As an Internet marketing consultant, I used to separate Search Engine Optimization and Internet marketing, believing that the latter meant strictly “paid listings”, as in pay per click or banner ads. Now however, I’ve come to believe that the entire picture must be considered for any balanced search engine campaign.
For example, my own website may rank on the first page for “Internet consultant” but it does not rank well for the phrase “search marketing”. Therefore, to maximize my visibility, pay per click advertising could be utilized to be visible on the first page for the “search marketing” phrase.
If I wanted to increase my organic visibility for the phrase “search marketing” then I would have to add more relevant quality content, and obtain more reputable inbound links from other websites. A short term fix though, would be to bid on phrases that I don’t rank well for organically.
As organic search rankings change, so does the needs for paid listings, and “search engine optimization” and “Internet marketing” have never been more closely aligned than they are at this point in time.
Organically, great search engine rankings are achieved through a combination of many factors, but in the end, it really all boils down to just three things, in my opinion.
Your website must be built on a good foundation, in such a way that the search engine spiders visit you regularly, and when they do, they don’t encounter site errors. You need to ensure that they crawl every section of your site, and do so on a regular basis.
I have an entire section of my website devoted to the basics of search engine marketing and optimization, called SEO 101, and if you haven’t reviewed that section to learn some of the fundamentals, then you may want to go there now.
The phrase “content is king” is absolutely true, and if a site is not growing, then it’s going to be surpassed in rankings eventually, that’s just the way it is.
How much content should you add? That really depends on your competition, and how much content they are adding, and how fast their websites are growing. Part of any good search campaign is also competition evaluation.
After the site is built properly and you have good content being added regularly, you need other people to “vote” for you, with a “vote” being an inbound link from their website. It’s really that simple. The search engines rank websites based on structure, content, and above all, who is linking to you.
However, as of this writing, it’s no longer true that whoever has the largest amount of incoming links wins the game. In 2007, it’s become more about the quality and trust factor of those sites that are linking to you.
How did I get started in search?
One day while visiting a law firm that had had found me on the search engines, we started discussing Yellow Page advertising and Internet marketing. I ended up putting a pay per click campaign in place, and within just days began having success.
I then began my journey further into the world of search, and I applied everything I learned to their website, as well as my own.
The more I learned about search engine marketing and optimization, the more I realized that it was a field that I wanted to specialize in. Crawling around under people’s desks, and dealing with end-user computer problems was just not my idea of fun anymore.
In 2005, I began appearing on the front page of the search engines for what I would call “universal search terms”, instead of only for my geographical area, Portland, Oregon.
At that point, I decided to put all of my attention into search, and gradually exited the other areas of my business, so I could focus exclusively on search marketing.
At that point, Search Commander became my operational business name, and today I work with companies in five different countries, helping maximize visibility in the search engines through a combination of paid and organic search marketing.
Please feel free to browse my website, read my blog, and above all, don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.