospect and deliver them seamlessly to a solution they need, you’ll be achieving a valuable sales rate. The number of words you can use in your ads is restricted so writing attractive, persuasive text ads is much harder than you’d expect.

To find out more about PPC and related Internet topics join us at my FREE “Branding” and Tea seminar on May 29th, 1 – 4 PM. It will be hosted at the Sixth Avenue House B&B in Asbury Park and the Keynote speaker will be Craig Gunter of INCA Graphic Production.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Internet Marketing - What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization is basically a fancy way to say “Doing things to improve your website rank with the search engines”. Technically it is the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to your web site from search engines via "organic" search results. Typically, the earlier a site appears on the search engine results page (SERP), the more visitors it will receive from the search engine.

As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO considers how search engines work and what people search for. The high-level way to describe what SEO includes is On-page vs. Off-page.
On-Page optimization are things that you do to the pages on your website (such as Title, Description and other Meta Tags and Visible Copy)
Off-Page optimization are things that you do externally to your website pages (in-bound links from other websites, Social Networks, etc)

What will make your SEO campaign a success?

To have a successful traffic-generation plan you must completely investigate what your website already has with an internet marketing expert. You must first make sure you have all the appropriate tags, keywords, and coding done correctly on your site before adding anything else. You must optimize this invisible area (the code) of your site so that search engines will find you. Links are also an important aspect of traffic generation. Make sure you are linking to and from other relevant sites and that your internal links have keyword-rich text. Remember, building traffic takes patience and consistent action.

To find out more about SEO and related internet topics join us at my FREE “Branding” and Tea seminar on May 29th, 1 – 4 PM. It will be hosted at the Sixth Avenue House B&B in Asbury Park and the Keynote speaker will be Craig Gunter of INCA Graphic Production.

SEO ‘lingo’ - what do all these terms and abbreviations mean?

  • Inbound links: Also know as external links, which occurs when other sites link to your site. It’s generally accepted that a big factor in search engine algorithms (see below) is the number and quality of inbound links pointing to your site.
  • Keyword: A word or phrase that is typed into a search engine. Site owners typically want their sites to be visible in the search engines for specific keywords that relate to their product or service.
  • Link building: Since inbound (external) links influence a site’s organic rankings (see below); many site owners will undertake the process of link building. This can consist of explicitly asking other sites to link to them, or encouraging inbound links by creating valuable content or tools, posting product reviews or forum comments on other Web sites, or partnering with relevant sites.
  • Organic ranking: The position that your Web site appears in the unpaid listings of the search engine results, which typically take up the majority of the page.
  • Search engine algorithm: A complex formula that search engines use to compute how to rank site A over sites B to Z. Apparently they are made up of thousands of unique factors, but we will likely never truly know since Search Engines make a habit of not disclosing details.
  • SEO: Search engine optimization involves undertaking activities to make your site rank higher in the search engine results. Often it involves attempting to intuit how search engines rank sites and applying industry best practices.
  • SERP: Search engine results page, which is the page that comes up after you perform a query in a search engine.
  • Sponsored listings/ads: The text ads that typically appear along the periphery of the SERP, such as along the top and the right hand side. Advertisers determine which terms they want their ads to appear for and compete with other advertisers to achieve top positioning