Idiot's Guide to Search Engine Marketing

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What is search engine marketing?

Search engine marketing involves strategically optimizing the elements of your web site and your web campaign in such a way that your site becomes popular in the major search engines.

There are two primary types of search engine marketing, the paid method, or pay-per-click, and the nonpaid method, natural search engine results.

The paid method, or pay-per-click, involves bidding and paying for specific search engine rankings. One advantage to using pay-per-click is that you can quickly dial up huge responses, for example 200-500 clicks per day, which allows you to quickly test ad copy and response rates. One major disadvantage is the price – you are directly paying for each and every click you receive.

Natural search engine results, although they take much longer to implement, have no direct cost. The only cost is that associated with the strategies used to achieve higher natural search engine results rankings.

So how do you do it? What do the search engines look for? Some of the top predictors of natural search engine rankings are the content of your site as it relates to your chosen keyword, your meta-keyword and meta-description tags on your web site, the title of your web site, and the link popularity of your website.

One note here: it is difficult to achieve high search engine rankings for more than a few keywords on any given web page. So the key here is to design different web pages for each keyword you wish to rank highly for, and optimize those pages for that specific keyword.

How to optimize your page? Make sure that every element of your page includes your keyword at least once, and in the copy of the web page itself, the keyword should have between 3% and 5% keyword density. Keyword density is the percentage of times your keyword is inserted into your copy, as compared to other words in your copy.

So, for example, if your web page were on "search engine marketing" you would make sure you used the term "search engine marketing" in each of the following elements of your web page. Here is an example:

Title: Search Engine Marketing

Keywords: search engine marketing

Description: How to use search engine marketing to boost your sales.

Web page: For every one hundred words on your web page, the phrase "search engine marketing" would occur at least 3 times.

One of the most important things to do to build a strong natural search engine ranking is to increase your link popularity. Link popularity is the number of web sites, other than your own, that link to your web site. Some of the best ways to do this include: Adding your web site to many web directories that are related to your web site's topic, asking other web sites to add your site to their links page, and submitting articles to the various article directories with your web site link intact, so that each of the article directories are linking to your site.

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