CoatingsPro Magazine

JAN 2009

CoatingsPro offers an in-depth look at coatings based on case studies, successful business operation, new products, industry news, and the safe and profitable use of coatings and equipment.

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MARKETING SAVVY Five Facts about Internet Marketing By Heather Lutze and you're sure to either see blank faces, or hear stories of frustration. Either they don't utilize these marketing techniques at all, or they've handed their company's Web site SEO and PPC activities over to an agency and have little idea what's going on with either. Or they've "done it themselves" and had lackluster results at best. This is unfortunate, because SEO and PPC are the foundation of any good Web site marketing plan. Search Engine Optimization refers to manipulating Web site content in a way that improves your chances of appearing on top of the results page where a potential client is most likely to see it. Pay Per Click allows you pay for an advertisement or sponsored link so that it shows up on the top results page; you are charged for each click. If you want to be successful in business, both of these techniques are imperative. Think of it like building a house. If you build the roof before you build the foundation, you really don't have a house. Likewise, if you launch a Web site or engage in fad Web marketing techniques (such as Facebook, Twitter, etc.) without solid SEO and PPC in place, you're wasting both your time and money — two things that are precious in the business world. M If you want to get real results from your SEO and PPC campaigns, start connecting with your customers and use the following tips to make your SEO and PPC campaigns a profitable endeavor. 1. Use PPC first to fish for keywords. Fishing for keywords is like throwing a big net out into the ocean. The more refined the holes are in your net, the 26 CoatingsPro J January 2009 ention the words Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay Per Click (PPC) to most business owners better the quality of targeted fish you're going to pull back. When you're new to PPC and SEO, you don't know which keywords or keyword phrases to choose for your Web site to target. At this stage you need to balance the general, obvious, and informational keywords with the longer keyword phrases that will attract customers who are ready to take action. Therefore, start slowly with long keyword phrases and then shorten your phrases over time (open up the holes in your net) to let more general traffic in. Over a testing period of at least 30 to 90 days you can see a pattern of which keywords give you business and which are a waste. The general rule of thumb is to start with approximately 100 to 500 keywords. As you see what works, you can narrow your keyword list. Also, your number of keywords depends on your industry, your company, and the length of time you've been testing keywords. Some companies who have years of testing and research under their belts have a finely narrowed list of keywords, while others have a keyword list in the hundreds of thousands. The bottom line is that you don't know what your company's findability is until you start throwing out that net and track- ing your Pay Per Click results. So don't rush into a Web site redesign or other Web marketing activity until you have experimented and tested in PPC. Know the keyword phrases that result in real business and bottom line improvements. 2. Apply your top performing PPC keywords to your SEO campaigns. Take the knowledge from your test period, which again is a minimum of 30 to 90 days, and apply what you learn about top performing keywords to your Search Engine Optimization campaigns. The goal is that you don't waste time and money on SEO terms that will never help you. Therefore, as you analyze your PPC information, go to the next step and look at which keywords are getting just clicks and which ones lead to an actual conversion or a purchase. A conversion could be someone downloading a white paper, filling out a contact form, taking a survey, etc. It's some activity that gets people involved in your site. Find out how many clicks it takes for someone to say "yes" to your offer and get involved. You may find that it takes three to four clicks before someone takes action. 3. Carefully group or theme your SEO keywords by page content. The prime objective of SEO is to prove to Google (or any other search engine) that the content on your site is worthy to be placed on the front page under a particular keyword. "Worthy" means you have the content on the page in such a fashion that Google sees repetition of the keyword, either in your text or in your code. This proves to the search engine that you belong under a certain keyword. The challenge is that many business- people have a fruit salad mentality. In other words, even though each page of their site deals with a particular topic or theme (and should therefore have page specific keywords), the keywords for every page are identical. So even though one page is dedicated to bananas, one page to apples and one page to oranges, every page has keywords that relate to all fruits. This confuses search engines because they don't know what you really are. As a result, your site never gets found. Rather than think "the more keywords the better," think in terms of compartmentalizing your keywords. So MARKETING CONTINUED ON PAGE 99

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