SEO Executive Summary

Executive Summary

by Dave Curtis on 10/30/2010

WHAT IS SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION?

I’m one of those wake up and go to work types who’s excited about living to do some good in the world of commerce. Money makes the (commerce) world go round and my job is to help it spin more smoothly. When you make more (my theory) then I get better reviews, become more famous and I make more.  All I ask is one thing: listen to me. My advice is based on years of following and reading the top experts in the fields of Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing (Pay Per Click), Search Engine Marketing Copy Writing, Social Media Marketing, …and overall digital marketing and e-commerce. So my expertise lies in SEO, SEM, social media, content marketing – and I’m essentially a good all around digital marketer.

The following Executive Summary uses the term “Google” (as Google is the most used search engine in the United States) but in most cases refers to all search engine optimization issues mentioned below because in the majority of cases every other search engine quickly adjusts to Google’s moves and follows suit.

Search engine optimization used to mean keywords, key phrases and back-links. This is still a major part of optimization to achieve higher competitive individual page placements in the search engines.

Other areas of on site optimization include work on the .htaccess and robots.txt files.

Google’s Answer: While paid links and spam reports are being taken very seriously by Google, the results may not be seen immediately for users or even not at all. This does not mean no action is being taken on the offending sites. ~ Matt Cutts

Inbound link acquisition is also required and is often difficult to secure through the slow process of finding sites similar to yours and asking for links. Sites that place paid page rank passing links on their high quality sites are punished by Google for placing those paid links. They find out through various means, one of them being site competitors reporting them. Thus higher page rank passing paid links involve a great deal of risk for the site that places them and so such links are not sold cheaply.

Other areas of advanced Search Engine Optimization / marketing include on site submission forms offering visitors an opportunity to sign up voluntarily for monthly newsletters.  Client estimate forms or consultation forms are another means of gaining email addresses, telephone numbers and actual physical addresses. Optimization isn’t merely getting you more visitors to your site but converting them into clients – that’s the reason you want optimization to begin with – to get more clients.

Advanced Search Engine Optimization also includes un-cluttering page design so that choices are limited to focus on funneling visitors toward taking specific actions leading to increased conversion rates.

Pay Per Click can also be optimized in much the same way web site optimization is done, Pay Per Click is not search engine optimization, it is search engine marketing, and, while similar keyword and key phrase strategies are employed, close monitoring and tweaking by an expert is required. Pay Per Click is a marketing advantage when used correctly but is effective only when you are paying the search engines. Any paid Google links immediately disappear when your limit is reached because all of the search engines are careful not to pass along any page rank to the sites that use PPC type advertising. Links that don’t flow pagerank don’t affect search engines:

Organic search engine optimization results are long lasting and tend to be cumulative. The way it works is that as time goes by and a site ranks well on each page for single search terms, additional terms can be added and the work done remains in place and effective for a fairly long time (years), unlike with Pay Per Click. Pay Per Click campaigns are an excellent way to boost your sales particularly when you’re rankings are naturally high and you also have a paid ad showing on the same page in Goolge. This may seem counter intelligent, spending more money on PPC when you’re already ranking well, but having both a paid link and a natural link most people will click the natural link – but at a higher rate than if your page ranked highly and you did not also have a paid link.

MY POSITION ON SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION:

I perform only white hat or as close to white hat search engine optimization as possible using “legally permissible” techniques, software, services and enlist the services of expert associates who are similarly so ethically inclined. There is no such thing as illegal SEO, only techniques that Google frowns upon and takes action upon. Any area of SEO can be overdone, pushed beyond a certain limit (often gray) and cause problems. Working SEO and any associates working on your site are not interested in churning and burning by super high ranking a web site quickly, and taking client money and running. We operate in the US and are available by phone, email and in person.

Where linking partners present themselves as available attempts are made to create a profitable linking strategies, in some cases affiliate linking (using tracking code in the links) may be arranged to earn you a commission from those sites to which your own site links, and links from other sites to your own site are secured wherever the site owner is convinced that your site contains resources that the other site owner or webmaster deems will be of value to that site’s visitors.

I also take the position that a site that does not earn a business, more money, more email addresses, more consultations, more telephone calls, more physical visits to the retail location and / or more positive measurable benefits than the cost of the optimization is not being provided enough proper optimization. Often times the cause for under-performance is under-budgeting. Often you’ll see  better results by confining efforts to smaller geographical regions at first, rather than the whole USA or entire world. $70,000 for a nation wide SEO or even print marketing campaign is not going to get you much. You’ll lose more than you make.

CONCLUSION:

Many successful medium sized businesses that rely heavily on their web sites for attracting new business are providing up to the minute industry related information. These firms typically spend six figures or more per year on site design, rich content creation, maintenance, public/customer relations, press releases, on-site promotions, running email marketing campaigns, social media interaction and other forms of search engine optimization.

Small business budget restrictions result in less than full potential site functionality. Small businesses should budget for sound on-site optimization and more back links. This is critical.

Next, as Google has now become very keenly aware of social media link exchanges and profile links, blogs and blog related links etc I recommend a social marketing campaign as well. You or any qualified staff members need to access the web at regularly scheduled intervals to interact with people in society in such a way as to avoid making common and costly mistakes that could damage your company reputation.

SEO SITE REVIEW:

A full SEO site review is recommended to evaluate all of your onsite factors and assess what the search engines think of your site. The site review will include a full report with specific details on what technical problems your site may have. The SEO site review is equivalent to X-Rays and a full medical chart after all common tests have been performed, and any more in-depth follow up tests done in areas where specific problems have been discovered.

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