The (Not So) Shocking Truth About Getting A High Search Engine RankingWritten by Elizabeth Piotrowski
I have seen my site hit #3 at Google, and some of my fellow entrepreneurs are wondering how I did it. Well, it's no big secret, and it won't cost you anything but your time. Here's what I did:
1. I searched online for information about title and description tags to get a better idea of what they should say. http://www.selfpromotion.com is a great site for this kind of information. It's all about search engine positioning, and it's free to sign up. However, your account only stays active for 4 weeks, after which webmaster asks that you donate money to his site to keep your account active.
2. I used Overture's free keyword tool at http://inventory.overture.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion/. Just enter keywords that are relevant to your site, and Overture will generate most popular search terms that people are using. I picked most popular terms (making sure they were relevant), and made a list of keywords for each page of my site in Notepad.
2. Next, I visited http://www.scrubtheweb.com/abs/meta-check.html. This handy tool will check your meta tags and tell you if there are too many characters in your title, keyword and description. The above site is just one of many meta tag analyzers available on net, so beware - every analyzer says something different when it comes to how many characters your meta tags should have. My advice? Pick one and stick with it, at least for a while. Otherwise, you will just get frustrated.
The Benefits and Risks of Pay-Per-ClickWritten by Barry Harrison
Many companies have been "buying their way to top" of search engines using Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns. Should you promote your Website with PPC? There's no simple answer. But in this REDiTIPS we offer an introduction to PPC so you can make an informed decision. --------------------------------------- What Is Pay-Per-Click?
Google AdWords Select (http://www.google.com/ads) and Overture (http://www.overture.com) are two leading Pay-per-click players, but there are over 400 search engines using this model. They all work in more or less same way. You bid on keywords and phrases that your target audience may use to find your site in search engines. When they do a search for those keywords your ad or "sponsored listing" appears in a special section near top or side of search results.
The position of your ad depends on amount you bid and competition for your keywords, so selecting best keywords is essential. You pay only when someone clicks through to your site.
What Does it Cost?
You can set up your PPC campaign with Google AdWords Select for just $5.00, with no monthly minimum. Overture requires a $50 setup fee and a $20.00 monthly minimum. Both allow you to set a maximum monthly budget. The cost is a function of your keywords, your bid amount, and your click-thru-rate.
Make sure that cost of acquiring a customer through your PPC campaign is less than your average profit from each sale. Overture has a return on investment (ROI) tool to help with this calculation.
Here's an Example
As of 3/11/03 top bid in Overture for term "professional website design" is $3.86. Every time a searcher clicks on that ad, company pays $3.86. For "web design consultant" top bid is $1.05. In January 2003, Overture tells us 5,955 searches were done for "professional website design" and 3,522 for "web design consultant." Assuming a 1% click-thru-rate (CTR) that translates to about $230 for first term, and about $37 for second.