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Hiring a Search Engine Optimization Professional

difference between free SEO and paid SEMDifference Between SEO and SEMSEOP and SEM - the difference

Briefly, a Search Engine Optimization Professional focuses on optimizing your website to attract the attention of search engines and improving your rankings. Their specialty area are "organic" search engine listings - i.e. free. A Search Engine Marketing company also markets a website via search engines, but usually through purchasing paid listings. The terms are somewhat interchangeable and many companies cover both areas.

Good and bad SEOP's

A good SEOP can achieve great things for your site, a bad one may cause you to be banned from some engines through spamming or other unethical "quick fix" strategies. Some of these unethical strategies include: Hidden text or hidden links. Creation of pages pages with irrelevant words. Creating multiple pages, domains and sub domains with identical content. Doorway pages specifically designed for search engines i.e. the user never sees them.

bad search engine reputationBad Search Engine ReputationIf you have ever been banned for intentional or unintentional spamming of a search engine, you'll understand just how hard it is to crawl back to the top. Being banned or penalized from a search engine happens to most webmasters at some stage of their career. If it's a mistake on the search engine's part, it will *usually* be rectified the next time their spider crawls your pages. An intentional ban is a completely different story. I have known webmasters that have had to redesign their entire site, change their domain name and hosting service and then have to climb up the rankings from scratch - not a pleasant thought at all... A ban issued by the powers that be at the Googleplex have ended a number of online businesses who have been caught for spamming. It's just not worth the risk.

The Search Engine Optimization Professional

The title of SEOP is now being brandished by many individuals and companies, all competing for your attention and dollars. Competition is great, but it can also encourage wild claims and other sharp marketing strategies in order to capture your business.

One of the most risky purchase decisions is to hire the first SEOP who guarantees you a top 10 search engine ranking. Believe it or not, getting a top 10 ranking is pretty easy. Securing a top 10 ranking that will actually bring you viable quantities of targeted traffic is quite another. Confused? Here's an example:

seo professionalS.E.O. ProfessionalOptimizing a Flombles website

Let's say you sell Flombles in a competitive market. Your competitors are dominating the search engine rankings so you engage the services of an SEOP who guarantees you a number 1 search engine ranking related to your products. The SEOP optimizes your site and lo and behold, the next month you are ranking in position number 1 for the term "fuzzy flombles". You sit back and wait for the sales to come in - and there are none. The reason for this is that fuzzy flombles are a dud product, nobody wants them, so nobody searches for them. Your competitors have optimized their pages for frizzy flombles, which are a best seller..

Another example would be a number 1 ranking on the search term "buy frizzy flombles now". Frizzy flombles may be a best seller, but that term happens to be one that nobody actually uses as a search query. Before hiring a Search Engine Optimization Professional, make sure that you make them aware of your market and previous marketing attempts. Don't expect them to be an expert on your product range, there's just too many products and services out there. A good SEOP will ask a lot of questions before you sign the dotted line, so they'll know the terms they should be focusing on and the marketing challenge that awaits them. So if someone guarantees you a top 10 ranking, be very wary - what kind of top 10 ranking? It's the quality that counts. Ask questions, get references...

Also be wary of SEOP's that offer to submit your site to 128,564 search engines and directories - many of these directories will be FFA sites, and that's not a good thing at all. If an SEOP offers to do this as part of their services, it's a good indicator from the outset to look elsewhere. Good SEOP's wouldn't waste their time on this sort of coverage. Another point that SEOP's are well aware of is that when it comes to search engines such as Google, nothing is guaranteed - that's what makes Google such a great search engine. Google constantly refine their ranking algorithm, otherwise the only sites to rank at the top will be the ones that can afford the services of an optimization professional. The changing algorithm, while frustrating at times, does provide a more level playing field.

SEM search engine marketingSEM Search Engine MarketingHiring and SEM's - other issues for consideration

As mentioned earlier, an SEM company tends to focus on paid listings; especially PPC (pay per click) listings. PPC can bring great rewards, but it can also be a huge hole into which you pour your money - with no results. In order for an SEM company to be of benefit; they *must* have a very good understanding of your target market. For example; it's well known that people who use certain keywords are more likely to purchase. Using a very basic example, I would rather spend 50c per click on the term "buy frizzy flombles" than 5c per click on "flombles" as the first example is very targeted and the person searching has expressed a desire to purchase.

A good SEM company won't just focus on the search term, but also on the landing page on your site that the click will take people to.

Contact us today for more information, or a free quotation

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Search Engine Optimization - A MUST

Web Site TrafficWeb Site TrafficAs you surf the web take a look around at many of the sites you see. Do you notice anything that seems strange? Well, let me point it out to you. There are hundreds of thousands of web sites that just don’t get much traffic. Some of these sites house hundreds of articles, reviews, tutorials, tools, products, forums to mention a few things, yet still they do not receive large amounts of traffic. What is their problem? They have the content. What is left?

The problem is these sites aren't optimized for the search engines. SEO, Search Engine Optimization, SE Friendliness, however you refer to it doesn't matter, the fact is it works and I'm going to tell you what's involved.

Before we continue let me familiarize you with some relevant terminology in my own words.

**Search Engine Optimization**

Search engine optimization can be referred to as the addition and modification of all variables and extended variables of a web site in hopes of achieving a better position in the search engines. By variables I mean components of a website such as META tags and content. By extended variable I mean things such as links from other sites.

Different SEOs, search engine optimizers, may have different opinions on this but alas this is only my own.

**What is a Search Engine Optimization Company? **

A search engine optimization company is a company that offers the service of creating and adjusting all the variables involved in search engine optimization in order to get your web site the best ranking they can achieve, during the designated project period, for all the major search engines.

hurdles seoSearch Engine Optimization Hurdles**Search Engine Optimization Hurdles**

Back to the question of why these sites rich with content aren't bringing in the numbers. There are several reasons why sites small and large aren't optimized for the search engines, fortunately these can be remedied.

1. Many webmasters/site owners believe in "If You Build It They Will Come". This attitude will get your web site no where fast. Sure if you build it you will get users maybe even a decent amount of users but you will not be unleashing the real potential of your web site.

2. Not feeling that your site can do better than it is. Websites can always be further optimized. Search engines change their algorithms all the time so what worked 2 months ago may not work as well or at all in present times. For any of you that fee you can get your site optimized better, think of the story of the Little Engine and don’t think you can, KNOW YOU CAN.

3. Laziness is also a major contributing factor. Many webmasters feel it is just too hard or too time consuming to do search engine optimization.

This is partially true. Search engine optimization is not easy but then again, anyone can do it. It does take time though and time is a precious commodity. In situations where you just can't devote the time to search engine optimize your site I would recommend seeking the services of a professional search engine optimization company. Storm Biz Offers this Service, Check out our Marketing Section For details

4. Time + cost = a deterrent. For a situation like this I would recommend optimizing little by little on your own. Eventually you will become better and better at it and be able to accomplish more in less time.

5. Another problem is many people think "Well my site is only a small site, there is no way I will be able to compete with the larger sites that have top spots in the search engines". If you think like this I’d like to say this to you. It is possible that that if you optimize your web site you may not be able to compete with the larger sites and may not be able to get a page 1 or 2 ranking in any of the search engines, BUT, what if you did. Always shoot for the stars so if you fall short you will at least hit the sky.

Now for those of you who plan to better your websites via Search Engine Optimization here are the stages you need to follow in order to have an efficient and effective SEO campaign.

SEO CampaignsPlanning Your SEO Campaigns**Planning Your Search Engine Optimization Campaign**

Planning is an essential factor in your SEO campaign. Knowing exactly what steps you are going to make and in what order and how you are going to go about achieving each of those steps will save you not only time but it will save you frustration as well. Planning is essential.

**Researching the Most Effective SEO Strategies**

What works and what does not. You will need to learn as many optimization strategies as you can that are currently effective with the search engines. This will be one of the most time consuming steps in your SEO campaign as you will have to sift through information as well as participate in SEO related forums to get additional information from professional. You can take this process in stages and apply your newly gained knowledge as you get it. There is also some useful software available both free and paid that will greatly help with this effort. WebPosition Gold is one of the more popular ones.

**Search Engine Optimize Your Site**

SEO Optimization ProcessSEO Optimization ProcessThis should be done in stages so you can see the effectiveness of the applied strategies you are using. Don’t change your entire site all at once, instead, change a few areas at a time and see what results they produce. If you are satisfied with this then move on and optimize another section.

Search engine optimization does not only deal with your site it also deals with the relationship other sites have with yours and yours with theirs. Keep this in mind when utilizing your link building strategies.

**Monitor Your SEO Progress**

There are many ways to do this you will have to find the best method for you. You will need to monitor your search engine ranking for the keywords you are targeting after each update. Changes should be recorded and used as references to monitor progress and for strategy adjustments. There are many tools for this process as well. I recommend SEOCount.com for monitoring your progress on the Google search engine as it is very easy to use and you can monitor several domains and keywords all from within the same account. It also gives you the option of viewing the number of backlinks.
 
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Profiting From Small Search Engines

Pay Per Click Advertising 1Pay Per ClickOnce you venture into the world of Pay Per Click advertising, you'll soon discover that the marketplace is sharply divided between tier 1 Search Engines (Google and Overture), and everyone else. While it's difficult to imagine a comprehensive, successful Pay Per Click Advertising campaign that doesn't include the major players, companies that limit themselves to Google and Overture may be missing out on profitable traffic.

Defining Tier 1 And Tier 2 Search Engines:

Two things separate Google and Overture from the rest of the Pay Per Click Search Engines. The big players deliver more traffic, and the quality of the clicks is often better. Simply put, if you advertise on Google and Overture your ad will be seen by more people, and these people are more likely going to buy from you. This is why it’s difficult to ignore the big players when crafting your Pay Per Click Advertising strategy. However, if you're willing to put in the effort, you'll often discover it's the smaller, lesser known, Search Engines that ultimately deliver the most profitable traffic to your site.

The Downside Of Being Big:

Ironically, the same factors that make Google and Overture essential to any Pay Per Click Advertising campaign are also the reasons it's becoming increasingly difficult for small and medium size companies to generate profitable traffic from the top tier Search Engines.

Nearly every company doing Pay Per Click Advertising is using Google and Overture, meaning you're competing against virtually every company remotely connected with your industry for your keywords. As competition for your keywords increases your prices rise, and your profits fall. Both Google and Overture have hundreds of thousands of advertisers, causing keywords in some competitive industries to sell for over $10.00 per click! As this trend continues small and medium size companies will be forced to explore alternative sources of traffic if they hope to maintain their profit margins on their Pay Per Click Advertising campaigns.

The other downside of working with the big Search Engines is they tend to focus their customer support resources on their big customers. This can make it difficult for smaller companies to get help optimizing their campaigns, generating lists of keywords or creating compelling ad copy.

Thankfully, there are several smaller Search Engines who can fill the void by delivering high quality Search traffic at an affordable price.

clicks into customersClicks into CustomersThe Best Of The Rest:

Once you expand your horizons beyond Google and Overture, and begin running tests on some smaller Search Engines, you'll find wide discrepancies in traffic quality and volume, software functionality and customer support. When deciding which smaller Search Engines to work with we recommend focusing on traffic quality as the key criteria. If your clicks convert into customers, it's easier to put up with the challenges that come with working with the smaller Search Engines.

Lycos AdBuyer consistently delivers high quality traffic, but you may have difficulty generating the volume you need for some of your keywords. Their customer support is top notch, but their software isn't as user friendly as Google or Overture's. We recommend Lycos as a good source of incremental Search traffic at competitive rates.

FindWhat.Com does a better job generating traffic volume (they are the third largest Pay Per Click Search Engine), and their overall traffic quality is decent. They do a good job supporting their customers, but their software lacks some key features to help users easily manage their campaigns, and track the ROI for each ad and keyword. We highly recommend testing FindWhat. They are the largest of the second tier players, and can be an important contributor to the success of your Pay Per Click Advertising strategy.

Enhance Interactive and Search123 are two other smaller Search Engines we recommend based on a combination of traffic volume and quality. Both are still building their networks, and continually improving their software. You can still find good bargains for your keywords on these Search Engines as they are still relatively unknown.

world wide webVast World Wide WebSummary:

In today’s vast World Wide Web your potential customers could be searching for your products on hundreds of different sites. In a perfect world you would serve up an ad whenever, and wherever somebody was looking for what you sell. Using a combination of Google, Overture, and as many smaller Search Engines as you can test, you will increase the chances that your ad will be there when your prospects are ready to buy.

Smaller Search Engines generally offer cheaper cost per clicks, and better customer support than Google and Overture. As with many aspects of Pay Per Click Advertising, the only way to tell if these smaller Engines will work for you is to give them a test. A small investment in your time and money may ultimately uncover a great new source of profitable traffic, and improve the overall metrics of your Pay Per Click Advertising campaigns.

Please contact us for a free quotation, or more information

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Web Site Theme - Is Your Sites Theme Search Engine Friendly?

choosing website DesignChoosing Website DesignYour websites theme is very important to its success. When your site is indexed by search engines, they actually review your sites theme as well as other content. The theme must be carefully planned. Here are some tips for developing a proper web site theme that will make search engines happy as well.

Choose a design that revolves around keywords and keyword phrases. For example, if your sites keywords are sporting goods, choose design elements that are associated with sporting goods. Use bright colors such as red and yellow. Use elements that are high impact and exciting, similar to thoughts associated with sporting goods.

Focus on the types of products, services, and information you seek to promote. You are selling sporting goods, not bedding. Focus on sporting goods and stay on that approach. Don’t get side tracked with a certain color theme you favor. Make your keywords the main focus of your theme. Make them bigger, and make them stand out against all the other content.

site crawl statsSite Crawl StatsSearch engine spiders review website themes as to how it relates to keywords. It is a complicated algorithm, but it takes into consideration the use of keywords and links. Search engines look for lots of content related to the main theme throughout the site, so it’s a good idea to have lots of information written for your site.

Lots of work should go into choosing the perfect theme for your site. Make sure you are truly representing what you wish to provide. If you get bogged down with too many keywords or keyword phrases, you may need to consider additional websites that focus around this theme, instead of flooding your own site with too many products.

Remember, the theme of the website should be appealing to users, as well as the search engines. Once a theme is finalized, there are many more steps to make your site optimized for search engines. A theme is only the beginning. But it should be a strong foundation from which your site will grow and develop.

Contact us today for a free quotation, or more info.

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What Could Be Worse ?

What Could Be Worse Than Your Viewers Not Seeing Your Site Display Properly?

correct htmlCorrect HTML

What if they never get to your site to see it?

If you want your site listed on search engines then make sure that you have correct HTML code. Many search engines cannot properly catalog or index a site that has HTML errors. This can greatly reduce the amount of traffic your web site receives from search engines.

The lowest form of "browser" out there is the search engine. The search engine is about the equivalent of a version 2 browser. It can't read flash, DHTML, JavaScript, dynamic pages, - even having trouble at times with frames. Search engines may have difficulty crawling, indexing, and extracting the content of your site if you have broken HTML.

Search engines score a page by looking for relevant terms in key HTML components in specific places within a document. These key components are titles, descriptions, visible text, alt image tags etc. If they don't find them because of typos or other mistakes, the spiders may leave without reading the content of the page.

Poor document structure like a META tag placed in the BODY section of the page instead of the HEAD section - can cause the spider to ignore the tag and cost you a good ranking.

search engine optimization conceptSearch Engine Optimization ConceptWhat if you were tired and under deadline to get a new page up, (Not at my job!) you might type TILTE instead of TITLE for your TITLE tag. TITLE tags are very important to search engines. If you made this one little error the search engine will ignore all of the content of the title tag.

If you create the page properly and have content that contains your keywords it "should" get read and picked up by the search engines. (off page factors like inbound links excluded) However if you have a simple error like an open tag

seo processS.E.O. ProcessInternet Explorer is very forgiving of mistakes in code. By building only for IE you are creating for the most error forgiving browser ever. Thinking that a search engine will "browse" your site like Internet Explorer 6 is a dream. If the site won't display right in Netscape, Firefox, Opera or an old version of IE chances are good the search engines can't read it either.

So next time you get frustrated with having to design for Netscape, Firefox, Opera and IE, just bust out your favorite HTML editor and settle in for a long night of code checking.

Your marketing department will thank you!

Contact us for a free quotation today

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