Absolute Top Five Search Engine Marketing Myths Uncovered!
It's no secret that Search Engine marketing can drive significant amounts of very qualified traffic to a web site ? as 85% of Internet users utilize search engines to find/research for goods and services. The problem for many companies is the difficulty they face sifting through conflicting information and hyperbole! Here is my top five list of myths that need to be run to ground.
Big Picture Myth One ? Search engine ranking leads are not as good as those which originate from other forms of traditional marketing (print, direct mail, PR, etc.) ? this is absolute hogwash, the truth is many agencies don't have a clue about s/e ranking, so they push their clients to ignore this form of advertising. They simply don't want to recommend anything they don't understand and/or utilize an interactive marketing vehicle that requires a blend of very specialized technology and processes.
We've in fact found just the opposite when we've analyzed s/e traffic versus other types of leads for our clients; i.e. search engine traffic can be much better, as it is comprised of individuals who are actively seeking info, not just people whose curiosity has been piqued by an eye-catching publication ad or press release. And, when we've analyzed the data by tracking leads via a landing page (on a web site) we've discovered that CPL (cost per lead) numbers can be much lower for s/e ranking than other more traditional marketing methods.
Big Picture Myth Two ? Effective s/e marketing can be done in house ? this is rarely the case, the sheer complexity and online competition (digital warfare!) for rankings makes this extremely difficult for most companies. Based upon our analysis over 73% of corporate accounts don't understand the basic fundamentals; i.e. how to properly use keywords, meta tags and titles and worse, don't submit their web sites to top tier Directories (Yahoo, LookSmart, OPD) and the hundreds of second tier directories.
Most companies delegate the s/e submissions to the webmaster or web site development staff and they just don't have the time to understand the daunting complexities required to generate page 1-3 rankings - or to stay abreast of the shifting submissions and ranking criteria standards, as modified monthly by top tier search engines. And, in many companies the s/e ranking is added to the over worked webmaster's tasks purely as an afterthought ? as opposed to being addressed formally by the marketing department, with dedicated personnel and a budget.
Big Picture Myth Three ? off the shelf software that submits a site to thousands of web sites and presents snazzy reports can do it all. This is so inaccurate and nothing can be further from the truth ? it takes a tremendous amount of labor and time to identify keyword sets (not just words), optimize the content for these keywords, submit the pages while obeying the rules of the road and then continually analyzing rankings and tweaking to maintain and drive rankings (web site visibility).
Software can certainly help to automate some facets of the process and be used for back end analysis ? but you can't expect any application to make the job easy, there is too much inherent complexity in the processes. And, competition for keyword sets is fierce ? as there are an estimated 5-10M registered domains (the numbers vary widely) with 60K new domains being registered every day.
Big Picture Myths Four and Five ? Any page listing will help to drive traffic to a web site ? this is another misconception. If you are aren't achieving page 1-3 rankings then your wasting a great deal of time and resources ? most people never drill down below these pages. Another common mistake is trying to achieve s/e rankings for a specific URL or product ? if people know the name of a company or product they will find your web site easily, it's a waste of resources to optimize for these specialized terms in 80% of most cases.
About The Author
Lee Traupel has 20 plus years of business development and marketing experience - he is the founder of Intelective Communications, Inc., http://www.intelective.com, a results-driven marketing services company providing proprietary services to clients encompassing startups to public companies. Lee@intelective.com
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No one outside of the companies that run these search engines knows what it is exactly that makes search engines rank sites high. Especially due to the fact that these search engines and the rigorous ranking filters they use to spit out search results change almost monthly. Even a former Google employee doesn't know how to guarantee rankings! If someone is telling you they'll guarantee top rankings, run fast! Those are some shady, shady claims. Google themselves have said:"No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google - Beware of SEO's that claim to guarantee rankings, or that claim a "special relationship" with Google, or that claim to have a "priority submit" to Google. There is no priority submit for Google. In fact, the only way to submit a site to Google directly is by using the page at http://www.google.com/addurl.html. You can do this yourself at no cost whatsoever."- http://www.google.com/intl/en/webmasters/seo.htmlAn ethical SEO company will not guarantee rankings. They will guarantee that their methods follow search engine guidelines, and they will guarantee customer satisfaction, but at no point in time will any SEO company with a conscience guarantee your rankings."Your site needs to be continually resubmitted to get on and stay on the search engines"When will I see the end of this one? How old is this method now? 5 years? 10 years? We're talking about the days when Webcrawler was the biggest search engine and all computers were beige! This claim is so fully untrue, had Pinocchio uttered it, his nose would have stretched from Rome to Poughkeepsie. And the good folks at Google will once again back me up on this one:"Submission is not necessary and does not guarantee inclusion in our index. Given the large number of sites submitting URLs, it's likely your pages will be found in an automatic crawl before they make it into our index through the URL submission form. We DO NOT add all submitted URLs to our index, and cannot predict when or if they will appear."- http://www.google.com/intl/en/webmasters/1.html#A2"Meta tags are not important anymore"Sure they aren't. If you don't want a decent ranking on MSN. The new MSN search places a lot of value on the keywords and description meta tags. Without these tags in your site's code, your ranking on MSN will suffer. Just as importantly, if your keywords and description meta tags don't use proper language, your rankings will suffer. The description tag is also what MSN uses as the visible description for a site in the search results. And of course, to prove I'm not the one blowing hot air, here is what MSN themselves say about it:"Site descriptions are extracted from the content of your page each time MSNBot crawls your site and indexes its pages......the best way to affect your site description is to ensure that your web pages effectively deliver the information you want to see in search results." - Click here to see the page this is found on."Your Web Site Has Been Sabotaged"This one is truly unreal. I can't believe it's even been used as an excuse for why an SEO company hasn't achieved decent rankings for you. But alas, more than one SEO company has told potential clients of ours that the reason they are not ranking well, or why their search engine optimization campaign is not effective, is because someone else has been sabotaging the site. Some of the clients who have been told this are small businesses, like bed and breakfasts or pet sitters. 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