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Digital Geek Tips on Search Engine Marketing

By Lee Traupel
Posted Thursday, October 21, 2004

Creating and building effective Search Engine marketing campaigns is like trying to nail jello to the wall for many companies! As it typically involves deploying very specialized processes and melding them with technology. Here is some insight gained from years of experience providing these services to our own clients.

1)SE marketing works and drives low cost ROI - over 85% of most surfers utilize Search Engines to find goods and services.

2)Its a zero sum game if you use any of the "we submit to thousands" of search engines service companies, as these submissions do absolutely nothing to drive viable rankings. If you aren't achieving listings in the top 20-30 listings then you're wasting your marketing dollars!

3)Remember the old Hill St. Blues maxim "be careful out there"? This advice fits well in the SE marketing world - its digital warfare out there for rankings. Significant resources are starting to flow into this market as well, raising the bar and making it fiercely competitive.

4)Stringent keyword analysis for the HTML text is the underlying foundation of a successful Search Engine Ranking campaign – it's analogous to the importance of ad copy for a conventional print campaign. Most good SE firms use a commercial database service which enables them to carefully analyze the relative popularity of keywords and then build a submissions and optimization process around selected keywords.

5)The actual Title for your pages will also have a significant impact on whether or not a campaign works. It needs to be the right length, typically 6-8 words, have no hyperbole, and pique a searcher's curiosity.

6)Contrary to endless marketing hype there are no quick solutions in this form of interactive marketing – it will take at least 1-2 months before you see any immediate results. And, for significant results; i.e. page 1-3 listings via top tier engines add another 2-3 months on top of this on average.

7)Nobody can guarantee absolute results in this market, if they do, then ask them for a bottle of snake oil! The only thing we can guarantee our clients are detailed reports of what we are doing and some references to other successful campaigns – it's a leap of faith, like most marketing expenditures.

8)Web site content development impacts good SE rankings. You need to develop content which is relevant to keywords. We use linguistic analysis software for our clients and then build a standalone "stealth web site" which has content expressly designed for SE spiders (bots). But, this level of sophistication and proprietary process is expensive and time-consuming, but very effective.

9)Remember the Armand Hammer quote about Russia? "An enigma wrapped inside a box buried deep in the ocean." This is apropos to the Search Engine world, as the top tier SE's all change their submission rules and algorithms on a regular basis. So, hire a SE firm that understands the market – it can be very frustrating doing it on your own and in many cases unproductive!

About the Author
Lee Traupel has 20 plus years of marketing experience He is the co-founder of a Northern California and Brussels Belgium based, privately held, Marketing Services and Software Company, Intelective Communications, Inc. (http://www.intelective.com) Intelective focuses exclusively on providing services to small to medium sized companies that need strategic and tactical marketing services. He can be reached at Lee@intelective.com