Archive for the ‘Google’ Category

Superman Has a Great SEO Guy

Here in Metropolis, online advertising is at a premium. You have to make sure it is catchy and if it isn’t, you have to sign a superhero (or villain) to a contract to endorse your product. It’s a cut-throat world and in constant change.

So how does Superman stay at the top?

I’ll tell you how… he has a great SEO guy.

Mind you, the hero won’t tell me the secret identity of the genius behind his online image, but it is clear that he knows what he is doing.

Owning Keyword Phrases

It’s always important to own your keyword phrases especially your company name. If you don’t own this, then you are going to lose money faster than Lex Luthor lost his hair.

Superman’s SEO guy understands this and has spent hours ensuring that the word “Superman” points straight to the superherp. Open up Google and type “superman”. He owns the first three pages. Don’t you wish you could get the same for your client?

Try typing some other phrases.

  • “Superhero” – The third link should be to Wikipedia. Who is the first hero that they mention? Superman.
  • “big blue Boy Scout”, “dc” and “daily planet” – He is listed in the description of the first link.
  • Even if you put in “Lois Lane”, you get info about Superman.

To do this, you need good content, effective META tags and strong H1 tags. (And it helps if you save a school bus or two to get some good buzz.) This just goes to show that writing good content with great keywords can do you wonders.

The Importance of Good Link Campaigns

It also helps that Superman’s SEO guy has spent time building legitimate linking campaigns throughout the web, starting with Wikipedia. Inputting a legitimate page on Wikipedia became a goldmine! There are 8,756 pages linked to the Wikipedia page. Fourteen of these links are from inside Wikipedia, creating some excellent inner-linking campaigns. If you branch out and check all fourteen of these links, you’ll see that there are thousands and thousands of secondary links built in that eventually lead back to Superman.

Are Taglines or Mottos Important on the Web?

You bet they are! If you are known for a certain catch-phrase, then use it to your advantage. That’s what Superman does.

The Man of Steel? The Man of Tomorrow? The Last Son of Krypton? All of them lead to Superman.

Faster than a speeding bullet? More powerful than a locomotive? Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound? Even though all of these phrases contain common words, the SEO guy has spent years flooding the internet with the phrases in content near the word Superman. You can’t go to the web and type in those keywords without seeing Superman on the page.

The Love of the People

Because of his noteriety and high visibility, Superman shows up all over the place on forums and community message boards. Don’t forget that this can be extremely valuable. Those messages usually stay on the web forever and if you get a link in there, it will build history. Who knows? Maybe it will even gain you new fans.

History, History, History

Speaking of history, did you know that Superman is 70 years old? He’s also been on the internet since its inception and continues to build up his reputation with Google. I hope Google still knows who I am in 40 years. Heck, I hope they still know who I am in 10 years! You can’t buy that kind of history.

We can all take a lesson from this ingenious, unnamed guy who continues to retain his secret identity (until some villain uncovers it). He has taken basic SEO principles and applied them in a manner that is natural and unassuming. It’s almost as if he has super powers.

This article was written by Kimberly Carrillo, an SEO Specialist with IF marketing & advertising and IF Development and is also the resident comic book nerd of the company. Kimberly has spent much of her adult years reading comic books and continues to get annoyed when someone forgets to put them back in the protective bags. IF marketing & advertising is an agency in Austin, TX that specializes in making you and your website a superhero on the WorldWideWeb.

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Hollywood Getting into Pay-per-Click Advertising

I noticed recently that “Googling” the movie “Gone Baby Gone” brought up two pay-per-click ads – one from Moviefon and another from Miramax. The landing page for Moviefon brings you to a review of the movie along with show-times in your local area, which makes sense since it is a destination site and they are generating money by arbitraging the eyeballs they collect into visitors for their banner ads and clicks for the local theatres.

Here is what the pay-per-click ad looked like when you searched for Gone Baby Gone.

Google Pay Per Click Ad for Hollywood

But the landing page for the Miramax ads brings you to a page that displays the other award-winning movies that are potential Oscar candidates, including “No Country for Old Men.” The message on this page isn’t so much as to see the movie, but to be convinced that these movies should win awards. Clearly, Miramax is looking to spread some PR about how their line-up of movies should get Oscar nods this year by displaying pay-per-click ads.

Who said that corporate America wasn’t looking at pay-per-click ads as a way of spreading their brand messaging?

Here is what the landing page looks like when you click on the PPC campaign.

Landing Page of the Pay-per-Click campaign being run by Miramax

4 Myths of Google that Your Business Needs to Know

by John Kim & Kimberly Carrillo, SEO Services, IF marketing & advertising

Myth #1
Our web design firm has “secrets” to get you ranked on top of Google!

Because Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is both a science and art, many vendors promise “first page rankings!” to unwitting businesses owners. This claim is the equivalent of “make a lot of money from home with no skills and no money down – with my real estate secrets!”

Really? If you fall for this, you just may deserve to have your money taken. More often than not, these vendors have sales agreements that do NOT back up any guarantee, or include pay-per-click advertising as a “first page ranking.”

Ask any vendor promising search engine success one question – do they have any track record of building an online business themselves? Most successful online marketers bring corporate or entrepreneurial track records having built web-based businesses from the ground up – not just designing websites and “SEO’ing” them. If they can’t build their own web business (other than selling SEO & web design) how are they going to do it for you? This reminds me of the “start-up consultants” that arose in the dotcom boom in Silicon Valley – the irony being that while they charged fees to advise one on how to build a successful start-up business – they themselves had never done it.

Any SEO firm that promises results should be approached with a wary eye. No different than the real estate infomercials at night that promise million dollar results for the fee of an over-priced book. They might make you feel good and full of initial optimism, but they probably won’t make your business a single cent.

Myth #2
It’s too hard to get on Google.

Actually, once your business gets hooked on revenues from being in the search engines, it’s hard to give up. That’s why your competition doesn’t want you as yet another entrant onto their cyber-turf and why Google’s stock price is so high – not because people like using their search engine, but because the websites that are listed on Google experience so much new business by being ranked at the top. Hence is Google’s power to build new businesses and new sources of income for companies that previously did not have large marketing budgets. Google works so well that businesses get “addicted” to the new monies Google brings them.

It’s too hard to get on Google if your search engine marketers do not have the experience of being a veteran in a space that is only 7 – 8 years old. Having said that, for most business owners with vision, one can NOT afford to ignore the rising power that Google brings to small businesses. Once you’re listed in Google and rising in the ranks – most likely your business will also get “hooked” on the new revenues and customers that this newfound visibility brings your business.

Myth #3
It’s a black box of never-ending costs to be on Google.

In most industries, the cost and effort to be ranked atop Google have reached the 3 P’s of the marketplace – price, parity, and par. Meaning that an average marketer may spend $35 to get each new potential customer from Google, but that $35 spent represents a 50% to 200% return in terms of the new business it brings in.

A smart marketer can take that and make it upwards of 400%. And what does it take to be a smart marketer? Like most things – experience. Search Engine Optimization is a relatively new field of software engineering & marketing, and because it’s such a new industry, it has a lack of experienced pros and a glut of fresh vendors eager to “cash in” on the search engine boom. The pros with track records charge an arm and a leg (because they can) and the fresh-faced Johhny-come-latelies offer low prices with “guarantees!” that often yield little to no results.

Compared to word-of-mouth, print advertising, radio, yellow pages or any other ad medium, search engines bring in a far better return-on-investment (ROI) than any other form of advertising. And unlike word-of-mouth, businesses can throttle their spending on Google up and down – generating as few or as many customers as needed, all on demand.

Myth #4
Buying a book on SEO will teach us what we need to know.

Even a competent webmaster can toil away for 2+ years and still not be successful at SEO. That’s because SEO requires a combination of technical mastery of websites as well as a creative element of designing SEO campaigns. Because there are no schools or degrees in SEO (yet) much of the information regarding successful web marketing is scattered and constantly changing. So no book could possibly stay atop the ever-changing search engine result rollercoaster.

That’s because the search engines themselves are continuously altering their algorithms (the mathematical formula(s) that dictate how websites get ranked) in order to keep the results relevant and fresh. This means that there is no “set it and forget it” or periodic “SEO treatments” that can have real affects on rankings. In-house SEO means touching the website on a periodic, if not daily, basis in order to stay atop the competition and regularly study the new trends in SEO.

If you’re going to optimize in-house, spend the first 6 months to get an SEO firm with experience to guide the in-house webmaster – otherwise the webmaster may waste 6 months to a year just “guessing” as to which strategies work best for your business situation, budget, and industry. Also, inexperienced link building strategies and optimization tactics can get your website banned from Google. You’ve been warned!

Why Are My Rankings So Bad? (What to expect when you purchase SEO.)

Each day, millions of people turn to internet search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN to find what they’re looking for. At this very moment, there’s a good chance that many of your ideal prospects are using search engines to find the exact products or services you provide. The question is — are they finding you? That’s where search engine optimization comes into play.

What is Search Engine Optimization?

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the act of improving a website for better visibility among major search engines. From a business standpoint, the goal of SEO is to help your ideal prospects find your website, products and services.

A Good Approach to SEO

A competent SEO firm should take a “holistic” approach to search engine optimization. Instead of relying on any one tactic, they should incorporate a number of proven strategies to give you longer-lasting results. They should also provide a managed service that focuses on steady, long-term improvements in your search engine visibility.

Which Tactics are the Right Ones?

Unfortunately, there is no specific rule as to exactly which strategies work. The world of SEO is in a constant state of flux and what will work for your company might not work for another company.

What Will My SEO Firm Do to Improve My Results?

To start, you should expect your firm to have an extended conference call with you and your team. Perhaps you will meet with them at their office to go over your company, products, services and SEO goals. This gives you a great opportunity to see their office and work environment. If you are not comfortable in their office or, even worse, if they refuse to allow you to come to their building, you should immediately consider going elsewhere! There are SEO firms out there who are in it for the buck and not for your wellfare. Avoid these firms at all costs!

Once you have established the relationship and had your initial interview, you can expect the firm to implement specific SEO actions which may include:

  • Initial website evaluation (structure, content, navigation, etc.)
  • Keyword research to determine the exact phrases your prospects are searching
  • Content development where needed, with a focus on proper keyword usage
  • Link-building campaigns to increase your search engine visibility
  • Submitting your website to directories such as Yahoo and Best of the Web
  • Online article distribution to generate back-links from relevant websites to yours
  • Online press release distribution (with back-links to your website)
  • Constant pursuit of targeted online exposure
  • Regular reports to show how your visibility is improving

Some SEO firms will recommend that you redesign your website. If this is the case, do not panic. Ask them if they can implement some other SEO tactics while the site is being redesigned. This will give you the benefit of immediate optimization results while waiting on the new site, rather than waiting for everything several months down the line. Also be sure to see if the firm offers web design services and have it added to your package. This allows the entire optimization process to be handled by one company rather than being spread to another company that might not have SEO experience. You don’t want to spend the money on a new website that you may have to redo in a few months.

Your first reaction may be “This company is just trying to make another buck by selling me a new website.” Don’t jump to that conclusion. A good SEO firm SHOULD tell you if you need a new website if it is indeed a necessity. The majority of websites are not built to meet good SEO strategies. It is extremely probable that your website was not originally built to optimize your online presence. However, if the SEO company’s web design department is below par, then by all means, look for another design company that will work with the SEO firm to give you an outstanding website!

Don’t forget that you should try to redesign your webite every 1 to 2 years, so this is a great opportunity to have a fresh look and to update your content.

How Long Will This Take?

To install strong optimization features for your online presence, you should expect at least a six month process. This means that your SEO firm will monitor your website, update keywords, submit your site to relevant directories, write and release pertinent articles and make adjustments where they need to be made along with other tasks that they feel will help your results. It is this long process that will give you the best success. Some of the tactics will show you immediate results, but don’t be surprised if four months down the road, your SEO firm is still hard at work for your benefit.

What is Black Hat SEO?

Wikipedia.org defines Black Hat SEO as “methods to try to improve rankings that are disapproved of by the search engines and/or involve deception.” This is a practice that has helped unethical companies make a quick buck while detroying the online reputation of some honest businessmen who didn’t realize they were being swindled. Black hat SEO will most likely result in your website being banned from major search engines, especially Google! You do not want this to happen. It takes between 3 months to 1 year to get your site listed on Google once it has been banned. Make sure that your SEO firm does not do the following:

  • Create a redirect file that will send a user to a different page
  • Hide text on a page
  • Hide text in the source code
  • Create thousands of nonsense pages that do not have original content
  • Stuffing your content with keywords
  • Creation of web pages that contain content that isn’t relevant to your business
  • Links in your content to web pages that have no affiliation with your business

Trust me… if Google makes your website invisible, your online business will plummet. It’s just not worth it.

Get Started Today!

The key to search engine success is to start an SEO program early and sustain it over time. It takes time to “climb the charts,” so it’s best to get a head start on the competition. If you would like to talk to a company who has experience with SEO tactics and implementation, contact Intra-Focus, Inc. and ask about a custom SEO program for your company’s website!