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Online Marketing and Search Engine Optimization Strategies

January 16, 2006

It is impossible to discuss search engine optimization nowadays without categorizing it under the overall umbrella of online marketing. Optimizing your website for the search engines is just one piece of the puzzle to increase awareness of your site and accomplish your online marketing goals. Online marketing encompasses everything from research to optimization to broadcasting, and analysis. Online marketing is a continued effort, goals are constantly being raised.


Expectations should be based on the kinds of marketing strategies engaged. If strategies are employed that gain quick notice, without any necessarily long-term value, one should expect quick spikes in traffic and activity. Best practice dictates exploring a variety of marketing options which offer a foundation for long-term exposure, along with methods that should get "quick" results.

Online Marketing Methods

1) Research
Keyword research is performed to select a base of terms that best define your products/services/goals. A number of software programs and manual searching are used to attain the best, most diversified, and intelligently-chosen terms. Searches are performed on the major search engines, and software programs are used to find high traffic variations on certain terms. High-ranking sites for targeted terms are explored, and approximately 10 keywords/phrases are selected.

2) Site Optimization
The website is now ready to be optimized with chosen terms. Website optimization is built on a solid foundation of content, especially keyword-rich content. A single page should be created for each keyword and should contain content based around that keyword (which, as stated above, define what you offer). Some of the options within Site Optimization include:
- Designing or redesigning the website based around a search-engine friendly atmosphere (code)
- Ensuring the site has a good internal link structure
- Using certain tags that help make the keywords stand out to the search engines
- Ensuring the content is arranged in the best possible way to attract the search engines (usually done working with a copy-writer).
- Creating press releases for quick distribution (often performed by a copy-writer)
- Setting up an RSS feed system*

3) Site Broadcast
Now that the website has been optimized, it is time to let the search engines and everyone else to know that the website is live and ready for action. There are many different ways to broadcast the existence of a website, but here are some of the more popular methods to gain recognition:

- Manual search engine submission to the major search engines
- Inclusion request to majore online directories (DMOZ.org (free), Yahoo! directory ($299/year), Jayde.com) - inclusion within directories is not guaranteed, as presecribed by each site. Inclusion may take 1-6 months if accepted.
- Generating recirprocating links. It is generally agreed that incoming links to your site will go a long way to drive traffic to a website, especially links from high-traffic websites. The more incoming links the better.
- Creating a Google sitemap. Google sitemaps help the site get indexed quicker and provides Google with an exact map of the static, optimized pages of the website.
- Creating an email newsletter. Email newsletters are subscriber-dependant. An opt-in subscription list must be created for users to subscribe to via the website. In addition, an opt-in list service may be implemented if a low or non-existant user base exists.
- Press releases (if developed - usually via a copy-writer) are distributed via PRWeb.com and PR.com.

4) Site Analysis
After the website is optimized and broadcasted, analysis must be performed to gauge success and a direction for further optimization and additional marketing efforts. Again, long-term strategies deserve long-term analysis. Short-term marketing strategies, such as press releases, email newsletter campaigns, and RSS feed syndication, deserve quick analysis/response. Analysese (usually provided quarterly) to consider include:

- Site ranking for targeting keywords on major search engines (provided by manual searches and online software)
- Google Page Rank (Google's measure of a page's importance - based heavily on incoming link volume)
- Alexa ranking (based heavily on pure traffic)
- Server stats - provided by the hosting company

5) Continued Optimization
Online marketing and search engine optimization is a continuous effort. Constant optimization and content addition is needed to ensure a good response to any kind of marketing strategy. Extended content addition is employed (often written by a copy-writer), new press releases are developed and distributed for any kind of company activity (often written by a copy-writer), and reciprocal links are constantly sought out in relevant industries.


With continued research, optimization, broadcast, and analysis, a website WILL gain more attention. Along with an improved search engine presence, a large link-base and referral link structure, a well-ranking site will develop which will produce more long-term positive results. Mixed with quick-term marketing techniques, a proficient and successful online presence will be attained and goals will be achieved.

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