Internet Marketing - a Practical Approach
PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS THE FIRST EDITION
OF THE BOOK AND SO SOME OF THE CONTENT OF
THIS WEBSITE MAY BE OUT OF DATE

The website of the second edition of the book can be found at
Digital Marketing: a Practical Approach

CHAPTER 6 : SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION

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6.1     INTRODUCTION

Here are some terms used in SEO.

go online *pg 176* Search engine optimization - its about the relationship: Perhaps my analogy will help you understand SEO.

practical insight *pg 179* Searching for what you know is there: Here's an article on navigational search - and how some folk forget or ignore it in SEO - Don't Forget SEO For Navigational Searches. It would appear that little changes - take a look at the most popular search terms from 2009/2010, 2010/2011 and 2011/2012 and you will see all the old favourites appear. As I say in the text, this practice baffles me somewhat. For example, "Facebook login" is the second most searched-for term [note that this data is from the USA]. Why? Surely if you use Facebook you have it listed in your 'favourites' or 'bookmarks'?

The concept of personalized search has been around for a while [see this definition from my 2007 book; Key Concepts in e-Commerce], but this article - Google's Personalized Results - [from December 2009] suggests that Google is really taking it seriously.

In the book I look at SEO from the basics upwards, concentrating on single web page - or small site - optimization. This might lead students to concentrate on this and neglect SEO for bigger sites. For that reason I have include Enterprise SEO here. Note how its author talks about sites that are 'over 500,000 or millions of pages' and/or being in 20, 50, or 100+ countries/languages.

Does TV Advertising Help Search Marketing Performance? comments on research conducted on the impact of TV advertising on searches for the advertised brand name. Note that this phenomenon gives rise to the concept of search plus, where paid ads are taken out on search engines to coincide with offline marketing activities.

Since the book was published the a couple of concepts have gained prominence. The first is real-time search - and Real-Time Search 101 is a good article covering the basics. The second is local search, Local Search Users Better Prospects looks at the issue from a buyer-behaviour perspective.

I have included Cosmo Quiz: Should You Get In Bed With An SEO Agency? for a couple of reasons. Obviously, it is related to SEO - but it also covers something that practitioners are used to, and future practitioners [yes, you students] will soon have to cope with - the issue of selecting companies for out-sourced work.

Don't forget there are also search engine optimization sections on my own website in tips, hints and advice and interesting articles.


6.2     WHY IS SEO SO IMPORTANT AND HOW DO SEARCH ENGINES WORK?

go online *pg 183* Read the views of some of the world's top SEO experts in Search Engine Factors V2.

go online *pg 184* Sorry, this link is no longer available.


6.3     KEYWORD SELECTION

In the text [pg 187] I mention that searches can be divided into those that are informational, navigational or transactional and I give the impression that the concept originates with Jansen et al - when, in fact, they are refering to the original idea from professor Andrei Broder's seminal paper, A taxonomy of web search (2002).

Note that in research into search engine use, it is now common for the keywords to be categorized as:
* A term : a series of characters separated by white space or other separator - essentially, a word
* A query : a string of terms (words) submitted by a searcher - with query length denoting the number of terms (words) in the query.

I have always emphasized how vital keyword selection is in SEO, hence this section in the book. If you doubt its importance, take a look at this slide show called easier than you think from Google. It is from a presentation in their D.C. office on the principles of SEO - but take note of just how many of the 31 slides are about keywords.

latest update I particularly like 7 Tips for Developing a Killer Keyword Strategy as it considers the strategic objectives of SEO.

For a guide to the long tail of keywords, take a look at - Seeking The Holy Grail Of The Long Tail.

go online *pg 191* Sites that publish the most popular search terms: Sorry - these are no longer available.

In seminar exercises I find that many students don't appreciate that searchers use so many different keywords when searching for the same thing. However, to prove my point; in a keynote presentation from Nick Fox, Google’s business product management director for AdWords [at SES San Jose in September 2009] commented on increased searcher sophistication, citing the example that in 2007, people searched for cashmere sweaters 47 different ways. In 2008, people searched for the same keyword phrase 73 different ways.

In my classroom sessions I task students with developing keyword lists for objects that I give them. Part of the answer is to use the old sales/marketing trick of not selling the product, but what it can do [elsewhere in the book I talk about selling green lawns, not grass seed]. This article - Strike Keyword Gold By Writing A Simple Story - adds to that idea by suggesting choosing keywords based on:
* Explicit keywords: which directly describe the product
* Problems keywords: which describe the conditions the product solves
* Symptoms keywords: which describe the problem
* Product names and part numbers: The actual product names and/or part numbers.

Using data extracted from AdWords You Say Law Firm, I Say Lawyer is an excellent case study on keyword selection and use. If you think it gets a bit complex, that is the point of me including the link here. It might not be rocket science, but it is more complex than some people would have you think.

I think keyword selection is so important, there is a section devoted to it on my own website in tips, hints and advice.


6.4     ON-SITE OPTIMIZATION

For more on optimizing images, take a look at - 5 SEO techniques for website images.

go online *pg 196* Flash-type technology and search engines: The Search Engine Unfriendliness Of Web 2.0.

The text that appears on the SERP is controllable - at least to a certain degree. Take a look at my example of how it can be done - getting SERP text right, and here's some more advice from another source - Great Title and Description Tags Will Make Your Rankings Soar.


6.5     OFF-SITE OPTIMIZATION

go online *pg 200* Blog spamming: Two examples - one and two.

Linkbaiting: In the book, I present linkbaiting in a positive context. However, there are negative connotations to the practice with some suggesting the it is more about 'tricking' people into adding links to your site. I maintain that it is a legitimate practice, this artcle - Linkbait at any Cost? - addresses the argument.
Still on the subject of developing links, this article - My Favorite Link Building Lie - gives a good example, but reinforces the point that folk will only link to your site if it has content that [a] is relevent to the subject on their page, [b]will benefit their readers, and [c] of high quality.


6.6     DIRECTORIES

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