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Web Promotion Guide - SEO Overview

1.0 Paid Inclusion
2.0 Submission Services
3.0 Submission Software
4.0 Search Engine Optimization
5.0 Trusted Feeds
6.0 Keyword Research
7.0 META Tags
8.0 Pay Per Click Advertising
9.0 Tools


1.0 Paid Inclusion

Many engines now charge a fee to list your URL. The prices vary from engine to engine. The average cost is around $30 per year per URL. These services usually guarantee that your URL is added very quickly, and re-indexed every few days. The engines that are worth doing (in order of priority): Yahoo Search (also includes: AltaVista, AllTheWeb, FAST etc.) and to a lesser degree Ask Jeeves/TEOMA.

An easy way to manage your paid listings is through as third party service like PrioritySubmit.com. The advantage is that you can manage all of the paid inclusion programs from a single interface. This saves a lot of time, because otherwise you have to create a separate account on each engine. Some of these services may charge a management fee, so check the prices. My suggestion is to look at the PrioritySubmit.com as I know that there are no additional management or service fees, so you don't pay any more.

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Because the engines will re-index your page frequently (usually every 48 hours), you can use your paid listing to optimize your pages. By making a change to your text, title and keywords you will be able to see the results of the change within a few days. Use this to fine tune your changes to get higher clicks, higher position and higher conversions.



2.0 Submission Services

There are many submission services that will submit your URL to the various search engines that still accept free listings. The cost can be anywhere between $2 - $95 per URL. NeedMoreHits.com is one example:

NeedMoreHits.com - With the basic submission cost of $4.95, it is a cheap way to get your URL registered with many of the second tier engines. You also get a nice report. It is worth checking out.

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Be patient with the free submissions. It can take up to several months for some engines to list your URL. Many engines that also accept paid listings will also hold back URLs submitted via free submit. This is to encourage users to use the paid services.

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Many submission services offer a monthly re-submission service. Such services are designed to get as much money out of your pocket for very little benefit. My advice is don't do it. Re-submission is only valid for link pages. There you need to re-submit because your URL will be removed frequently. I however recommend that even there, you check how much additional traffic you are actually getting. If a service is submitting 100's of URLs per day to the same link pages, your URL will remain listed for maybe half a day, if you are lucky.



3.0 Submission Software

Most submission service use commercial submission software to provide their service. If you are submitting a lot of URLs frequently, then you may wish to investigate some of these. If you submit 100 URLs in a year and pay $4.95 per URL to a submission service, you may want to consider actually purchasing the software that these services themselves use. There are many products available such as AddWeb, Dynamic Submission 200, SE Commando, etc. However over 90% of all submission services use the industry standard is SubmitWolf. The cost is $149, or $495 for the enterprise version.

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When choosing a submission product, go with a trusted brand name. Also find out how often the engine definitions are updated. This is important, as they need to be updated often. Free Submission products like AdaURL I would not recommend as they are usually not maintained as well as commercial products.

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Do not submit your URL more than once per month and try not to submit more than one URL per day from the same domain. Oh and never use your real email as you will get added to many mailing lists.



4.0 Search Engine Optimization

Submitting your web site is not enough. You will hear that over and over again. Unlike many others, this sales pitch is actually true. If your pages are not optimized, or you have not targeted the right keywords, you are wasting your money.

In future issues I will step you through some optimization techniques, tips and tricks, but remember that you can also get professional help, as there are many experts and consultants that can offer their search engine optimization services.



5.0 Trusted Feeds

This is a BIG topic for anyone who has at least 200 pages to promote. Problem with paid inclusion is that if you are paying per URL, it can be very expensive to list every page on your site. The solution is to use a Trusted Feed. This will enable you to list EVERY page on your web site, with no up front or PER URL fees, and pay PER CLICK. The per click rates vary between 15 - 25c (more for popular categories like gambling). Again I would recommend the PrioritySubmit.com service because it enables you manage your all your trusted feed programs from a single interface.

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Do not over optimize your trusted feeds. Target only those search phrases that will convert to sales. Targeting the wrong keywords can cost you a lot of money in clicks that do not convert to sales.

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Work out how much a Trusted Feed campaign is actually costing you. Many people do not realise that it may actually be cheaper to pay the yearly per URL fee up front, rather than 12 months worth of clicks.



6.0 Keyword Research

Keywords and their use is what will make or break your site. It can be as simple as a slight change to the phrases used on your page eg: "website promotions" vs. "website promotion". This simple change can mean a ten fold increase in traffic.

If you know what people are searching for, you can target your pages to take advantage of the traffic these searches generate. There is a good article written by a NeedMoreBeer.com webmaster to better illustrate this point.

The important thing is to do the research. You can use a number of free tools to find out what people are searching for. One example is the Free Overture Search Term Suggestion Tool which is part of the more advanced KeywordDiscovery.com - Keyword Research Tool. There are also software products you can get such as the KeywordAnalyzer which is part of the SEO Toolkit.

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The quickest and most efficient way to get an idea of what keywords you should target and what keywords are currently missing on your website, is to commission a Keyword Analysis report. Several companies provide such reports, including GlobalPromote.

To generate this report GlobalPromote will spider your site and correlate your keyword usage with actual search terms. Armed with this report, you will be able to add the missing search terms to your page content within minutes.

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Do not simply insert ALL the keywords in you META tags. You need to work the search phrases into your page content. Also try to use the most important search phrases in your page titles.



7.0 META Tags

Meta tags have always been a BIG issue. The truth is that today they are not as relevant as what they once were. Today very few engines still use the META Keywords meta tag. Those that use it, (eg: Yahoo) usually give such keywords a lower importance anyway.

So, should you include META Keywords tags in your pages? The answer is Yes, if you have specialized keywords that you can not work into your page content, and if you have the time to do this. If not, they are of little benefit.

The META description tag on the other hand is much more important. Some engines will use a META description in the search results, others such as AllTheWeb will use the first few lines in the result listing. Do try and use the description tag.



8.0 Pay Per Click - advertising

Pay per click advertising provides the quickest way to get traffic to your web site, but it can be costly. There are many PPC engines, however the ones of note are: Overture, Kanoodle, Ah-Ha, FindWhat and eSpotting.

With this type of promotion, it is very easy to spend a lot of money for little return, but it can also be very worth while. The difference is knowing what keywords to target, which keywords generate sales and which ones do not. This is very much a trial and error process and you will make mistakes. The single most important advice I can give you, is to invest in some very good ROI tracking tools. You need to know what clicks are converting to sales and what your ROI is. This will tell you which keywords to target and how much you can afford to pay per click.

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It is now possible to submit data feeds into many of the PPC engines. This makes it very easy to maintain and administer a large database of keywords and URLs. You will usually pay a little more per click, but the time you will save administering your bids is often worth the cost. For a summary of pricing, there is a good page: http://www.trellian.com/addurl.htm



9.0 TOOLS

There are many tools available to help you optimize your web site. One of my favourites is the SEO Toolkit, but there are many others. I will cover both the free and commercial products in a future issue.

Ren Warmuz


Ren Warmuz is a SEO consultant for globalpromote.com
Copyright © 2004 Ren Warmuz & GlobalPromote.com
Permission is granted to reproduce this article if left without modification and in it's entirety.





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