Lynda Arakawa form the Honolulu Advertiser wrote a great article last Sunday that covers the basic search engine marketing strategies and gives several examples and success stories. I was surprised to see it, because itâ€™s rare that people in the media will write about the topic of search engine marketing. I hope more people will see the value of the medium.
I have a lot of experience in helping local websites rank highly in the search engines and I completely agree with Bruce Fisher’s two main points that he made. No one gets to the top of the results for a competitive keyword by accident & you need to have great content because thatâ€™s what people and search engines are looking for.
Howeverâ€¦ I did see a couple of things that might deserve being elaborated on.
One key piece of the puzzle that was not mentioned in detail is the point hinted at in the bottom line of the article. You need great content & a sales strategy. The article focuses on increasing traffic but what business owners â€œNeedâ€ is not necessarily traffic but sales. Monetizing the traffic is just as tricky as getting it in the first place.
It is amazingly easy for someone to burn through a huge pile of cash in no time at all by â€œnickel and dimmingâ€ themselves to death with PPC ads, and then having nothing to show for it. PPC advertising seems deceptively easy, but there is a real learning curve with these things and it can be very expensive to learn the hard way.
Acquiring the traffic is only half of the battle. When someone visits your website, there is no guarantee that they wonâ€™t simply hit the â€œBack Buttonâ€ about two seconds later. Having a professionally designed website that provides a good user experience will usually convert PPC visitors into paying customers much better than a website that hasnâ€™t been updated since 1996.
Getting a new website to show up near the top of the free and un-sponsored listings for a highly competitive keyword is a real struggle. The system is inherently biased against obscure websites due to social networking theory.
1) Very few sites have many links pointing to them and many websites have very few.
2) Highly ranked websites are much more likely to attract new links, while obscure websites are disproportionately likely to attract very few links if any.
The first phenomenon is the 80/20 rule or the â€Pareto principleâ€œ where the rich get richer.
The second one follows the “Mathew effect” where a disproportionate level of attention goes to people who are already famous and not necessarily to people who might be more deserving of the attention.
These natural behaviors are extremely difficult to change. This is why attracting free traffic to a new website for a highly competitive keyword in Google, usually requires a long term and consistent effort.
Creating a website that is â€œRemarkableâ€ seems to be one of the key ingredients for success. By remarkable, I simply mean the website is worthy of a positive remark, or worth pointing out to a friend. (A Link) The more remarkable the website is, the faster the natural social networking process will occur and the faster the website will earn the top spot in a highly competitive niche.
This post was also inspired by the work of Seth Godin & Mike Grehan.