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Apr 23, 2008

Driving Site Traffic With Search Engine Optimization and Paid Advertising

Ed: Basics for marcom.


SEO refers to modifying your Web pages to enhance your visibility in search engine results. If your business sells, say, left-handed widgets, your goal is to be listed near the top of the results if someone performs a search using the keywords "left-handed widgets." Research shows that if your site isn't within the top 30 search results, very few visitors will click through to your site.

Keywords for SEO; click to view full-size image.

How do you reach that coveted high rank in a search engine? You have to learn to think like the robots (also called spiders and crawlers) that search engines such asGoogle use to find and catalog Web pages. First, learn to describe your products and services at your Web site using words that your prospective customers would likely use in a search (most search engines understand words, not images).


If you don't like waiting months for SEO benefits to kick in, I recommend advertising on search engines for fast results. The paid approach might bring increased traffic to your site within as little as 24 hours.

The most popular type of search engine advertising--and the easiest to set up--is the pay-per-click (PPC) text ad. You write short text ads that display next to the search results for specific terms or keywords that people enter in a search engine. You pay for each visitor who clicks on your ad and is then directed to your Web site...

Google AdWords; click to view full-size image.

The cost spans a wide range, from a few cents to several dollars per click, depending on how much a certain keyword is in demand among advertisers. You can set a daily or monthly maximum charge to ensure that you don't outspend your budget.

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