September 13th, 2008 | by Paul Rushing Published in SEO
- Is search engine marketing (SEM or PPC) really a wise investment of marketing capitol?
- Is a dedicated search engine optimization (SEO) investment worth the money and effort?
The obvious answer to both is a resounding yes. But first you need to define your goals before starting on either one. They both have their place but they two very distinct purposes.
To often though is SEM used as a crutch to make up for deficiencies in SEO.
You should not have to buy your money terms with pay per click advertising. Money terms meaning your stores name, and your brand and location combination’s. Ranking for these keywords is child’s play in the grand scheme of things, if your site is properly optimized and you obtain a few relevant back links.
Only 25% of your of your websites search engine presence is determined by your on site efforts. The other 75% is determined by the number of votes it gets from other sites, back links. However the 25% factor may make a huge difference on how effective the other 75% is and how long it takes to see results.
Key elements to be concerned with on site.
Meta tags tell the search engines what users will find when they arrive at your site. Think of it as how your site is cataloged in their index.
- Page title: This is the most important element. The title is what describes what your page is all about very much like a book title. It is also what people see in the search engines in the results pages and in the browser bar. It gets more weight than anything from the search engines when they index your site.
- Page description: It is a summary of your page and is what shows for a description of your site under your title in some of the search engines. It is very important to include your main “money terms” in your page description.
- Keywords: It was once the most weighted of all meta data but as people discovered this it was the most abused. People would stuff as many keywords as they could imagine to describe their site to the search engines many time even if they were not relevant. Now they do not give them as much weight however most SEO experts will agree because the search engine spiders still scan them and if your content matches they do provide some weighting. Having more than 8 keywords is a waste of energy and more than six is probably over kill and may even sandbox your site.
Website vendors should give you access to manipulate these items to help you build the relevance of your site. No one can describe your business better than you so it should not be left up to them. I laugh when I see websites by vendors that basically have broiler plate meta descriptions with just minor changes for dealer name and location. It is like they just fill in the blanks. Each page on your site should have unique meta data. Each page delivers a different message let the search engines know what you are showing your visitors.
Heading summaries are sub headings on your site. These tags help people read your web page but also help the spiders understand more about your page is targeted too and what its the most important parts. For example you will see different sections of this post show different headlines through out the post. This is through the use of head tags. <h2> is a second level title and
<h3> a third level title. Heading summaries above is an <h2> element.
The search engine spiders cannot see images like your website visitors can. So you have to tell them what the image is or says especially if it is an image mostly comprised of text.