Marketing through Search Engine Optimisation
December 15th, 2013 by Digithales
SEO is essential for practically every site, but that doesn’t mean it should be your main marketing strategy. Search engine optimisation can work as marketing strategy if you produce large amounts of free content, including text, images, and video, and if you know how to profit from your visitors. For instance, you might use your content to attract readers to your paid membership site or to a mailing list where you sell products or services.
In addition, you’ll need accurate analytics programs to track the performance of your site’s pages in the search engines as well as to better understand your visitors’ behavior so you can adjust your content and marketing strategies for greater profits.
For businesses that don’t produce much content, other strategies provide faster, more cost-effective results. These include:
- Solo ads in email newsletters
- Article marketing
- Pay-per-click campaigns
- Paid social media ads
Even if SEO works well for you, it’s not something you want to build your whole business on. Major algorithm updates can happen overnight without warning. If your pages no longer rank highly after an update, you’ll receive fewer visitors, which is likely to mean a serious loss of income.
It’s not just the major updates that affect you, either. Keeping a website optimized requires paying constant attention to minor algorithm changes that have a cumulative effect on your rankings of your pages. In 2010, the Google algorithm was changed an average of 1.5 times a day, according to the CEO, Eric Schmidt. Because SEO is can bring in profitable traffic for free, it’s tempting to focus your marketing efforts here. To keep your income stable, though, it’s wise to invest in other marketing strategies hat don’t rely on the whims of the search engine developers.
Reaching searchers around the world
Doing business on the internet gives you access to millions of people around the world. While internet use certainly varies by culture, the fundamentals of good SEO remain essentially the same.
What’s more, in most markets around the world, you’ll be optimizing for Google, which garners between 75 to 90 percent of searches in many countries. There are some notable exceptions, however. Searchers in Russia prefer Yandex, Japan opts for Yahoo! Japan, and in China, Baidu is the most popular search engine. Entering these markets means learning how their dominant search engines rank sites so you can optimizing your site to perform well.
If you decide to target customers in a specific country, you’ll get better results with at least some degree of localization. Consider registering a domain name with the country extension, choosing a local host, and having your content professional translated. When choosing a translator text content, work with someone who understands basic SEO principles such as keyword density and latent semantic indexing.
Google, Yahoo!, and many other search engines include every site they find in their main index at no charge to the site owner. A paid inclusion search engine charges a fee just to include your site in their index. The intent is to cut down on low-quality submissions. Some paid inclusion search engines are targeted to a specific industry or interest group and want to keep their results pages free of unrelated websites. These sites usually charge an annual subscription fee to list a site although some charge a one-time fee for a permanent listing.
Some search engines that have a free main index also offer paid inclusion listings, sometimes known as sponsored listings. The paid listings are often shown at the top or side of the results page and marked as advertising. If that sounds a lot like pay-per-click, or PPC, advertising, that’s because it is. The difference between paid inclusion and PPC isn’t agreed upon.
Paid inclusion search engines also give you control over how often your pages are crawled, or visited, by the search engine’s robot. With a free search engine, the robot tends to visit more frequently the more often you update your site, but ultimately you have no control over its schedule. With a paid inclusion site, you can have your site crawled on a known schedule. That’s useful if you offer dynamically generated content or you frequently update your content.
Using paid inclusion search engines also makes it easier to test out different SEO techniques. With these sites, you’ll see the effect of your efforts within days instead of weeks. Tracking the results of each technique helps you design a comprehensive optimisation strategy faster.