Monday, May 12, 2008

Pay Per Click vs. Natural Rankings

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How do you look for information these days?

You search the Internet, right?
You're not alone. More than 6 BILLION Internet
searches are done every month in the U.S. alone!

According to MarketingSherpa,
almost 134 million people in the U.S. regularly use
search engines when looking for information online.
And of that number, 63% look ONLY at the first page of
results -- at most!

In fact, almost 25% of all
American searchers look only at the first few listings
then completely ignore the rest.

That means if YOU'RE not listed
in the first results page for your top-performing
keywords, then 84 million people aren't going to have
any idea that your business even exists!

In this issue, I'm going to look
at the family of strategies called "search marketing"…
and show why it's more important than ever before to
put solid search marketing techniques to use for your

I've written in detail about a
lot of these techniques in this newsletter. But from
the questions my team and I get at seminars and in our
forums, we notice that a lot of people aren't clear on
how they all fit together. It's as if they've got the
jigsaw puzzle pieces, but not the picture on the box.

I'll put it into perspective by
answering questions like...

What are SEO and PPC? Do I need
to do both?

Will using search marketing
strategies with my website cost me a ton of money?

Why does search marketing work?

What are the hottest techniques
to focus on right now?

Read on to get the big picture on
search marketing and where it fits into your Internet
marketing strategy.


What IS search marketing,


Search marketing is a catch-all
term that refers to two major online marketing

Search engine optimization (SEO)

Pay-per-click advertising (PPC)

But it's easy to get confused
about which strategy is which. Let's break them both

Search engine optimization -- how
to rate HIGH in the free listings

Search engine optimization is the
umbrella term for all the different strategies website
owners use to try to earn top rankings in the listings
of the free search engines like Google and Yahoo.

These are called "organic" or
"natural" listings because the search engines set
their own criteria for ranking websites. A website's
position in the search results depends on how well the
site meets those criteria.

To make SEO work for you, it's
important to pay close attention to how search engine
spiders index or list web sites, and then use
that information to direct the way the search engine
indexes YOUR web site.

The goal is to "optimize" your
site so the search engines will consider it relevant
-- in other words, so your website shows up high in
the results when people are searching online for your
product or service.

When you're just getting started
with SEO, it can seem a little overwhelming to know
where to begin. Here are some of the key strategies
that we recommend to all our customers...

Find the hottest keywords for
your market/website: Choosing effective keywords MUST
be the starting point for any SEO or PPC campaigns you
work on with your website.

Plug keywords into the right
locations in your copy and code: Give the search
engines the information they need in all the right

Your website is full of
"hotspots" the spiders check regularly for keywords.

Make sure you check out the other

newsletter articles
to get all the details on the
prime locations for your keywords.

Always ensure that your content
relates to the keywords you're using: If you sprinkle
keywords like "guaranteed weight loss" through your
site but your site sells shoes, you definitely won't
be helping yourself.

Even if your keywords are all
over the site, the search engines won't rank you for
those words because the rest of the content on the
site has nothing to do with the subject.

If you offer a number of
products, try creating different keyword-rich pages
for specific items you have for sale.

Keep the "spiders" coming back
with frequent new or updated content: The more fresh,
relevant content they find, the higher the spiders are
likely to rank your site. How do you keep them

Keep all the copy on your pages
current, including any changes or updates to your
business or products. Make sure to archive any
newsletters or bulletins you send out on your site.

For even more "spider food", try
starting a blog or forum on your website to keep
traffic heading back for daily updates and discussion.
For an article about how a blog can boost your
ratings, sign up for the

and look for Marketing Tips Issue #120.

Fine-tune your keyword density:
How often should you use your keywords in your copy
and code? Finding the perfect balance is key. In your
body copy, we recommend 4% to 8%.

Make sure you integrate your
keywords as naturally as possible into your copy...
you won't keep your visitors' attention if all the
text on your website is just a jumbled bunch of

Collect links from other sites
that are considered reputable and relevant: Natural,
relevant inbound links are the exactly the kind search
engines like.

If you really want to improve
your results, you'll want to avoid "link farms" and
bought links, and instead focus your strategy on
politely requesting one-way links from sites with high
natural ranking in the search engines.

Distributing free articles and
press releases is also a great way of gaining quality
inbound links to your site. Sign up for the

to get more tips on this.

And don't forget the power of
social networking! By taking part in online
communities or uploading your video to a site like
YouTube (, you can not only drive new
traffic to your website, you can get new sites linking
to yours.

For more details on social
networking tips and tricks, check out

Marketing Tips issue #131.

Use a sitemap to boost your
ranking in Google, Yahoo, AND Windows Live Search:
Sitemaps help the spiders find their way through all
your pages.

And with the new sitemaps (
formatting protocol, these three search titans are
giving website owners more clues than ever before how
to help the spiders index their sites.

SEO should be at the core of your
overall Internet marketing strategy. It's one of the
most inexpensive and effective approaches available to
website owners. In fact, much of what you can do to
optimize your web site for the organic search engines
is totally FREE.

However, it can be slow. When
you're starting out, you'll probably have to wait a
while before you show up on the search results.

But you can drive traffic
quickly with another search marketing strategy:
pay-per-click advertising.

Pay-per-click advertising -- how
to spend a little and get a LOT of targeted traffic

Do a search on Google or Yahoo,
and you'll notice a different type of listings set
around the organic results. These "sponsored results"
are paid ads that appear when people search using the
keywords in the ads.

There are also special search
engines, like Miva (, Enhance (
, and GoClick (, where all the
listings are paid, rather than organic.

As with SEO, PPC advertisers
look for keywords that they believe their target
market uses to search for them online. Then they bid
on those keywords with PPC programs, like Google
AdWords (, Yahoo Search
Marketing (, and MSN
AdCenter (

In many free search engines like
Google and Yahoo, the position of the ad in the
sponsored listings depends on two factors:

The amount bid for the keyword

The ad's relevance to the
keyword searched (ads with more click-throughs are
considered more relevant and rise in the listings)

In others, and the paid search
engines, the bid price alone determines the ranking in
the listings.

The pay structure is what makes
PPC so effective for small businesses. With PPC you
pay only for results. No matter how many times your ad
is displayed, you pay only when someone clicks on it.
And by watching your results carefully, you can
determine how well each ad is converting and if it's
worth continuing.

PPC ads show up immediately, so
you can drive traffic to your site right away, even if
you haven't been indexed by the search engines yet.

Test your keywords and use the
best ones to boost your organic search results. PPC is
a great testing tool because you can run several ads
simultaneously. If you run identical ads for different
keywords, you'll see very quickly which keywords work

You can then use them to beef up
your website for the organic search engines!

In fact, you can use PPC to test
everything from your product offerings and price
points, to your ad headlines and salescopy... and find
out exactly how to appeal to your target market.

However, keyword bids have been
rising every year because competition for the top
continues to heat up, especially as more large
businesses and corporations get into the game. In
fact, according to DoubleClick, spending on PPC
campaigns went up 37% between Q1 2005 and Q1 2006!

That's why it's getting tougher
every year to run an effective PPC campaign. But if
you know the right strategies, you can still keep your
costs down and your conversion rates UP!

Keep PPC costs low by bidding

Know how much a single visitor
is worth to you and keep that in mind when you're
setting your bid

Bid on lots of cheaper, highly
targeted keywords and phrases, and don't forget

Go for second or third place
instead of first. First place is often much more

Test ads on the smaller search
engines where the cost per click is lower. Some good
engines to try include: (,
Kanoodle (, Search123
(, and 7Search (

Check the specialty PPC search
engines that cater to specific markets at

With a combination of PPC and SEO
you can make sure your target market will find you.


Why is search marketing suddenly
so hot... and why will it have such a dramatic impact
on your traffic?


In a recent poll of online
advertisers conducted by MarketingSherpa, 49% of the
respondents indicated that PPC was their most
successful Internet marketing strategy in 2006.

In addition, 45% indicated that
search engine optimization was one of their best
internet marketing strategies.

So why ARE online advertisers
putting so much time and energy -- not to mention BIG
bucks -- running extensive search marketing campaigns?

Search marketing is right for
EVERY business: It doesn't matter whether your
business is purely online or your website supports
your brick-and-mortar operation -- search marketing is
right for you.

A study by JupiterResearch
indicated that 62% of Internet shoppers used general
search engines to research products online -- whether
they intended to buy on the Internet or not!

Search marketing offers all the
keys to connect you with people who want to know more
about your product or service.

Search marketing is the best way
to get TARGETED traffic: People who find your site
through the search engines are already looking for
what you offer.... or at least information about what
you offer.

That's right... since they've
found you using the keywords you've used for your SEO
and PPC campaigns, it's no accident that they're
there. You've got the solution or product they've been
searching for!

According to Enquiro Search
solutions, about 55% of all purchases made over the
Internet are a result of people finding products or
services via the search engines. That's more than half
of all online sales!

If your traffic is effectively
targeted through search marketing, you'll be able take
advantage of this huge audience -- and watch your
conversion rates and revenues going through the roof!

Search marketing offers NEW
opportunities to boost your search engine rankings all
the time: Because search marketing is such a rapidly
changing area of Internet marketing, there are always
new strategies you can try out before the competition
catches on. And you never know what might be the
technique or trick that sends your traffic

They key is to stay on top of the
latest strategies... what works AND what doesn't work
anymore. That's right... the search engines make
changes all the time, and techniques that used to work
can suddenly turn useless.


What should I be focusing on in
search marketing right now?


Search engines are constantly
tweaking the way they rank sites. An Internet
marketing strategy that worked like wildfire before
can suddenly go cold as the search engines stomp it

In fact, 2007 is shaping up to be
one of the most dramatic years for search marketing
yet. The changes promise to increase the importance of
some strategies… and blow others away completely.

Here are some new ideas to

Local search strategies: If
you've got a brick-and-mortar business that you're
looking to promote within your own community, don't
think that you can get the job done without a website!

SEO and PPC strategies involving
sites like Google Local (,
Yahoo Local (, and Live Local
( -- not to mention old offline
standby Yellow Pages ( -- can help
potential customers looking for businesses in your
area connect directly with your business... and then
print out directions to get there!

The rise of mobile phone
marketing technology is putting local search
strategies on the map, too. And there's more happening
every day!

Social bookmarking and community
websites: "Community" is the big buzzword in search
marketing right now. People are hanging out and
socializing online like never before! Sites like (, Digg (
YouTube ( and MySpace (
-- not to mention the huge boom in blogging and
podcasting -- are changing the way people connect
online today.

In fact, a study by Nielsen
NetRatings in 2006 found that the top 10 social
networking sites on the web had seen a 47% average
increase in traffic in the space of only a year --
with a 367% increase for MySpace!

You can generate tons of quality,
targeted traffic with effective participation in
community sites -- and build credibility and trust
with your potential customers along the way. And it's
practically free!

New vertical search engines will
give us new options for SEO and PPC and increase your
ability to reach out to your ideal customer. Instead
of spending all your time and effort trying to stand
out in a field of 20 billion results, you can target
quality traffic with niche-based search engines.

Some of the up-and-coming
vertical search sites include:

Retrevo ( A
consumer electronics search engine

Wikia ( A
"community-based" search engine

Kosmix (
Specialty engines for health, travel, and more


Final thoughts


There's no doubt that search
marketing is one of the hottest areas in Internet
marketing in 2007... and it's getting more exciting
every day!

No other set of strategies offers
you the ability to dramatically improve your search
engine rankings AND direct quality, targeted traffic
to your website -- often without spending a single

The main thing to keep in mind is
that the search engines are in the business of keeping
searchers happy. When people go online to find
something, they want to see choices that relate to
what they asked for, and not have to wade through
hundreds of irrelevant choices.

People are impatient online, and
if they have to work too hard they'll go to another
search engine. Bad for business!

So YOUR main objective in search
marketing -- free or paid -- is to keep those spiders
coming back and indexing your site so it will show up
in the top results for your keywords.

A lot of the techniques in this
overview are basic to the way search engines do
business. Just getting those right will give you a
competitive advantage.

But some techniques come and go.
Discovering a great new search marketing trick could
revolutionize how you run your SEO or PPC campaigns --
and seriously boost your bottom line!

As we always tell our clients,
one or two effective strategies can sometimes make the
difference between an average-performing website and a
major success story. It's just a matter of discovering
what works for you.

Do the basics, try out the new
techniques and strategies, and you'll be where your
market can find you -- front and center in the search


2 ) "Inside the Search Marketing
Lab forum"


If you're wondering how you can
forecast upcoming trends, changes, and challenges in
search marketing... and act on them BEFORE your
competition, click to find out more about our Search
Marketing Lab. We've got experts working EXCLUSIVELY
on search marketing, and now their knowledge is
available to you. In the Search Marketing Lab forum,
members are getting the latest industry scoop from our
team of experts -- plus invaluable personalized
support for their own search marketing campaigns.

Here's a question from Chet, one
of our Search Marketing Lab forum members:

I've hired a new employee to
recruit link partners for me part time. He sends out
requests to websites in my niche and asks them if they
would like to receive a weekly article from me -- to
publish on their own sites. I got this idea from you
at the second Mastermind Group meeting, and it's
working great so far!

I've done like you've said and
put keyword-rich anchor text, relating to the article
in the footer message of the articles.

My question is this... as I
build my network of websites who continue to post to
me, to say... 300 websites. What type of anchor text
strategies should I use? I'm wondering because
different websites, even though they're in my same
niche, have different themes that relate to the breed
of parrot their website is based on.

This means that if I'm
constantly varying the anchor text, they might post
articles with anchor text unrelated to their website.
Sure it might still be on parrots, but it might be on
a different breed of parrot than their site is about.
Does this matter?

What types of anchor text
strategies can I use if I'm writing articles for a
bunch of websites with the same main theme "parrots",
but different sub themes "species of parrots"?

Also... should I let the search
engines spider my articles before I give them to my
network of link partners to post on their websites?
Does this hurt me with duplicate content penalties if
I do? Is there more benefit in writing articles that I
never post on my site, and just let link partners use

Thanks for any pointers on this


And here's the answer from
Nicole, one of IMC's top search marketing specialists:

Hey Chet,

Glad that strategy is working out
well for you!

First, make sure you are changing
the keyword phrases in your anchor regularly, and they
point to different pages in your website not just one
page so they always mimic natural links.

It is good news you are changing
the anchor text, but can you make it more relevant to
their audience by using your keyword and also adding
the name of that particular species of parrot?

Yes, let the search engines
spider your content first as they will cite you as the
source of the article and most of your partners will
end up in the supplemental index. You can also write a
version that's 30%+ different and put that on your
website if you want to see if one of your partners can
also get ranked for that article.

I look forward to any more

Hope that helps,



specializes in teaching real people how to start
profitable Internet businesses that make $100,000 to
$2.5 Million (or more) per year. To get instant access
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strategies, tools, and resources that he's used to
grow $25 into over $60 Million in online sales, visit: