Article Marketing and Search Engines

As soon as I started this blog I changed my mind about Article Marketing. Not saying I am great but I can write an article. And make it interesting (some of the times). Here’s my first attempt and how it has helped my search engine rankings

I’m a sceptical kind of guy at time. I have been around long enough to see
the “best search engine optimisation” fads come and go.

One strategy I have seen consistently recommended by some fairly well
respected SEO experts is article writing. I always mentally made a “to be
investigated”  note whenever I read about the power or submitting an article to the many article directories around

How does Article Marketing Work?

Basically it goes like this.

1. you write an informative and hopefully interesting article

2. You submit it to one or more of the many article directories

3. They review and approve it and publish it

4. people are now free to copy that article (Exactly without changes) into their website or blog

So what’s the point of that? 

 Twofold

A/ Write well enough and often enough and you become the opinion leader in your niche.  Now that’s good publicity !

b/ Plus you make sure you have links embedded in the article or in the author information box. Someone uses your article in their site and this gives you a one way link back to your site just like that.

This means traffic directly from the link and also it can help boost your rankings in the search engines – depending on the referring site.

Oh and most article directories are free. There is no cost to post to them.

Anyway I never bothered as I never considered myself much of a writer

My article marketing experiment

As soon as I started this blog I changed my mind. Not saying I am great but I
can write an article. And make it interesting (some of the times)

So with that in mind I revisited Article marketing. Started modestly. Took my first blog post, cleaned it up and fixed the grammar a bit and submitted it to EzineArticle.com

Being a free member it takes 7-10 days to get the article reviewed and
posted.

And much to my amazement it was approved.  Here it is here. It’s called

“Websites – Are They Art Or Ads?” – 

http://EzineArticles.com/?id=2643451

Search Engine Optimisation

Has it helped my search engine ranking or traffic?

Too early to say.

One thing I have learnt though is it’s not as hard as I thought.

Now let’s see if I can do it for of my web design customers who need some SEO work done on their sites!!

Ronald Sayegh
Web Design and Affordable SEO

Doing SEO the right way – gets traffic

Even though my number of top ten listings in the search engines has dropped but my traffic is up. Way up. That’s because I did SEO the right way. Here’s what I did

I have written a few post about this already over the past few months so please forgive the repetition.

It’s about search engine optimisation (or is that optimization ) and getting a high ranking in google, yahoo and MSN.

My New SEO Skillset

I have recently completed an online refresher course with some of the top SEO experts, purchased and got myself familiar with some nice new SEO software and practiced my newly found skills on my own site (!)

The results have been interesting to say the least.

In May 09 I used an external SEO company and sure enough in April 09 I had added 74 top ten positions to the 70 or so I already had.
Nice .. or so i thought. I was sitting at around the 140-150 top ten listings for my site. Only I wasn’t getting any more traffic!!!

When I looked closely at what they actually did I saw I was in page one for many many terms that no-one searches for. They delivered what they promised that’s for sure. Only it was a complete waste of time! And Money

3 months on and guess what… I think have lost nearly of those 74 positions I gained. I dont even bother checking them now…

BUT remember the refresher course I mentioned. Well last month, armed with some correct SEO actions to take I started doing it myself for real. Using my own site as the guinea pig.

And one month on the good news is my unqiue vistors traffic stats for the end of June are 40% UP on those from May.

My number of inquiries from visitors who found me via the search engines is also up.

But number of top ten listed pages is massively down. I dont even want to say how many as it looks pathetic compared to the 150 I had before.

The point is fewer listings not only give more traffic, the traffic is more QUALIFIED.

And all because I have shifted my focus to target the correct outcome I need. ie more qualified traffic.

So at the start of the process I had 150 top ten listings for search terms no-one was looking for. What’s the use in that! I went back to basics

I really nailed the keywords I need to focus on to start with
I picked 20 main phrases and tweaked my site pages to focus on them more exactly. Comfortiingly these were for the most part phrases I already was targeting, just not very well! But I also found a few holes that I was missing altogether!

Then adding a blog, and actively building backlinks to deep within my site rather than just the home page gave my site that extra authority required.

Now one of my pages – and not the home page – ranks in the top 10 for a very competive terms AND brings me a steady flow of qualified inquiries. This page was barely even indexed before.

And it will only get better as I link deep into my site to bring the rest of the pages up to the top.

Quality SEO v/s Quantity SEO

Now as I look at the various SEO companies that a typical small business can afford I can see that they all offer the same thing
Quantity not quality

They may well be able to get you 100, 200 or even 400 top ten rankings means – chances are it will be for 400 phrases that bring little or no traffic.

Then looking at the quality SEO experts around I see they work on a different strategy altogether. My new strategy is takes from them
and it actually quite simple.

My SEO Strategy

I plan to take the handful of high traffic terms I now know to work for my site and go deep rather than wide.

Refine these terms to catch all variations and make sure I mine that keyword vein all the way

Then start all over again with the next most popular terms and new ones that I will ave uncovered

That builds stable traffic.

That brings qualified traffic

That brings people who come to my site are looking for something that I actually offer so they are happier too.

Who Can Afford SEO – who can’t!

There is still one problem.

All this is extremely time consuming, exacting and sometimes tedious work.

That’s why a quality SEO guy charges tens of thousands of dollars a year. It’s a big job and a long term commitment.

Not exactly the thing a small business can budget for!

Of course without the traffic and sales they’ll never be able to budget for it.
Catch 22 anyone?

Startup SEO Package

So I have put together a start up SEO package

It  covers all the fundamentals that you will need to get your site ranked well in google and friends

It will involve possible adjustments to your site, keywords, text, images, and structure.

It will also involve getting a fresh batch of quality links to point to your site

In all its about 70-80% of what you need done on a right-now basis. The end result will be many quality listings on page 1 or 2 of google returning a good flow of qualified traffic.

This will give you and your business the boost it needs

Then you can afford that  full time SEO consultant to do last 20%.. and get you into the top 3 position across the boards.

The cost for the SEO start up is $1000
It involves about 20-40 hours of work performed over 3 months
(SEO isn’t an overnight process!)

If you want to know more have a look here search engine optimisation or email me. Or leave a comment :>

Thanks

Ronald Sayegh
Web Design Specialist Australia

Websites: art or ads?

A business website is an ad! So why the obsession about FLASH animation and delicately drawn pictures over ease of use and good copy?

So you’ve got a website. Great ! (if not – stop reading and go here !!)

And how is this pinnacle of marketing genius judged  by friends and family?

By it’s looks! Let’s not be so shallow people!
That’s like judging the best Olympic swimmer by her looks rather than her ability to swim ( oh wait we do that as well!)

I’d just like to say here and now for most people a website is a business tool. It’s job is to inform people of what you sell or do, create a desire for those services or products and then facilitate the getting of these.

A business website is an ad! So why the obsession about FLASH animation and delicately drawn pictures over ease of use and good copy?

Try this experiment:

Recall the best ad you have ever seen on TV?

Got it? Great. Was it funny? Emotional? Catchy?

Now what was it for?

Cant remember?

Most people cant.

Try another one…

Many adverts fail to even mention what product it is they are advertising, never mind telling you how much it is or why and where to get it.

And so people think that this is what an ad is for. To look good or entertain.

It’s my belief that advertising is not all about looking good and being clever or funny and winning awards for “best ad” .

It’s about creating and fulfilling a need.

And if you can do this whilst also looking good or being funny your onto a winner.

A website is no different. It doesn’t have to be ugly – indeed it should have some aesthetic value to it.  But do you think Ebay or Amazon are good looking sites?

So when you get a website built please think function before form. Ask yourself

  1. Is it fast to load?
  2. Is it easy to navigate?
  3. It is clear what its main message is?
  4. Is it easy to maintain and update?
  5. Is there a call to action or some way to take the next step easily?
  6. Is it well optimised for google and friends so that it ranks well in the search engines?
    And finally
  7. Is it pleasing to look at?

And how is this successful website assessed?

Not by its looks but by how well it reaches its target audience and gets them to take a desired action (such as emailing an inquiry, or by sales generated.)

Give me an ugly site that sells over a beautiful award winning graphic masterpiece that sends me broke anyday.

Or come to me and I’ll give you both; a nice looking site that sells !

Rant over!

Ronald Sayegh
Web Design Specialist
http://www.webdesignspecialist.com.au