by Dave Curtis on 01/02/2011

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 (as opposed to off-site link building, press releases and social media) optimization include work in technical server files such as the .htaccess and robots.txt files.

Inbound link acquisition (links to your site from other web sites) is also very much required but is often a difficult, time consuming and can be a costly process. Sites that place paid page rank passing links on their high quality sites are punished by Google (which will remove their sites from Google’s index) for placing those paid, page rank passing links. Page rank passing links are one of the chief ways used to by the search engines to evaluate how important a web page is so that it will show up more often in the top of page one in the search engines. The high page rank passing paid links place the linking site at risk and so such links are not sold cheaply. Sites involved in link selling and purchasing must take great care when engaging in such a practice.

Pre-qualified prospect leads: Other areas of advanced Search Engine Optimization / marketing include on-site conversion forms offering visitors an opportunity to sign up voluntarily for monthly newsletters or other offers (such as white papers). 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 removing unnecessary clutter from site and page design so that choices are limited to focus on funneling visitors toward taking specific actions which in turn leads 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 but it is a form of search engine marketing, and also requires optimization. While pay-per-click links (usually) immediately disappear when a budget limit is reached, pay-per-click advertising in conjunction with organic search engine optimization provides the greatest return when managed properly.

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 (PPC) campaigns are an excellent way to boost sales (particularly when your organic rankings are naturally high and you also have a paid ad showing on the same page in Google). 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.

Close monitoring at the start of a campaign is advised as budgeted click limits can be surpassed if for some reason an ad should generate so many clicks so quickly that it does not shut down automatically quickly enough.

I perform only white hat or as close to white as possible using standard advanced techniques, software and services and enlist the services of expert associates who are similarly so ethically inclined. All leading edge search engine optimizers (SEOs) keeping up with algorithmic changes in Google will occasionally make discoveries about ranking and how to rank better that they do not share with others. As such these techniques may be labeled “gray” and if widely known and abused may even become labeled “black” by Google.

Any area of SEO can be overdone, pushed beyond a certain limit (often gray) and cause problems. I and any of my associates working on your site are not interested in churning and burning (creating super high ranking for a web site quickly, take the money and run). I maintain long term relationships with my clients and am concerned with improving web returns steadily over the long term.

Other quality link building partnerships. In some cases affiliate marketing linking may be arranged either to earn your business a commission (using tracking code in links placed on your site based on sales completed when you are the affiliate advertiser) or to earn the owners of other websites commissions on sales (paid by you when you are the affiliate merchant and they are advertising for you).

Return on Investment: Not to be confused with problems that inevitably occur when search engine optimization is under-budgeted I also take the position that a site that does not earn a business more money, emails, consultation and estimate requests, telephone calls, physical visits to your location is not proper web marketing, web design or optimization.


Search Engine Optimization relies first and foremost on content. Content is king. Content (marketing copywriting in the case of a business, which often includes creative product description development – a tedious and time consuming task but extremely necessary for success). 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 in the form of on-site direct to consumer “News Releases” written in regular English. It is important to thoroughly investigate the top ten competing web sites in each keyword / keyphrase category to know how much or how little influence needs to be applied and in which particular SEO areas in order to rank highly.

The most successful web sites in highly competitive niche areas belong to branded firms that typically spend six figures or more per year on site design, rich content creation, maintenance, public/customer relations, press releases, on-site promotions, email marketing campaigns, social media interaction and other areas that are now also part of search engine optimization marketing.

Smaller budgets should focus first and foremost on sound on-site/on-page optimization and on more back links. This is critical, with site design geared toward functionality (less clutter, ease of placing orders etc) also of top priority.

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 team social marketing (if possible) at regular intervals.

Team social marketing using Twitter works well as tweets are indexed by Google. Special instruction on the best use of twitter is required to brand your company and drive more traffic to your site.