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It is also important to take into consideration that PFIs cannot guarantee prominent listing or ranking in search results. The rankings are often based on search engine’s unique algorithm, which takes into consideration both URLs that paid for inclusion as well as URLs that are picked up by their spiders (for free!). PFIs will only guarantee that you are included in their database, but will not provide assurance that you will be in top 10 of listing. The ranking criteria will still depend on how your pages are optimized and their popularity.
A number of complaints have also been raised against PFI programs. Some site owners report that pages already indexed for free suddenly disappear in listing as soon as they paid for its inclusion. For example, a site owner with 500 pages in search engine decides to pay for inclusion of 1 of its pages, only to see 499 dropped from index. Some webmasters opine that thinking behind this action is to compel site owner – who has already shown their willingness to pay for inclusion – to pay for rest of pages.
The alternative, of course, is to resist paying for inclusion and wait for your URLs to be picked up by search engines for free (yes, they still do that!). It may take a few months for their spider or human editors to stumble on your site, but doing so can save you a lot of money. In meantime, you can develop more pages, improve your content, requests for links from similar websites, and develop a customer base.
3. Are you willing to attract more search engine traffic by paying per-click?
Overture pioneered pay-for-placement (PFM) model, where you bid a price on keywords you wish to be included. Payment is on a pay-per-click basis, and placement is often based on amount of bid you placed in comparison with offer of other bidders.
Your placement in Overture, FindWhat, Kanoodle, and others will depend on how high you bid on your keywords. The top placements are highest bidders for keyword. Google AdWords, on other hand, combines amount of bid placed on keyword with your clickthrough rate.
It is important to note that PFM model is basically pay-per-click advertising (with emphasis on advertising). According to a study made, top 2 organic listings usually receive more than 50 percent of clicks on a search results page, whereas average click through for a paid search placement is about 2 percent.
Listings are often shown under label “Sponsored Listings” and are not integrated with what is called “natural” search engine results. Once your budget runs out and you no longer bid for your term, your listing disappears.
When you run pay-per-click campaigns in search engines, it is extremely important to manage your costs, as listings can be very expensive to maintain. The key is to choose right keywords for your budget. Some keywords targeting same customer may cost you $0.05 per click, while a different one can cost you $0.65 per click. A thousand click-throughs will cost you $50 if keyword costs only $0.50, while cost can go up to $650 for $0.65 per click.
4. Do you have a diversification plan?
The old adage “don’t put your eggs all in one basket” holds true even in search engine marketing: if search engines drop your site, do you have any back up plans to get people to visit your site?
If you concentrate solely on search engine marketing and it fails, you will lose not only traffic but also sales and revenues. It is important that you have alternative marketing plans in place. In fact, it is best to have a well-laid marketing plan, one that uses other online and offline marketing strategies in addition to search engines. Carve out a plan to market your site off Web, whether through a press release in your community journal, or attending networking activities.
With almost 80 percent of Internet users using search engines to find information on Web, there are only two possible outcomes when someone performs a search: either they will find you or they will find your competitors. Search engine marketing –getting your Web site visible in search engines – should be a key element of your business strategies.
Nach Maravilla is the Publisher/CEO of PowerHomeBiz.com, one of the leading online resources for starting a small or home business. For information on starting a business, visit PowerHomeBiz.com at http://www.powerhomebiz.com