Search Engine Marketing (SEM) In 2012

March 22, 2012

The world of SEO and SEM is changing. Companies used to be able to rely on Pay Per Click (PPC) for their search engine marketing efforts.

In 2012, we find a marketplace with increased Cost Per Click (CPC) for AdWords traffic, as well as a decline in total Click Through Rate (CTR) across a number of search engine advertising platforms. It is estimated that only 15% of all search engine traffic is sent through PPC ads, where as the remaining 85% of clicks come from SEO, or organic / un-paid search engine traffic.

State of SEO / SEM in 2012

While advertisers are scrambling for new opportunities for web traffic from upstart social networks (Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr), there still proves to be a whole world of customers still searching the web.

The truth is, less consumers are searching from their home computers in 2012. The screen time, and attention span has shifted to the smaller screens of mobile devices like smartphones, tablets, and netbooks. In a fast paced, ever changing marketing environment, it is important to stay on top of the trends.

What are you doing in 2012 to leverage new marketing channels?

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Portland Oregon Internet Marketing

March 20, 2012

If you are looking for Portland Oregon SEO services, look no further than Portland Design Company.

Search engine optimization is an important marketing and advertising channel for a large number of businesses. As more and more people around the world gain Internet access through laptops, mobile phones, and tablets, SEO and search engine marketing provide modern businesses a channel to connect with potential consumers wherever, and whenever they conduct the search.

Throughout the United States, companies are leveraging the power of Internet marketing. With Google’s recent emphasis on local search results, it is becoming easier than ever before to appear at the top of search engines for local terms related to your business, and your specific geographic location.

As a Portland SEO company, we find ourselves working with traditional retailers, as well as more high tech businesses in their quest to improve their online presence.


Marketing Strategy

March 13, 2012

The world of marketing is changing faster than ever before. With new technologies popping up almost weekly for your business, it is important to understand the trends within your industry to help you weed out the fly by night opportunities from the real potential.

Terms like SEO, SEM, PPC, ASO, and SMO are flying around the Internet like crazy lately. They all refer to a very specific form of digital marketing.

As we charge further into 2012 SEO is the more important of these acronyms (in our opinion)

If you are not currently well versed in search engine optimization, it may be a good idea to hire an SEO company.


Hiring Your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Firm

March 2, 2010

Google make’s sense of hiring an SEO

SEO is an acronym for “search engine optimization” or “search engine optimizer.” Deciding to hire an SEO is a big decision that can potentially improve your site and save time, but you can also risk damage to your site and reputation. Make sure to research the potential advantages as well as the damage that an irresponsible SEO can do to your site. Many SEOs and other agencies and consultants provide useful services for website owners, including:

  • Review of your site content or structure
  • Technical advice on website development: for example, hosting, redirects, error pages, use of JavaScript
  • Content development
  • Management of online business development campaigns
  • Keyword research
  • SEO training
  • Expertise in specific markets and geographies.

Keep in mind that the Google search results page includes organic search results and often paid advertisement (denoted by the heading “Sponsored Links”) as well. Advertising with Google won’t have any effect on your site’s presence in our search results. Google never accepts money to include or rank sites in our search results, and it costs nothing to appear in our organic search results. Free resources such as Webmaster Tools, the official Webmaster Central blog, and our discussion forum can provide you with a great deal of information about how to optimize your site for organic search. Many of these free sources, as well as information on paid search, can be found on Google Webmaster Central.

Before beginning your search for an SEO, it’s a great idea to become an educated consumer and get familiar with how search engines work. We recommend starting here:

If you’re thinking about hiring an SEO, the earlier the better. A great time to hire is when you’re considering a site redesign, or planning to launch a new site. That way, you and your SEO can ensure that your site is designed to be search engine-friendly from the bottom up. However, a good SEO can also help improve an existing site.

Some useful questions to ask an SEO include:

  • Can you show me examples of your previous work and share some success stories?
  • Do you follow the Google Webmaster Guidelines?
  • Do you offer any online marketing services or advice to complement your organic search business?
  • What kind of results do you expect to see, and in what timeframe? How do you measure your success?
  • What’s your experience in my industry?
  • What’s your experience in my country/city?
  • What’s your experience developing international sites?
  • What are your most important SEO techniques?
  • How long have you been in business?
  • How can I expect to communicate with you? Will you share with me all the changes you make to my site, and provide detailed information about your recommendations and the reasoning behind them?

While SEOs can provide clients with valuable services, some unethical SEOs have given the industry a black eye through their overly aggressive marketing efforts and their attempts to manipulate search engine results in unfair ways. Practices that violate our guidelines may result in a negative adjustment of your site’s presence in Google, or even the removal of your site from our index. Here are some things to consider:

    • Be wary of SEO firms and web consultants or agencies that send you email out of the blue.Amazingly, we get these spam emails too:

      “Dear google.com,
      I visited your website and noticed that you are not listed in most of the major search engines and directories…”

      Reserve the same skepticism for unsolicited email about search engines as you do for “burn fat at night” diet pills or requests to help transfer funds from deposed dictators.

    • No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google.Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings, allege a “special relationship” with Google, or advertise a “priority submit” to Google. There is no priority submit for Google. In fact, the only way to submit a site to Google directly is through our Add URL page or by submitting a Sitemap and you can do this yourself at no cost whatsoever.
    • Be careful if a company is secretive or won’t clearly explain what they intend to do.Ask for explanations if something is unclear. If an SEO creates deceptive or misleading content on your behalf, such as doorway pages or “throwaway” domains, your site could be removed entirely from Google’s index. Ultimately, you are responsible for the actions of any companies you hire, so it’s best to be sure you know exactly how they intend to “help” you. If an SEO has FTP access to your server, they should be willing to explain all the changes they are making to your site.
    • You should never have to link to an SEO.Avoid SEOs that talk about the power of “free-for-all” links, link popularity schemes, or submitting your site to thousands of search engines. These are typically useless exercises that don’t affect your ranking in the results of the major search engines — at least, not in a way you would likely consider to be positive.
    • Choose wisely.While you consider whether to go with an SEO, you may want to do some research on the industry. Google is one way to do that, of course. You might also seek out a few of the cautionary tales that have appeared in the press, including this article on one particularly aggressive SEO:http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2002002970_nwbizbriefs12.html. While Google doesn’t comment on specific companies, we’ve encountered firms calling themselves SEOs who follow practices that are clearly beyond the pale of accepted business behavior. Be careful.
    • Be sure to understand where the money goes.While Google never sells better ranking in our search results, several other search engines combine pay-per-click or pay-for-inclusion results with their regular web search results. Some SEOs will promise to rank you highly in search engines, but place you in the advertising section rather than in the search results. A few SEOs will even change their bid prices in real time to create the illusion that they “control” other search engines and can place themselves in the slot of their choice. This scam doesn’t work with Google because our advertising is clearly labeled and separated from our search results, but be sure to ask any SEO you’re considering which fees go toward permanent inclusion and which apply toward temporary advertising.
    • What are the most common abuses a website owner is likely to encounter?

One common scam is the creation of “shadow” domains that funnel users to a site by using deceptive redirects. These shadow domains often will be owned by the SEO who claims to be working on a client’s behalf. However, if the relationship sours, the SEO may point the domain to a different site, or even to a competitor’s domain. If that happens, the client has paid to develop a competing site owned entirely by the SEO.

Another illicit practice is to place “doorway” pages loaded with keywords on the client’s site somewhere. The SEO promises this will make the page more relevant for more queries. This is inherently false since individual pages are rarely relevant for a wide range of keywords. More insidious, however, is that these doorway pages often contain hidden links to the SEO’s other clients as well. Such doorway pages drain away the link popularity of a site and route it to the SEO and its other clients, which may include sites with unsavory or illegal content.

    • What are some other things to look out for?
      • owns shadow domains
      • puts links to their other clients on doorway pages
      • offers to sell keywords in the address bar
      • doesn’t distinguish between actual search results and ads that appear on search results pages
      • guarantees ranking, but only on obscure, long keyword phrases you would get anyway
      • operates with multiple aliases or falsified WHOIS info
      • gets traffic from “fake” search engines, spyware, or scumware
      • has had domains removed from Google’s index or is not itself listed in Google

There are a few warning signs that you may be dealing with a rogue SEO. It’s far from a comprehensive list, so if you have any doubts, you should trust your instincts. By all means, feel free to walk away if the SEO:

If you feel that you were deceived by an SEO in some way, you may want to report it.

In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) handles complaints about deceptive or unfair business practices. To file a complaint, visit: http://www.ftc.gov/ and click on “File a Complaint Online,” call 1-877-FTC-HELP, or write to:

Federal Trade Commission
CRC-240
Washington, D.C. 20580

If your complaint is against a company in a country other than the United States, please file it athttp://www.econsumer.gov/.

Related SEO & Search Engine Optimization Links:
SEO Company – Santa Rosa, CA
SEO Services – Santa Rosa, CA


The Big Bing – Microsoft’s New Search Venture

June 3, 2009

Microsoft’s latest endeavor in the search marketing world aims to change the way we search the internet.

The early launch of Microsoft’s Bing seems to have gone off without any major hitches. Initial use suggests the algorithm  differs fundamentally from The Google, however results are similar on various queries. Microsoft’s self proclaimed goal with Bing is to aide the user in making a more intelligent decision when choosing the type of result to click.

Only time will tell how Bing stacks up to other new search engine Cuil.

Read more about Microsoft’s Bing @ Computer World.


SEO Is More Than Search Engine Optimization

May 26, 2009

What Is SEO? How does it benefit my business?

One of the most sought-after forms of online marketing is search engine optimization (SEO). In a nutshell search engine optimization is the ongoing art of adjusting bits of your website, and finding other related websites to link to you.

Search – To look, examine or work to uncover something.

Engine – An instrument or machine, commonly used when converting substances.

Optimization – Adjusting variables to increase effectiveness.

By doing this you ensure the major search engine algorithm’s will find your pages, and rank them high in their search engine results pages.

As the cost of pay per click advertising perpetually increases, the longevity of your online business becomes more and more dependent upon your ability to generate traffic without paying every time someone clicks. Imagine the benefit of ranking high on The Google, or Yahoo! for terms related to your business.

Alexa.com, a popular web metrics and information company recently published a fantastic article about search engine optimization, and how you can REALLY tell how good your search firm is.

Looking for more info about SEO or Search Engine Optimization? Check out these links below:
Search Engine Optimization
SEO
Santa Rosa SEO Company
Santa Rosa Advertising / Marketing


Is Microsoft an Innovator?

May 19, 2009

The more I study the past, present and future of Microsoft, the more I wonder if they are more of an innovator, or more of a smart decision maker.

They may not revolutionize an idea, or pioneer a new technology, but they are almost always one of the first five companies on board with the new initiatives.

Take Kumo for example. It doesn’t exactly come as a surprise that Microsoft is launching their own search engine.

Read more about Kumo at Search Engine Land.