Hello, everyone! Welcome to the 5th issue of our email newsletter on Web Marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). For new subscribers, my name is Anna Tulchinsky. I am based in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and I am the author of this newsletter as well as all other information posted on this website. If you find this newsletter interesting and helpful, feel free to forward it to your friends and colleagues and encourage them to subscribe.
|Purchasing keywords on search engines|
|Purchasing webinars, demos, and surveys|
|Note from the Ottawa editor|
There is no question whether or not you should enroll in Google's AdWords campaign and purchase keywords. You should definitely do that as soon as possible. In fact, you may want to start your SEO project by doing this.
Some people are still questioning Yahoo! (and I personally think you can hold off on purchasing Yahoo ads until your budget grows a little).
This is supported by a recent research paper on search engines: (pdf, page 15):
"When looking at sponsored link overlap, it makes sense to focus on Google and Yahoo! and as they supply sponsored links to the majority of search engines on the Web, including MSN and Ask.com. The study found Yahoo! returned 34,306 sponsored links across the 12,570 queries while Google returned 30,194 sponsored links. However, the majority of those were unique to each engine".
When purchasing keywords, make sure to try a few different combinations and compare their performance.
For quicker results, use this free tool provided by Google to select the most appropriate keywords.
My clients often ask me if I recommend purchasing links, i.e. listings in various online directories or industry portals. My answer to this is 'Yes', provided these directories and portals are highly RELEVANT to your field of expertise. It goes without saying that if you can get listed in such directories free of charge, then you should definitely do that. But the reality is such that large reputable online directories make money by selling advertising space, i.e. links and banner ads, for the most part.
When purchasing links, make sure to research the target advertising medium properly, i.e. their target audience, number of unique visitors per months, number of registered users (who opted in to receive email newsletters and announcements), etc. Many portals have varied pricing options for various various pages and various types of links.
If you are a technology company, opt for listings in the 'Articles' or 'Technology News' sections. These listings are usually cheaper than 'New Products', but they allow you to promote your R&D superiority and establish 'mind ownership', which are the two most important prerequisites for successful sales.
THE most important directory to be listed in is undoubtedly the Open Development Project (ODP). This is a free non-for-profit directory maintained by human editors who volunteer their time; these editors review new websites manually, following a strict code of rules. Quality is very important to this directory. Not everyone can become an editor. In fact, the selection criteria for becoming an ODP editor is very strict. Not surprisingly, not every website gets listed there, but only sites that pass the ODP quality control. Why is this directory so important? Apart from being one of the best and largest online directories, the ODP is important because it is used by Google as its database resource.
When submitting your site to the ODP, follow these simple rules:
- Review the ODP submission guidelines carefully and make sure to follow them 100%.
- Make sure to select ONE most appropriate category for your listing. Check a number of paths to arrive at the most appropriate one. Check to see where your competitors are listed (but do not follow their mistakes). For example, for my consultancy, I decided to select the following category:
as opposed to also possible
The main reason I selected 'Internet Marketing Consulting' as my main category is because the range of services I provide really belong to 'Internet Marketing' (not only search engine optimization). The second reason I did not select 'Search Engine Optimization Firms' is because I did not want my listing to be lost in the ocean of 1232 other SEO firms (compare this with 56 listings under 'Internet Marketing', wherein mine appears as the very first one, given that my name starts with an 'a'). This is the type of reasoning you may want to exercise when deciding on your dmoz category.
Now, once you have selected your dmoz category, write it down. Ideally, you would want to use this terminology for your META tags (keywords and description, primarily). In my case, I should include 'internet marketing consulting' as the last item in my keyword list and preferably as part of my description sentence. Ideally, I should also optimize a few pages for this particular keyword. I think you have already guessed why this is a good SEO technique to use (although not a requirement by any means): search engines use directories like dmoz, which means that they also follow the same semantic hierarchies used to classify information (like all traditional dictionaries and encyclopedias do). Although search engines are able to "understand" synonyms, they definitely like to "see" a 100% match.
Please note that using dmoz category terminology for META tags and on-page optimization is not an 'official' SEO rule. In fact, don't be surprised if you never come across this technique again. This is something I happened to notice while working on my own websites.
Do not forget to submit listings in local and regional directories. These listings might not result in sales, but they will greatly help boost your SEO ranking (link popularity). Here again, only select appropriate directories. Having unrelated links will DILUTE your link popularity and may actually lower your ranking.
If there are specific Web Marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) topics that you would like me to discuss in this newsletter, please do not hesitate to drop me a line.
For related Web Marketing and SEO information, browse through the Resources section on this site.