February 10, 2011 by Alain Saffel
In Google there are 101 million results for “what is SEO.” It stands for search engine optimization. You might also hear people referred to as “an SEO” meaning they optimize websites for search engines.
SEOmoz, a leading SEO industry website, has a good definition:
SEO is the active practice of optimizing a web site by improving internal and external aspects in order to increase the traffic the site receives from search engines.
Wikipedia defines SEO as:
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines via the “natural” or un-paid (“organic” or “algorithmic”) search results.
SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” It is the process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” listings on search engines.
I think these are pretty good definitions, so here’s my SEO definition:
Search engine optimization is the process of modifying website characteristics and obtaining links pointing to your website in order to improve a website’s ranking in search engines and to increase natural or unpaid traffic from them.
Those are the definitions, but what’s it all about? Fundamentally, SEO is a subset of marketing. It’s a specialized subset that focuses on how search engines see your website.
SEO is about making your website relevant to a particular keyword search term someone enters into a search engine. That’s the goal of Google in its Webmaster Guidelines and it really should be yours too.
You might be able to increase your website visitors, but if you’re getting people coming to your site and finding it’s not relevant to them, what’s the point? You want visitors coming to your site that are going to find it useful and relevant. Those are the people that have the potential to be your customers or take actions on your site that you find desirable.
Do you have a different definition of SEO? Any questions about SEO?
December 1, 2009 by Alain Saffel
It’s no surprise that with the recession, marketing budgets have shrunk. It’s affecting people with big pay per click marketing budgets and small ones.
I’ve seen it happen with some of my clients and I have talked to many others who have seen the same shrinking online marketing budgets. That’s why I thought Marketing Sherpa’s chart about how agencies view client search marketing budgets was interesting.
There aren’t many agencies out there with clients who have too large of a budget. There’s been an increase since 2008, according to online marketing agencies, of clients whose search marketing budgets for pay per click marketing are too small. I’ve also experienced it on the SEO side where ongoing SEO has been scaled back from planned levels.
It is frustrating because while the initial SEO phase is very important, the ongoing SEO linkbuilding phase is equally as important. Of course I’m not the one at the accounting controls, but the end goal of an SEO campaign is to increase traffic and click through to a client website. Once those visitors are on site, they can become customers.
It’s not a quick and easy process and I think that’s where educating clients is important. There will be ups and downs along the way, but it’s worth the effort in the end. It is an investment and not just a cost.
Recession: time to invest in SEO & website
With this recession, I see it as a great time for companies to invest in their website, making it more responsive to visitor needs and, in so doing, to get those visitors as your clients. Depending on what point those visitors are in their buying cycle, they may not become clients immediately, but may when their situation improves or once they’ve moved through their decision process.
Here in Alberta, with its recently overheated economy, we have swung from some companies saying ‘too busy to do it’ to ‘we don’t want to spend anything.’ It’s funny in a way, but disappointing because they’re missing out on a perfect opportunity to focus on the long-term marketing of their company. I’ve talked with people in a variety of IT sectors that have said the same thing about their segments of the market.
I’m not worried though. The outlook for the economy is improving, and from a search engine optimization perspective, every time I search in Google, I see websites that need to be optimized. Is yours performing as well as you’d like?
Page One SEO is an Edmonton SEO company specializing in organic search engine optimization and pay per click advertising. If you’d like to increase your online visibility, traffic and move your site up in organic search results, contact us for a free online marketing consultation.
November 16, 2009 by Alain Saffel
Being in the field of marketing, I often see marketing campaigns, online and offline, that make me go wow! Then there are the campaigns that make me feel embarrassed for the people who’ve put them on. And then there are those where you wonder just what the hell the marketing people were thinking.
The Kingsway Mall in Edmonton put on one of those “what the hell were they thinking” campaigns to celebrate their grand re-opening recently.
They are putting on a shopping spree. Sounds good. The shopping spree is in New York, London or Paris. Really? Celebrate the grand re-opening of the mall by winning a trip and shopping spree to places that will put the mall to shame? Or, celebrate our grand re-opening by spending all this money somewhere else?
The slogan for the campaign is “see shopping in a whole new light.” I’m hoping they’re referring to Kingsway Mall. If I were to head to London, Paris or New York, I’m sure I’d come back to Edmonton and see how different it is here, and likely the shopping just isn’t as good.
Sure it’s a great prize. I think I missed the point of the campaign though. Wouldn’t it have been better to keep the people in Kingsway Mall here in Edmonton? Imagine the possibilities if they’d done a real push in traditional and online media in Edmonton.
They could get the contest winners on an even bigger shopping spree in Kingsway Mall. Follow them around with photographers and videographers showing how great a time they were having on their shopping spree… at Kingsway Mall! They could be leveraging social media like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Flickr to broadcast the whole shopping spree, but also to pull people from those social media sites into side contests to get them out to the mall as well.
It’s a shame really. They missed a golden opportunity to marry traditional and social media and really do something exciting that would really keep the focus on Kingsway Mall.
Keep people on your site
This situation with Kingsway Mall reminds me of websites that use Google Adsense ads or banner ads to make money. That’s not a bad thing, but I’ve also seen it on some corporate websites where they’re trying to convert visitors to customers.
Adsense can be a lucrative way to make money, particularly when you’ve got a lot of great content and the site is has proper SEO. But then, that’s usually the primary goal of these types of sites: pull the visitors in with great SEO and content, and hope they click on an ad so we can make money! Sounds simple? It is, but it’s not easy.
I just don’t understand why you would want to create a corporate website in hope of convincing visitors to contact you, buy a product immediately or take some sort of action beneficial to them and you.
Instead, you give them a reason to leave your site for something else that may tickle their fancy, all in the hopes of making a few bucks on Adsense. Most people don’t make much on Adsense either, so wouldn’t it make more sense to keep them on your site and hope that they avail themselves of the opportunities your site gives them?
The other thing is that Adsense serves up ads related to the content on your page. So, you could actually end up having Adsense ads from your competitors! Insanity! Yes, I know you can filter the ads, so you can stop it to a degree.
Wouldn’t it make more sense to put your time and effort into making your site better and trying to convert those site visitors you’ve worked hard to attract (hopefully with great content, design and SEO) instead of letting them leave your site for a few Adsense dollars?
If you’re considering using Adsense or banner ads to make money on your website, you’d better really think about whether or not you should. Is making big bucks on ad revenue your goal? If it’s not, I’d seriously reconsider putting them on your site.