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Posts from the ‘Keyword Analysis’ Category

8
Oct

Competition Through Screwing Yourself

Google: The Master PuppeteerIt’s been a while since I’ve posted. It’s been even longer since I took off the “kid gloves” when speaking about the benevolent Google. But today, the gloves come off. Thanks to Marty Weintraub of aimClear for being the catalyst for this one. (I owe you beers.)

If you haven’t read Marty’s post, consider it prerequisite prior to this post. And, since I know your time is valuable, let me give you the gist:

…Baris Gultekin, Group Product Manager, Google AdWords, Google, Inc. clarified that the ubiquitous AdWords Keyword Tool now only provides keywords Google deems “commercial”.

Strictly Commercial

Say that out loud to yourself once again. “Provides keywords Google deems commercial”. So, not only did Google kneecap the tool’s ability, which many noticed when Google zapped the Legacy Tool, but now they’ve excluded results they don’t feel make the “commercial” cut.  Clearly this begs the question, what’s a commercial keyword?

Bottom-line answer: short-tail, head terms that have incredibly high volume and an incredibly high CPC.  In essence, terms that make Google a lot more money, forcing the unsuspecting into thinking those are the only terms people search, and creating a false plateau of artificially high CPC prices.

Or Not So Smart

We’ve all known that you’ve lied to us in that rotten keyword tool of yours anyway. We’ve all known that you artificially inflated volumes and prices. But actually admitting it could not have been dumber move. Here’s why:

Abandonment

Now that we know, officially, the tool is lumpy pile of crap, why is anyone going to use it? I’m not. When I thought it was as close to the source as possible (exact match on all terms and still taken with a grain of salt), it was a golden goose. Now?

Now it’s just another sad, misguided attempt to sucker-punch the suckers. A “keep us fat and happy off your SEMs inability to understand SEM” mentality.  No SEO or SEM in their right mind would be using this tool now.

Google's Evil EmpireThe Evil Empire

Don’t be evil? It’s seems that’s all you’ve been up to as of late. Google Street View privacy issues, snatching Wi-Fi data out of thin air (unknowingly of course), Google Instant and the three second impression rule, and now this.

As a corporation, I know it’s your legal duty to any/all shareholders to make as much money as possible. I get that. But what’s inherently good about closing off a data pipeline that’s 5 years old? What’s inherently good about showing advertisers untargeted, over-priced short-tail terms that will only serve to drive the bidding war?

With every further step Google takes as of late, they continue to demonstrate they are less concerned about providing the great results drove the success of the engine initially. Rather, they continue at breakneck speed to don the Google Corporate shield and squeeze the searching public for all they’re worth.

Where SEM Goes from Here

Google Instant: A Short-Tailers Paradise

On brighter note, this latest development, as Marty pointed out, certainly does make it plainly obvious how Google intends searchers to search: HEAD terms.  Initially I assumed the birth of Google Instant would dramatically extend the long-tail query to new dimensions. Looks like I got that wrong. By reducing the quality of mid-tail and long-tail research available, and funneling SEMs toward more Google-profitable keywords, the inexperienced will begin to (re)target those terms in abundance. As that is all Google’s Keyword Tool is going to show them.

Other Google Tools For Keyword Research

Whether I like it or not, what’s done is done. Google’s not going to renege on this decision, and I’m not going to bend my position of abandoning the tool.  So that leaves us at an impasse.  But I think Google has got some other nifty tools that could certainly aid keyword research (assuming these haven’t been “commercialized” as well)

Google Insights: Google Insights for Search analyzes a portion of worldwide Google web searches from all Google domains to compute how many searches have been done for the terms you’ve entered, relative to the total number of searches done on Google over time. You can choose to see data for select Google properties, including Web search, Images, Product search, and News search (certain properties aren’t currently available in all countries/territories).

Google Wonder Wheel: An oddball to be sure, does allow searches to a variety of related topics that skew off from an original search. Again, assuming that this hasn’t been tampered with, one can see what related, relevant keyword queries Google associates to the original query. You’ll find Wonder Wheel on the left-hand navigation under “More Search Tools”.

chicken stir fry wonder wheel example

The Unintended Consequences

Talking with a colleague of mine, Jo Stumpner, about the Google KWT manipulation, she raised a very interesting point. This move very well may actually decrease PPC activity in the long-run.

SEO, I think as Marty and I have both explained is just fine. There are other tools, and the research will still go on. The only struggle I really see is the tendency for Google to want to display short-tail terms to a searcher in “broad/general” mode, or the discovery phase of their online research. In that respect, Google will win out in the short-run, the race still goes to the skilled and wily SEOs.

Building on the theory, I think it works out something like this:

As advertisers are shown more and more competitive keyword phrases, those keyword verticals that were already competitive will become even more competitive. As more and more advertisers are led away from the mid and long-tail terms, the head terms will “overstocked” with advertisers and competitors.

Clearly bid prices and quality scores are a premium; however, as noticed by Jo and myself, head terms often yield very low quality scores, that is, it is very difficult to attain scores over 8. Meaning that bid price will rule the day as far as visibility is concerned. In the short-term Google wins in their cash grab, bilking more cash from advertisers. In the long-term this is going to be detrimental to Google.

More and more advertisers will see that impressions will drop dramatically. And, naturally, conversions will decrease also. Thus leading advertisers to decrease overall spends on advertising platform in search of one that offers better visibility and ROI for key terms. Perhaps that’s what Google is after, quick profit gains upfront for less long-term growth? After all, no advertiser can abandon the platform with risking brand and product exile. Definitely something to think about.

Competition Through Screwing Yourself

Microsoft just caught lightning in a bottle thanks to Google continually screwing itself. You’d think Google would be past these screw-ups by now? Clearly MS is no gem, but they’ve been flying low enough on the radar, that if they made some quick updates to attract advertisers, I think many would flock to them.

Google had their foot on search world’s throat, even if through trickery and distraction Bing/Microsoft has managed to make it appear as if growth has occurred. All Google has/had to do was lower the boom; push their foot down a little harder and end the game. But they can’t seem to find that killer instinct. Instead they keep finding ways to open the door for competition, look like the “New Microsoft” on the block, and fuck it up.

Google always alludes to competition being welcomed. Well, keep screwing yourself, keep driving the nails into your own coffin, we’ll all find out just how much you “really like” competition.

26
Oct

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About An SEO*

*(But Were Afraid To Ask)

Everything You Wanted To Know About SEO* (But Were Afraid to Ask)

Everything You Wanted To Know About SEO* (But Were Afraid to Ask)

What follows is a survey I completed for a student at Alverno College today.  I think it’s interesting what students, hearing about SEO and SEM, want to know about the field. What follows is the survey of 37 questions I was asked to complete on SEO.

**Student Questions in RED | My Answers: BLACK

——————————————————————————————————————————–

1. What influenced/inspired you to pursue this career/field/position?

I started in search marketing several years ago, after a long stint in teaching in the Milwaukee Public School system. I called in a favor to a friend, who happened to be working in real estate website design, and the rest is history.
As for the Optimization side of SEM, I saw that not many people actually knew what it meant to optimize or how to do it efficiently. Therefore, I spent time learning through experimenting with websites, reading professional industry sites and blogs, attending conferences.

2.  What are the educational requirements (and other forms) did you need for this job/type of work/career area?

Educationally, there really are no requirements. (Although I have heard of marketing curriculums now offering a very basic segment in “Search Marketing”). I have my Masters, but I think all you need is someone who has a genuine interest in search marketing, is pragmatic, and is analytical by nature. Our work is steeped in data analysis. Those who can break this information down, relay it in its simplest terms to prospective clients, implement it, and then form strategy based on their knowledge, will be the truly successful ones in this field.

3. Where did you attend college and what did you study?

  • University of Wisconsin – La Crosse : Bachelors: Literature and Sociology
  • University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee: Masters: Creative Writing and Literature

4. What was your starting position out of college? What was your “career path” to your current position?

My first position out of college was teaching 9th – 12th grade Grammar, Literature, Social Studies, and History to “at-risk” students. In 2003, I was deployed to Iraq (Operation Iraqi Freedom). Upon completion of my tour, I decided that teaching was something I would always do; I just wanted to do it in a different capacity.

I started as an Interactive Account Manager, held the position for 6 months, promoted to Senior Account Manager for Move, Inc. It is at this point that I began my foray into the world of website design and usability, working closely with clients to achieve marketing goals.

I was then offered a position at a traditional ad agency, Laughlin Constable, as a Senior Account Manager in their “digital” division. Digital is being gracious to them. It was nothing more than an over-priced web design division, not interested in truly engaging in search engine marketing. My stint was very short at this agency, as I could not stand by and participate in nothing more than a traditionalist’s perspective on “digital” branding with no thought as to how it was truly received and perceived to the online public.

From there, I moved to Aloha Digital Marketing, as the Search Marketing Manager (head of SEO and SEM). It’s at this position that I truly learned the balance between what was in the best interest of the client search marketing strategy and what was achievable with their budget. I learned to make concessions while staying true to solid search marketing and optimization. Looking back on this, this was the key position I held, and quite possibly the one that taught me the most. And due to my success here, a better offer came along that I could not pass up.

I then moved to my current position at Top Floor Technologies. I have been here over 1 year. During this time, I have started my own LLC, Silver Arc Search Marketing, which focus solely on search engine marketing strategy and search engine optimization, my strongest disciplines. For accreditation, I have taken the Google AdWords Professional exam, and I am taking the SEO Master Course through Market Motive.

5. What is your suggested career path someone should take?

Honestly, there is no suggested career path one SHOULD take. Everyone arrives at SEO/SEM in his/her due time. If out of college and working w/ a digital crew, then this is the perfect opportunity to learn an SEM discipline: SEO, SMM, PPC, or SMO.

  • College major and minors, and then entry level positions suggested:

If you look at the search landscape today, our backgrounds come from multiple and various educational disciplines. Some have marketing degrees, some philosophy, some history, some engineering; the list goes on and on.

At some level, once you graduate, where you end up is based on availability of positions and what you want to do. If search marketing is something that sets you off, then find entry level positions, such as Account Management, or entry-level position at a search firm.

  • And any other outside education (e.g: SEMPO Institute training or ??):

Anything you can to further your education through conferences or certification is always a plus. More than anything else, whatever discipline of search marketing you decide to throw yourself into, it is always wise to have a good understanding of how other disciplines engage the space. This way, you’ll build your value and become multi-faceted threat in the search marketing space.

6. What are the most important skills needed for this job?

The most important skill(s) need for this job is to be analytical and have vision. You’ll spend most of your time analyzing keyword and keyword phrase selections, reviewing site architecture in conjunction with the client’s marketing goals, dissecting websites looking for optimization flaws, and creating strategy in comparison with those in their vertical or space.

7. I understand 80% of SEO positions reside in the marketing department, but I’ve read many people that enter the field from I.T. areas (database, web back-end, web front-end, etc.) can troubleshoot problems better? Do you agree?

Perhaps. It’s a difficult question to answer as each individual’s skill level, when dealing with code will be different. If an SEO dedicates himself/herself to working with developers/designers, which will be a large part of your daily interaction, as you will have to teach them what things MUST be done as a part of your optimization, you’ll learn to understand what goes on in their world and pick up on it.

Simple answer: In the beginning, yes, a person deeply embedded in development/design is going to troubleshoot better. The question arises when actually principles of SEO/SEM must be employed, can an I.T. person do it with the deft touch a person rooted in SEO/SEM can do it?

8. What are employers looking for in a candidate that they continually have a hard problem finding?

Someone willing to learn. Someone who is dedicated to continually learning their craft, their science. It’s taken me a long time to be comfortable giving SEO advice to clients that are spending tens of thousands on SEO/SEM.

The moment you think you know enough to stop learning, is the moment you need to find another line of work.

9. What software and tools do you use and what’s the most important to know?

Wow. Nothing like giving away trade secrets, huh? I use the following on a daily basis:

  • Google Analytics / Google Webmaster Tools / Google Local Business Center / Google Search Query Functions (not an actual app, just knowing specific queries to get the results I want) / Google Trends
  • Browsers: Firefox and Chrome and Opera (Internet Explorer only if I have to J)
  • Open-Source CMS Platforms: Drupal / Modx / DotNetNuke
  • Social Media Tools: Twitter / Google Wave / Facebook / PRWeb/ Social News Media Sites (i.e. Various Blogs, Digg, Reddit, Mixx, Sphinn, Newsvine, etc.)
  • Dreamweaver
  • Keyword Tools: WordTracker, Google Keyword Tool External, Trellian
  • Competitive Analysis Tools: SEO Quake/ SEM Rush / SpyFu / Link Diagnosis / SEO 4 Firefox
  • TechSmith SnagIt
  • Microsoft Excel / Word
  • LinkScape

10. How long have you been working in this field?

I’ve been working in Search Engine Marketing for 5 years now.

11. Things you wish you would’ve done before entering this field?

The honest answer: nothing. I’ve been blessed with leading a charmed existence and have done a lot of things with my short time on the planet.

However, if the question is directed as in, “Do I plan on making this field my long-term career?” I would say yes to that. Will it be my career forever? Perhaps. I couldn’t tell you what’s going to happen 10 years from now, but I know that this field will always be apart of my life, and I’ll have some connection to it, no matter what my job title says.

12. What values are important to you and to your career area?

This is going to differ depending on who you ask. But, for me, I value strong work ethics as the premium. I do whatever is necessary to get the job done, no matter how long it takes, no matter the hour count, no matter the day.

I also value ethics. There’s certainly room in this industry for highly unethical behavior (i.e. spamming techniques). If you’re coming across to me that your ethics and mores are flexible, I don’t want you on my team. Period.

As an independent, you may have sites to torch, but mine is the business of providing results while maintaining one’s integrity. Applying strategy and optimization, for me, has to be in a way that doesn’t comprise my values or ethics, I want to be able to know that I’ve provided honest work, with proven techniques, to help someone’s search marketing efforts catch fire.

13. What do you like about your job? What do you dislike?

I love my job as a SEO/SEM. I like that I get to help make someone’s business go from ZERO to AWESOME by applying my knowledge. I love creating strategy and implementing it; it’s like giving birth in a sense. You have this idea, this little spark that catches lightning, and turns into something tangible right before your eyes.

Dislikes? There aren’t many of them, but the monotony can be draining. There will be occasions where you are repeating the same tasks over and over. And over. The long hours can be rough too. Sometimes, in this business, you have to go on runs of 24 and 48 hours without much sleep in order to meet deadlines. Coffee will be your best friend.

14. What do you find most challenging in your work?

Creating the right search engine marketing strategy for the client based on their budget and goals. Learning to comprise is going to be an essential skill.

15. How stressful is this position?

Depends on your client base and what internal initiatives your company wants to accomplish. If you have needy clients and many internal company initiatives, then your life is going to be extremely stressful.

I don’t find the position stressful, though I have needy clients and quite a few internal “projects”; I find it to be more of a challenge to outperform expectations and our surrounding competition.

16. Do you have to travel at all? Locally, or otherwise?

I don’t travel much out of state, except for conferences. Otherwise, its day trips to meet with clients.

17. Describe the typical work environment for this field?

Again, this is dependent on a number of factors. But, typically, it’s a close-knit SEM team interacting with developer teams, design teams. You don’t have to be a social butterfly, but it helps if you can communicate effectively.

18. What is a typical day like for you?

Email. Strategy Building. Client Meetings. Internal Meetings. Keyword Research. Strategic Results Reports for clients (reports that tell our clients how our strategy performed in conjunction with website)

19. How many hours on average do you work per week? Weekends too?

On average, I work anywhere from 45-55 hours Monday – Friday. Add in the weekends, and it’s closer to 70.

20. Do you ever need to take work home? Is it expected?

That’s the one nice thing about our field: you take work home. It is, unfortunately, a bad thing too. Is it expected, not really. I expect that you get work done at work, and that you LEAVE WORK at WORK.

However, since a lot of what SEOs and SEMs do can be done nearly anywhere, there is a tendency to bring work home. It will take time, but you must learn to create a separation of WORK and HOME.

21. Can much of your work be done at home? (Telecommuting)

I would say that nearly 90% of the work that needs to be done each day can be done from home. Save client meetings and specific software that is housed on the office server. Yet, even then, if you can get remote access to office servers, you could conceivably accomplish 95% of what you need to get done daily from home.

22. What obstacles or struggles did you have to overcome to get where you are today?

Quite a few actually. The biggest being that what you have expertise in is NOT “dark art”, “mystic”, or otherwise known “Snake Oil”. That there is an actual science behind the things we recommend, and that optimization can’t just be done without specific knowledge of knowing how a single effort will affect another effort down the line.

23. What are the future trends expected in this field? Do you expect this industry to grow tremendously?

As for the future trends in SEM and SEO, well, that’s an entire paper unto itself. :)  As far as growth in this field, yes I expect that it will grow tremendously. Current projections for industry-specific pollsters and general pollsters indicate that the boom has only just begun.

24. Do you find that people need to know more (wear more hats these days?) or is the field geared toward specialties and becoming and expert at one thing?

It’s not a question of “hat wearing” but a question intertwined knowledge. In my case, I certainly favor SEO over other SEM disciplines and would consider myself a highly knowledgeable professional in this niche, but with my SEO knowledge, in order to be effective, I need to know about all disciplines and be fluent in them. The days of specific, niche knowledge of a single discipline are drawing to a close, and not just in SEM.

25. If so, which specialties are becoming more prevalent in this industry? (software, education, experience)

The huge buzz “specialty” is certainly SMM (social media marketing) and SMO (social media optimization). There are certainly professionals in these areas, who’ve been doing for as long as SEO has been around, but this specialty explosion will only lead to second-rate hacks. These second-rate hacks who feel that because they’ve got a Facebook account and Twitter account, believe they know something about the mechanics of how people operate online.

In the same way that SEO has been the bastard step-child of the online marketing community, most because of second-rate hacks posturing and feigning knowledge, so too will SMO and SMM go through this.

26. What are you teaching yourself right now?

Actually, I’m trying to teach myself how to build a website from the ground up: applying CSS templates and writing code. Time’s pretty lean right now, but I make small strides toward this goal. Mostly, I spend time reading SEM professional blogs and books not related to anything SEM.

27. Do you attend informational events in the U.S? If so, which ones?

I’ve attended a couple events the past few years, mainly conferences from the SMX family tree. But if given the choice of one conference, the only that is a must attend for any SEM/SEO professional is SMX Advanced in Seattle.

28. What is the one thing that interests or excites you most about this field?

There’s never a dull moment. The technology changes so rapidly and the possibilities of optimization opportunities materialize in step, that there is no possible way you could ever be bored!  :-)

29. Are freelancing and contract jobs becoming more mainstream (or less) in the future?

I believe that Todd Mintz wrote, “If your SEO isn’t moonlighting, they’re not doing it right.”  Freelance will become more prevalent in the future. Be on the lookout for small SEM/SEO shops to springing up across the country.

30. Are there any SEO positions/jobs (Guru, Specialist, Marketing Consultant, Link Builder, Content Writer, SEO Researcher, Client Relations Coordinator) that will be downsized because of outsourcing overseas?

Don’t let any SEO tell you they’re not outsourcing, it’s a lie. Every one of us outsources something, it depends on what you can a) trust the outsourcer with, and b) what you absolutely don’t have time to do yourself. The majority of what an SEO does encompasses all of these things; one should be competent in every single facet you have listed above. This is your job description.

As far as the positions, I’ll tell you this: if there is a “Guru” position out there (in writing) don’t apply for it and never hire them. Via David Leonhardt: “Guru” is a term that must be bestowed upon someone by others. Coming from oneself, it is meaningless.”

31. GoogleBot doesn’t read Flash pages unless it’s built in. Do you teach your Flash expert to build the pages properly, or this is not a concern really as other means are enough to get ranks.

(Small correction: GoogleBot is learning to read Flash, but parses it horribly.) If you MUST use flash, then it is imperative that it built with some engine readability behind it. The term is graceful degradation. That is, when it the flash fails to operate, in this case in the presence of GoogleBot, it can still provide key information that would otherwise be “hidden” or “locked up” within the flash application.

32. What are the best steps to take to get an entry-level job and then move up and get better experience?

The best steps? The best steps are to use your social networking connections to get in to a search marketing outfit. Save that, the next best steps to an entry level position is to keep your ear to the ground for positions (even within traditional agencies) for anything they have open in their search marketing divisions or “interactive” divisions.

As for accruing more experience, it’s about finding a mentor. I had one (James Shore), someone who led me to waterholes and then let me find my own way from there. Beyond finding a mentor, the first years will be spent listening and absorbing all the information you can. Yes, that means even the pure nonsense. Once you start understanding the jargon and idiosyncrasies within the field, you’ll be able to distinguish what’s credible and what’s pure nonsense.

After a time, you’ll move through the ranks, applying your knowledge and expertise. I hate to say it’s results-based, but it is. The better results you can provide, the fast more doors will open for you.

33. How many years experience does it take to move from entry-level to average and then expert level employee (I realize the dynamics in SEO are always changing, but please generalize).

This is a difficult question to answer. There are so many externalities in relation to this question that even a generalization is difficult to assume.

Honestly, it depends on how quickly you pick up the art and science of SEO. If you show an expert ability early on, people are going to recognize it, and you’ll can leap-frog your way through the ranks quickly.

34. What can I start doing now that would prepare me for working in this field in the future?

Start familiarizing yourself with various aspects of the field. There excellent primers out there by some of the best and brightest in the field:

35. If you could choose this career path all over again, would you and why?

Absolutely. Beyond finding my calling in business, I’ve made amazing relationships over the years. The SEM/SEO community is a tight one, and once you become one of us, it’s a life-long community. (That is, of course, unless you happen to be complete and utter anti-social person)

36. Do you belong to any professional organizations? If so, which ones and why?

At this time, no. But, credentialism is an important factor of the game. Having acronyms associated to your name can go along way toward earning credibility with clients and prospective clients.

37. Are there any websites that you refer to or research to help you in your field?

See Question #35

I also use Twitter as a means of information gathering on the industry. The amount of information is truly staggering, so being judicious with your time is something that will go along way.

Sites I read religiously:

36. What is the average starting salary? What is the salary potential with experience?

The average starting salary is going to be largely based on the COL (cost of living) of your area. I would expect the starting salary to be anywhere between $30,000 and $40,000 a year. SEOMoz did a great survey themselves that could help you answer a lot of these questions: http://www.seomoz.org/dp/seo-industry-survey-results

As for the salary potential, it’s limitless. If you can prove your value to an organization, or to a marketplace, there’s no limit to what people will pay for a competitive advantage.

37. Can you suggest other professionals who may be willing to speak with me about their careers?

Absolutely. There’s plenty of agencies, firms, and independents in the Milwaukee and Chicago area who’d love to talk. Contact me and I’ll give you a list of locals.

12
Apr

Build A Great B2B Search Engine Marketing Campaign

Indispensable Tips For B2B Search Engine Marketing

The Scenario:
The elephant in the room that everyone is talking about: the economy’s taken a dive; it’s down for the count. Your B2C clients, while realizing that search marketing is a cornerstone in any successful campaign, have cut back their spending (drastically). It’s the ultimate domino effect, and it finally hit you. There’s a corporate brainstorming session. The one big idea (a no-brainer, really); let’s get business we have never bothered with: B2B.

B2B Search Engine Marketing

B2B SEM: A Pig on the Wing

Why you haven’t bothered with B2B until now:

  • They don’t spend as much money as their B2C counterparts (not by a long shot)
  • They are fairly reliant on traditional media spends in extremely niche markets (a publication dedicated to people interested in better ways to investment cast)
  • Experience suggests they expect an amazing bang for the buck (a.k.a. mind-blowing results every time out of the gate)
  • Not surprisingly, there are very few Search Marketing Firms and SEOs out there willing to take them on.  It’s not exactly a gold mine, not by any stretch, but it is a relatively virgin segment. For those with patience and moxy, it can be a very successful venture.

    1) Build The Right IA

    Most B2B companies want/believe that their website IA should accurately reflect what already exists in print or a catalog. Wrong.  To construct the “right” IA, it takes a two-fold effort:

    a) You, as the SEO/SEM, really have to TALK with them.  Not simply let them tell you what they want to see represented, but consider their products and industries they serve.  It may not change the main buckets of product engagement with the user, but you may find/add another way to engage users.

    b) It’s got to be a team effort.  As I mentioned before, the majority of B2B is very niche.  They, whether you believe it or not, know their customers well.  What they don’t know, is how to engage them outside of their traditional media, and you do. These two knowledges clash: in some cases violently.

    Each side has to be willing to make a concession or two in order to get an IA that’s going to be able to target trafficked keywords, convert users, and that all parties are happy.

    2) Keyword Targeting

    You know, as a seasoned SEO, that the keyword and keyword phrase targeting has to lean more to the longtail.  The client, however, thinks the most general terms are going to bring traffic (which they will). For example: the client makes “Micro-Perforated Tubing”, but believe that “Tubing” should bring in all the traffic.  Beyond the fact that there are dozens of terms associated with “tubing”, even if we did target the term, what are the chances we’d be driving the most qualified and viable traffic ready to convert?  Low to none.

    When keyword researching and targeting for B2B, it’s essential as an SEO/SEM to understand that traffic volumes, in the majority of cases, are going to be low, so setting the expectation for the client is paramount. They need to understand that targeting uber-general terms (i.e. “automotive oil”, or “tools”) is not where they’re user base is.

    Sure, their consumers may start with these general terms, but the SERPs they get (sites they have no use for) will teach them to refine the searches with more longtail keywords.

    So that’s where you as an SEO/SEM need to be: in the mid-longtail and longtail keywords to get the most qualified traffic and those ready to convert.

    3) PPC Campaigns

    Of course it’s an extra expense. And, yes, they can get costly. The fact is they are a must for B2B; it’s a necessary evil. Why?  Because organically, it’s going to take time to get position and traffic for keywords. Consider all the link building that’s got to be done and the onsite optimization, and relying on that alone will take 6-8 months before good movement and results appear.

    Consider this effort an “adrenaline shot” for your search marketing.  You get instant exposure in the SERPs, you get traffic to deeper pages on the site: ergo telling Google your pages should be considered important, and, most importantly, your SEO/SEM gets instant keyword search query results.  They won’t have to guess as to which term(s) are most popular among your consumer base.  That, in itself, is worth its weight in gold.

    B2B PPC Tips:

    • Target a small selection of general terms in your campaign. The CPC is high for these terms, not to mention, competitive, so you’ll blow through your daily budgets quick.

    • Work a big variety of mid-longtail and longail words

    • Get a good list of negatives to make sure your budget is maximized

    4) Get Local

    It’s seems so common sense, but I can’t tell you how many B2B’s I’ve seen with no shred of locality at all.  Now that the Google Algorithm has changed to show local results for general queries based on IP Address of the searcher, it is more important than ever to make sure your company show up for local.

    What B2B Local You Should Have Been Doing:

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