The orientation guide for businesses getting started online
Over the years of its existence Google gained a well-deserved reputation as the top choice for internet users. Providing a comprehensive coverage of the web and returning searched queries with great relevancy in less than a second, Google certainly is the internet’s front door.
Because of the popularity of this search engine, it is critical to get your website listed in Google and achieve a high ranking in search results. There are two types of listing you will find in Google search results: free listings and sponsored listings.
• Free listings
To have your website listed on Google search results for free you firstly need to submit your website to be indexed at http://www.google.com.au/addurl.html. Google is a spider-based search engine that automatically visits web pages to compile its database. After you submit your web site, your site will be first stored in a “temporary” database. Then Google will send a “spider” in a regular time to “visit” your web site to decide whether it should be indexed. This process is called Search Engine Submission.
However, successful submission does not mean your website will necessarily rank well for particular terms. Making your website Google friendly in order to achieve a good ranking can be done through Search Engine Optimization (which will be explained later on in this article).
• Sponsored Listings (Google AdWords)
Google also sells sponsored listings through its advertising program Google AdWords. Those sponsored listings appear on the top and on the right-hand side of regular search results.
Once you sing up for Google AdWords program at www.google.com/ads, your listing appears on Google almost instantly and the impact on your website traffic and sales is practically immediate.
Sponsored listings often represent a great alternative for new websites or websites having difficulties to get indexed by Google.
1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The majority of internet users search information by using search engines. A query on Google often reveals thousands or even millions of matching web pages. Therefore, it is difficult for the user to find your website if it is not listed between the top 10, maximum 20 search results.
The purpose of search engine optimisation is to make a website’s content highly relevant in order to get listed on top of search engine results for free. This can be a quite daunting task so let’s take a look at some key optimisation guidelines:
1.1 Selecting and Positioning Target Keywords
People search for stuff on the internet by typing certain words in the search box. Words that are relevant to your website are your target keywords. Your job is to make sure those target keywords appear on the crucial locations on your website such as across your title, meta tags, and body of your web page.
There is a good source of optimisation tips at http://www.dynamicwebsubmission.com/tips.html.
Tip: Your target keywords should include at least two words. This is simply because lots of websites are relevant for a single word, for example “flower”.
1.2 Relevant Website Content
Imagine search engine as a library and your website as a book. The library only wants good quality books to be included in its collection. The content of your web site is therefore the most important element for search engines to terminate if your web site will be listed and ranked well.
1.3 Link Popularity – Google Page Rank
Every major search engine uses link popularity as a part of their ranking algorithms. Google’s algorithm — Page Rank – is a quite complicated mathematical formula that determines a relevancy of web pages.
Very simply explained, it uses the structure of the links between web pages to assign a score of the page that reflects its importance. In effect, each link from one page to another is counted as a “vote” for the destination page, and each page’s score depends on the scores of the pages that link to it. But those pages’ scores, in turn, depend on the scores of the pages that link to them, and so on.
In conclusion, link popularity of a website is determined by:
– The number of relevant web sites that are linking to your site
– The popularity of those web sites
The higher the relevancy of the website the better is its listing in the Google results.
From what has been said, it is quite obvious that for brand new websites it may take about a month before they get listed and ranked well by Google. As mentioned earlier, paid listing can provide an excellent solution to cover this “waiting list” period. Google will set your website live within few hours and the impact on your site traffic is practically immediate.
2. Paid Search Advertising (Pay-Per-Click, PPC)
This unique form of search engine advertising gives your website an excellent opportunity to achieve guaranteed top position on the search results. Paid listings are used not only for websites that are not indexed or waiting to be indexed. They are (or should be) widely used by marketers in the overall internet marketing mix when launching new products, targeting a specific market segment or enhancing sales of a product that has not been doing well lately.
The introductory to Paid Search Advertising Basics is explained in details at
Since the launch of Google AdWords in February 2002, Google has clearly become the main provider of paid search advertising. Because Google is special in everything it does, let’s take a look at Google AdWords more closely.
2.1 How Google AdWords work
As mentioned earlier, Google’s sponsored listings appear on the top and on the right-hand side of regular search results.
The basic concept of PPC bidding is that advertisers bid for particular search terms (= keywords). The highest bidder gets his/her advertisement displayed at the top of the sponsored listings next to Google’s search results. The second highest bidder gets the next sponsored listing and so on.
However, Google Adwords work differently than most of the other Pay-Per-Click search engines such as Overture, FindWhat etc. Google does not simply put the highest bidder’s advertisement at the top of the list. It also ranks the advertisements according to their popularity. Therefore, if more people click on an advertisement it will get higher ranking and better position.
In conclusion, your ad’s position is determined by following factors:
– your daily budget
– maximum cost-per-click
– your ad’s actual click through rate
– and your average ad’s position.
From the above, you can not directly control your ad’s actual click through rate and average position. Therefore managing your keywords on Google AdWords is a big challenge and usually consumes a great deal of time.
If you do not manage your keyword bids properly, you will waste your advertising money on Google Adwords. A good way to get around this is to use automated bid management software available on the market today. In general, those tools allow you to control your ads listing based on rules you specify.
When you shop around you will notice that there are very few tools that support Google AdWords. From those they do, there is one available for free trial at http://www.keywordbidmaximizer.com/bidmaximizer.
2.2 Pay-per-click copywriting tips on Google
The purpose of your advertising on Google is naturally to increase your sales. Since you are paying for each visitor landing on your website you obviously wish to convert them in paying customers. Please keep in mind that more important than number of impressions (=clicks) is the conversion rate. To drive your conversion rate to the maximum it is advised to pre-qualify the click with a well composed ad copy. Below are some tips to help you improve your ads:
• Specific and Relevant Keywords
Be specific and relevant to your business and offers. Avoid general keywords – they generate more ad impressions but tend to be less relevant. For example, rather than “flower” consider “birthday roses bouquet”. More targeted keywords attract more qualified buyers.
Also, your can increase your ad exposure – without sacrificing relevance – by adding alternate phrasings, spelling variations, plurals and singulars, and keywords similar or related to those on your master keyword list.
• Target geographical segments
Consider using geographic keywords to target a local or regional audience. If you sell roses in Tokio, replace “roses” with “roses Tokio”. This way you will avoid any irrelevant pitches to search users in New York and Sydney. You can also target your campaign by country and by language to help focus your message on the audience you wish to serve.
• Target ad delivery with keyword matching options
Google offers different keyword matching options to refine your targeting:
Broad match – displays your ad when all the words in your keyword appear in the search query. For example for the keywords “birthday cards” your ad will be shown if users search for keywords “birthday” and “cards” in any order, and even if the query includes other terms.
Phrase match – displays your ad when all the words in your keyword appear in the same order, for example “birthday cards”. Your ad will also be shown with other terms in the query like “birthday cards for girls” but will not be shown if users search for “cards for birthday”.
Exact match – displays your ad when all the words in your keyword appear in the same order, and without any other terms in the query.
Negative keywords – excludes searches for which your ad would be irrelevant. For example, if your keyword is “birthday cards” and your negative keyword is “-girls”, your ad will not be shown if users search for “birthday cards for girls”.
• Choose carefully landing pages
If users are interested in your offer they click on your ad. It is your job to send them to a relevant destination page to find out more about your product or service. When tailoring your ads to a specific audience, be sure that the destination page on your site fits the goal of the campaign.
3. Optimization Versus Paid Advertising
Paid search advertising offers companies an excellent solution to drive traffic to their websites almost immediately. From the short term approach, pay per click presents a smart way to cover a gap between campaign launch and achieving desired rankings results. The long term approach suggests pay per click as an alternative in situations when a website shows a poor performance in the search results in general. However, once you stop paying for the positions, the traffic stops.
Search engine optimization is a fundamental part of internet marketing mix. It requires constant updating and continuous attention of the website content for solid, long-term effective results.
Therefore, if you use paid search advertising and search engine optimisation together as an integrated strategy, you have an excellent chance to reach the greatest number of online users.
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