Monday, September 13, 2010

The Impact Of Google Instant On SEO & PPC - Is SEO Dead?

The Impact Of Google Instant On SEO & PPC - Is SEO Dead?


Last week, Google introduced a new capability to its search engine results page, a functionality called “Google Instant.” When the announcement hit, people were clamoring to chime in with respect to the effect that Google Instant might have on search engine optimization (SEO) and pay per click (PPC) advertising. The age-old question of “is SEO dead?” started popping up almost immediately on Twitter and throughout the blogosphere. So, is SEO dead?

Of course not. For those that understand what SEO is, SEO will never die. Techniques for SEO are ever-changing and although Google Instant Search will not kill SEO, there may be some changes to look out for in terms of user search behavior which may impact SEO strategy.

Our friends over at Covario, a leading SEM and SEO software and services company, have taken a deep dive into Google Instant and have offered up this excellent guest post to highlight, in-depth, changes resulting from Google Instant Search and to look into the potential effects that Google Instant Search may have on SEO and PPC.

About Google Instant Search

Just in case you haven’t heard the clamor web-wide regarding the new capability, here’s a brief description:

Google Instant is what Google is calling the next wave in its goal to make search more targeted, faster, and better able to understand you and what you want to see.

  • Explicitly, Google Instant (per Google) combines predictive search (which we have already seen for years) with a real time visualization of the results of that search.
  • Google Instant displays what it predicts you are searching for, allowing you to not only see your results faster, but also see results along the way as you type.

We Believe This Change Is Significant!

Though we caution advertisers to realize that all prognostications on the impact of Google Instant on user behavior at this point are just that – supposition. This article will discuss Google Instant, what its goal is from a user perspective, what we predict this change will mean for SEO and PPC performance, and how we plan to test our prediction.

What Is Google Instant Trying To Do?

For years, Google has tried to predict what you were searching for on their engine. Google does this to(a) reduce the time it takes for a searcher to log a query (and therefore provide a better user experience) and (b) because it saves Google in processing time with its support services (if you take two seconds to type a query versus four seconds, given the number of searches conducted, Google estimates this saves them 360 million hours of data center time annually.This is not going away. Google will continue to try to predict your search, as you probably have experienced with the drop down menu you now see – like in the example below for “Covario.”

google instant 600x260 The Impact Of Google Instant On SEO & PPC   Is SEO Dead?

Google Instant is taking this one step further by adding the visualization and changing the results page that gets updated in real-time, as you type.

What Does Google Instant Mean For SEO?

The first key change Google Instant causes is in the drop down “suggestion box” that attempts to predict queries. This, depending on the query, occupies one and sometime up to three of the advertisement positions on the “all important”first page. Google is rendering the paid and universal search listings as high as possible, but is pushing the SEO results “below the fold.” Whereas in the past, a standard web search would yield four organic listings above the fold, this does not happen now until searchers commit to their search and the page re-renders.

This means that top ranking is now more important than ever. We believe users are less likely to scroll below the fold as related results are instantly reconfigured as the search query is completed. Before a user would type in a search query, check the results, refine the search and then repeat the process until they found what they were looking for, there is now the potential that Google Instant helps with the delivery of this process.

Here is another example for the term “home mortgage”. There are no less than four (4) paid listings showing in the prime Google Instant real estate and only one organic listing. The four (4) organic results return once the searcher commits to the search and the standard search page is rendered as the suggestion box recedes.

google instant 2 600x301 The Impact Of Google Instant On SEO & PPC   Is SEO Dead?

From an SEO perspective – if Google Instant drives the changes we expect – CTRs on positions 1 and 2 organically will rise at the expense of positions 3 and 4. Being 1 and 2 is now key.

This means that SEO tactics must change. Traditionally, we’ve seen that users tend to spend a good portion of their time examining meta descriptions and we often recommend placing calls to action in the meta description to grab searchers’ attention and get them to click. However, with results changing so quickly, we see calls to actionpotentially moving into the Title tag as users spend less time examining the results and will rely more on those parts of the result they can examine quickly.

Perhaps the biggest impact of Google Instant is the impact the function will have on long-tail searches. Let’s say a user goes to Google to search for “Las Vegas Hotel Deals.”

  • After typing in just “Las Vegas” the user sees a paid ad for and the organic entry for the Las Vegas Tourism website.
  • What is the impact of those impressions on the user’s search behavior?
  • How likely is it that users will abandon their search and click on one of those results or the map of Las Vegas that appears just below the top paid result?
  • Or, are users more likely to finish their search and ignore the populating results?
  • Will the page populating with results just become insignificant noise to searchers as they continue to use Google as they have been for years?

Arguments can be made for and against the increasing importance of long-tail, but there will be some effect from Google’s Instant search. Our belief is that Google has tested the accuracy of their predictive search results over the past years. Our bet is that it is pretty accurate – say 25% of the time it predicts correctly (this is a made up number – just for example). That means that 25% of long-tail searches will be rendered correctly off the first keyword and some percent of users will click on the results. The other 75% will modify and append their searches as results appear and are unsatisfactory. For the 75% it can be argued that long-tail will gain importance because users will see right away that their initial search wasn’t going to work, and will thus mold their search query until they see results more to their liking. It will also be interesting to see whether the conversion rates on those “predicted” results that get activated improve or degrade versus the full search query conversion rates – something that is measurable over time and will ultimately dictate user experience.

We recommend continuing to incorporate your long-tail terms into your SEO, and closely monitor the before-and-after performance to see how user behavior has adapted to these changes. Do this for the top 10-25 multi-keyword phrases for the SEO program for 30 days. Then, if the performance degrades, you know that SEO tactics on long-tail have to change.

What Does Google Instant Mean For PPC?

With the prominent placement of the PPC results in the Google Instant page rendering, it is our prediction that Google Instant will also have a large impact on PPC performance and tactics.

So the first issue is “what now constitutes an impression?” Google has released the following information to address this. An impression will be counted if the user:

  • Presses ‘Enter’
  • Clicks on ‘Search’
  • Selects a prediction
  • Stays on page for >3 seconds
  • Clicks on a result
  • Clicks on a refinement (maps, news, latest)

The good news? Advertisers will now receive sub three-second impressions for free (“free” meaning that these impressions do not impact quality score), so long as the user does not interact with the page in any of the ways mentioned above. If your brand is present for all Google Instant refinements as searchers complete their queries, this is an indication that your products or services are relevant to what they seek.

The bad news? If this change does in fact lead to shorter queries, AdWords CPCs may go up for many terms over the next several weeks, due to lower inventory of valuable keywords; more advertisers bidding on the same real estate means higher prices and lower ROI. Good for Google. Bad for advertisers. Consumers – well, they are likely unconcerned.

What about quality score? Google has stated that Google Instant does not change the way they determine the relevance or quality of your ads. Advertisement performance will be judged relative to that of others, as it has been in the past – give the new definition of an impression.

We do believe that this change will impact your CTR and therefore your quality score. Generally speaking, many advertisers can expect their impression count to go down on longer tail terms. This translates to lower awareness, which over time, means lower market share.

What about volume? We expect advertisers to see a drop in traditionally high volume head terms. Let’s use an example:

  • Do a search for the high volume keyword “mortgage.”
  • Google Instant Search predicts the keyword to be “mortgage calculator.”
  • Google Instant populates the results shown for “mortgage calculator.”

The search volume for “mortgage” will drop and the volume for “mortgage calculator” will increase, making “mortgage” a less desirable keyword to optimize for than “mortgage calculator” if users do what is expected – get distracted from their original search and activate one of the Google Instant results.

google instant 600x260 The Impact Of Google Instant On SEO & PPC   Is SEO Dead?

And CPCs? We believe Google Instant is essentially institutionalizing broad match keyword bidding – aka, “the most expensive way to advertise on Google.” With Google Instant, however, there is a more salient ramification – ads are actually being shown – mostly paid ads – and off the board match of the first word in the multi-word search query. PPC programs are going to migrate toward strategies that broad match off the initial terms in the most popular multi-keyword queries – as these will drive a larger share of the impression volume – and we expect CPCs on broad match to increase (at least in the short-term, until the conversion rates on these terms are better understood).Advertisers will have to budget more toward Google in order to drive similar volume.

What to Test And What To Watch For?

There is no need to change metrics. Monitoring all KPIs related to SEO and SEM should, of course, remain consistent. However, we also recommend filtering those metrics by browser. Here’s why. Google Instant search is not supported in Internet Explorer Versions below 8, Firefox Versions less below Version 3 – so results from those browsers are not being impacted by this feature. Google Instant search is supported in Chrome v5/6, Firefox v3, Safari v5 for Mac and Internet Explorer v8.

The key metrics to track are the Google search volumes of your targeted keywords in the coming months in Google Adwords to understand what the impact there is on the potential of your targeted keywords. If the search volume for your targeted keywords is trending down in Google Adwords, then adjust your strategy to focus on those keywords with more potential. Also consider that keyword volume may trend up as Google now counts a three-second stay on a search page as an impression.

Google Instant Replay

To review, we believe Google Instant is important to search advertisers and the ramifications of the system need to be taken seriously.

  • For SEO – CTRs on position 3 and 4 organically will drop and go up for positions 1 and 2, making SEO more focused and more important than ever.
  • For PPC – we expect that, in the short term, this will drive CPCs up and CTRs down. Advertisers will have to pay more, through increased use of broad match strategies, to maintain same results.
  • And – ALL OF THIS IS SPECULATION. This needs to be tested. We should be able to see the results in the next 30-45 days to see if the ramifications we lay out in this note will indeed manifest themselves.

About our Guest Expert – Jeff MacGurn
macgurn jeff e1284405078237 The Impact Of Google Instant On SEO & PPC   Is SEO Dead?Jeff MacGurn is Senior Manager of Search at Covario managing Covario’s SEO team providing strategic services for Covario’s Clients which include more than sixty Fortune 500 companies and Internet 100 companies. Jeff began working in SEO in 2000 in the Financial industry and also brings more than a decade of Software Development and Web Development experience to Covario. Jeff has worked on web programming and development for companies such as NBC, UFC, and the NBA. As a member of Covario’s SEO team, Jeff has worked with a variety of Fortune 500 companies managing online marketing programs such as Wells Fargo, Sony, Samsung, T-Mobile and Research in Motion.

Monday, September 6, 2010


SEO and SEM: Two Names for the Same Thing?

By most people's standards, the internet is still very young. New technologies and developments in existing technologies are appearing at an extraordinary rate. As technologies change, so does the terminology used to describe them.

I worked for two years as a search engine optimizer. Ask a dozen people to define that term, and you'll get a lot of different answers. A webmaster may be the leader of a large team, including developers, writers, marketers, designers, usability experts, technical support people, and yes, search engine optimizers. Or s/he may perform all or some of those duties alone.

The same is true for search engine optimization. For many people, the term is a new one, and they have no idea what it is an SEO does. To others, SEO is synonymous with SEM -- search engine marketing. In my opinion, there is a big difference between the two.

Search Engine Marketing

I see SEM as a rather broad term. It's everything that can be done to utilize the technology of search engines with the goal of promoting a web site and increasing its traffic, its "stickiness," and, in the case of sites that promote a business (or are a business), increase profits. SEO, therefore, would be a subset of SEM.

Aspects of search engine marketing which I would consider to be outside the realm of search engine optimization include the following:
Paid Inclusion

This is simply the practice of paying a search engine or a directory to add a site to its database immediately, rather than setting up that site so that it will be found by the search engine spiders on its own. In the case of some search engines and directories, paid inclusion is the only way to get listed. For others, it's presented as an option. If you're willing to pay, your site will be listed sooner. It's also a useful practice if you wish to make frequent changes to your content, because your site will be spidered more often and you will be able to test how changes affect your ranking.

Traditional Ads

This involves placing paid advertising on the search engine result pages (SERPs). Normally, these ads appear based on the keywords entered into the search engines, and one is charged based on the number of impressions, i.e. appearances, of the ad. In other words, you pay whether the ad sends anyone to your web site or not.
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising

PPC ads are simple enough to look at. They're text-only. PPC ad campaigns are completely controlled by the advertiser. You decide which keywords should bring up your ads, you write the copy, and you decide how much you want to pay. And, as the name indicates, you only pay for an ad when someone clicks it and is brought to your site. There are two main networks of PPC ads, run by Google and Overture, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages, but in both cases, one should be prepared to spend a great deal of time (and money) monitoring and adjusting such a campaign.

The Advantages of These Practices

In contrast to pure SEO, these SEM practices offer the advantage of immediacy. If you need to increase your traffic and your visibility right away, and you don't have a problem with spending a lot of money, this may be the way to go.
The Disadvantages

You knew this was coming, didn't you? Think about it this way: you've spent your time and money to bring people to your web site. What will they see when they get there? You've convinced them, at least for the moment, that your site is worth visiting, so they're expecting to find exactly the information they were seeking. Is it easy to find? Is it there at all? You only have a few seconds to convince them that your site can deliver what they want. Will your visitors, failing to find what they're looking for, click their browser's back button and try another site?

Your site has to be ready for your visitors. It needs to be written, structured, and coded in such a way that the information is clearly laid out and easy to find. If it isn't, your site will either be immediately forgotten by visitors, or worse, it will be remembered as one that fails to deliver.

SEO First

No SEM campaign is complete without SEO. Moreover, since the purpose of SEO is to make the site better for both search engines and users, you may find that it will suffice on its own. In any case, the advantages of SEO over the other aspects of SEM make it clear that, even if you are going to spend additional money on advertising and paid placement, SEO must be your first step in promoting your site.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Gmail Priority Inbox Sorts Your Email For You. And It’s Fantastic.

Gmail Priority Inbox Sorts Your Email For You. And It’s Fantastic.

Email overload has finally met its match. Tomorrow, Gmail is rolling out a new feature called Priority Inbox that is going to be a Godsend for those of you who dread opening your email. In short, Google has built a system that figures out which of your messages are important, and presents them at the top of the screen so you don’t miss them. The rest of your messages are still there, but you don’t have to dig through dozens of newsletters and confirmations to find the diamonds in rough.

The beauty of the system lies in its simplicity — it’s nearly as easy as Gmail’s one click spam filter. There’s almost no setup: once it’s activated on your account, you’ll see a prompt asking you if you want to enable Priority Inbox. You can choose from a few options (the order of your various inboxes and if there are any contacts you’d like to always mark ‘Important’) but don’t have to setup any rules or ‘teach’ Gmail what you want it to mark important. It just works, at least most of the time.

Watch the video here..

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Facebook Groups vs Facebook Fan Page: What's Better?

Facebook allows for 2 networking tools:

1. Creating/ joining a Facebook group;
2. Creating/ joining a Facebook fan page

While the major differences become evident only after you try out them first, we decided to create and promote both for Search Engine Journal:

* Search Engine Journal Group;
* Search Engine Journal Fan Page.

Now what we have found from this experiment..

First and foremost the 2 major differences include:

  1. Unlike groups, fan pages are visible to unregistered people and are thus indexed (important for reputaion management, for example);
  2. Unlike pages, groups allow to send out “bulk invite” (you can easily invite all your friends to join the group while with pages you will be forced to drop some invites manually). Groups are thus better for viral marketing, meaning that any group member can also send bulk invites to the friends of his.
Now let’s go into some details:

Key Feature Facebook Page Facebook Group “Ugly” URLs No Yes Hosting a discussion Yes Yes Discussion wall, and discussion forum Yes Yes Extra applications added Yes No Messaging to all members Yes (via updates) Yes (via PMs) Visitor statistics Yes (“Page insights”) No Video and photo public exchange Yes Yes “Related” event creation and invitation Yes No Promotion with social ads Yes (never tried it) No

To conclude:

  • Pages are generally better for a long-term relationships with your fans, readers or customers;
  • Groups are generally better for hosting a (quick) active discussion and attracting quick attention.

Hey we need to Understand one basic fact about Facebook Pages and Facebook Groups.

Facebook Pages are a promote a business, band, shop and so on...

whilst Facebook groups are to promote a common interest.

Hence the tools given are pretty different.

On FB Pages you have more Tools like targeted Message sending (you can filter by age, sex, country, etc. whom you wanna send the message to) then the options for stats and even promotion of the page using ads. It gives a good reason for someone to come and use their ad platform.

On the other hand, FB Groups allow you to have group structure with group officers and admins and stuff, in order to regulate and facilitate discussion.

and the other addons like photos / videos and stuff are just part of the package to fill it up and make it look big.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Social Networking: Twitter

Social Networking: Twitter

Networking by exploring different avenues within the marketing world is nothing new these days. Small to large companies are stopping at nothing in order to get their name and message out to the public. From blog spots to flash banners on some of the most viewed sites on the World Wide Web â?? businesses are hoping to reach more and more people.

Besides blogs another networking site creating a worldwide buzz is Twitter. Unlike Facebook, Twitter is a free networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets. Businesses to celebrities and everyday people use Twitter. Some use it more for entertainment purposes while others use it for marketing reasons.

Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on an author or subscribers profile page and delivered to the authorâ??s â??followersâ?. Users are able to send and receive tweets via the Twitter website, SMS (Short Message Service) or external applications (such as UberTwitter for BlackBerry users). Even though the service is free, accessing it through SMS may incur phone service provider fees.

Created in 2006, Twitter is ranked as one of the 50 most popular websites worldwide. It is estimated that at least 6 million users visit the site per month.

Advantages of Using Twitter for Your Business

Promote your companyâ??s blog by posting updates Attain lots of followers by being active Create an online identity for your brand Earn money using sponsored tweets Stay engaged with customers Suggest tips and new info about your company.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Optimizing For Long Tail Keywords

Why this should be an important part of your SEO campaign?

When talking about the long tail keyword, many people dismiss optimizing your site for these phrases. The most commonly cited reason is that they simply don't have enough search volume.

Well, it's time to rethink that, and we're going to tell you why.

Recently we attended a niche SEO seminar, and one statistic really caught my attention. When looking at keywords in general, there are typically your "core" keywords, then the long tail keywords. The "core" keywords are your ultra competitive keywords and phrases. Additionally, these are the high volume keywords.

For the average niche, only 20% of all search volume comes from the top 10 "core" keywords, the other 80% of the traffic comes from the long tail keywords. That's the bulk of the available traffic, 80%. Why aren't we capturing that huge amount of traffic? Because we are overlooking the long tail keywords.

For many businesses and individuals, there is a budget for advertising, and for every business, there are other, bigger fish out there with a larger budget. Those budgets are invariably going after the top ten or "core" keywords in that particular niche. Everyone in your niche wants to rank well for the same keywords, making those core phrases ultra competitive. The more competitive your niche, the more work you will need to do, and the more money you will need to spend to rank well for these core terms.

Now I'm not saying you should abandon your high volume "core" keywords, but think about this. 75% of internet searchers do not leave the first page of the search results. So if you are not on the first page of Google for your term, 75% of searchers will never have a chance to see your site. If you're not on the second page, that 75% grows.

Instead of spending all of your efforts focusing on the large keyword phrases, spend some time going after the long tail phrases. These are phrases with less search volume, but also less competition. Ranking at the top of the search engines for "weather resistant red widget" will be much less time consuming than ranking for "widget".

Additionally, the modifiers that make these phrases "long tail" phrases actually will increase your conversion rates. If you are selling weather resistant red widgets, you may only get 20 people to your site for that term, as opposed to the higher volume you would get if you ranked well for "widget", but those 20 people will be highly qualified leads, and will convert at higher levels.

The sum of these long tail keyword phrases is massive, and ranking well very quickly is a huge benefit of going after this traffic. If you have not been going after the long tail keyword traffic, give it a try. Your conversions will likely be better, you will rank more quickly, and over time, you can drive a lot of traffic with this technique.

Keep an eye out for more helpful hints, tips and ideas to generate traffic and rank better in the search engines. As always, feel free to contact us with any questions or comments.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

How to stop Google Analytics from tracking your own visits

If you use Google Analytics to track visitors to your websites, it’s important to have Analytics filter out and exclude your own visits to your sites in order to get a true picture of your sites’ visitor count and demographic. You might be visiting a dozen pages on your site everyday and all these visits and page views can grossly inflate the visitor data of your sites. Unlike tracking services like Statcounter and Sitemeter, Google Analytics does not have an easy way of excluding your visits, particularly if you are on a dynamic IP.

If your net connection has a static IP, you can filter out that IP from being tracked. But if you are on a dynamic IP, like most of us are, you will need a different solution.

The solution is this: we will set a cookie on our browser and then use Analytics’ filter to ignore visits from all machines that has this cookie set. In order to create this cookie, create a page on your website with the following code on it.

If you use the old urchin tracker

If you use the new Ga.js tracker

Replace ignore_cookie_name with any name of your choice. The name should be unique because if any other visitor has a cookie of the same name, his visits will be ignored too. Throw in some random numbers to nullify any chance of somebody coincidentally naming their cookie the same.

The next step is the create a filter on Google Analytics. To do this, follow these steps:

1.Click ‘Analytics Settings’ and then click on ‘Filter Manager’ at the bottom of the page.
2.Click ‘Add Filter’
3.On the Create New Filter page, create a new filter with the following settings:

Filter Type: Custom filter > Exclude
Filter Field: User Defined
Filter Pattern: ignore_cookie_name (replace with actual name)
Case Sensitive: No

4.Under the ‘Apply Filter to Website Profiles’ section, select the website you want to apply this filter to.

The final step is to set this cookie on your browser. For this, simply visit the page having the JavaScript code. Make sure no visitors to your site has access to this page, otherwise the cookie will be set on their machines too.

To verify this is working correctly, place Analytics tracking code on this page and visit it a couple of times each day. Then try to find data about this page on Analytics report. If you can’t find any, it means that the ignore cookie is working.

Friday, April 2, 2010

SEO Interview Questions & Answers

1.How many words should my pages be?
A. There is no specific number of words a page should be for SEO purposes.

2.How quickly will Google re-index my pages after I've SEO'd them?
A. how popular your site is, how often Google's spiders typically come around, how deep in the site the changes have been made, and more.It depends upon the proper choose keywords phrases and how popular your web site is and it also depend upon your SEO activities.

3.Which of the following statements about RSS are correct?
► a. It is a form of XML
► b. It stands for Real-time streamlined syndication
► c. It is a good way of displaying static information
► d. It is a Microsoft technology

a. It is a form of XML

4. All major search engines are case sensitive.
► a. True
► b. False

b. False

5. What is Keyword Density?
► a. The number of times the keyword is used / (DIVIDED BY) the total word count on page - (MINUS) the total words in HTML on the page
► b. Combination of the number of times a keyword or a keyword phrase, in proportion with other words, appears on a Web page
► c. The number of times the keyword is used in the page description
► d. The number of times the keyword is used in the page title
► e. The number of times the keyword is used / (DIVIDED BY) the total word count on the page

b. Combination of the number of times a keyword or a keyword phrase, in proportion with other words, appears on a Web page

6. What is the name of the search engine technology due to which a query for the word actor will also show search results for related words such as actress, acting or act?

► a. Spreading
► b. Dilating
► c. RSD (real-time synonym detection)
► d. Stemming
► e. Branching

d. Stemming

7. What will the following robots.txt file do?





► a. It will allow Google to crawl any of the dynamically generated pages. It will also allow the AltaVista scooter bot to access every page
► b. It will disallow Google from crawling any of the dynamically generated pages. It will also disallow the AltaVista scooter bot from accessing any page
► c. It will disallow Google from crawling any of the dynamically generated pages. It will allow the AltaVista scooter bot to access every page
► d. None of the above

c. It will disallow Google from crawling any of the dynamically generated pages. It will allow the AltaVista scooter bot to access every page

8.Are RSS/Atom feeds returned in Googles search results?
► a. Yes
► b. No

b. No

9.How does SEOmoz typically get clients - how do you market yourselves?
A.Actually, we get most of our clients through calls and emails to us. A typical week after the Newsweek piece came out had between 15-30 inquirie. Now, that's down to between 5-10. Mostly, people know about us through finding the SEOmoz website and the articles/blog. We've also got a good conference presence that makes a big difference. Maybe in a future post I can go into detail on how I'd market a new SEO company.

10. A Hallway Page is used to:
A. ► A. Attract visitors from the search engines straight onto the Hallway Page
► B Organizes the Doorway Pages
► C Helps people navigate to different Doorway Pages
► D. Enables search engine bots to index the Doorway Pages

D. Enables search engine bots to index the Doorway Pages

Thursday, April 1, 2010

How To Choose The Best Domain Name

In this article we are going to look at the thought process you should go thru to choose your domain name.

First of all let's define what a domain name is.

A unique name that represents each computer on the Internet. (Some machines do have more than one domain name.) The DNS converts the domain name requested by an Internet user into an IP address.

The Domain Name System (DNS) helps users to find their way around the Internet. Every computer on the Internet has a unique address – just like a telephone number – which is a rather complicated string of numbers. It is called its "IP address" (IP stands for "Internet Protocol").

But it is hard to remember everyone's IP address. The DNS makes it easier by allowing a familiar string of letters (the "domain name") to be used instead of the arcane IP address. So instead of typing , you can type It is a "mnemonic" device that makes addresses easier to remember.

So what makes the best internet domain name?

First of all don't pick a name that has nothing to do with your Web site. If you are selling flowers don't pick a name like Picking an oddball name makes no sense and it will just confuse your audience.

Don't make your new domain name too long. The longer it is the harder it becomes to remember. Can you remember or

Short names are not the way to go either. It is to your benefit to try and buy a domain name that has a few keywords that relate to the topic of you Web site when possible.

Keyword placement when choosing your domain name is helpful as your site develops a higher placement with the search engines. Having the name will do better with a search engine than With you know I have a flower website where with you don't know what kind of Web site I have.

When registering your domain name in some cases you will need to determine if you want to use hyphens in the name itself. Personally I have found this to be a great way to get a domain name that otherwise my not be available. The domain name might already be taken whereas the name might be available.

Everything I have read says try to get a .com domain name first before going to a .net or .org etc. As more and more domain names are taken this becomes harder to do and I think you are better off getting a keyword rich domain name like than you are to buy a .com domain name like

Is buying a cheap domain name a bad idea? Absolutely not. I do it all of the time. I get all of my domain names here:

Then I transfer them to my hosting company here:

I can buy a domain name for less than $10 from and transfer it for free to Host4Profit. This saves me $20 on buying it from the hosting company itself. A domain name is a domain name and you might as well save a little money where you can.

Finding out what names are available is very easy to do. Let's use as an example.

1. Go here:

2. Click on the icon for Domain Names

3. Enter a domain name and see if it is available

4. They will come back with a list of available names

5. Decide what one you want and buy it

One last thing to consider. Protect your name by registering multiple extensions (.net, .org, etc.) This deters people from copying your name. For example, if you own you can also register and any other extension that's available. As you build up traffic to your site if someone types in an version other than the .com version you can forward it to your .com site and not lose any traffic.

In closing it is important to spend a little time when choosing the best domain name for your website. Try and get some keywords in your domain name. Don't stop at choosing just a .com version and save a little money by buying a cheap domain name whenever possible as long as it still contains some keywords.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Keyword Selection as an Internet Strategy

If you are starting your site from scratch, selecting keywords at this stage is a time and money saver. If you are redesigning your website, this is the time to outdo your previous mistakes.
Zeroing On the Right Keywords
If you are wondering what keyword has to do with website design think again. It determines whether your website architecture will have a folder or linear structure. If it is a folder structure then how many levels?

Let's take a hypothetical example. Suppose you are a company selling confections. You are designing an e-commerce website. You may have two or more options for website architecture.
Option 1: confectionary company displaying products by type e.g. cakes, candies, cookies, chocolates etc.
Option 2: confectionary company displaying products by occasions e.g. birthdays, weddings, thanksgiving, baby showers etc.
Option 3: This option is a tad expensive because it involves more complex programming at the database level. You can let the visitor decide how he or she wants to view the website product wise or occasion wise.

Which structure will be more appropriate?
Before deciding we need to find the online search behavior of our future customers. Using a keyword tool we find out that the search phrases customers use to find the ' cakes' are for specific types of cakes like wedding cakes, birthday cakes, diaper cakes and so on. Same stand true for candy.
Naturally the second option is a better website architecture structure. It can grow both laterally and longitudinally. It's more suitable for search patterns hence later it will be easier to optimize.

The best way to do a keyword search is to write down the phrases that describe your website's purpose. Start with:
5 one-word phrases
10 two-word phrases
5 three-word phrases
Run them in a keyword tool. You will be amazed at the results.
Save them in a spreadsheet.

Selecting the Right Keywords:

Your spreadsheet probably has a thousand keywords. It's best to have a base keyword in mind around which your site will evolve. Keep these in mind before you start selection.

One word phrases are the hardest to rank for because they require a high number of backlinks which is difficult for a new site.

Their conversions are also the worst because people are not searching for that product or information. They realize it as soon as they type it and see 44 million websites for 'cakes'.

Two phrase keywords are good to optimize for as they have more searches and hence more conversions. But they are difficult to do so especially for a new website.
Three phrase keywords may be few but are relatively easy to optimize for. It's best to start with three word keywords.

Select the 3 word phrases most suitable for your site. Make them top priority for now...But do not ignore the 2 phrase or single word keywords. With time you will be able to drive traffic to your website using these keywords too and they most probably will have more search traffic.

The other factors that matter are:

The number of competing sites
The strength of those competing sites
Select a long string for 3 word phrases whose searches rank more than 5 per day. This is the starting list for keywords for your site. Repeat the same procedure for two word phrases.

At this stage it may be suitable for you to leave out 1 word phrases not in the website design but in the optimization process..

Integrating the Keywords in your Website Design
All efforts at selection are useless if keywords are not properly integrated in design.

2 tips before starting:

Do not optimize for more than 3 keywords on one page
Preferably optimize for related keywords Example:
Virtual Offices in Irvine Orange County (keyword)
-Virtual Offices
-Virtual Offices Irvine
-Virtual Offices Orange County

Get your website designer to use these search phrases in the page in Title tags, Keyword tags, Header tags and Alt tags. While writing the content for the page make sure you use the phrase at least twice in 350 words of content. Use synonyms of the keywords.

Monday, February 8, 2010

How to Maximize Benefits From Google Adwords Keywords Tools

Google Adwords is the major platform to operate Pay Per Click advertising campaigns. Pay Per Click also commonly known as Double Click Digital Advertising. Pay Per Click advertising is a very successful method to reach to the potential clients or in other words it is the way of advertising where you can customize your advertising campaigns as per your budget, client demographic requirements or target customers based on geographical location. You have full control on advertising budget to explore the market. Pay Per Click Advertising has a great impact on building the brand globally or locally depends on your product market reach.

There are few steps must be considered while creating the keywords list for the advertising, use the keyword tool various new option to find the most related keywords:

* Find keywords based on your site content. Instead of entering your own keywords, try using the Website Content option. It lets you enter the URL of your business website or of any site related to your business. The AdWords system will then scan your page and then suggest relevant keywords.
* Create new, separate ad groups with similar keywords. We recommend creating several ad groups in each campaign, each with a small, narrowly-focused set of similar keywords. Use the Keyword Tool to discover relevant keywords, then divide them into lists of 5 to 20 similar terms.
* Identify negative keywords. The Keyword Tool can show you off-topic keywords that users may be thinking about. Suppose that you sell cut flowers and that you give the keyword 'flowers' to the Keyword Tool. It may suggest the related term 'gardens' and you may want to add that term to your ad group as a negative keyword. That will keep your ad from being displayed on searches for 'flower gardens' or similar terms. This helps to ensure that only interested customers see your ads.
* Find synonyms - or not. The Use synonyms box in the Descriptive words or phrases option is always ticked by default. This means that it might suggest 'bed and breakfast' as a synonym for the keyword 'hotel'. If you untick the box, the tool will suggest only keywords that contain at least one of the terms that you entered.
* Specify a language and location. If you're using the Keyword Tool while signed in to your account, you may see an option to tailor results to a particular location and language. If you happen to be targeting Spanish speakers who live in France, make sure that you set the Keyword Tool to that language and location.
* Start broad and then get specific. Try broad terms like 'flowers' in the Keyword Tool first. Then try specific terms like 'red roses' or 'miniature cactus'.

Google Adwords has made it simple for the advertisers to target the desired audience by providing the various built in tools. An advertising campaign normally comprised of budget, cost of click (CPC) or bid on keyword, keywords, text ads and the landing page and the most important part of the campaign is the history of Google Adwords Account (The Google Adwords Account that is maintaining the campaign, history of keywords and bidding options and CTR.

Google Adwords while designing the campaign keeps track of three things in common, The Keyword you choose, the text ads you write and the content of the landing page or contents of the website as a whole. Google Adwords algorithm calculates the relevancy of these three variables. Let me say it in other words how relevant are the keywords to the text ads and combined these two how relevant to the content of the landing page.

The secret behind doing all this in Google Adwords is to serve the internet user the most suited information what he is looking in the search engine while surfing and querying the search engine. Most of the advertiser bluntly hammers the keywords in the campaign to get the cheap visitors, this attitude of advertising gives them LOW CTR and un interested visitors. Google has launched this advertising mode to reach the potential clients on the fly and not to get the blind visitors. This method of stuffing keywords only increases the cost of the campaign in terms of invalid clicks or no sales.

Well, going back to the topic of maximizing potential through Google Adwords Keyword tool, the factor is relevancy. The keyword, the text ad and the landing page content.

The best practice is to divide the Google Adwords campaign into appropriate Ad Groups and better option is to name them logically to manage. All Ad Groups should be named as per the purpose they are going to serve and then accordingly fill the ad groups with the related keywords and write the compelling related text ad or text ads. Try to add one or 2 keywords in the text add. Let me elaborate more here for example you have 50 keywords in a ad group, try to first group these keywords logically in the ad group and let say you have 3 logical categories of keywords, you need to write minimum three text ads containing at least 2 keywords in the text ads. This way you increase the relevancy factor in your text adds and collection of keywords.

The third and most important part of the Google Adwords campaign is the quality of the landing page, quality means the relevancy of the contents of the page with the text ads, remember here keywords you already made relevant to the text add.

Now look into the scenario how you query the search engines, you first enter the keyword or phrase in the search box of the search engine, when you press the hit button the paid ads display, and you clicked one of the paid ads and landed on the advertiser's website.

Google Adwords also works in the same fashion; this is what the reason writing highly compelling text ads relevant to the keywords comes first and determines the bid price. And at last user visits the website, if website contents are not relevant to the text ads, customer will leave the website without doing any purchase or registering the products etc.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Affiliate marketing

Affiliate Marketing is an Internet-based marketing practice in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought about by the affiliate's marketing efforts. It is an application of crowd sourcing.

Examples include rewards sites, where users are rewarded with cash or gifts, for the completion of an offer, and the referral of others to the site.

The affiliate marketing industry has four core players: the merchant (also known as 'retailer' or 'brand'), the network, the publisher (also known as 'the affiliate') and the customer. The market has grown in complexity to warrant a secondary tier of players, including affiliate management agencies, super-affiliates and specialized third parties vendors.

Affiliate marketing overlaps with other Internet marketing methods to some degree, because affiliates often use regular advertising methods. Those methods include organic search engine optimization, paid search engine marketing, e-mail marketing, and in some sense display advertising. On the other hand, affiliates sometimes use less orthodox techniques, such as publishing reviews of products or services offered by a partner.

Affiliate marketing—using one website to drive traffic to another—is a form of online marketing, which is frequently overlooked by advertisers.While search engines, e-mail, and website syndication capture much of the attention of online retailers, affiliate marketing carries a much lower profile. Still, affiliates continue to play a significant role in e-retailers' marketing strategies.

You can place your affilitate marketing using