Monday, December 14, 2009

SEO Tips - Forget Google: 5 Tips For Alternative SEO

by Adam Bauthues

When people think of SEO, PPC or anything having to do with "search marketing" it is assumed Google is what is being discussed. Ask any online marketer, whether they are affiliate or network marketers, and they can readily explain to you how powerful being #1 in the Google listings can be for their business. Being able to rank #1 on Google, for your chosen keywords (if they are keywords that attract buyers) is like a blank check you get to fill in. And of course, the best part is you can rank high with some work, and your cost to receive this advertising is zero dollars. Your ROI is thus very high since you are not paying for traffic. Everything is profit.

The only problem with traditional SEO methods is the amount of time you will spend trying to outrank the competition. And time is also money. You have to factor that in as well.

Since Google is the "Big Daddy" of the search engine marketing field, it is also the most difficult search engine to break into, and maintain top rankings in. Of course, the traffic you will receive is definitely worth it. No pain no gain they say!

Is there a way to get the best of both worlds? Everyone is searching for that short-cut to riches and high Google rankings but these shortcuts do not exist. What does exist though are alternatives. Yahoo and MSN (now Bing) are search engine networks you will want to think about targeting with your SEO campaigns.

To help you start to think about the possible alternatives and to help you think "outside the box", here are 5 tips to help you out with any alternative SEO campaigns you may work on.

#1 - The Rules Still Apply - Or Do they?

Running an alternative SEO campaign is not an open invitation to start slacking off or to start breaking the rules. And when I say "Alternative SEO" I do not mean black hat strategies either. Each of the major search engines have different algorithms in place that contribute to how your site will be ranked in the search results, but good SEO practice still wins, every time. So stick with the whitehat strategies. Forget about the supposed latest and greatest new black hat tactic. These things do not last and end up hurting your campaigns.

#2 - Engine Value Factor

We all know Google is the Giant in the search engine game. This means it is always mentioned first and foremost when SEO comes up. Get on the front page of Google for your chosen keywords and you will get instant and targeted traffic.

This is also what makes it so difficult. Everyone is gunning for that top spot, and the competition can be fierce for even the low-traffic keywords.

Getting ranked for your chosen keywords is not always difficult just because of competition either. You have to keep in mind that Google does not work for you. Google works for their users...the searcher. People use Google primarily to find INFORMATION on a given subject, not to buy things. Google wants to make sure that when their users type in a phrase that the results will best match the intent of the searcher.

MSN (Bing) on the other hand, seems to cater more towards shoppers and buyers. This is why in many cases, you will not get the gobs of traffic from MSN that you will get from Google, but your sales conversions will generally be higher there. This has always been the case for me and this trend is only growing as far as I can tell.

Each of the 3 major search engines cater to completely different demographics. You have to keep this in mind as you prepare your SEO campaigns.

#3 - Innovate and Stay Sharp

So very few people choose to take advantage of the other search engines online. This is to your advantage, BUT you are going to have to be sharp, stick to your guns, and remain consistent. You are going to have to innovate from the beginning. Don't leave any loose ends and follow through with your work. New strategies always require diligence when they are being implemented. Consistency wins every time because unfortunately, most people are lazy and cannot remain vigilant. Unfortunate for them, fortunate for you, IF you don't go the lazy route too!

#4 - Study The Search Engines - Get To Know What They Want

Marketing itself is pretty much simply an act of finding out what people want and then giving it to them exactly how they want it. It is important you carry this thinking over into your alternative SEO campaigns and make sure you give each search engine EXACTLY what they want. As mentioned before, good SEO still applies across the board, and many of the same good SEO practices will have a positive effect on all engines, but each has their differences.

For instance, I have noticed that when it comes to organic rankings, Yahoo does not seem to give as much authority sites. This could just be my experience, or a weird fluke, but some of my sites with extension, which do very well on Google for their chosen keywords, cannot seem to climb on Yahoo.

If you pay close attention to these little nuances, and adjust your marketing message to take advantage of them, you will rise above the competition.

#5 - Look To Future Sustainability

Too often I see marketers, newbies and veterans alike, create their SEO campaigns as if there is no future in it.They appear to enjoy playing the "give it to me now" game. Long-term strategies, which would allow them to remain competitive now AND far into the future, are not their focus. Bad move...

If you want to build a successful business you need to build it on a solid foundation, taking into account the future profit of a well-built campaign. This means that although you use alternative search engines you make sure that what you are building is being built to last, not just to take advantage of some loop-hole that is really no loop-hole at all. This also means that you must continue to pay attention to your campaigns. For each individual alternative SEO campaign you build, one engine will generally come out the clear winner for THAT specific campaign.

When this happens look for the answer as to WHY it happened. You want to be able to duplicate the same process across several different niches over time. If there ever was a secret it is this: Find what works, with each of the major search engines, build engine-specific campaigns according to those working models, then rinse and repeat across as many different niches as you wish.

About the Author

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