Words You Want works with a variety of clients on a day-to-day basis. Some of our clients we meet from sites like Elance.com. Other client’s find us and some clients respond to our advertising efforts. When clients come to us from an auction site they usually have a solid campaign strategy already created. The only thing left to do is to write high quality articles. Some clients, however, are new to SEO and article marketing and thus expect some campaign guidance.
We are always ready to offer campaign advice! We not only offer our services as an SEO writing company but also as an SEO consultant. We have worked with many clients who were unsure about what direction to take. Here is what we tell our new clients about the SEO industry, in so many words.
Starting an Web Marketing Campaign for the First Time
It’s important to learn how web marketing works before you start seriously investing. There are seven major ways to advertise online. Let’s discuss each strategy one at a time.
Spamming: This is the worst way you can advertise online. Regardless of where you send your SPAM, or how you send it, you are wasting your time. Web readers very rarely respond to SPAM through email, website posting, or any other means of communication. Spamming is considered rude, poorly conceived and invasive. Resist the urge to just start “selling” to people as soon as you find them online. It’s the equivalent of a door to door salesman. It could work in theory, if you have one fantastic vacuum cleaner, but it’s not likely to make you money.
Banner/Text Advertising: Banner and text advertising works because unlike SPAM, these ads are placed on websites where customers expect to see commercials. Highly trafficked sites, networks, news stories, entertainment features—all of these web pages are advertiser-friendly. Customers may respond to a banner or text ad, or they may not. This is the risk you take with blatant advertising and you pay a lot for that risk.
(Targeted Banner/Text Advertising is an extension of regular banner/text advertising. Instead of merely posting ads on popular sites, you post ads on websites that have “targeted” traffic, meaning general demographics or keyword searchers.)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Search Engine Optimization involves optimizing your website and publishing content that is search engine friendly. The more outstanding your content (and the more efficiently optimized your site) the higher you will go up in the rankings for popular keyword phrases. Article marketing is the newest avenue of “organic” SEO. Search engines rewards websites that are “popular” in terms of traffic and in terms of links. The more internal and external (third party websites) that link to your site, the higher your rankings will be.
Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC): This is the opposite of organic SEO. This method of advertising does involve using search engines, but instead of focusing on quality content, you are focusing on directing traffic to a “landing page.” PPC does not require as much time investment as SEO. Users simply type in a phrase, click the text or graphic ad based on their keyword and are sent to a landing page offering the product. PPC advertising is usually more expensive than SEO, because you are charged by the day for every click your ad receives. Often times, you are competing against major corporations for “sponsored results.” Rest assured, the big corporations want those top PPC slots and can afford to bid high dollars on each click!
Social Media Marketing: This is a relatively new way to advertise and involves using popular social networking websites like Twitter, Face Book and LinkedIn. However, instead of blatantly advertising your products, you befriend the community and establish yourself as an authority on your industry field.
Public Relations Advertising: This is a “scratch my back, I scratch yours” scenario, in which you submit newsworthy stories (or content) to third party websites in exchange for a link. Writing and distributing press releases is the easiest way to try this method of advertising. Other options include negotiating with other websites for a link exchange, or doing “stories” or interviews with news/entertainment sites.
Viral Advertising: This method of advertising involves creating anticipation and word of mouth publicity by creating very unusual and highly emotive content that gives credit to your brand. It’s a difficult move to pull off, but sometimes it works.
Now here’s the point: practically all seven major advertising venues depend on the all important keyword search. Yes, some avenues use keywords more than others. However, users must first type in some sort of keyword phrase before they begin their Internet search. The very first “homepage” a web user sees is a carefully crafted page that takes into account a user’s past keyword searches and the most commonly searched keyword phrases of the day to deliver hot news stories and appropriate advertisements. Even social media sites, viral content and SPAM are largely based on the proverbial keyword search.
It’s the entire foundation of the Internet—your own personal “highway” to a world of knowledge. You start traveling the course by entering your keyword interest.
Getting Inside the Mind of Your Consumers
It’s time to do a little research on your targeted audience. Since you’re already selling a product or a service, it’s safe to assume you’ve done a little research on your market. You know who your competition is and you know what people are buying. Now the question is: what can you do to divert this information superhighway and bring millions of web visitors to your own web store?
There are a few different approaches you can take from here. You could try to experiment with keyword phrases (which basically means you put on the mind of a customer and try to figure out what they would type) and see what works. It’s a good strategy—what would you type into a search engine if you were looking for a certain product?
A more direct way to handle it would be to ask other people what they search for when looking for a specific product. You could do this by interviewing your friends, family and acquaintances. Or you could ask random Internet users to fill out a survey.
However, the most popular method of determining the “right” keyword phrase is by using an Internet research tool. Using a research tool application lets you to find the most common keyword searches over the last few months, as determined by the majority of website viewers. This is not as easy a process as you might think.
Using the application is easy enough, but majority opinion broken down by numbers doesn’t always tell you the whole story. Going after the most popular (or “broad” keyword phrases is an uphill battle and takes a great deal of time in order to see results. Going after the least popular keyword phrases is not always to your advantage either. Some keyword phrases may only receive a dozen hits over the course of six months. That’s hardly enough traffic! You must find a compromise—keyword phrases that are popular but not too obscure. Receiving a great deal of targeted traffic is the key to web marketing.
Your Next Step
Your next step involves a considerable time investment, as you must investigate the right keywords to use for your campaign. You can’t just stop at the basics. As an SEO writing consultant I would advise you to consider points like:
- Popular keyword phrases
- Specific keyword phrases
- Regionally appropriate keyword phrases
- Product specific keyword phrases
- The demographics of your audience
- What keywords your competition is using
- Who your competition is, for chosen keywords
- How the majority of people respond to chosen keywords
- Misspellings and grammatical errors
- Using article-friendly keyword phrases
- Conversion rates (turning casual interest into sales)
- Keyword search trends over a period of days, months, years
…and many other logistical considerations. I’m not saying that it’s impossible for a newcomer to figure out. However, I would venture to say that it requires some serious time commitment. Don’t underestimate the importance of “context” when going after keywords.
An SEO writing campaign is certainly not dirt cheap. You want to do extensive research before publishing your powerful content to be sure you are really going after a specific audience.
Words You Want does offer SEO consultant services and can help you plan your keyword campaign. We offer this service as an extra fee added to your SEO package. However if time is of the essence for you, outsourcing this research project may be the best move.
Contact Words You Want and talk to us about your web marketing plans!