Friday, February 25, 2011

PayPerClick or Search Engine Optimization?

by Peter Moore

Members are always asking me how they can get their ezweb123 site to the top of the search engine rankings for their specific business, organisation or search keywords relating to their products or services.

Basically, there are only two reliable ways of doing this:

1. PayPerClick (PPC) search engine advertising and
2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

PPC

Unless you've got an extremely niche product or service, PPC now requires a lot of on-going financial investment to keep your site at the top of any search engine results. You are likely to burn a lot of cash without seeing any return on investment (ROI).

This is simply because of the massive growth of the Internet and the success of Google's Adwords service. You will be competing with hundreds, if not thousands of competitors for specific search keywords or phrases. This growth and demand has now significantly increased the cost per click for those keywords/phrases, making it virtually impossible for small businesses to get a ROI.

Other, nowhere near as popular, search engines, directories and adverting networks, have recognized this and jumped on the bandwagon of offering website owners lower cost advertising - but this is nowhere near as effective and again I wouldn't recommend these services.

Also don't be fooled by businesses offering you a guaranteed number of visitors, or unreputable services such as email mailing lists, offering you zillions of emails sent for just a few dollars. Avoid services like these at all costs and don't be tempted to test them, just to see if I'm right - that's how they make money!

If you are going to attempt PPC (and I strongly recommend that you don't), I would recommend that you only use Google Adwords, as Google is by far still the most used search engine on the Internet and their adwords advert campaign interface is by far the best.

However, a keyword/phrase with a cost per click of anything more than $1 is in my view ridiculous and unprofitable and the days of 50 cents a click for any beneficial keyword/phrase have long gone unfortunately. Furthermore, 95% of people searching on Google never look past page 1, so unless you can achieve page one, for less than $1.00 per click, I frankly wouldn't bother.

SEO

So, with my moan about PPC advertising over, I would strongly recommend that you look at option 2, Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Although, you won't get instant traffic as you will with PPC (if you spend enough money that is), you will get gradually increasing, organic and above all profitable traffic to your site, that you can track and make step change improvements to increase.

As you will notice by doing a search for 'SEO' on Google, there are literally thousands of companies springing up claiming to be SEO experts and ready to take your money. This is for both 'optimizing your site' for search engines and secondly getting you to the top of the search engine results.

However, firstly, you can optimize your own website with just a bit of effort. Just read our free search engine optimization guide for our website builder. Our website builder has built in tools to make optimizing your website easy.

Secondly, there is no company that can guarantee that they will get you to the top of the search engine results, unless that company is called Google! All you can do, once you have optimized your site, is take the necessary steps to increase your natural search engine position on Google. These are:

1. Get a respectable Google Page Rank, of at least 3+.

2. Identify your competitors main search keywords/phrases. I recommend this site: keyrow.com

3. Select just 1 or 2 of those keywords/phrases based upon google monthly search volume.

4. Create good quality backlinks to your site from relevant and respected sites or Blogs with PageRank using your chosen keywords/phrases as 'anchor text'.

5. Set up Google Analytics for your site to track traffic and keyword search referals to your site and every 6 months check your Google PageRank. I can't stress the importance of this enough!

About the Author

Pete Moore is Co-Founder of award winning website builder, ezweb123.com (http://www.ezweb123.com).