Archive for February 23rd, 2009

Basic SEO & PPC Concepts

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

Many people are unaware of the basic concepts of search engine optimisation and PPC management. For those people, I have put together a very basic overview to help explain what these Internet marketing strategies are.

Put simply, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of amending a website to appear closer to the top of the search results, and increase traffic as a result.

Google combines two “values” to determine the order of websites for a given term. These “values” could be described as a site’s “relevance” to a search term and its overall “popularity”.

The “relevance” is determined by a number of factors, relating to the content of the page. For example, if a site selling “exercise mats” does not include examples of this phrase in its pages, then it will not be considered to be highly relevant for this phrase, and is unlikely to rank as highly as a site that has “exercise mats” within its pages’ titles, headings and paragraphs.

The “popularity” is determined by the links to the site from other web pages. Each link is considered to represent a “vote” for the site and the more links a site has, the more credible it becomes and the more likely it is to rank highly in the search engines.

Search Engine Optimisation involves on page modifications and link building strategies to increase rankings and traffic over time. Making good keyword choices is essential to the success of SEO. The keywords must be searched for often enough to deliver a significant amount of targeted traffic but must not be too competitive for the site to achieve a decent level of exposure within the search engines.

AdWords, Google’s Pay Per Click advertising system can provide almost instant exposure for a website for any search terms. A cost is incurred each time a visitor clicks on your ad and is sent to your site. The system is much like an auction where advertisers can set a maximum bid price, and higher bid prices will lead to higher ad positions. However, bid price is not the only factor that determines ad positions. Other factors, such as keyword to ad relevancy and website content will affect ad position. Professional Pay Per Click managers may be able to improve these factors, giving better ad positions or reduced bid costs.

Generally, SEO provides a better long term return on investment, whereas PPC campaigns have the benefit of instantaneous and easily quantifiable results.