Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Organic Rankings vs. Pay Per Click

Dear Girl Geek,
Optimization sounds like the answer to what we are seeking: a flow of people, but not an excessive number. I am curious about how that process gets conceptualized quantitatively--if it can be. How does one relate needs to some level (?) of optimization? There are questions for discussion especially if I am on the right track. How do we make optimization work for us? Key words? What else?

Dear E,
For optimization to work for you, I need to understand your goals and objectives, which I think I outlined in a previous email. How we make it work for you is a 3 step process 1) reworking/redesigning the site to make it more search engine "friendly), as well as incorporating new information you've discussed below (will you need help writing the new content?). 2) integrating selected keywords into your site (which I will work with you to develop) and 3) providing inbound links to your site that will both increase your rankings in search engines, but also drive targeted traffic to your site. These links will need to be relevant and ones that have a high ranking on search engines.

Keyword research is dependant upon the number of keywords you want the site to rank well for. I create a matrix showing the results of my research on desired keywords. I look at what you think your ideal clients would be searching to find you, then look to see if those phrases are actually being search and how much competition there is for those keywords. I look for obvious keywords and what I call "long tail" keywords...that are relevant, but not searched frequently. These types of keywords are used most often when someone is actually ready to make a purchase vs. just researching. For example, someone researching therapy services in the Miami area might type in "Therapists in Miami" just to see who's available. Someone who knows exactly what kind of therapist they seek might enter "Eating disorder treatment in Miami."

Getting quality inbound links is something that needs to proceed slowly over time, as Google gets suspicious when your site shows up with lots of new links all at once.

The best combination for generating more traffic is high rankings in the organic/natural search engine results combined with a PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising program. Here's how that works. PPC gets you immediately on the first page of results, but listed to the right in the "Sponsored Links" area, but you're paying to be there. It takes anywhere from 3-12 months to get high rankings in the regular/organic/natural search results, but once you're there, you're not paying for clicks into your website. If someone sees your site ranked highly in both, they are more likely to click on your site.I can discuss PPC's more with you if you like.

How I do the pricing on that depends on how aggressive you want the optimization to be. I would recommend at least a 3 month starter package because it will take that long to get results.

Yes, we can objectively measure the results of the optimization through Google Analytics. What we do is define a desired action site visitors will take and drop some code into the site to track if they are actually doing that. So if you're wanting to use the site to convert visitors to leads and the action is they email you via an online contact form, we track how many do that. Or if you want to track how many people request a white pager you post on your site, we can do that.

Hope this helps.

Annette Vaillancourt
Girl Geek Web Designs: Custom Web Design and SEO for Small Businesses on a Budget
Call for a Free Initial Consultation

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